Cycling Girona is unlike cycling anywhere else in the world. It’s not just the weather, roads and architecture. It’s the fact you feel you’re wandering into the home of the professional peloton.

Girona was made famous by being Lance Armstrong’s base in the ‘90s, but that’s just the start. There are hundreds of professional cyclists and triathletes, all based in and around Girona.

David Millar has a house here, former Movistar rider Rory Sutherland owns a coffee shop, and so does former pro Christian Mieir (in fact he co-owns three of the coolest establishments in town, including La Fabrica Girona). Ryder Hesjedal, Sam Bewley, Luke Durbridge, Dan Martin, Michael Hepburn, Lucy Martin, Emilia Fahlin, Georgia Bronzini and Matt Brammeier all base out of Girona.

Tempted by a Girona cycling holiday?

In this cyclist’s guide to Girona, you’ll find everything you need to plan unforgettable Girona cycling holidays: detailed information on the best Girona bike routes plus where to stay, when to visit, cycling shops in Girona and where to rent a bike in Girona.

We’ve also picked the brains of Paul and the team at Sierra Sports & Tours. You’ll find tips and input from them throughout the guide.

Read on and plan your next cycling adventure!

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Overview of cycling in/around Girona

Girona is one of the better known road cycling destinations in Europe. But is it one of the best?

It depends what you’re after, but it’s certainly one of our favourite places to ride in Europe.

The main things that make it great:

First, Girona’s cycling routes

We’ve found the roads quiet and in good condition, drivers courteous, and the weather hospitable for much of the year. You may not get snow-capped peaks, but there’s impressive scenery and excellent, varied riding in every direction. There’s tons of info on Girona cycling routes below.

Second, the town.

Girona is vibrant and beautiful.

It offers everything cyclists want: great bike hire/repair/guiding, top draw coffee shops and restaurants and a good range of decent hotels. What’s best is that it’s all found in a mediaeval old town which is a joy to explore: thick stone walls, narrow lanes, winding staircases, restaurants whose tables spill over onto pavements and hidden squares. There’s always something going on: Mardi Gras in February, a film festival in September and the St Narcissus’ fair and festival in October. We were so impressed, we dedicated a whole article to the subject of what to do in Girona when you’re not cycling!

Third, the services for cyclists.

Girona is well geared up for cyclists. There are lots of cycling friendly places to stay in Girona, training facilities and tour companies to help you have the trip you’re looking for.

One thing to consider though is that if you want to stay in the centre of Girona, you’ll find it easier if you’re in a small group as accommodation options tend to be lovely but boutiquey in the centre. There are some good options outside Girona for larger groups. More on that below!

In summary…

When you join everything together, it makes cycling holidays to Girona a special experience for road cyclists. It’s also an excellent option for those looking to sneak some riding into a city break.

We’d highly recommend a visit.

The best Girona cycling routes

Wondering where to cycle in/around Girona?

Girona’s cycling routes are excellent. The amazing Costa Brava cycling routes and coastline are about 30-50km away to the south and east, the Les Gaverres mountains are to the south and the Pyrenean border with France is to the north. Over a third of the region comprises protected areas and reserves.

The tough part is deciding which ride to do.

Cycling routes from central Girona

From Els Angels Girona to cycling climbs such as Mare de Déu del Mont, below is our pick of the best cycling routes from central Girona (including route GPX/TCX downloads).

For more information on routes if you’re staying outside the city, see below.

And some final tips:

  • If you want to do some pro spotting, local and former pro David Millar recommends hanging around the Pont de Pedra bridge in the centre of Girona in the morning… Apparently it’s where the pros meet so you never know who you might see. You’ll then just need to pluck up the courage to politely ask if you can tag along too! 
  • Before you head out, make sure you check our tips for cycling in Girona – full of lots of ways to ensure a great trip.

Cycling routes around Girona province

Not everyone wants to stay in central Girona. Some prefer to stay in the glorious countryside surrounding the city. It avoids the busier roads around town and means you can stay in accommodation that’s more spacious and more rural.

