September 21 - 28, 2019
Girona is a growing European cycling hotbed with an incredibly extensive and unique network of roads. The region boasts an abundance of exceptionally beautiful and varied riding. To the east we can ride into the foothills of the Pyrenees and to the west we can ride flatter roads winding through medieval settlements to the coast of the Mediterranean. In addition to the great riding, the city of Girona is truly something to experience. A charming medieval city with a vibrant arts, food and café scene, it represents the best of Catalan culture and hospitality.
This trip caters to riders looking to ride 80-150 km per day and explore the wonderful gravel roads around the Girona area.
The Girona Explorer Camp will take riders to some of the very best destinations in the Girona area by the roads-less-traveled. Although known for its beautiful tarmac, some of the most exciting riding in the region is on quiet, isolated gravel roads. We will take you on quiet tracks through the mountains to peaceful over-looks that only the locals typically see. With us you will get off the beaten track but still experience the very best of Girona. From rolling farm roads to remote mountain roads the Girona Explorer Camp will take us to a side of Catalonia that few visitors experience.
Most days will be 60-70% on the pristine asphalt that the area is known for while the rest of each day will be more adventurous. Although suitable for gravel-specific bikes, a road bike with robust 28mm tires will do the trick.
Wild Rock Travel guide and Shimano Gravel Alliance member Kieran Andrews recently spent a week finalizing route options on what will be a fantastic cycling adventure.
This itinerary is best suited to avid, enthusiast cyclists who are comfortable riding in a group of 10-12.
While in Girona we stay at the Hotel Peninsular, which is just a few minutes’ walk from the medieval-era city center. This 3 star hotel is simple but perfectly blends a sense of modern quality with a deep sense of history. When not on our bikes we are perfectly placed to explore the ancient walls, alleys and architecture of the historic center.
Friday, September 20th (Late afternoon / evening)
Arrival and first night of accommodations: Saturday, September 21st
Saturday, September 28th
Last night of accommodations: Friday, September 27th
Schedule your flight to arrive at the Barcelona Airport (BCN) in the morning or early afternoon of Saturday Sept 21st to meet your transfer to the Hotel Peninsular. This will likely mean that your flight will depart from Toronto on the evening of Friday Sept 20th.
If you choose to arrive in Girona early or stay a bit later, that’s great! We are happy to arrange extended accommodations for you.
If you’d prefer NOT to fly with your bike, we can arrange to have a performance rental bike for ready for you when you arrive.
SAMPLE RIDE ITINERARY
This is a sample itinerary that will give you an idea of the type of trip that you're in for! One of the benefits of travelling with Wild Rock in Girona is that we can be, and are, very flexible with our itineraries. Considering the weather and group dynamics, we will often make changes to ensure that our guests have the best trip possible. As such, please take the sample itinerary below as a guide only. Although this highlights a number of our favourite rides we almost certainly modify the schedule as the trip unfolds.
DAY 1 (ARRIVAL DAY)
Our shuttle service will pick you up at the Barcelona Airport (BCN) and take you to the Hotel Peninsular. After checking in, get acquainted with the hotel while we assemble your bike. If you are renting a bike, we'll make sure that it fits and is setup with your saddle and pedals. Before dinner, you'll all have the chance to meet up with your guides and fellow travellers to talk about the week.
Route: Warm-up (25-50km time permitting). Canet d’Adri - Bonmati
Breakfast at 8 a.m., perform bike checks, and discuss the day's route before departing at 10 a.m. It always takes a little longer on the first day before everybody is ready to ride.
Route: A moderately hilly ride through ancient villages and finishing over the climb of Els Angels. Rolling terrain through tiny roads will take us through countless villages before the iconic climb over Els Angels and the plummet back down to Girona at its base. (Approx 95km with 1200M elevation gain)
Breakfast at 8 a.m. Ride at 9:30 a.m.
Route: Today we will explore into the foothills of the Pyrenees. With two significant climbs this is a ride to sink our teeth into. Although long, neither climb is particularly steep so we can settle into a rhythm and really take in the beauty of the area. (Approx 120km with 2000M elevation gain)
Breakfast at 8 a.m. Ride starts at 9:30 a.m.
Route: Today we make our way to the Costa Brava. Some climbing today is mixed with wild switchbacks overlooking the ocean. An interesting mixture of tiny back roads, incredible views and resort culture come together to make this a day of riding that you won’t forget. (Approx 130km with 2200M elevation gain)
DAY 5 (REST & RECOVERY DAY)
Breakfast at 9 a.m. Ride starts at 10:30 a.m. We'll keep things a bit shorter and flatter today. With a few big rides under our belt and a big ride tomorrow, our legs will certainly appreciate it! Some will choose a short ride, while some guests may choose to spend the day exploring in other ways.
Route: Light on Ks, heavy on cafe's. (50-60km)
Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., shuttle at 8:30 a.m.
Route: Today we will shuttle to the village of Sant Esteve d’en Bas to start our ride. Our route loops through the massive cliffs that surround the villages of Tavertet and Rupit. This is a big day with significant climbing mostly on tiny, very quiet roads. A true adventure, this is one of our absolute favourite rides in the Girona area.
Once again, breakfast at 8 a.m., and our ride starts at 9:30 a.m. We will keep things slightly shorter on our last day. We'll plan to be back at the hotel in good time to allow for time to pack bikes and celebrate a great week of riding!
Route: The Rocacorba! One of the must-do climbs in the area, the Rocacorba is another stunning mountain ride. The summit offers views over much of the area that we have spent the week riding. This is a great way to cap off a fantastic week of cycling in one of the world’s premier cycling destinations. (Approx 75km with 1500M elevation gain)
DAY 8 (DEPARTURE DAY)
Wake up early and catch the shuttle to the airport.
7 nights of accommodation.
Breakfasts and dinners.
Shuttle between the hotel and the Barcelona airport on travel days.
Daily guide support.
Routes selected, designed and guided by Wild Rock Travel guides.
Airfare to and from Barcelona, Spain.
Lunches - we believe that eating lunches out at cafés and restaurants during a ride is a unique and important part of the european cycling experience. Bring some euros to buy your café au lait and a lunch that suits your fancy.
Cycling specific nutrition - we will provide some fruit and snacks for riding, however we recommend that you bring the gels and drink or electrolyte mix that you’re used to using at home.
Additional food between meals.
Rental bike (if not travelling with personal bicycle).
Transportation to and from Pearson International.