Another way of exploring the region is cycle touring with saddle bags, an option that caters for all levels and gives you the chance to discover out-of-the-way places and ride along routes from the Costa Brava to the Girona Pyrenees. Greenways, Pirinexus, the Ter and Baix Empordà Route; here are four routes divided into stages to adapt as you wish!
Greenways, the old railway line network
The greenways network follows the old railway line that at one time linked the villages and their factories. There are five of them altogether and they cover 140 kilometres from the coast to the heart of the Pyrenees. They are very easy to cycle and suitable for all levels of ability. The whole network covers five counties and some thirty villages and natural areas such as the foothills of the Pyrenees, the Garrotxa volcanic area, the Ter valley, the forests of Salt and Girona, the area around the Gavarres and the Mediterranean coast. It is the ideal kind of route to do with your family, friends or even on your own!
Distance: 140 km
Pirinexus, a link between Catalonia and France
Can you imagine a 352-kilometre cycling route connecting the province of Girona with the Catalan-speaking part of France? That’s just what Pirinexus is, a circular cross-border route that goes through 53 towns and villages via greenways, country tracks and secondary roads. You can’t get lost on this route, as it’s clearly signposted and awash with services and accommodation catering specially for cyclists. It’s made up of four parts that you can adapt as you like. From Le Boulou to Palafrugell, from there to Olot, then on to Arles-sur-Tech and back again to finish in Le Boulou. The best thing is to organise the stages to please yourselves and make the most of the chance to explore the region.
Difficulty: easy – moderate
Distance: 353 km
The Ter Route, from Setcases to Torroella de Montgrí
The Ter Route follows the course of the river from its source near Ulldeter, in Setcases, to where it flows into the sea at La Gola del Ter, in Torroella de Montgrí. The route covers 218 kilometres along the banks of the river, starting in the Pyrenees, where it reaches altitudes of 2,000 m, and going right down to meet the sea on the Costa Brava. This tour is planned to be completed over five or six days, but it can also be done in separate one-day or two-day stages.
Difficulty: moderate – easy
Distance: 218 km
The Baix Empordà cycle touring network
The Baix Empordà conceals 250 kilometres of clearly signposted country tracks that are ideal for cycling in safe surroundings. You’ll ride along a route that is divided into segments to give you the chance to make up your own itinerary to suit yourselves and discover parts of the old narrow-gauge railway line, fields of crops, medieval villages and riverside landscapes, for example. You’ll ride along a variety of tracks equipped with all the right services so that all you have to think about is pedalling and exploring!
Distance: 250 km
Accommodation and bike hire
If you intend to spend a few days in the province of Girona and just do any one of the routes on a particular day you can hire bikes at one of the firms throughout the province. If you prefer to do more than one stage or discover more than one route at a time then you can check out the range of accommodation catering specially for cyclists. Whatever plan you come up with, it’s bound to be a fabulous experience.