If you’re looking for routes for this kind of riding, these articles will help you:

Interview with Girona Cycling SL on training camps from their base near Lake Banyoles (Part 4 contains route ideas)

Interview with Adria Moreno on cycling around Olot, just north of Girona

Our experience of a long weekend cycling around Girona

Paul at Sierra Sports & Tours adds “We highly recommend the beachside town of Roses in the L’Alt Emporda region of the Costa Brava (60km north-east of Girona). This is a fantastic base to ride into medieval towns such as Peralada, to follow winding roads past award-winning vineyards and to access Cabo de Creus which is the most eastern point on the Iberian peninsula. When you ride out to the ‘Cape’ they recommend you get there early before the general tourists arrive. You won’t be disappointed!

Now for the jewel of cycling on the Costa Brava in our eyes; the Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery which is in striking distance from Roses and Cabo de Creus. This is an iconic cycling destination! The arrival at the picturesque Benedictine Monastery with its curving roads and spectacular coastal views all combine to create a most memorable experience. The ‘Sant Pere de Rodes’ climb provides views of the Mediterranean which you will follow all the way down to the beach! Our GPS file for the route is here.

Once you are in L’Alt Emporda region, also be sure to look up Coll de Banyuls which will take you up to the Spanish/French border. The border is currently closed for traffic (massive concrete road blocks in place) but bikes can easily pass. The views over France are first-class! The first couple of kilometres on the French side of Coll de Banyuls are very steep so keep that in mind if you have to ride back over to Spain again!”

Easy/family cycling routes, Girona

There are so many good road cycling routes around Girona that if you’re travelling with older children with reasonable fitness, you should be able to find routes that cater to them too.

The Vías Verdes or ‘Greenways’ are an excellent alternative. The routes have been created from disused railway lines and turned into 125 km of family-friendly cycle routes. They are relatively flat, and the fact there are no cars is a real bonus for families. There are four stretches on the Costa Brava:

  • Ripoloi to Olot
  • Olot to Girona
  • Girona to Sant Feliu de Guíxols
  • Palamós to Palafrugell

We haven’t tried them out ourselves but are told that a particularly nice section is the approx 20 km route from Llagostera to the pretty marina and beach of Sant Feliu de Guíxols.

Finally, very young children may enjoy cycling in Girona – around the Park de la Devesa in central Girona. It’s a nice place with more than 2,500 plane trees; good on a hot day. Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days.

Sportives and cycle events

If you want to race, Girona might give you that opportunity. In February social races take place on Wednesdays and Sundays. The courses are 90–100 km through rolling Catalan countryside. They are challenging and competitive races, but are accessible to racers of any level, including women and juniors.

The International Sea Otter Europe bike show is held in early June. The third edition was in 2019 and included a Granfondo ride, with 100km and 145km options available. It’s featured in our list of the best European Gran Fondos.

If you miss that, other options include Terra de Remences – run by the Club Ciclista Bas, it is held in May with a 95km loop and a 175km loop, each starting and finishing in Sant Esteve d’en Bas, about 11km south of Olot and 50km northwest of Girona.

And finally there’s the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, that’s held in March and is one of three World Tour stage races held in Spain.

Cycling into Girona at the end of a three day cycling holiday in Girona Costa BravaThrough Girona’s gorgeous streets
View of the river in Girona looking towards the cathedralThe iconic view from the Eiffel Bridge towards the cathedral
Cyclist looking down towards the coast near Sant grauOn the Sant Grau loop (mentioned above)

Accommodation

Remember to double-check accommodation bike storage arrangements (and any other services you need) before booking as policies often change.

Central Girona or Girona province?

When you’re planning Girona holidays, you’ve got three main choices on where to base yourself: Girona old town, the countryside of Girona province or certain beachside areas – Roses for example.

If you’re looking for more spacious and quieter accommodation, the countryside is your best option (in which case, see Other places to stay in Girona province below). Otherwise, Girona old town is the best part of Girona to stay in.

