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 80-130 km per day and explore the wonderful gravel roads around the Girona area.
Riding in this hotbed of European cycling culture is a constantly surprising joy. While the city of Girona combines the hustle of a regional capital with the deep medieval roots, the outlying areas are much quieter than much of Europe. Our base in the heart of historic Girona is within reach of the beautiful Costa Brava as well as the foothills of the Pyrenees. Ancient walled cities and mountain top monasteries make every day a beautiful adventure.
Daily rides will range from 70-140km and take in some of the long climbs that have made this area a famous destination for cyclists from around the world.
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
Please use these Ride Highlights and Sample Itinerary as a guide only. The Gravel Camp will take in many of the same general routes and destinations each day although we will be taking the roads-less-traveled at every opportunity. Picture quiet tracks through the mountains and peaceful over-looks that only the locals see. From rolling farm roads to remote mountain roads the Girona Gravel 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 know for while the rest of each day will be more adventurous. Although suitable for gravel-specific bikes a road bike with robust 28mm tires would do the trick.
Wild Rock Travel guide and Shimano Gravel Alliance member Kieran Andrews will be in Girona in mid April to put the final touches on what we are certain will be a fantastic cycling adventure. The ride itinerary will be complete by mid-April so keep an eye on this page.
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).
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. These days will likely be longer and harder as we explore farther afield.
Route: Today we will explore into the foothills of the Pyrenees. With two big climbs this is a ride to sink our teeth into. This route is a figure 8 style ride that climbs up to Sant Hilari from two directions. Although long, neither climb is particularly steep so we can settle into a rhythm and really take in the beauty of the area. (Approx 140km with 2300M elevation gain)
Breakfast at 8 a.m. Ride starts at 9:30 a.m. These days will likely be longer and harder as we explore farther afield.
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 rider 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 8 a.m., ride at 9:30 a.m.
Route: The ride through Besalu then up to El Mont is simply stunning. Rolling back roads lead us all the way to the base of the hulky mountain of El Mont. The climb winds its way through shrinking forests until the trees are left behind and only cliffs and, finally, a monastery remain. (Approx 145km with 2600M elevation gain)
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.