Top New Trips for 2012: Backroads -- Spain: From Barcelona to the Pyrénées & Costa Brava
Discover the wonders of Catalonia on this two-wheeled tour with Backroads.
Backroads: Spain: From Barcelona to the Pyrénées & Costa Brava
Everything about Catalonia is unique. Part of Spain, but an independent nation, it flies its own flag and speaks its own language. It dances the sardana, drinks wine from a porró and has created some of the world’s most acclaimed artists and architects. And its sights? They’re distinctive too, from the rugged Pyrénées to the spectacular Costa Brava and the pulsing stylish city of Barcelona. Just wait ’til you get a whiff – the sea air, a steaming bowl of fideuà, a forest of pines. You know instantly that this place is different. Special. Memorable. Just like each day of your Catalan vacation.
Day 1: Get things started in vibrant Barcelona, likely to ignite your love affair with Catalonia After reaching the mountains, bike past alpine villages, herds of cows and farmers tending their crops Sample cava, Spain’s beloved version of bubbly.
Day 2: Ride scenic routes into the French Pyrénées, where pros train for the Tour de France – the incredible views make your efforts worthwhile Gaze in awe at the limestone massif of Cadí-Moixeró Nature Reserve, standing above the idyllic Cerdanya Valley.
Day 3: An epic climb and descent across La Toses Pass, which at 5,907 feet is one of the highest paved roads in the Pyrénées Relish miles and miles of smooth winding downhill into a sunkissed valley Quiet pastoral lanes and riverside bike paths lead to the picturesque village of Llanars.
Day 4: Acclaimed Catalan fusion cuisine and fresh seafood Bike alongside deep valleys and rugged rock walls in La Garrotxa, a remote volcanic area rarely visited by tourists Ready for a break? Stroll through medieval towns where stone homes come with red-tile roofs and wooden balconies Pine and chestnut trees give way to oaks and olive groves en route to the coast.
Days 5-6: Spin through the stunning Costa Brava, where the Mediterranean laps against white-sand beaches and villages cling to forested hills above hidden bays Salvador Dalí’s artistic genius shines at the medieval Gala Dalí Castle he restored for his wife Pedal past fields of sunflowers and wheat to the Baix Empordà, the “region of coves,” stopping to explore hamlets with cobbled town squares, Baroque-style churches and ancient fortresses A tasting of Catalan wines caps off your day Fruit orchards, olive groves and rice paddies line a peaceful ride through the countryside.
Spain: From Barcelona to the Pyrénées & Costa Brava: 6 days/5 nights; multiple departures June through October; from $3,198.