The main drawback of being central is that you have to cycle out of Girona each day – but that’s made up for by:

Which are the best cycling hotels in Girona’s old town?

The city centre lacks a stand-out five-star hotel that’s cycling-focused, but there are a number of three and four star hotels that are very used to hosting cyclists and offer a great stay.

For the full lowdown, read our article on the best cycling hotels in Girona.

Our choice: Hotel Nord 1901

We stayed at Hotel Nord 1901. It’s right in the heart of the old town, and we would recommend it to friends. It’s not a cycling hotel as such, but it’s owned by a cyclist and seems very tolerant of bikes.

The hotel only has 18 rooms, and while we were there, it certainly seemed dominated by cyclists. We also spotted five bike boxes and two mountain bikes in the bike storage room.

Bedroom at the Hotel Nord GironaA standard double room at Hotel Nord, Girona
Bathroom at Hotel Nord, GironaBathroom at Hotel Nord, Girona
Lobby at Hotel Nord GironaLobby at Hotel Nord, Girona

What we loved

  • Superb location for cyclists. In a historic building two minutes walk across the river to the old town, yet on the flat so you can cycle to the front door.
  • Grown-up décor and well thought out bedrooms. The hotel is decorated in dark wood and fashionable greys, while the bedrooms have soothing ochre walls and taupe, crushed velvet bedspreads. You’ll also find iPod docking stations, kettles and coffee-makers.
  • Family run hotel with friendly, professional staff who help give the hotel a warm, inviting atmosphere. We had a problem with the air conditioning in the first room we were offered. They sorted things out quickly and efficiently.
  • Good breakfast. Highlights were the freshly squeezed orange juice, tempting cold meats and artisan yoghurts.
  • Outdoor pool area. A nice place to relax and a pool long enough to glide up and down.

Cold meat selection for breakfast at Hotel NordTasty cold meats for breakfast
Yoghurts in fridgeDelicious artisan yoghurts for breakfast
Pool area at Hotel NordAttractive pool area at Hotel Nord

Things to be aware of

  • Bike storage. Bikes are stored in a room next to reception which is multi-use and could be more spacious.
  • Our room was on the fourth floor. The lift only goes as far as the third floor. Get a room lower down if you want to save your legs!
  • No restaurant. But given the incredible restaurants surrounding the hotel, it wasn’t an issue for us.

 

Sierra Sports & Tours also tell us that the Hotel Cuitat de Girona, just opposite Hotel Nord 1901, is where their guests often stay. Paul says “our guests really enjoyed it and it has a big dedicated bike storage room with secure access.”

Official Girona cycling hotels

The Catalan Tourist Board has certified Girona as a Sports Holiday Destination. This recognises it as a location offering high-quality resources, sports facilities, lodging and specialised services.

At a practical level, it means that they have designated some hotels as Girona bike hotels. They are advertised as having the following facilities:

  • Closed and secure parking area for bicycles
  • Workshop with basic repair tools
  • Hose for cleaning bicycles
  • Sale of energy products
  • Spare parts
  • Information on cycling routes
  • Knowledgeable staff
  • Map with details of sporting facilities 
  • Early morning breakfasts
  • Picnic lunches available

The Tourist Board’s official list of Girona cycling hotels is below. Of these, we would pick the Gran Ultònia, which is a modern business hotel about 5 minutes walk to the old town with underground parking and a wonderful rooftop bar. It has a secure bike room with bike washing area, bike parking and tools. Hotel AC Paulau de Bellavista would be our second choice.

Five star hotels in Girona

For those with deep pockets, the exclusive new Sants Metges Hotel housed in the old castle of La Fortalesa is worth checking out, though it’s a 15 minute ride back into town.

The Casa Cacao hotel in central Girona opened in 2020. It’s not cycling focused, but it’s owned by the famous Roca brothers and worth a look if you’re after a luxurious experience.

Want our full pick of Girona’s best cycling hotels? Read this.

