Bicycling and Walking Vacations Since 1971 Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Spain’s Costa Brava: Cycling Dali’s Landscapes

Ebikes Available on this TourDiscover a surprising side of Spain, the Costa Brava, during our latest bicycling vacation to this magnificent country.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 15 - 35 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 4 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Perfect for those trying a bike vacation for the first time.
  • Airfare Packages Available

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available

Limited quantities —
first come, first serve.

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Spain’s Costa Brava: Cycling Dali’s Landscapes

The surrealist painter Salvador Dali, best known for his painting “The Persistence of Memory,” was inspired by this northeast corner of Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Strikingly beautiful, Catalonia boasts a unique culture all its own, as you’ll discover as you pedal through medieval villages and past scenic landscapes dotted with sunflower fields, fruit orchards and farms. You’ll also savor the flavors of the local cuisine and wines, cruise along the scenic Costa Brava shore onboard a privately chartered boat, tour Dali’s Pubol Castle, picnic in a national park, and visit the galleries of contemporary artists on a vacation that will persist in your memory, too.

Cultural Highlights

• Embark on a guided walking tour of Girona, cultural capital of Catalonia
• Glimpse Dali’s personal life at Pubol Castle
• Savor local flavors
• Step back in time in Baix Empordà’s medieval villages
• Gaze at the snow-capped Pyrenees as you cycle the Mediterranean coast
• Savor a bucolic picnic in Aiguamolls Nature Reserve
• View one of the finest amphitheaters outside of Rome on a guided tour
• Take a private cruise along the Costa Brava
• Explore the medieval town of Torroella de Montgri
• Visit the Dali Museum in Figueres, his birthplace
• Sample some of Catalonia’s finest wines

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain throughout the trip and is ideal for beginning cyclists, however there may be some challenging hills for non-enthusiastic riders. VBT van support shuttle is always available for those who would like assistance.

Average Daily Mileage: 15 – 35 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 4 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Barcelona
Mar 61°/44°  Apr 61°/44°  May 64°/47°  Jun 69°/54°  Sep 78°/62°  Oct 71°/55°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Barcelona
Mar 1.6  Apr 1.9  May 2.3  Jun 1.6  Sep 3.4  Oct 3.6

What’s Included:

Ebikes Available on this Tour

E-Bikes Available on this tour.

Limited quantities — first come, first serve. Learn more.

Bicycle Vacation Only – Without Air

  • 6 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 13 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 8 nights in 4-star hotels
  • 15 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Barcelona – 2 nights for only $595 • Post-trip: Mallorca – 2 nights for only $595

Both Vacations Include

Dates & Prices
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Air Package Plus 10 Days Includes round-trip international airfare

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BOSTON

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Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $745 | Land Only Single Supplement: $545

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

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Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Spain

Depart from home and travel to Spain. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary and airline tickets.

DAY 2: Arrive Barcelona / Transfer to Girona

Upon arrival at the Barcelona airport, claim your luggage. If your luggage is delayed, fill in a PIR form before leaving the baggage claim area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the baggage claim area. Please make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall, where your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer to your hotel in Girona, the cultural capital of Catalonia. Transfer time is approximately 90 minutes.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes information and recommendations on what to see and do in Girona during your stay. You have the rest of the day to relax or to begin your exploration of the city. If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 3:00 p.m. You may store your luggage at the reception desk.

 Hotel: Nord 1901

DAY 3: All guests meet at Girona hotel / Walking tour of historic Girona / Warm-up ride / Welcome Reception & Dinner

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet your VBT representative in Girona at the hotel Nord 1901 at 9:00 a.m. The contact information for the hotel will be included with your final documents. Please contact your first hotel to advise them of any travel delays or changes so the staff can alert the VBT Trip Leaders. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the Old Town of Girona before shuttling to the foothills of the Pyrenees, where you will meet your VBT Trip Leaders for lunch. Please be dressed for cycling for your warm-up ride before departing Girona.

VBT Pre-Trip Extension and Air Package guests: This morning, meet your local guide at the hotel and set off on a walking tour of Girona’s Old Town. Discover this city’s ancient past as you cross the Onyar River into one of Europe’s largest Jewish quarters. You will also pass the Church of St. Felix and the town’s splendid Cathedral, which boasts one of the world’s largest Gothic naves. After your stroll, don your cycling clothes and shuttle to the foothills of the nearby Pyrenees, where you’ll meet your VBT Trip Leaders for lunch. After, attend a bike-fitting and short orientation, and begin your afternoon’s warm-up ride through scenic mountain valleys.

Back in Girona tonight, your small group gathers for a welcome cocktail reception before enjoying a delicious welcome dinner poolside at the hotel.

