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      our holidays > Cycling Holidays > Spain & its Islands > Catalonia > Catalonia Discovery

Catalonia Discovery

The Costa Brava’s quiet side
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Add on a city break in either Girona or Barcelona if you are flying via one of these enthralling cities.
  About Empordà >Empordà encompasses the Costa Brava and the rolling plain behind it in north-easternmost Catalonia. Costa Brava translates as ‘rugged coast’, a name that belies the presence of beautiful sandy beaches between the rocky headlands. Inland, medieval villages of honey-coloured stone stand amid vineyards, cork-oak woods and fields of sunflowers and rice. It was in Empordà that the sardana – the Catalan national dance, accompanied by a 3-holed flute – originated, and it is a common sight at fiestas. As in the rest of Catalonia, you will hear Catalan – one of Spain’s four official languages – spoken more commonly than Castilian. Catalonia is renowned throughout Spain for its gastronomy, and Empordà boasts some superb restaurants. The local rice features in both meat and fish dishes, while sauces made from tomato, pepper and aubergine are used in many recipes. Combinations of mar y muntanya (sea and mountain) are also common on menus, be it lobster with partridge or chicken with prawns.
 
This Holiday in a nutshell
  • self-guided hotel-to-hotel cycling, luggage transported
  • walking, sightseeing and swimming on ‘stay put’ days
  • discover coves, golden villages and a museum devoted to Dali
  • excellent seafood, benevolent climate

The contrasting charms of unspoiled Catalonia are impossible to resist, from the beguiling patchwork of sunflowers and poppy fields of the interior to the secluded coves and sandy beaches of the pine-clad Costa Brava. What’s more, the terrain is easy-going, lending itself perfectly to leisurely exploration, with plenty of time for visits to historic villages and dips in the sea at the end of the week.
This is just the kind of holiday we were after – lovely cycle rides between historic villages, but with the chance to leave the bikes behind and go for a walk, do a bit of sightseeing or just have a lazy day by the pool.
     
On this holiday, days of cycling from one charming place to stay to the next alternate with ‘free’ days when you can choose how (or if – you can simply relax and enjoy your surroundings if you prefer!) you explore. You can head out on your bikes if you like, but, for a break from the saddle, you may prefer to amble along the inviting paths or tracks on foot, following our detailed walking notes to pretty villages.

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Spain
 Average Temperatures & Rainfall
  J F M A M J J A S O N D
°C 13 14 15 17 21 25 29 28 25 21 16 14
mm 51 47 63 57 57 42 26 48 67 106 64 60

The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.