Other places to stay in Girona province

Where you start your search will probably be based on the riding you want to do.

  • Coastal riding? You’ll be looking sout or east of Girona in towns like Palamós, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Callela de Palafrugell or Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Roses to the north-east also has coastal riding and some good hills to contend with!
  • Hills and mountains? Try the Garrotxa area like Olot or Ripoli.
  • If you want to hedge your bets, you’ll be aiming for somewhere near Girona or Lake Banyoles so you can access both coast and hills.

You can read about what it’s like to stay with Girona Cycling SL near Lake Banyoles, here.

Our pick of the best cycling hotels in Girona includes several hotels outside Girona. Read the full article here.

Cyclist in a Spanish medieval townMedieval villages like this are two a penny in this area!
Cycling near Lake Banyoles, Girona Costa BravaLake Banyoles is a really popular haunt with cyclists (and triathletes)
Cyclist friendly cafes in GironaGirona’s cycling-friendly cafés are awesome

Road bike hire Girona/Costa Brava

Prices, services and bike brands often change. Please let us know if anything is incorrect.

As one of the best road cycling destinations in Spain, Girona’s bike rental options are also top notch.

The three main bike shops in Girona all offer slightly different bike rental and services. If you’re not sure which to go for, the comparison table below sets out what’s on offer. We hope it helps.

Please note:

If you opt for a trip with our Girona guide sponsor, Sierra Sports & Tours, they have a number of bike models available for hire. Below is a list of Sierra’s hire bikes from the most economic to expensive options:

  • Hybrid: Specialized Sirrus (Sizes: S to L): Price: 30€/day
  • Road: Orbea Avant M30 (105, Sizes: 49 to 57): Price: 40€/day
  • Road: Argon 18 (Ultegra; Sizes: S to XL): Price: 50€/day
  • E-Hybrid: Specialized Vado (Sizes: S, M & L): Price: 60€/day
  • E-Road: Specialized Creo (Sizes S, M & L): Price: 75€/day

Other points worth noting:

  • When we visited Girona, we hired a BMC Teammachine SLR TWO from CycleTours Catalonia – details below. It was in good repair and was an enjoyable ride. We have not used the other places listed. 
  • This information is offered as an indicative guide only: we periodically update it but prices, services and bike brands may change. Please let us know if you find anything that is incorrect.
  • The Girona bike rental shops below offer guiding/tours – for more information, read our article on Girona/Costa Brava bike tours.

Bike rental Girona, Spain: the options

Cycle Tours Catalonia

C. Santa Eugènia, 11, Shop 5 17005 Girona

A longstanding part of the cycling community in Girona;

Bikes:

BMC road bikes. They also rent  gravel, mountain bikes, town/leisure bikes and electric bikes.

Extras:

Pedals and GPS devices available to rent.

Ride services:

  • Run by locals who speak great English
  • Fully-equipped workshop
  • Convenient location next door to the train and bus station as well as a large multi-storey car park
  • Friday shop ride to help you discover the best spots around Girona

 

Eat Sleep Cycle, Girona

Carrer del Vern, 3, 17004 Girona

Bikes:

Factor, Ridley and Worx road bikes.

Extras:

Wheel upgrade: Spin on these Wheels.

 

 

The Service Course

Carrer Nord, 10, 17001 Girona

From steel to custom frames and including carbon bikes too, there’s an unusual range at The Service Course including Belle, Argonaut, Legor, Bastion and Speedvagen bikes.

Extras:

Wheel upgrade: Enve or 3T wheels. Power meter.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Girona cycle hire:

  • Book your bike in advance, particularly in peak season.
  • Remember to bring your pedals, shoes and helmet. This packing list may help!
  • Check which way around your brakes are set before you ride away. Front brakes may be on the right hand (as is usual in the UK) or on the left (as is usual elsewhere in Europe).

Undecided on whether to hire a bike or bring your own? Read this.

Looking for Girona cycling guides or a Girona bike tour? Read our article on Girona bike tours.