Hotel: Nord 1901
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 12 miles (19 km)

DAY 4: Púbol / Castell Dali Gala / La Bisbal d’Emporda

Bid farewell to Girona today and shuttle into the heart of the historic Baix Empordà province of Catalonia to the quaint medieval village of Pubol. Here, you’ll visit Pubol Castle, purchased by Salvador Dali in 1970 as a gift for his wife Gala. Enjoy a glimpse into Dali’s personal life and witness his many talents as you see some of his original paintings, sculptures, and custom-designed furniture. You can also admire some of Gala’s haute couture dresses, designed by Christian Dior exclusively for her. Gala continued to live here until her death in 1982. She chose her beloved Pubol Castle as her final resting place and is buried in the cellar’s mausoleum.

Later, ride through lush farmlands and small villages where you may enjoy lunch at leisure in one of the village cafes. After lunch, cycle to La Bisbal d’Empordà, capital of the province of Baix Empordà and best known for its ceramic and antique shops. From here it is a short ride to your hotel. Tonight enjoy a special dinner, on the hotel’s lovely terrace (weather permitting), with the majestic Pyrenees giving a perfect back drop to your sumptuous meal.

Hotel: Castell d’Empordà
Alternate Hotel: Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 19 or 25 miles (30.5 or 40 km)

DAY 5: Loop Ride through medieval villages of Pals, and Peratallada

This morning, you’ll ride into the surrounding rural landscape past fields of sunflowers, fruit orchards, and rice fields, pausing throughout the day to step back in time into a few of Baix Empordà ’s medieval villages. Coasting into Pals, you will be charmed by cobbled stone streets and an impressive Gothic Quarter whose facades feature pointed arched windows, stone balconies, and semicircular arches. The town’s Roman wall with its four square towers and the Romanesque clock tower—Torre de les Hores (Tower of the Hours) —date to the 4th century. Continue cycling to the village of Peratallada. Its name translates into “carved stone” —an apt label, as most of the buildings were built from stone taken from the moat that still encircles parts of the village. This atmospheric town has been declared a historic artistic monument. Its dominant structure is the Castle of Peratallada, dating to 1065 AD; restoration of this now privately owned castle revealed traces of a Bronze Age settlement. Take some time to visit some of the artists’ galleries here before getting back on your saddle for your return ride to your hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to relax by the lovely swimming pool or venture into the nearby town of La Bisbal d’Empordà.

This evening, enjoy a sumptuous dinner in your hotel’s elegant dining room.

Hotel: Castell d’Empordà
Alternate Hotel: Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 26 miles (42 km)

DAY 6: Ride to Mediterranean Coast

After breakfast, you’ll cycle to the Mediterranean Costa Brava and your home for the next three nights. This glorious ride traverses scenic countryside vistas overseen by the snow-capped Pyrenees in the distance. Your destination is the province of Alt Empordà (upper Empordà), north of Baix Empordà (lower Empordà). Take as little or as much time as you’d like drinking in today’s spectacular scenery, as your hotel is your final destination. Enjoy an included lunch in one of the ancient medieval villages along the way today. Once at the hotel, wander along the waterside cycling path into the town of L’Escala. You may also want to splurge and treat yourself to one of the hotel’s many spa options.

This evening, enjoy dinner on your own in one of the hotel’s restaurants or walk along the beachside cycling path to a restaurant in the neighboring village of Sant Marti d’Empuries. This small village was first settled by the Greeks in the 6th century BC and was an important medieval political center. Today, it maintains much of its medieval charm, so it’s easy to imagine what life may have been in that bygone era.

Hotel: Hostal Spa Empuries
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 22 or 37 miles (35 or 59.5 km)

DAY 7: Cycle to Aiguamolls Natural Reserve / Picnic Lunch / Ancient Greek & Roman ruins of Empuries

After breakfast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, cycle north along bucolic country roads dotted with quaint villages and farms. Your route soon leads into forested areas as you approach Aiguamolls Nature Reserve. This protected region comprises the marshlands that stretch between the Fluvia and Muga rivers and is the second-largest wetland in Catalonia. From the park’s birdwatching tower, birders can seek out the reserve’s 327 species such as the Great Spotted Cuckoo and the Spoonbill. Your Trip Leaders host a picnic in this pristine setting for lunch today. Cycle back to our hotel this afternoon.

Later, enjoy the hotel spa (additional cost) or explore the neighboring ruins of Empuries, some of the most important Greek and Roman ruins on the Iberian Peninsula. Admission to the ruins is included, and you may take as little or as much time as you wish with an audio self-guided visit of this archaeological site, including one of the finest amphitheaters outside of Rome.

