I'm looking for advice on interesting routes for a round-trip cycle trip between 1-11 August in Catalonia (starting and ending in Barcelona).
Probably I will go from Barcelona to Girona and then up to Olot and Puigcerda (from the advice I got until now). Then I will have another 5 days more-or-less, until I return to Barcelona. Any suggestions where to go?
Or, you can suggest a completely different plan!
I'm looking for a mix of nature, Catalonian countryside, historical sites and villages... and of course nice WarmShowers hosts on the way! I prefer to avoid touristy coastal areas. Part of the trip could also be with the bike on train, to save time and cycle in the nicer parts. Ten days is not a long time for a round-trip, so I have to choose wisely...for example, is there nice cycling from Pyrennees (say Puigcerda or Seu d'Urgell?) toward Barcelona, or is it better to stay in Pyrennees longer, and take a train back into Barcelona?
Also: any advice where to rent a touring bike in Barcelona??
Michael (se puede escribirme tambien en espanol)
what about the opposite? Girona towards inland :)
There is great route from Girona to Olot, about 55km long called Ruta del Carrilet I, where you ride in bike+pedestrian only dirtroads. It goes through some small villages where you can stop for water and food, and it has some benches where you can sit and eat/cook your food.
I'll leave you the link here http://www.viesverdes.cat/ES/53/ruta-del-carrilet-i.html
It continues all the way to Sant Feliu de guixols for another 40km, a part I did as well last year and it was also great.
For your info, the path is basically all flat+downhill from Olot until you get to the coast. You could do it all the way around starting from the coast, but it's more enjoyable if you start in Olot.
Of course, if you want to make a loop, that would mean you would have to start west from Barcelona and all the way North till hitting Olot. Unfortunately I can't give you any advise on that because I don't live in the area, but I can imagine you're better off taking a train out from Barcelona to avoid any suburban+industrial areas that I'm assuming you have no interest on.
You can put your bike on any regional train except for peak hours. I can't remember but I don't think there's a supplement charge for bikes.
If you end up making it all the way up north I would recommend you to take C-153a from Sant Pau de Seguries on its way down to Olot. I had very nice views and no cars at all, only cyclists training. Then again this makes more sense for someone coming from France (French border is very close to that town).
I agree with you, avoid the coast. In August everything is packed and there will be traffic. I took the coastal road from Sant Feliu south to Blanes and it had awesome views, but the road is winding and has quite a lot of blind spots. I wouldn´t want to ride it again on a summer month with all that traffic.
I'll ask my friends see if they know any nice areas to ride NW from Barcelona.
Thanks Antonio , your advice is super-useful!!
Can you advise me on good routes how to cycle northwest from Barcelona and eventually reaching Sant Pau de Seguries after some days?
Then I could cycle from Sant Pau to Olot follow your suggestion. Then down to Girona and stay overnight maybe, then continue to Sant Feliu de guixols, and somehow cycle back to Barcelona. I imagine a round trip of about ten days altogether.
hope to hear from you (or your friends) again! Michael
Going inland in main Catalonia in August can be really hot...I reccomend you to go to the Pyerenees, which are really beautiful. You can start also near Girona, and then go west through the "travessa dels Pirineus", I think you can find some information and routes in the internet (wikiloc, etc). I'm now in Asia and cannot help you anymore, but you can contact some warmshowers near La Seu d-Urgell and they will help you for sure!
Gracias Aina (que nombre interesante) - I do intend to go to the Pyrenees, and now looking for more hosts.
Have a great trip where-ever you are in Asia!