Supported cycling holidays

Sierra Sports & Tours offer a range of different holiday options in and around Girona. We love their flexibility! Below Paul from Sierra sets out the main options – you can find full details below. 

Our Girona bike tour article also has more information on the tour options available in Girona.

Paul says:

“Fully-guided cycling tours

These are group travel experiences where individual travellers sign up to a web-listed package with a set itinerary and set dates (11-19 May and 17-25 October during 2023).

Self-guided cycling tours

From 1 March to 31 October 2023, Sierra has a variety of 6-night, 9-night and 12-night Girona and Costa Brava Self-Guided tour itineraries. The Sierra office prepares the tour itinerary, books the accommodation and also provides luggage transfer and emergency back-up.

Partially-guided cycling tours

This is a private group experience where you follow a set itinerary prepared by Sierra for a specific duration and your preferred dates. There is no lead cycling guide but you have a support driver/mechanic and van.

Private tours

Private tours can be self-guided, fully-guided or partially-guided. At Sierra, a private tour can be cheaper than their non-private equivalent!

Read below for full information!”

When to go

Girona’s weather means it is a good bet for cycling at any time of the year. Average temperature highs are always in double digits, and lows don’t dip below 2℃, even in the coldest months of December to February.

Of course, most people visit between Spring and Autumn: April to June and September and October probably represent peak cycling season.

Summers tend to be hot – you’re looking at average highs of 29℃ – but cyclists still visit, they just get out early to avoid the intense midday heat.

We’d say the absolute best months are probably June and September, as you get average temperature highs in the late 20s and average rainfall is relatively low too.

While rainfall is relatively low throughout the year, this is not the arid south of Spain, and it does rain throughout the year. The landscape is full of dense green forest, and there’s a reason for that. Statistically speaking May, October and November are the rainiest months with rainfall at about 80mm and rainy days between 11 and 12 per month.

Here’s our at-a-glance guide for cyclists in Girona, Spain:

January Winters are mild in Girona, with average highs between 13 and 17℃. You’re unlikely to find many other tourists out on Girona’s cycle routes, but the pros will be out training. The beauty of Girona is that it’s a bustling town in it’s own right; its not just for tourists, so there’ll still be lots going on.

  • Average highs: 13-17℃
  • Rainfall: 49-61mm, 8-9 days per month
February
March
April Spring arrives, and the tourists return.

  • Average highs: 19-27℃
  • Rainfall: 62-87mm, 9-13 days per month
May
June
July

It can get pretty hot in the peak summer months, but get out early and you’ll avoid the midday heat.

  • Average highs: 29℃
  • Rainfall: 38-55mm, 8-9 days per month
August
September Temperatures come back down to the mid-20s, and it’s a great opportunity to get some sunny riding in.

  • Average highs: 22-25℃
  • Rainfall: 58-79mm, 11-12 days per month
October
November

Temperatures are cooling off, but it’s still a lot warmer than many European destinations.

  • Average highs: 13-16℃
  • Rainfall: 47-82mm, 9 days per month
December

Tips for cycling in Girona

Cycling cafes around Girona

Girona and its cycling culture has been explored in detail in other Epic Road Rides posts. But as Paul from Sierra Sports & Tours says “as you all know by now, the Costa Brava is far more than just cycling and enjoying coffee in the Girona capital.

Sierra in particular loves cycling along the section of Med coastline which is approximately 40km south of Girona. The 50km stretch of road between Tossa de Mar and Callela de Palafrugell, is a must-ride (see Epic Road Rides’ “Costa Brava coastline” route). The bike shop called ‘Tossa Cycling’ importantly includes a café/bar which is the perfect place to begin or finish your ‘coastal’ ride. Halfway along the 50km stretch, you come across the town ‘Platja d’Aro’ (translated Gold Beach in English). This town best serves the general tourism masses, but thankfully the cycling friendly coffee shop ‘La Maglia Coffee & Co’ means there is always a good reason to pull-in for a breather.

