Mountain biking and road cycling tours in Catalonia
By staff writer
Barcelona and the surrounding countryside of Catalonia is a biker’s dream. We investigate the opportunities for taking a two-wheeled tour or trip…
Thanks to its diverse geography, beautiful scenery and reliable weather, the Spanish region of Catalonia, of which Barcelona is the capital, could hardly be better for cyclists looking to enjoy a spot of mountain biking, road biking or even for taking a longer cycling trip or holiday in the area. Whilst the city of Barcelona itself is flat – it’s on the beach after all – rearing up just behind the coastal plane is the Collserola mountain range, a natural park that includes the famous Tibidabo peak, and this provides a scenic spot for mountain bikers looking for an easy trip to organise near the city, but with some challenging climbs.
Also close at hand is the Penedes wine region, where quiet roads, crumbling churches and idyllic vineyards make for a leisurely cycling tour that could possibly finish with a spot of Cava tasting! This is an ideal destination for a gentle day trip, with little in the way of elevations to do battle with, or you could choose to tackle the whole region over five days, eating and drinking like kings, and taking in both the Costa Dorada and the High Penedes – in which case there’ll be a fair bit more legwork into the bargain.
More hardcore cyclists might want to head north out of Barcelona via the Costa Brava, taking in the charms and beaches of the Wild Coast, before heading inland to the pretty town to Girona – the base of many of Tour de France competitors no less! For those who really want a challenge though, it’s hard to overlook the peaks that divide France and Spain – the Pyrenees. Naturally one of Europe’s major mountain ranges offers plenty of thigh burn and adrenaline for those brave enough to take on its slopes equipped with just two wheels.
Biking Day Tours
Find below some trusted travel agents who can help organise a day cycling in the countryside directly outside the Catalan capital. If you fancy exploring Barcelona itself then head to our page about city bike tours, where you’ll find some exciting urban adventures to be had from the saddle.
Serious cyclists looking to rent road bikes or head out on a guided tour of the local countryside need look no further than Montefusco, who can either supply you with carbon-frame bicycles and wave you off, or take you on one of their six day excursions around Catalonia. Opt for their Costa Brava trip and you’ll cycle alongside some of the best coastal scenery anywhere on the Mediterranean, full of emerald green bays and craggy outcrops. On you could head inland for the jagged pink limestone peaks of Montserrat mountain, with its famous abbey in the clouds. You can also go with Montefusco to Montseny mountain, the Penedes wine region, or even zoom around the Montmelo Formula 1 race track! And if you want to stay closer to home they do a 70km trip around the bike paths and hills of Barcelona. Check out their new website:
Barcelona Mountain Biking
These people know the surrounding area like nobody else and if you’re after a one day trip on either a MTB or road bike then they can help you organise it. Embracing modern technology their standard tours are GPS guided, so you can head off when you want completely independently – and if you’re not sure what suits you best their team have plenty of suggestions. The price for bike rental and GPS is 35 euros per person. Or on Wednesday and Saturday you can join a guided tour that leaves at 9.30am and costs 68 euros per person with bike and guide. Email for more info. For something a little more extreme they can also help organise 4 or 7 day mountain bike rides across the Pyrenees, following a breathtaking trail between the Sanctuary of Queralt in Berga (Catalonia, Spain) and the Castle of Montsegur (Ariège, France).
Die-hard cyclists might chomp at the bit slightly at the gentle pace of this day tour, but for a group activity that involves exercise, great countryside and wine tasting, then this trip is perfect. Your guide will take you through the quiet back roads of the Penedes region to two first class wineries, and you’ll also stop off at a traditional restaurant for a Catalan lunch. There’s a back up vehicle if you have too many glasses of Cava to continue pedalling!
Cycling Holidays (Multi-day)
There are plenty of opportunities for 3, 4, 5 or even 7 day cycling holidays in Barcelona, Catalonia and the Pyrenees, and trips might include some of the aforementioned routes, such as heading up the Costa Brava to Girona, but could also include exploring the area around Tarragona, with its famous Roman ruins, or branching inland to go biking in the dramatic La Garrotxa Volcanic parks, or possibly following the path of the river Ter as it makes its way from the pre-Pyrenees down to the coast. Here are a couple of providers you can get in touch with:
Every year Montefusco organise a series of different tours for serious lycra lovers… for example their “Pyrenees and San Fermin” week-long tour which takes place every July and sees you tackle the magnificent slopes of the Pyrenees mountains and get back in time for the most famous party in Spain… San Fermin, aka “Running of the Bulls”. Each multi-day vacation has only one or two set departures per year, but you can also schedule a consultation with them and have them organise a bespoke holiday for you and your group.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for get in touch with us, as we have a number of biking partners who are experts in the region and have the logistics of accommodation, transport, insurance etc down to a fine art. As there are really so many routes you can take, by road or mountain bike, some suitable for family holidays others for more athletic cyclists, it’s best just to get in contact for now regarding your needs. After that we’ll put you in direct touch with the experts who can talk you through some options.
Mountain Biking (Multi-day)
A travel agency that specialises in skiing vacations during the winter season, during the summer Estiber organises great priced-weekend and weeks away at amazing bike parks like Vallnord and Grandvalira in the Pyrenees where you’ll find the best routes to practice downhill, freeride, enduro, cross-country and rally biking. Check out their website, or email them for more info and options.