Dali’s Country Road Bike Tour
Spain Road Bike Tour
Costa Brava, where the mountains meet the sea, is the setting of this exciting new tour in the province of Girona, along the Pyrenees mountain range. Its landscapes, climate and history combine to create a haunting beauty. Craggy cliffs, sandy coves, pristine beaches and inland, the fascinating, ancient history all await to be explored and experienced. It was also the home and setting for the surreal world of Salvadore Dali.
This is the region in which the renowned artist was born, lived, worked and died. His birth city, Figueres, is home to the Teatre-Museu Dali, which you will have the opportunity to visit. In his own words: "The two most fortunate things that could happen to a person are, first, to be Spanish, and second, to be named Salvador Dalí. These two things have happened to me,” from "Diary of a Genius". Modest, Dali was not, bold and extravagant he was, as you will experience. His museum is, in itself, the largest surrealistic object in the world.
If you love surrealism, you will love the Dali touches of this tour and the opportunity to personally visit his home and museum. If you love wild coasts and pristine beaches, you will love the Costa Brava and the varied cycling routes. If you love wine and experiencing regional cuisine, you will love this Emporda region of Spain. Wine has been made here since the 5th century BC, when Phoenicians first colonized the coast. The gastronomy is based on a Mediterranean diet, rich in seafood, rice and fresh vegetables. The combination of seascape and rural countryside provide the freshest ingredients and makes Costa Brava one of the loveliest wine regions in the country. Combine all of the above with some lovely and challenging ascents and you have this exceptional road bike tour. Not too difficult, but challenging enough for most people who still want time to enjoy the surroundings. Highlights include; cycling along part of the 2009 Tour de France stage from Girona to Barcelona, ascending to the mountain top of Sant Grau and the breathtaking view of the Mediterranean Sea that awaits, and cutting over the Gavarres mountain range to tackle the infamous climb to the mountain village of Romanya de la Selva. This is a tour that offers something for just about everyone, it blends the mystical surreal consisting of the fantastical Dali interpretations of reality with the breathtaking real, encompassing the wild Costa Brava.
Where You’ll Stay
3 and 4 star hotels and elegant farmhouses
- 7 nights accommodations in luxury hotels and elegant farmhouses
- Lunch in Figueres
- Dinner at the Farmhouse in Bordils
- Entry ticket to Dali museum
- Luggage transfer
- Detailed route books including maps
- Welcome meeting
- Cycling jersey and water bottle
- Road bike
What’s Not Included
- Lunches and dinners, other than those included
- All year round. Arrival any day.
Moderate self guided hotel tour with daily distances ranging from 28 to 50 miles. Guided option available, if preferred. (minimum of two participants)
Below is the itinerary and daily mileage for the road bike option.
- Arrival in Girona
- Girona - Sant Feliu de Guixols: 35 mi (56 km)
- Sant Feliu de Guixols - Calella de Palafrugell: 35 mi (56 km)
- Calella de Palafrugell-Bordils: 30 mi (47 km)
- Bordils - Sant Pere Pescador: 23 mi (36 km)
- Rountrip around Figueres: 36 mi (58 km)
- Sant Pere Pescador - Girona: 49 mi (78 km)
- Departure from Girona
All distances are approximate
DAY 1: Arrival in Girona
. Guests who select the basic accommodation option will stay in a fantastic town hotel located in the heart of the historic old center of Girona. Clients who select the luxury accommodation option will stay in a newly renovated 16th century town house in the heart of Girona’s old town. Both locations provide an excellent location to explore this fascinating city. Girona is a city in the northeast of Spain on the Costa Brava, near the French border. It is a beautiful city where you get a real feeling for its history just by walking through its ancient streets. It is also a walled city, dating back to the Roman period, with a fascinating old quarter. You will be able to explore the entire city on foot since it is not very large.