In the northern Costa Bravarea (L´Alt Emporda) there’s the town of ‘Sant Pere Pescador’. It doesn’t have a major tourism focus but is on the path for one of the Sierra designed 100km rides from beach towns Callela to Roses. Here stopping at Sant Pere Pescador for a coffee break at ‘Bar Ruki’ is much recommended as it can be the difference between enjoying or bonking during the final 25km through to the beautiful beaches along the ‘Gulf of Roses’.

Closer to Girona are two of the most gruelling climbs in the region; Rocacorba and Santuari de la Mare de Deu del Mont. After reaching the top of Rocacorba the cruise down to Lake Banyules often sees the Sierra crew stop-in at the lakeside cafeteria called ‘Banys Vells Banyoles’. A nice setting and the perfect place to retell a story or two.

The 18km climb to ‘Mare de Deu del Mont’ can also make a serious dent in energy levels so ‘Restaurante Bar Hostatgeria’ at the summit provides an excellent pit-stop. Just remember though it is typically closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.”

Girona maps

For a map of Girona town, this interactive map is quite useful and has a search function.

We love physical maps and so couldn’t resist buying a Mapa topographic de Catalunya, number 3 of Pirinieu Oriental, Girona and Costa Brava at 1:100,000.

If you want a map of Girona before you go, this might help though it’s at 1:150,000.

Paul from Sierra Sports & Tours says “I use the 1:130,000 Michelin map called ‘Costa Brava’ Map 122.”

Books

In terms of guide books, we had a copy of the Marco Polo Costa Brava guide. It didn’t have a huge amount in it about Girona, but it was a reasonable starting point.

Girona is mentioned by both Millar and Wiggins in their memoirs:

Films

Girona hosts a film festival in September each year. In 2023 it will be begin on 6 November and end on 12 November.

Girona’s picturesque streets were used for the filming of series 6 of the hugely popular Game of Thrones.

Good to know

If you have a bike servicing issue, you’ll probably head to the workshop of one of the “big 3” mentioned in the bike hire section above.

Paul from Sierra Sports & Tours says “If you head further north into L’Alt Emporda region and need some bike servicing help, also be sure to look up Edibikes. They are located 5km and 15km respectively from the Figueres and Roses townships, right on the main road with easy parking in the service lane. They have a big showroom, plenty of stock for spare parts, a good workshop and remains open late (typically 8:00pm). In fact, during the busy summer months it often stays open all day (no Spanish siesta) – but be sure to check this before planning a visit!”

Girona is a great option for triathletes. The GEIG complex in Girona has two 25m pools and a 50m pool. The swimming lake in Banyoles offers fantastic open water swimming.

Nearly everything in Girona shuts on Sunday. If there’s something you need to do on a Sunday, be sure to check the opening times.

Girona (officially, the province of Girona), is located within Catalunya (aka Catalonia), an autonomous community within Spain. Catalans are very proud of their unique language and culture. Catalonia is one of the most affluent regions of Spain and contains excellent public services and infrastructure.

On our flight to Barcelona at the end of September, ours was amongst at least five other bike boxes on the oversize baggage belt (belt 12). Making your box distinctive in some way is a good idea to avoid picking up someone else’s bike by accident.

How to get to Girona from Barcelona

While there are many direct flights to Girona airport, Barcelona is the major hub. From Barcelona to Girona it’s around 110km (and takes about 1.5 hours).

When deciding how to get to your hotel, a big factor will be whether you will be arriving with or without a bike box. Bus and train options, whilst possible, are often more difficult and stressful when travelling with a bike box.

Below, Paul from Sierra Sports & Tours shares his insights and experience on the best transfer options.

“Buses

Many cyclists visiting the Costa Brava often spend a few initial days in beautiful Barcelona. If you are travelling without a bike box then from the Catalan capital we can recommend public transport services. Buses leave from ‘Estacio del Nord’ and the Sagales bus company has one-way tickets from approximately 20€.

