Girona cycling holiday tips
There is a good chance that you’ve heard wonderful things about cycling in Girona. If you haven’t already been, then Girona really should be on your cycling holiday bucket list.
Find out what makes this place so special and in which cycling hotels you should book yourself in to.
Before I continue and in case you were wondering, let me just clear up something.
Girona is a province of Catalonia and covers the whole north-eastern part of Spain. It includes the whole Costa Brava right up to the French border and towards Andorra in the Pyrenees.
So, as you can imagine, the province of Girona offers a wide range of cycling routes and sceneries. They range from scenic coastal routes along the Costa Brava to the wine and olive oil region of Empordà in the north and epic climbs in between. There is something for riders of all levels.
Generally speaking, Girona has hot summers and cold winters. Each season has its charm but Spring and Autumn are the preferred times of year to enjoy the best cycling conditions. However, the northern mountainous regions are also popular in the summer whereas the Costa Brava region can still offer mild conditions for winter cycling breaks, not to mention the empty roads!
Okay, it’s really a city, but it feels more like a town. Just to confuse things a bit, the capital city of Girona is also called Girona. It’s a well-known city in the world of cycling, mainly due to the increasing number of professional cyclists who chose to live there. But why did they choose this Catalan city to settle?
It all started with Lance Armstrong when he made Girona his base in the ’90s. Many pro cyclists followed shortly after and relocated to the area.
The city of Girona is located pretty much in the centre of the province, giving you different cycling route options depending on which direction you set off in. But it offers the unique experience of mixing a cycling holiday with a city break, without actually being stuck in a big city.
Girona has its own international airport, and public transport gets you to the city centre in under 30 minutes. You also have the option to fly to Barcelona airport, from there it’s 90 minutes to Girona by train.
It’s a cosy and vibrant city, with an imponent Cathedral, medieval walls, a Jewish quarter, and coloured houses along the river.
The Catalans are immensely proud of their roots, identity, language, and culture. Girona is a very traditional and cultural city, but they are also incredibly open to foreigners. Cyclists especially will quickly feel part of the community.
The passion for cycling here is huge. You’ll not only find specialised bike shops, but cycling-themed cafés, and bike-friendly hotels. Being surrounded by like-minded people, and having everything you need at your fingertips will make for an ultimate cycling holiday experience.
Another thing that makes Girona a popular cycling break destination, is that the city has a lot to offer for your days off the bike. Wander the winding and narrow cobbled streets, head up to the castle, walk the city walls. Stop at some of the cycling cafés you find along the way and mingle with like-minded people.
Many of the cycling hotels don’t offer half-board, and if you ask me, that’s probably a good thing. Girona is known for its amazing cuisine. The popular three Michelin starred El Celler de Can Roca immediately comes to mind. I generally prefer more local and authentic experiences, and Girona has plenty of them.
I lived in Catalonia for many years, and one of my favourite gastronomic experiences there was always the “calçotada”. The “calçot” is a type of green onion which are prepared on a grill and are best enjoyed with a romesco sauce. It’s a messy meal, but a fun and social experience. Calçots aren’t available all year round, so don’t miss out on them if you have the chance.
Other towns worth a visit
When I lived in Barcelona, I’d often escape the city on weekends. Here are just some of my favourite towns I’d recommend checking out, either on one of your cycling routes in Girona or in your rental car.
The best site to book your car rental in Girona is on Discovery Cars. No hidden costs, clear information, free cancellation. Rental cars can be picked up and dropped off all over Spain including all airports.
Girona cycling-friendly Hotels
With Girona being such a popular cycling destination, it’s no wonder that local hotels have picked up on this and adapted their facilities to cater to cyclists.
Where to stay in Girona? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Here are my recommended cycling hotels in Girona town itself, and some suggestions outside of the city too.
The Best Bike Hotels in Girona city
The Best Bike Hotels outside Girona city
So there you have it. I would say it’s a sum of ingredients that make Girona so special for cyclists.
The cycling community, the climate, the variety of cycling routes, the gastronomy, and the bike-friendly hotels.
CYCLING HOLIDAY PACKING LIST
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