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Catalonia: unmissable bike routes and a wealth of contrasts

Admire the panoramic views offered by the peaks of the Catalan Pyrenees, follow the course of the Garona River through the Aran Valley, marvel at the monumental richness of the Lleida Lands. Feeling caressed by the sea breeze as you drive along the roads of the Costa Brava, as you discover the historical and cultural heritage of the province of Barcelona, or as you traverse the vibrant and shimmering sands of the Costa Daurada to the Ebro Lands nature reserve.

Catalonia Creu de Fumanya (c)Ziklo
Catalonia Creu de Fumanya (c)Ziklo

Its unique orography makes Catalonia a true paradise for all cycling enthusiasts. An area with its own identity and character, committed to promoting sustainable, conscious and recovery-oriented tourism. A destination favored by the Mediterranean climate that, thanks to its richly contrasting landscape and safe, untraveled roads, offers a unique experience that is ideal for all types of cyclists at any time of year.

Whatever your reason for cycling, Catalonia offers a number of must-ride routes.

Whether it’s a family ride through the forests and castles that guard the Riera de Gaià to the estuary or cycling to improve physical and mental health, calmly enjoying the landscapes and extraordinary scenic views that characterize the Via Verde del Carrilet, Catalonia will surprise you.

Catalonia Via Verda de Bot to Prat de Compte, Terra Alta.
Catalonia Via Verda de Bot to Prat de Compte, Terra Alta.

Enjoy the local cuisine after completing the various stages of the Camino Natural del Ebro to the delta, or take on a new sports challenge such as the Tour del Cadí, a loop trail of about ten hours with very steep inclines through one of the most biodiversity-rich natural parks in the entire area.

There are many reasons to explore Catalonia. An area with a large number of itineraries to discover and an endless number of experiences to enjoy.

The province of Barcelona, an ideal destination for cycling tourism

Whether you love the road, downhill mountain biking or riverside trails, In Barcelona Region you will find the ideal environment to live your passion for biking. It doesn’t matter whether you ride alone, with friends, or with family. Your next challenge awaits you: challenging mountain passes, dizzying descents on mountain bikes, staged routes through vineyards, or a quiet, fun ride with the kids!

Catalonia Passejada en bicis elèctriques per les vinyes de Gratallops (Priorat)
Catalonia, Gratallops Vineyards (Priorat)

The province of Barcelona is a vast territory rich in contrasts, stretching along the Mediterranean coast, through inland plains, all the way to the Pyrenees. So close to the city, the towns in the province of Barcelona offer a plethora of routes of all levels of difficulty for bicycle enthusiasts, a wide range of specialized services and a calendar full of events.

Cambrils, Bike Paradise of the Costa Daurada

Cambrils, a destination specializing in sports tourism for more than 15 years, is certified as a Specialized Cycling Destination. Here there are 9 bike-friendly accommodations, 3 certified bike rental companies, 2 travel agencies that specialize in accommodations for cyclists, and 2 bike event organizing agencies.

Catalonia Cambrils

Cambrils is situated in the south-central Costa Daurada, offering a privileged setting where cyclists can transition from pedaling along the coastline to traversing cliffs with splendid views of both the coast and hinterland in just a few kilometers. It also has more than 24 km of bicycle paths that run along the entire coastline and through the urban section on the plains.

The Costa Daurada boasts a diverse array of stunning landscapes, ranging from coastal to mountainous terrain. Some areas feature challenging elevation changes, while numerous secondary roads, often free of traffic and in excellent condition, wind through the region. Additionally, there are family-friendly routes available for leisurely exploration. Mountain bikers will also find wonderful and remote trails.

Catalonia Val d'Aran
Catalonia Val d’Aran

The Cambrils Tourist Office will be ready to welcome you and provide you with different detailed maps depending on the type of cycling you are interested in: road routes, mountain bikes, family bike routes, and more.

And who better to give concrete advice on how to experience Catalonia by bike than those who live the area every day?

According to Xavier Verdaguer, a Catalan entrepreneur, cycling tourism is freedom, respect, community, life and happiness. Cyclotourism is healthy for those who do it and is healthy for the area. It allows people to exercise and get to know every corner of our area, getting deeply in touch with nature and the local people.

Catalonia Maresme BTT Guillem ©Casanovas
Catalonia Maresme BTT Guillem ©Casanovas

His favorite route in Catalonia arethe medieval routes of the Baix Empordà, near Girona in the north of the Catalan region. Ideal for couples or families to learn together what nature and Catalonia’s incredible cultural heritage can teach.

Clara Sagrista, on the other hand, who is an editor by profession but in her spare time is passionate about bicycle travel, appreciates the opportunity that bicycle touring gives to learn more about oneself and to immerse oneself in a territory that is not one’s own. It is also a social activity that you can share with other people, chatting while pedaling. But at the same time, when doing very long rides alone, it is a very reflective time to let the mind wander. His favorite region is the Cerdanya region in the Pyrenees. “I love the whole mountainous area of Cadí with several mountain passes that are quite challenging, as you quickly face very steep slopes of up to 1 km. It is a very pleasant experience, ideal for those looking for a little adrenaline, surrounded by greenery, mountain wind, and the absence of cars. A region with many contrasts.