A bike box is treated as over-sized luggage and you need to buy an additional standard ticket. Whether your bike box can be stored away will also be subject to availability in the underneath luggage compartment so this bus option comes with its own challenges for travellers with bike boxes.

Trains

If you prefer train travel, then from Barcelona-El Prat Airport you will first need to find the RENFE station at terminal T2 (there is a free airport bus between T1 and T2). From T2 you can catch the metro line to the central Barcelona-Sants train station (about 5€ for the 20-minute one-way trip). A taxi from Barcelona-El Prat Airport to Barcelona-Sants train station is more likely to be around 40-50 Euro.

Now that you have arrived at Barcelona-Sants train station you can board the high-speed AVE train to Girona city centre. One-way tickets start from around 20€ and the trip usually takes about 40 minutes. Be careful with the high-speed AVE train though as there are strict luggage requirements. RENFE allows one large suitcase only so if you also arrive with your bike box you will encounter a problem.

If you have luggage and a bike box then a good alternative is to make your way to nearby ‘Passeig de Gracia’ train station in the Barcelona city centre. Take a regional train from here which has no luggage restrictions, leaves every hour, costs less than 10€ and typically takes between 75-90 minutes to central Girona.

Once you have made it to Girona bus/train station most of the hotels in the old-town are only a 20-minute walk away.

Or: It might seem crazy, but a transfer from Madrid (Spain’s capital) to Girona is also possible. The Sierra crew have put many of their guests on this high-speed AVE train route. The 700km distance takes 3.5hr and one-way prices can range from 50-150€. It is always a good idea to book well in advance on the RENFE website to take advantage of the best price offers. The only point to remember is the one large luggage requirement with the high-speed AVE trains throughout Spain!

Taxi

If you are coming into Girona train station or Girona airport with your bike then a taxi will be quick, cheap and easy. However, you and your bike box via taxi from Barcelona Airport to central Girona will most likely come with a 200 Euro price tag.

Sierra Sports & Tours transfer

If you have selected a fully-guided or partially-guided Sierra tour then the Barcelona-Girona and vice versa transfer price (for you and your bike bag) is already included. The self-guided tour options, on the other hand, have the possibility of selecting a transfer for a small extra. Sierra is used to collecting clients from the Girona bus/train station (1.5km), Girona airport (15km), Barcelona-El Prat airport (115km) or Barcelona-Sants train station (105km).”

If you land at Barcelona airport and are looking for the car hire desks, these are located in Terminal B.

Terminal C of Barcelona airport confusingly also seems to be referred to as Terminal 2.

To get to the car hire desks from Terminal C, follow the signs to Terminal B, past the multi-storey car park on your right. It’s less than 5 minutes by foot.”

 

A huge thank you to Paul from Sierra Sports & Tours for his input and comments on this guide. If you want to find out more about Sierra’s Girona cycling trips, check them out here.

More on Sierra Sports & Tours

Paul tells us more about the cycling holidays they offer.

“We are delighted to be able to offer the following kinds of cycling trip to our guests:

  • Fully-guided – guide on the road with you + support van
  • Self-guided – GPS files + luggage transfer + emergency help
  • Partially-guided – GPS files + support van
  • Private – any of the above but just for your group.

These different options provide fantastic flexibility – and are made possible because Sierra are based in Spain.

Fully-guided cycling tours

These are group travel experiences where individual travellers sign up to a web-listed package with a set itinerary and set dates (for Girona, 11-19 May and 17-25 October 2023).

Clients sign up via the online booking form and Sierra organises the rest.

The group is led by the Sierra team from the start to finish of the tour. There is a lead cycling guide out on the road with the group at all times and a following support van with experienced driver/mechanic. The support van carries a full-set of bike tools and parts, spare wheels, complimentary food and drink and also each guest’s day pack with additional clothing, valuables, etc. The vans also come with roof racks for transporting up to ten bikes so if you are having an off-day the van ‘is your friend’ as Sierra tour leader Jorge likes to say.

Remember that this tour type can easily ‘Go Private’ with a minimum of 4 participants.

