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– Explore Empordà 

Catalonia

 
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Overview

Riding on the wave of a culinary revolution inspired by the renowned Catalan chef, Ferran Adrià, the Catalan Tourist Board declared 2016 as the year for gastronomy and wine tourism. Rich in quality products from both land and sea, their culinary traditions and techniques have gained the region critical acclaim on an international stage.

Our trips to the Empordà combine wonderful cycling routes with the finest wine and local cuisine on offer in the region. Carefully selected accommodation, vineyard visits and olive oil tastings make it the perfect marriage between velo and viticulture.

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Cycling Heaven

Catalonia and the Empordà have been the ‘secret’ playground for dedicated amateur and pro cyclists in recent years for a reason - peaceful roads, remote mountain trails, coastal vistas and some gnarly climbs if you want them. With mixture of terrain and spectacular routes to choose from, it is best to base your decision on where you would like to have a mid-morning pitstop, a lingering lunch, or spend the next night of your trip.

 

Red, red wine

Flanked by the glittering Mediterranean and the imposing Pyrenees, Nuria and Diego of Mas Estela winery would tell you there are few better spots to produce (or drink) a bottle of full-bodied red than Alt Empordà. The tramuntana winds from the north means the vines never get too warm while the Mediterranean climate works the grapes to ensure Empordan wines are full of character and bursting with flavour. Recently, family vineyards have started bottling innovative wines of surprising quality. Produced on a small scale and purchased locally, you can enjoy them for a slice of the price you would expect to pay in the UK.

 

Surf and turf

Alt Empordà and Baix Empordà form the northeastern knuckle of Catalonia, a knuckle that boasts beautiful national parks, quaint seaside towns and the most eastern point of the Iberian Peninsula. With quality land and sea produce so readily available, Catalan cuisine has an inimitable identity that has transformed it into a recognised leader on the international gastronomy scene. Michelin starred restaurants or rustic picnics in vineyards, you decide….

 

Take it Olive it...

Rugged coastline, soaring mountains and the rich surrounding rural plains present a variety of soil types in the Empordà that lend themselves to the production of wine, olive oil and first rate fruit and veg. Olive oil is in a similar position to wine 20 years ago – there is a growing interest and appreciation of its production, varying olive types and different tastes. Marti Clos from Clos de la Torre has olive oil groves dotted around Alt Emporda and is producing delicious virgin olive oils – a top spot for a tapas picnic and tasting session.

 

 
 
 
 

Hidden Gems through local knowledge

A rustic, unassuming 17th century converted manor house nestled away in the foothills of the Gavarres National Park, and an undeniably extravagant, yet utterly impressive modern piece of underground architecture, right next to each other? Finca Bell Lloc and Cellar Brugarol are without doubt two highlights of Baix Empordà. Catalan architecture regularly impresses and is most apparent in Empordanet, the zone of rural plains between Alt & Baix Empordà, where a string of charming medieval villages lie next to one another – perfect stomping ground for a lunchtime feed after a morning on the bike….

 
 
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To give you a flavour...
 

Day 1

On arrival to Girona, you will be picked up by your Bacchus host and transferred to your first overnight location - Finca Bell Lloc, a beautiful manor house nestled quietly in the foothills of the Gavarres National Park with spectacular views over the Mediterranean. Pepi will be waiting with arms wide open to welcome you. Boasting its own vineyard and stunning underground cellar, this is a charming place to stay and a great spot to explore from. 

Once settled in, cycle a gentle circuit through the rural plains of the Empordà. Pass through medieval towns, vineyards and olive oil groves before pausing for lunch - a freshly prepared Catalan picnic of jamón ibérico, local cheese, pâtes, the freshest of tomatoes and perhaps a caña de cerveza if you feel so inclined. On return to Bell Lloc, enjoy an evening tour of the cellar followed dinner on the terrace - a delicious spread of homegrown and locally sourced products accompanied by Brugarol wine straight from the cellar.


DAY 2

After a leisurely breakfast, cycle a 30km route through the Gavarres National Park before arriving to Mas Ponsjoan for lunch in the vineyard. Mas Ponsjoan have been producing wine since 1668 and Manel & Joana Comas are the fifth generation of wine producers. Their wine is produced on a very small scale and is one of our favourites - we recommend taking time to enjoy a selection of their homegrown produce (vegetables, fruit, olive oil and wine) before the short return leg back to Finca Bell Lloc. 

Take the afternoon to relax by the pool, venture back out on the bike or explore your surroundings before sitting down to a delicious meal, cooked for you by Pepi's husband and chef, Ángel. Choose between surf or turf, or allow Ángel to prepare one of his mouth-watering signature dishes for you! 


DAY 3

After breakfast, take a short transfer to Sant Feliu de Guixols before riding the most spectacular route of the trip - a coastal route through the Ardenya National Park with stunning views over the Mediterranean. Enjoy a mid-morning Estrella Damm at Sant Grau Hermitage before descending towards Llagostera, for a scenic picnic lunch with local Empordà wine - a great way to end your trip in Catalonia. Bacchus will transfer you to the airport after lunch for your return flight home.

 

The finer details – bike hire, routes, accommodation and support

BIKE hire and routes

Most of our guests choose to hire bikes, however, you are welcome to bring your own. If hiring, choose between road, hybrid, mountain and electric bikes.

Daily mileage and terrain can be agreed upon and routes distributed in advance if required. 


overnight locations

We choose to stay in places that make your Bacchus experience extra special - these are places run by local people we have developed relationships with over time, hence we feel more than comfortable leaving you in their safe hands each evening.


SUPPORT TEAM

If you choose a fully guided tour, a member of the Bacchus team will be there to lead you on your ride and the support vehicle will be nearby to offer mechanical assistance and a lift should you need one. 

 

What's included?

Airport transfers on arrival and departure for recommended flights

Bacchus host and route guide

English-speaking local guide

Accommodation

All breakfasts, lunches and evening meals with wine

Pitstop refreshments

Support vehicle

Bike hire (if required)


Not included...

Flights, travel insurance, personal costs