Catalonia Classic

Difficulty  Medium

10 Days - €3,650.00 approx US$3,871
AU$5,190
GBP£3,075

Terrain: Hilly
Daily Distance: Approx 65-85km
Total Distance: Main Route: 600km; 372mi
Total Ascent: Approx 7000m; 23000ft

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17 - 26 March 2017 (12 PLACES REMAIN)

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29 Mar - 07 Apr 2017 (12 PLACES REMAIN)

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10 - 19 October 2017 (12 PLACES REMAIN)

Highlights:
Our tour will start from Girona, a base for many pro-riders who train here regularly in the early part of the race season.  The town itself offers many cultural attractions to tourists.  We’ll ride the easy rolling roads towards the Mediterranean sea and the volcanic hills of the Garrotxa countryside and get a little  a taste of the Pyrenees.  Riding an anticlock-wise loop around Barcelona, we end up in the southern area of Penedes and Priorat, famous for its great wines.

Activities:
Empuries visit, Girona walking tour, cellar visit, language lesson

What's included:

  • All hotel accommodation in minimum 3 star, usually 4 star hotels (twin share)
  • Breakfasts
  • Introductory Lunch
  • Dinners (except 1)
  • 2 Guides on tour (one fully qualified mechanic)
  • Van support throughout tour
  • All in-tour transfers
  • Snacks and food supplements including electrolytes during tour
  • Activities which depend on the region we are visiting. Examples include wine/cheese/olive oil tastings, boat trips
  • Garmin 800 loan unit with maps for duration of tour
  • 1 PuntoTours cycling kit (cycling jersey, knicks and socks) per guest
  • 1 day pack per guest
  • Complimentary food supplements including gels and energy bars
  • Detailed printed Tour information booklet.

Day One - Palafrugell warm up ride to Peratallada
Main Route: 35km – 21mi
Total Ascent:  250m – 650ft
After the bike fitting you’ll have the chance to stretch your legs on an easy loop. We’ll cross Peratallada, a cute village where the name means ‘cut into the stones’. In fact many of the building’s walls were created by just shaping the local rock. After the first easy climb of the tour we’ll have a very nice stretch along the sea in Palamos.

Day Two - Palafrugell to Girona
Main Route:  70km – 42mi
Total Ascent: 400m – 1300ft
Still an easy ride on rolling roads, first near the coast and then moving inland.
Today we’ll visit two of the main highlights of the tour. Empuries, which is a very important archaeological site, one of the few Greek colonies found in the north Mediterranean sea. And the second highlight is Girona where we’ll spend two nights.  Its historic medieval centre has beautiful buildings and a well preserved synagogue, probably the best in Spain. Part of Girona is divided by a river, which will remind you of Florence.

Day Three - Girona loop to Olot
Main Route: 105km – 65mi
Total Ascent: 1000m – 3200ft
The ride of today will be more intense.  After a flat section to Banyoles we’ll have some ups and downs to Olot.  After lunch, it’s much easier with only one short climb.  If you love outdoor activities Banyoles is your place.  With its little lake it attracts numerous race events every year, including triathlons, mtb races and trail-running.  Thanks also to the great geography of this area, and the town of Olot which lies inside the volcanic natural park of La Garrotxa.

Day Four - Girona to Vic
Main Route: 80km – 50mi
Total Ascent: 1400m – 4600ft
A challenging day with one major climb followed by a few shorter ones.
This area of Catalonia in particular is known for its Romanesque architecture and there are beautiful examples of this style remaining.  We’ll see many churches and bridges of this nature along our route.
Great food in this area also, known more for its delicate style.

Day Five - Vic loop to Montseny Natural Park
Main Route: 60km – 37mi
Total Ascent: 800m – 2600ft
Today’s route will be in the Montseny Natural Park, which UNESCO declared as a biosphere reserve in 1978.  The Park is home to a wide variety of fauna from both the Mediterranean and Alpine regions.  In the afternoon we’ll have some free time to visit Vic.  The city is famous for its sausages and other pork dishes, especially fuet, a thinly cured sausage. Two main climbs today followed by some undulations.

Day Six - Vic to Cardona
Main Route: 85km – 52mi
Total Ascent: 1300m – 4200ft
An undulating ride takes us to Cardona.  There’s an extensive deposit of rock salt near the town.  The salt forms a mountain mass (called Muntanya de Sal) which is covered by a thick bed of reddish-brown clay, and supposedly rests on a yellowish-grey sandstone base.  Many artists in Cardona have used this ‘rock’ to carve images, crucifixes and many other ornamental articles.  The hotel we’re staying at is part of the luxury Spanish hotel chain of Paradores de Turismo de España.  Many of its hotels are in castles, palaces, fortresses, convents, monasteries and other historic buildings.

Day Seven - Cardona to Montblanc
Main Route: 100km – 62mi
Total Ascent: 1400m – 4600ft
Montblanc is still relatively unknow by foreign tourists but it really is worth the visit. The village is located on the border of the Priorat area, where its eponymous wine originates.  We are also on the border of the Lleida province.   You will notice how the landscape changes dramatically, from a Mediterranean to a Continental one, where it’s much drier and hotter in the summer but colder during the winter.

Day Eight - Montblanc loop to Priorat
Main Route:  80km – 50mi
Total Ascent: 1300m – 4200ft
Today’s ride will be in a much less populated area.  We encounter little villages and farms dotting the countryside, where one of the main products is wine.  The Priorat wine doesn’t have a big production but the quality is excellent, and it is considered one of the great wines in the world. In the past years some local labels have received very high tasting scores by the important wine magazine, Wine Spectator.

Day Nine - Montblanc to Sitges
Main Route:  95km – 59mi
Total Ascent: 1100m – 3600ft
Mostly rolling and flat today, but we’ll gradually lose elevation on the way back to the sea.  A great ride through the colourful vineyards.  It’s very evident that this area’s most important business is wine, with Cava wine in the majority, the equivalent of the French Champagne or the Italian Prosecco, depending on which method the producers use.
Sitges is very popular with artists, who love its narrow streets near the sea and beautiful beaches. It is also famous for the International Movie Festival, organized in the first two weeks of October.

Day Ten - Adios
Barcelona is only a 30min drive away.  We recommend you stay an extra day or two!

Recommended Arrival Airport: Barcelona or Girona
Recommended Departure Airport: Barcelona or Girona

(Airport transfer not included)