More information

Map showing guided cycling tour in Girona Spain

Self-guided cycling tours

This tour type best suits guests who are experienced travellers who typically enjoy travelling in small groups with friends, family or as a couple (minimum 2 clients).

The Sierra office prepares the tour itinerary, books the accommodation and usually also organises the hire bikes (which can be hybrid, road bike or both forms of e-bike).

From 1 March to 31 October 2023, Sierra has a variety of 6-night, 9-night and 12-night Girona and Costa Brava Self-Guided tour itineraries.

The Sierra self-guided formula for success includes a local guide that meets you at the initial hotel in central Girona. At this time there is the bike fitting and handover of small toolkit, floor pump, chains/padlocks and e-bike charges (if necessary). There’s also a detailed briefing going through the client booklet and what you all have in store.

There is no guide with the group during the daily rides, but because Sierra is local, there is a 24hr emergency support phone number in the event clients strike any issues. There is sure to be contact during the tour as every couple of days the tour moves hotels and as such the Sierra guide collects the luggage and moves it on to the next hotel.

Whatever the case though, the Sierra guide will meet you at the end of the tour to collect your hire bike and receive any feedback about your experience. Compared to fully-guided tours the self-guided option is great value at approximately 0.6 the price of a guided tour. Pre and post transfers to Barcelona are also available.

More information

Map showing self-guided cycling trip near Girona, Spain

Partially-guided cycling tours

This is a private group experience where you follow a set itinerary prepared by Sierra for a specific duration and your preferred dates (details below). What is different though is that there is no lead cycling guide on tour.

The Sierra guide in this case is the support driver/mechanic. A van will follow you providing the daily ride assistance you are looking for.

Partially-guided is perfect for those setting off on long challenging daily rides and who want the reassurance of extra kit, food, drink and support if something goes wrong. At the same time, clients who select this tour style are accustomed to riding in their own group, are comfortable using a Garmin and following the GPX ride files designed by Sierra.

The advantage of having a van and driver on-hand also means that afternoon visits to local attractions and/or restaurants can be organised, so you get the most out of your holiday experience!

Compared to fully-guided tours the self-guided option usually has a relative price of approximately 0.8. The reduced tour price is due to the need for only one Sierra guide on tour.

Private cycling tours

Private tours can be ‘self-guided’, ‘fully-guided’ or ‘partially-guided’. When it comes to self-guided the 6-, 9- and 12-night set Sierra itineraries can be customised and your own dates requested. As mentioned earlier, a guided private tour involves rounding up a group of friends and stating the number of tour days and the specific tour dates you require. You will then be assigned a Sierra team with a lead cycling guide and support driver/mechanic.

We often find people expect private tours to be more expensive. This is perhaps true for small private groups with only two people.

However, in the Sierra experience, for groups of four or more this is not usually the case. A fully-guided private tour price is typically a minimum 5-10% cheaper than the guided tour option presented on their website (based on a like-for-like tour service comparison).

We’d love to help you plan your next cycling holiday in Girona, so do get in touch with me, Paul, on information@sierrasportsandtours.com.au. You can also find more information on our Girona trips on our website.

 

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Over to you!

If you’ve found our guide to biking Girona helpful, we’d love it if you left a comment below!

  • Have you been cycling in Girona, Spain?
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Don’t miss our other Girona guides!

Check out our Girona cycling route guides (Costa Brava coastlineEls AngelsMare de Deu del MontRocacorba and Saint Hilari) and blog posts (things to docafes and coffee shopsGirona cycling tours and tips for cycling Girona).

If you already know the immediate area around Girona, how about heading out to the Garrotxa region. Local cyclist, Adria Moreno, shares his tips for this area north of Girona here.

Want to check out some other destinations? Read our overview of Spanish cycling holidays or here’s our pick of the best cycling destinations in Spain. Or you can search by cycling destination you want to visit, here.

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Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a road cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com to help make it easy for road cyclists to explore new places by bike.

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