When you say Catalunya, for many people this equals to beach and sunbathing. Although the beaches of the Costa Brava are amazing, you can still get a bit more adventurous on your holidays! How about cycling, huh?
In this post, I share with you 5 days itinerary for an epic cycling trip I participated at. When cycling from The Pyrenees to Costa Brava, we cycled 110 kilometers and visited 4 different regions.
Wanna taste the best food in the region? A fellow blogger published an amazing Costa Brava food guide.
The starting point of the trip is Sant Joan de les Abadesses up to the Pyrenees. Most likely, you will travel to Sant Joan from Barcelona (120 kilometers) or Girona (85 kilometers).
From Sant Joan, the route goes down to the highlands of la Vall d’en Bas, turn around the lake of Banyoles and finalize at Costa Brava in former fishing village Llançà.
DAY 1: Sant Joan de les Abadesses
It’s arrival day – you should get yourself to Sant Joan de les Abadesses. As there is no cycling yet planned for this day, use the time to walk around the historical centre.
You shouldn’t miss the ancient monastery of Benedictine nuns built in the 9th century (it was the only female monastery for a long time). There are also remains of 12th-century Romanesque church. If you would like to know more about history of Sant Joan, you can consider taking guided tour.
What to eat: Restaurant La Teuleria (hint: ask the owner to show you his private wine cellar)
Where to sleep: Hostel Ruta del Ferro
DAY 2: From Sant Joan to Vall d’en Bas
Get ready your bikes! The first cycling day is also the most exhausting one. Most of the 50 kilometers route is uphill. You will be rewarded with the beautiful mountain scenery, and meet some cows and horses.
The very last part of the route is going downhill steeply – be ready to deal with the breaks and you also have to get ready for the cars that might pass by (I have hardly ever seen other bicycles on the way).
Make sure you have good rest after the cycling – you are gonna feel the 50 kilometers. If you still have some every left, you can visit the town.
Where to sleep: Hostel Vall d’en Bas
DAY 3: From Vall d’en Bas to Banyoles
Ready for another 40 kilometers today? I have got some good news – after you make it to the hill after the first 15 kilometers, you will be mainly descending further on!
When you arrive to Banyoles, the lake is a must see! you should visit it’s spectacular lake. It’s largest natural lake in Catalonia (around 2,100 m by 750 m) and it is spectacular. I had lunch at the restaurant at the lake and then took boat trip around the lake. On a sunny day, this lake is really place to be!
Where to sleep: Hostel Banyoles
DAY 4: Banyoles – Llançà
OK, I am not gonna pretend in really made it to this giant mountain by bike. Actually, we went by bus all the way up St Pere de Rodes monastery and then cycled downhill to former fishing village Llançà. There is 17 kilometers of awesome views of Costa Brava.
Make sure you visit the St Pere de Rodes monastery including the 30 minutes hike to the top of the mountain. The views from up there is one of the coolest memories you will keep when you are back. Trust me!
Where to sleep: Hostel Costa Brava
DAY 5: Kayaking and relax in Llançà
This is departure day, so no more cycling! There is something a bit adventurous to do – you will hop into the kayak and go to explore the caves. I did my trip with SK Kayak and I can only recommend it. (Ask for Pau, it’s the most hilarious guide ever!)
You can spend your last moments of the trip on the beach or in the garden of the hostel (really relaxing place to be!). Alternatively, fishing port is also interesting place to visit before heading back to Girona/Barcelona.
Where to eat: El Vaixell
WHERE TO GO NEXT
if you are looking to spend more time in Costa Brava, you should definitely snorkel Medel islands. They are absolutely stunning.
If you are interested to explore more from Spain, head to the south of Spain. A fellow blogger wrote about Things to do in Cultural Seville in detail. After of before this trip, it is a great idea to visit Barcelona: not only it’s the closest airport, but also lots of amazing sights and food. There is quite a few budget tapas restaurants in Barcelona to check out.
In search of the perfect beach destination, head to Malaga and enjoy the never-ending sunshine.