Dinner tonight is at your leisure. Dine at one of the hotel’s restaurants or walk along the beachside cycle path to enjoy a quiet meal in the village of L’Escala.

Hotel: Hostal Spa Empuries
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 27 or 39 miles (43 or 63 km)

DAY 8: Mediterranean Cruise along the Costa Brava / L’Estartit / Medieval Torroella de Montgri / Farewell Dinner

This morning, you’ll shuttle to neighboring L’Escala’s marina. Here, you’ll embark a chartered boat for a private cruise along the scenic Costa Brava. During this thrilling tour, you’ll cruise past gorgeous coves and the dramatic, craggy rock formations of the Islas Medes jutting into the sea. These crystal-clear waters nurture a significant biodiversity, making it one of the most important marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean.

Your Trip Leaders meet you at the end of your cruise in the port of L’Estartit, with your bicycle ready for the day. Your ride today is watched over by the massive Montgri Massif, which to some locals looks like a sleeping bishop. You’ll see the ancient Montgri Castle perched on its summit as you pedal along. Stop for lunch on your own in the medieval town of Torroella de Montgri, resting on the banks of the Ter River. Once a royal port for the Kings of Aragon, it retains its medieval core and stalwart walls.

This evening, join your Trip Leaders and travel mates for a festive farewell reception and dinner at your lovely beachside inn. Much of the menu is harvested from the hotel’s organic garden, and you will sample some of Catalonia’s finest wines over this special meal.

Hotel: Hostal Spa Empuries
Meals: B, D
Daily Options: 17 miles (27 km)

DAY 9: Transfer to Figueres / Dali Museum / Transfer to Barcelona / VBT No-Air Package ends

VBT No-Air Package guests: VBT provides a morning transfer to Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali, for an included tour of the Dali Museum. (Note: The Dali Museum is closed on Mondays; therefore the Dali Museum will not be included for guests with a Land Tour start date of Tuesday. These guests will now have a leisurely morning on the last day of the tour to enjoy the hotel facilities and beach before returning to Barcelona.) After the tour, transfer to Barcelona’s Hotel 1898. The tour concludes here at approximately 2:30 p.m. You will need to make your own transfer arrangements to the Barcelona airport. Departing flights prior to 5:00 p.m. are not recommended. If you have an earlier departure, you will need to make your own transfer arrangements to Barcelona.

VBT Air Package guests:
Transfer this morning to Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali, for an included tour of the Dali Museum. (Note: The Dali Museum is closed on Mondays; therefore the Dali Museum will not be included for guests with a Land Tour start date of Tuesday. These guests will now have a leisurely morning on the last day of the tour to enjoy the hotel facilities and beach before returning to Barcelona.) After the tour, transfer to the Hotel 1898, centrally located on Las Ramblas Boulevard near the Placa de Catalunya, for your final night in Spain. You have the remainder of the afternoon and evening free for independent exploration.

VBT Post-Trip Extension guests: This morning we transfer to Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali, for an included tour of the Dali Museum. (Note: The Dali Museum is closed on Mondays; therefore the Dali Museum will not be included for guests with a Land Tour start date of Tuesday. These guests will now have a leisurely morning on the last day of the tour to enjoy the hotel facilities and beach before returning to Barcelona.) After the tour, transfer to the Hotel 1898, centrally located on Las Ramblas Boulevard near the Placa de Catalunya, for your final night in Catalonia. You have the remainder of the afternoon and evening free for independent exploration.

Hotel: Hotel 1898
Alternate Hotel: Hotel Olivia Plaza
Meals: B

DAY 10: Depart for home

After breakfast* this morning, you will transfer to the airport for your departing flight **. Please ensure that you are ready in the hotel reception area at the designated time.

*Please note: For guests with early-morning departures, breakfast at the hotel may not be available. Please check with the front desk to verify the times that breakfast is served.

**VBT recommends that you check your transfer time in your Transfer Reminder. VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. Transfer times are about 40 minutes to the Barcelona airport. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Meals: B

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Accommodations

Spain’s Costa Brava: Cycling Dali’s Landscapes

Hotel 1898

Discover a true treasure. Located in the heart of Barcelona, the historic Hotel 1898 was once home to the Philippines Tobacco Company. The structure was built in 1891 by architect Josep Oriol Mestres. Early in this century, hotelier Núñez i Navarro restored the property, preserving its historic splendor and 19th-century architectural elements and transforming it into the modern-day Hotel 1898. Today, this unique colonial-style structure exudes a special personality that brings the best of Barcelona’s rich past to each and every one of its guests. Centrally located on Las Ramblas Boulevard and just a block from Placa de Catalunya, the hotel puts you within an easy walk from all of Barcelona’s important sites. The elegant rooms are equipped with free WiFi and beautiful marble bathrooms. The rooftop terrace features a heated swimming pool, or you can enjoy the lovely indoor pool, fitness center, and spa in the tastefully designed cellar of the hotel.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Nord 1901

