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Gravel in autumn – sea and mountain adventures in Spain

Peaknik

Gravel in autumn – sea and mountain adventures in Spain

Bike Touring Collection by Peaknik

4

Tours

24:41 h

203 mi

12,200 ft

The sea and the mountains are classic features of Catalonian gastronomy, especially in the Baix Empordà region of Girona. Here, stews combine food from the sea and the land. These flavours inspired this route – four days through Girona’s mountainous inland counties, such as Garrotxa and Ripollès, as well as Alt and Baix Empordà, in the heart of the Costa Brava.

The route starts in Girona towards the first peaks of the eastern Pyrenees, taking the Carrilet greenway to Olot. From here, you overcome the first major slope, the Serra de Malforat, which separates the regions of Garrotxa and Ripollès, to reach Camprodon.

From the top of the Coll d'Àres, the route briefly enters France and passes through several villages in Vallespir before re-entering Girona via Maçanet de Cabrenys in Alt Empordà. Next, you ride to Sant Llorenç de la Muga, where you take the camí de la Muga, following the river until it flows into Castelló d'Empúries. You cycle along quiet local paths and flat roads to Palafrugell, where you again follow the greenway, the camí del Tren Petit, to Platja d'Aro. Finally, you rejoin a section of the Carrilet which takes you to Girona, your final stop.

This is a Collection of contrasts: you start in Girona, just 76 metres (249 ft) above sea level, and end at an altitude of 1,513 metres (4,960 ft) at Coll d'Àres, before descending to the beach. Early autumn is the ideal season for this adventure, when the days are still relatively long and temperatures are still mild. You can still ride it in summer or spring though. It’s best to bring several layers of clothing that you can combine depending on the weather, even if you ride in summer.

The route is ideal for gravel biking as it runs mostly on greenways and roads with little traffic, but you could also do it on a mountain bike. There’s only one potentially difficult section from Oliveda to just before Sant Llorenç de la Muga; it’s a 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) downhill on a track with some steep spots – you have to pay attention. But, in general, this is a very easy route with moderate gradients.

You can reach Girona, the starting and finishing point of this Collection, easily by train, bus and, of course, road. Girona is well set up for cycle tourists; in recent years it’s become a popular destination for riders from all over the world.

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Gravel Otoñal — Aventuras de mar y montaña (Recorrido completo)

201 mi

12,150 ft

12,175 ft

Last updated: November 2, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Girona to Camprodon – gravel in autumn

    Difficult
    07:11
    55.2 mi
    7.7 mph
    4,950 ft
    2,100 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The tour begins in the spectacular Devesa de Girona park, the largest urban park in Catalonia, very close to its historic quarter. You take the first pedal strokes under the shade of its huge banana trees, to quickly enter a bike path that crosses numerous orchards next to the Ter, the river that will

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  • Difficult
    05:09
    43.6 mi
    8.5 mph
    4,275 ft
    6,175 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Leaving Camprodon you face the most important mountain pass in this entire Collection, the climb to Coll d'Àres. It is a fairly long pass, with spectacular views of the Vall de Camprodon, 15 kilometers long, and with an average gradient of 4%. The road is in perfect condition, and you will find a small

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  • Difficult
    07:06
    56.2 mi
    7.9 mph
    1,475 ft
    2,675 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    This stage is, by very little, the longest of the entire Collection, but as can be seen in the profile, the last 60 kilometers are completely flat and you drive on roads in good condition and local roads, so you move quite fast. In fact, all the difficulty of the route is concentrated in the first 30

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  • Difficult
    05:14
    48.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert gravel ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The last stage of this Collection takes you back to Girona on a Route in which most of the kilometers run along greenways. It is a very rolling and pleasant route, with little incline, perfect for admiring the landscape.

    

    You leave the mouth of the Ter and cross rice fields along dirt tracks on a totally

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    203 mi
  • Duration
    24:41 h
  • Elevation
    12,200 ft

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