DAY 2: Girona to Sant Feliu de Guixols: 35 mi (56 km)
Introductory meeting and bike fitting at Girona Cycle Center.The first day of the tour is one of the most difficult in that you will climb 1059 m as you ride part of the 2009 Tour de France stage up to the mountain top of Sant Grau, overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. The route passes out of Girona and into the county called La Selva, which means "the forest." It is an area seldom visited by tourists, bordered by the Les Gavarres montain nature reserve. The steep descent along a windy coastal road will lead to the old fishing village of Sant Feliu de Guixols, where the evening will be spent in a hotel close to the beach. Sant Feliu de Guíxols has idyllic weather almost all year long. The coastline of the town spreads over ten kilometers. It also includes many little bays with coves surrounded by pine covered mountains and with rocky or fine sand beaches. If you get a chance in the morning be sure to visit the Plaça del Mercat before beginning your cycling day. The market place serves as the heart of public and economic life in the town. It takes place every morning on the “Plaça” where you can do some shopping before you head out for your second cycling day.
DAY 3: Sant Feliu de Guixols - Calella de Palafrugell: 35 mi (56 km)
The route winds north along the Costa Brava, passing into the northern part of Empordá county. You will cut over the Gavarres mountain range to confront the infamouse ascent to the mountain village of Romanya de la Selva. Overnight will be in the fashionable sea side town of Calella de Palafrugell. The coastline of Palafrugell has 12 km of beaches and coves which are all awarded the European Blue flag each year. The Blue Flag is an award that is given to beaches and marinas that have met very stringent standards. The main beaches are Aigua Xelida, Tamariu, Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell. The archipelago of the Formigues isles (the isles of the Ants) is off the coastline. This is an area where many ships wrecked in ancient times. In front of the Saint Sebastian lighthouse is the Ullastres, popular with snorkelers because of the abundant marine life.
DAY 4: Calella de Palafrugell- Bordils: 30 mi (47 km)
Today the route cuts inland and passes through one of the most unique and incredible landscapes in Europe. Over the Santa Pallaia mountain, the terrain is dotted with ancient stone houses and castles, one of which was bought by Dali for his beloved wife, Gala. Resembling a small gothic-renaissance palace, it is maintained today as a museum in the tiny village of Puból. Walking through the rooms of Castle Pubol is something special. With every step, you cannot help but to be aware of Dali and his artistic influence in the surroundings. Indeed, this castle home has to be viewed as a great work of Dali in and of itself, for everything in it was conceived and designed by the artist and offers us a glimpse inside his captivating and unique world. Accommodations this evening are only a few miles from this castle museum. You will love La Puból. It is a tiny romantic village that time has forgotten. The Placa Major (main square) still has the ancient clothes washing area surrounded by buildings of the Gothic/Renaissance period.
DAY 5: Bordils - Sant Pere Pescador: 23 mi (36km)
Continuing north, the route leads deep into the wine and olive groves of the Alt Empordá, or wine growing region of Spain. There is an optional visit to Sant Marti D'Empuries. The day ends with a ride along a beach road past the Greco-Roman city that gives the region its name, Emporion, where the Romans introduced wine to the peninsula. Sant Pere Pescador is a village with very special personality. It is in the middle of the Bay of Roses, one of the most attractive bays of the western Mediterranean. It boasts a 7 km stretch of pristine sandy beach. The first historical reference of the town dates back to the year 974 and the castle of Sant Pere from the XIV C is the most important medieval building. The next two nights will be enjoyed in another beautiful farmhouse accommodation a short distance from the wide sandy beach of the Roses Bay.
DAY 6: Rountrip Figueres: 36 mi (58 km)
This is a day that is relatively easy giving riders ample time to visit the Dali museum. This museum was actually designed by Dali. The entire renovated theater is a surrealistic work of art. Dali himself said “Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here?" You will have ample time to explore this and also the Dali Jewels Gallery. You can enjoy a lunch on the Rambla, the main pedestrian street of the town that Dali called home. You can decide to linger at the museum and opt for a shorter ride or to climb into the Pyrenees for some challenging climbs and panoramic views visiting the mountain village of Capmany near the French border and the mountain reservoir of Panta de Boadella at 700 m. You can rest in the stunning area around the lake.
DAY 7: Sant Pere Pescador - Girona: 49 mi (78 km)
This final day on the cycle returns you to the capital city of the region, Girona. It is another stunning route through the rolling hills and vineyards of Emporda providing the perfect ending to a perfect week.
DAY 8: Departure from Girona.
*Route profiles available on request.