Girona cycling experience
Girona is home to thousands of kilometres of superlative riding
The main reason why Girona is home to over 100 pro cyclists is because of the amazing riding on offer. Here, we give you our top five unmissable rides and one bonus ride, so that if you follow these routes you’ll have had the full Girona cycling experience by the end of your visit.
1. Rocacorba & the lake at Banyoles - 74 km, 1,300m
This is the test climb, Girona’s equivalent to Alpe d’Huez and a right of passage for any Girona cyclist. The full climb is 12 km long, the 9.9 km segment begins just after the bridge where the grade kicks up properly. A 7.4 % average slope and two full kilometres at 12 %, this climb is a beast. The strava leaderboard is world class, the current KOM is multiple Vuelta stage winner, Jay Vine, and the QOM is held by Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. The top 100 contains pro cyclists dotted with amateurs that have woken up with world tour legs.
Rocacorba does not offer great views during the climb, but from the summit you get the single best view of Girona.
Café stop: Banys Vells, lakeside bar or Rocacorba Food Truck, Banyoles.
2. The Coast Loop - 139km, 2030 m
Another Girona classic. The highlight of this ride is the 20 km stretch of road that goes from Sant Feliu de Guixols to Tossa de Mar. For some, this is the finest road in all of Catalonia.
The ride begins with one of Girona’s best climbs, Els Ángels. Shortly followed by El Alto de la Ganga where the sea comes into full view as you descend towards Calonge de Mar.
From Calonge, depending on how you’re feeling, you can follow the route up the climb to Romanyà or go directly to Platja d’Aro. Refuel in town, then it’s time for the coast road. Enjoy this stretch of road, riviera cycling doesn’t get much
better than this.
Café stop: La Maglia, Platja d’Aro
3. Mare de Déu del Mont - 126 km 1,800 m
There are two routes to the summit of Mare de Dèu, climbing from Cabanelles is around 17 km but the first 10 km are on gentle 4% slopes. We prefer to climb from Besalú, the steeper of the two. Both roads join together for the final 7km of the climb. 3 km from the summit there is a fountain. In the final kilometre of the climb, the road opens up and you are rewarded with spectacular vistas. As you round the final bend towards the sanctuary check out the views of the Pyrenees.
Café stop: Inside the sanctuary at the summit – coffee with a view. Closed in February.
4. Cap de Creus & El Port de la Selva - 156 km, 1500 m
This isn’t a short ride but it takes you to Sant Pere de Rodes, the highest point of the ride. It forms part of the Cap de Creus headland where the Pyrenees meet the sea. The ensuing descent is one of the best in all of Catalonia due to its perfect switchbacks and epic sea views.
Short option: The ride can be shortened to 115 km by finishing in Figueres and catching the train back to Girona.
Café stop: Café del Pósit, El Port de la Selva – friendly traditional café/bar.
5. Sant Hilari & Pantà de Susqueda 105 km, 1250
This ride offers a taster of what is on offer if you head into the Montseny Massif, where the Girona pros head to train for the big climbs of the grand tours.
The climb from Santa Coloma to Sant Hilari is known for the metallic viaducts that suspended high above the road. From Sant Hilari, the road follows the course of the river down the steep sides of the Osor Valley, one of the most beautiful in the Girona region. From the village of Osor, a brisk climb takes you into the next valley where you descend down to the Pantá de Susqueda (Susqueda Reservoir) and follow the shore to the impressive dam.
Café stop: El Crostó, Sant Hilari Sacalm
Bonus Route: Vall de Llémena & Mas Llunés 53 km, 480 m
If you are looking for an easy day after taking on one of these epic routes above, head out of town via Sant Gregori and before you know it, you’re on the quiet roads of the Vall de Llèmena (Llemena Valley). Turning out of the valley, you pick up another quiet climb to Mas Llunés, this is one of the best short loops in Girona.
These 5 routes will showcase the full range of the varied riding and best views that we have to offer. Our routes start/finish at Hotel Ultonia Girona and are available on Komoot or ask in reception.
At 600 km this might seem like a lot, but Girona is home to thousands of kilometres of superlative riding. You can not leave Girona without experiencing these top climbs and best views.