Whilst the Costa Brava may be most famous for its beaches, two high-profile cycling events this June are sure to open up the region’s world-class biking terrain to active holidaymakers.
Boasting some of the country’s most diverse countryside, the area’s combination of picturesque coastal routes, quiet inland roads and dramatic mountain passes have long made it a favourite training destination for professional road cyclists. With more than 100 top-ranking cyclists and several professional teams making it their base camp, Girona has developed a fantastic cycling culture of its own.
This year cyclists of all ages, abilities and ambitions will be given two extra reasons to explore this north east corner of Spain and discover first-hand why its mix of well-maintained roads, warm weather, panoramic views and characterful villages make the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees a true cycling paradise.
Sea Otter Europe (8-10 June 2018)
- Following the success of last year’s event, Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava-Girona Bike Show will be returning to Girona from 8 to 10 June 2018, with the cycling expo to be held next to Devesa’s Park, just five minutes from the centre of Girona.
- Having attracted more than 20,000 visitors, 5,000 cyclists and 300 exhibitors to last summer’s inaugural event, the 2018 three-day festival will be adding even more attractions to its cycling line-up, ensuring bike enthusiasts of all levels can take their hobby to a higher level.
- With the Gran Fondo World Tour having chosen Girona to host one of the 12 races on its 2018 calendar, men and women will have the chance to put themselves in their idol’s cycling shoes for a day with two days riding through the roads of Girona.
- On Saturday 9 June, participants will have the chance to challenge themselves on a 165km route taking them from Girona to some of the area’s most testing terrain, including the legendary mountain ranges of Les Guilleries and Montseny, whose steady gradient and 25.6km climb make it a worth rival to Mont Ventoux. Then, on Sunday 10 June, there are two cycling distances to choose from (80km or 130km), both including a challenging combination of mountain passes and a timed section.
Girona Cycling Festival (11-17 June 2018)
- Now in its fifth year, this full week of cycling is the ideal opportunity for cycle-enthusiasts to hone their skills and test their legs on some of the region’s best roads and climbs.
- To keep the holiday spirit alive, the itinerary for the Girona Cycling Festival is made up of a balance of cycling challenges, organised group rides and social gatherings, ensuring participants get a true feel of the local character and world-class cuisine.
- Having conquered the 10.4km Els Àngels hill climb, the following day participants will tackle Girona’s medieval cobbled streets with one-hour to do five laps of the old town in this twilight criterium. Then, to end the week in style, the Girona Gran Fondo offers a choice of a 125km route from Girona to the Garroxta region and back, or a more challenging 142.6km option which takes in the iconic Rocacorba climb.
- New for this year is the Omnium challenge, with prizes and podium places up for grabs to recognise the best all-round and most consistent riders of the week.
With more than 1,879km of signposted mountain bike trails to be found throughout the province plus a network of mountain bike centres, the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees appeals to more than just tarmac lovers.
Meanwhile, for those who prefer a more leisurely pace to their bike breaks, bike hire companies and miles of low gradient greenways – known locally as Vies Verdes – dot the region. These include seven routes along old railway lines stretching for 125km plus dozens of mountain bike trails, making the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees perfectly suited to active families keen to take full advantage of the Mediterranean climate to explore the region’s spectacular scenery and rolling countryside.
To find out more about cycling opportunities around the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees, visit www.costabrava.org