Located in the historic heart of Girona, the Nord 1901 Hotel was completely renovated in 2009 to offer a sophisticated flair and modern amenities while still preserving the ambiance of its Old Town setting. Intimate and family-operated, it is within walking distance of Girona’s main attractions, including the colorful houses along the River Onvar, the Plaza Independencia, the Jewish quarter, the cathedral, and a wide range of popular restaurants and cafes. Enjoy breakfast on the garden terrace, and take advantage of the only garden with a swimming pool in the city center. Each luxurious room is equipped with climate control, a safe, hot-water kettle for coffee- and tea-making, flat-screen TV, free WiFi, and a private bath with shower, bathrobe, slippers, and hairdryer.
Free WiFi Included

Castell d’Empordà

Combine the magic of a thousand-year old castle with modern-day design and comfort and you have this luxurious boutique 14th-century castle hotel. Located in the interior rural area of Costa Brava, Castell d’Empordà spreads out over 29 acres, studded with olive and oak trees and graced with a fantastic swimming pool offering panoramic views. Decorated with furniture and textiles carefully chosen by its owners during their travels around the world, the hotel is characterized by a warmth and genuine hospitality that guests relish. The restaurant, run by Chef Romain Valicon, offers delicious cuisine inspired by classical dishes and prepared using local and seasonal fresh products.
Free WiFi Included

Hostal Spa Empuries

Situated right on VBT’s bike route, in front of the Portitxol beach, the Hostal Spa Empuries stands on an ancient settlement, beside the Greek and Roman ruins of Empuries, and is within easy walking distance of the medieval towns of Sant Marti d’Empuries and L’Escala. The hotel is dedicated to sustainable tourism and also to the health and well-being of its guests. Gym facilities are complimentary, and optional spa services and indoor pools are also available. For this bicycling tour, VBT has reserved the larger garden-view SPA rooms, whose large terraces are ideal for gazing at the lovely gardens of native vegetation surrounding the hotel. Each room also features a flat-screen TV, telephone, climate control, safe, minibar, free WiFi, and a full private bathroom with a large tub and separate rain shower, hairdryer, and toiletries.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Saratoga

The Hotel Saratoga is ideally located on Paseo Mallorca, one of the most central streets in Palma de Mallorca. Within blocks of the hotel, you’ll find the best restaurants, shops, museums, and historical sites, including the Cathedral, the Castle of the Almudaina and the waterfront promenade. After a day of exploring, enjoy the hotel’s two restaurants, a bar with harbor views, two swimming pools (one of them on the roof), and a gym with spectacular views of the Cathedral. For an additional cost, indulge in the spa and sauna. Spacious superior rooms provide all the modern conveniences, including satellite flat-screen TV, safe, telephone with answering machine and automatic wake-up calls, air conditioning and fully equipped bathrooms with hairdryers.  The receptionists can help you reserve optional tours of Mallorca.
Free WiFi Included

Olivia Plaza Hotel

This boutique hotel was opened in 2006 on the central Plaza Catalunya—a very convenient location at the beginning of Las Ramblas boulevard, with city transportation immediately accessible. Inside, the rooms are spacious and quiet, and supplied with modern technology. A large, serene bar and sitting lounge overlook the Santa Anna Church and an internal courtyard. A hearty buffet breakfast is presented daily.
Free WiFi Included

Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa

Mas de Torrent was built following an inspirational trip by the Figueras family through Italy’s Tuscany and French Provence.  They then decided to turn their eighteenth century Catalan farmhouse into a unique and exclusive hotel in the Empordà region. Since 1990, Mas de Torrent has been part of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux hotel association and rated as one of the most outstanding 5-star properties in Costa Brava and Spain. In the garden area, next to the main building, there are 20 spectacular and modern suites which have been reserved for the VBT guests. The Suite Jardín (Garden Suite) rooms are full of brightness and sunlight. Their most important characteristics are their comfort, functionality and stylish decoration, in addition to boasting a private terrace with direct access to the gardens surrounding the pool. The decoration of the Suite Jardín is unique, making them cozy yet, functional.  The hotel offers fine dining with some of the best local cuisine and the kitchen is overseen by the Fina Puigdevall – renowned chef of the 2-star Michelin nearby restaurant Les Cols d’Olot.
Free WiFi Included
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