When the rubbish German weather really begins to get on our nerves, we try to head to the south to take refuge. Together with our racing bike and the short BIB, we cycle towards the sun, often ending up at the usual winter escapes such as Mallorca and the Gran Canaria. This time, we wanted to try something new at FOCUS. Our team headed to Girona, the new cycling mecca, for its winter ride. So what did we think? We’ll let you know in this Collection.
Girona is the new favorite spot of many racing bike pros, and with good reason. Around 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Barcelona, the city is embedded in the mountains of the Catalan Costa Brava hinterland. A Mediterranean climate and roads that wind through the mountainous with little traffic, its proximity to the sea and, last but not least, the fact that there are only a few tourists during the off-season, make Girona the perfect destination for racing cyclists looking to emerge from hibernation and enjoy perfect biking conditions.
So now we roll through Girona’s world-famous old town of Girona down narrow streets lined by medieval buildings with thick walls. The flair in the old town is very special and we are immediately drawn to one of the cult cafés that will later come to mark the end of every bike ride. A coffee at the Espresso Mafia is an essential part of visiting Girona, just like Ballermann belongs to a summer holiday in Majorca. The only difference is that there are no drunken tourists to annoy you in Girona. Instead, you meet like-minded people everywhere as the city is totally bicycle-crazy! There are countless bike shops, bike cafés and hotels with great "bed + bike" offers. There are many good cycle paths leading through the city and, on weekends, the locals also get up early to start the day with sport.
We feel like we're in cycling heaven! And the best thing is that Girona is easy to reach. You can fly directly to Girona airport (although only with Ryanair from Bremen and Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden) or take the express train. It’s also worth taking a detour to visit Catalonia’s capital Barcelona if you fancy some sightseeing en route. Spring and autumn are ideal for cycling as the temperatures are pleasant and there are hardly any tourists in the city, creating the perfect racing bike conditions. We show you our five favourite tours in this Collection. FOCUS in Girona – we are sure that you will have as much fun on the road as we had.
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This compact tour combines everything that makes a beautiful road bike tour: You warm yourself up in the wonderful landscape of Vall de la Llémena and enjoy its pure asphalt and the rural idyll. At the break there are fresh, crispy baked goods that give you the power for the crisp mountain stage of the tour, which brings you up to Sant Martí Sacalm.And once you have done that, you can shake your burning calves with a wonderful view and freshly brewed coffee before the long descent back to Girona awaits you. To top it off, treat yourself to a delicious espresso from the Espresso Mafia, the cult café in the historic old town. La dolce vita - in Catalan!
When you come to Girona, you have definitely made a lot of plans. But you can train really well here. However, there are also days when the full pack is simply too much. Maybe you have just arrived, maybe you are still exhausted from the previous day. Maybe you just want to experience a few other things and just do a short lap on the bike. This tour is perfect for these days!At around 80 kilometers, you don't expect a mean mountain, but a varied route profile with a lot of ups and downs, so that you never get bored. You drive to the area north of Girona around the beautiful city of Banyoles with its lake of the same name, which is a popular destination and very popular with water sports enthusiasts. The city and the lake are ideal for a short break before you set off on the return trip to Girona. There is still enough time here, for example to finally take a look at the impressive old town in peace.
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With around 95 kilometers in length and a decent climb, there's nothing for free on this tour. So on the “coffee trip” you can really work out - but in between you have plenty of opportunities to motivate yourself or just relax a little. This round takes you west of Girona towards the Mediterranean: at the turning point in Torroella de Montgrí you can almost hear the waves rushing.On the way back you tackle the most famous climb at the gates of Girona, the Els Angels. In between you come through picturesque villages, sometimes with romantic, medieval town centers. Of course, you will also find numerous locations here for a cozy coffee break. And even if you prefer to take a quick lap without stops, you don't have to do without the black stimulant: as is well known, there are several cult cafes in Girona waiting to flatter your taste buds.
Short and sweet - the name says it all! If you don't have that much time and still want to make the leg muscles glow, then this short tour is just right. It is less than 70 kilometers long, but you climb more than 1,000 vertical meters and can then tick off two of the most famous climbs around Girona on your bucket list. Shortly after the start, things start going uphill - there is not much time to warm up for the ascent of Els Angels.At halftime there is a short stop in the cozy town of Monells so that you are ready for the second climb of the tour. It is not quite as long as Els Angels and will not challenge you too much, but will still make you sweat a lot. Above you have a wonderful view and a long descent back to Girona. Once there, you should not miss the obligatory coffee stop in the beautiful old town.
If you are traveling south with your racing bike, then a detour to the beach is a must, isn't it? This is exactly where this tour takes you. The destination is the Costa Brava with its rugged rocks, rugged bathing bays and picturesque coastal roads - a real holiday feeling over 116 kilometers.However, this deserves to be earned: The tour is a bit longer and there are a few meters of altitude waiting for you. The climb up to the Sanctuary of Ermita de Sant Grau is particularly tough. The winding mountain road is really fun and rewards you with a breathtaking descent. As soon as you have a view of the rocky coastal mountains to the sea, you know what you sweated for before. When you get to the bottom, take a break in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The well-kept city with its many historic buildings is beautiful to look at and offers all kinds of shops, supermarkets and cafes, so you can fortify yourself here in a Mediterranean atmosphere. The return trip to Girona still has a few climbs, but overall it is much easier.