Tips

Catalonia: to be discovered by bicycle

In Catalonia you find a perfect mix of tourism, sea, vineyards, mountains, gastronomy, culture and traditions. The world of bicycling gives one the opportunity to enjoy it as one pleases. There are those who look for a way to do sports, challenging stages and mountain passes; those, on the other hand, opt for a much quieter vision, in which the bicycle shares the spotlight with landscapes, culture and gastronomy. Each of these experiences can be lived intensely in Catalonia, as cycling is one of the best ways to discover the essence of an area.

Cycling discoveries

This land of contrasts reflects extraordinary diversity and, for this reason, has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe. Its natural landscapes are particularly suited to active tourism, interested in contact with nature and the regenerative experiences that come with it.

Tourist areas in Catalonia are the best way to identify the characteristics and peculiarities of each area. The Pyrenees, the Terres de Lleida, the Val d’Aran, the Costa Brava, the Costa Daurada, the Terres de l’Ebre, the coast, the landscapes and the city of Barcelona have become renowned cycling destinations due to their infrastructure and excellent services.

Whatever type of bike you choose-mountain bike, road bike, gravel bike, e-bike-the areas boast a wide range of offerings with a vast network of different routes: Greenways, fascinating stretches of road, bike routes, perfect and safe spaces for cycling.

Catalonia
Catalonia

Catalonia is ideal for a cycling vacation, thanks in part to the well-equipped accommodation facilities, service companies and accommodation agencies prepared for bicycle tourists and scattered throughout the territory.

Getting to know Catalonia to the rhythm of pedals will be a unique experience, riding itineraries full of attractions: mountain ranges and streams, ridges and hills, plains and agricultural fields, indelible images that will remain in the memory.

Val d’Aran: in the heart of the Pyrenees

The Aran Valley, with its privileged location, is the only Atlantic valley in the Spanish mountain range.. This gives it a wide variety of landscapes that allow it to enjoy nature in all its facets and in all seasons of the year.

The valley is a paradise for two-wheelers, with more than 800 km of approved trails for all levels, from the more technical and steep ones to family rides. Here you will find spectacular mountain passes, some of them the scene of the legendary Tour de France and, for the more experienced, vertiginous enduro circuits in the forests of Baricauba, La Tuca and Montromies Mountain.

Aran Valley
Aran Valley

A valley to be discovered through marked mountain bike and road trails, peaceful riverside walks connecting villages, or technical descents through lush forests.

Especially for MTB enthusiasts, they can refer to the Aran Valley mountain bike center, which offers more than 400 km of marked, approved and accessible trails at all levels, both for those who want to enjoy direct contact with nature and for the more demanding, lovers of technical trails, long descents and steep slopes. While those who prefer gravel biking will find an infinite number of route possibilities and paved surfaces to ride on in a wide variety of conditions, and at the same time they can ride comfortably and safely on natural trails, dirt, gravel, stone, grass or stone substrates.

Finally, thanks to e-bikes, the mountains have become accessible to everyone and cycling has become a family sport; in fact, the Val d’Aran presents a series of specific routes for eBikes that stand out for their low technical difficulty and beautiful routes.

Green Ways of Girona

Greenways are old disused railroad tracks that have been adapted for walking or cycling. The trails are easy, pleasant, safe, accessible and integrated into the natural environment.

They have their origins in the decommissioned train tracks that ran through the landscape of the province of Girona, which have now become walkable paths to enjoy the nature and culture of northeastern Catalonia.

Vies Verdes Catalonia by Alvaro Sanz
Vies Verdes Catalonia credit Alvaro Sanz

These roads have not stopped growing since the Consortium of Green Streets of Girona began managing them in 2003. In 2013, the following was realized Pirinexus, a 353-kilometer circular bicycle route that connects territories located on both sides of the Pyrenean mountain range and connects with EuroVelo 8. It is a product of the cross-border cycle tourism, which allows uninterrupted cycling, aided by more than 700 markers, between Catalonia and France, encouraging respect for the environment and promoting tourist activity. Pirinexus encompasses culture, history, nature, sports, wine tourism and gastronomy. In 2022, the following was also integrated Pirinexus Litoral, an intermodal axis, allowing for the integration of bicycle and public transportation, be it train or bus, that crosses the coastal areas of Girona and connects with Rosselló.

Aparthotel & Village Golf Beach

An ideal place to stay, which enjoys a favored location of easy access to the Green Streets of Girona and the Pirinexus network. The complex is situated in the very heart of the Costa Brava, 900 meters away from the beach and 4 km from the old town of the small medieval village of Pals, one of the most emblematic and welcoming corners of the Baix Empordà, famous for its historical-patrimonial heritage. Open year-round, it is surrounded by an enchanting natural environment and offers diversified stay options.

Cambrils, Bike Paradise of the Costa Daurada

Cambrils, a destination specializing in sports tourism for more than 15 years, is certified as a Specialized Cycling Destination because there are 9 bike-friendly accommodations, 3 certified bike rental companies, 2 travel agencies specializing in accommodations for cyclists, and 2 agencies organizing cycling events.

Cambrils is located in the south-central part of the Costa Daurada, in a privileged setting where cyclists, in just a few kilometers, go from pedaling by the sea to cliffs with splendid views of the coast and hinterland. It also has more than 24 km of bicycle paths that run along the entire coastline and through the urban section on the plains.

Cambrils
Cambrils

The Costa Daurada offers a variety of landscapes of great beauty, both coastal and mountainous, characterized by some places with very challenging elevation differences and countless secondary roads with almost no traffic and in excellent condition, as well as family-friendly routes. Mountain bikers will also find wonderful and remote trails.