A letter from the Founder
It was on a cycling trip from La Rochelle to Barcelona in 2013 with my two daughters, Zoe and Annie, that I was lucky enough to discover the hidden gems of the Empordà in Catalonia. We cycled through beautiful parts of France, but it was without doubt the northeastern knuckle of Spain that stuck in all our memories - mountains, coastline, medieval villages, paddy fields, orchards, vineyards, olive groves, dedicated cycling & walking routes and to top it all off, the incomparable pleasure of sitting down to a feast of fresh local food and delicious wine with weary legs after a long day exercising.
With that sweet taste of the Empordà still in my mouth, I approached Catalan friend, Josep Maria, to set the wheels in motion for Bacchus’ original cycling, walking, wine, olive oil and gastronomy tours - aiming to give friends and family an ‘under the skin’ experience of the region and a chance to get to know the dedicated and enthusiastic characters behind their food and drink.
Two years down the line and after a number of fantastic tours in the Empordà, we are excited to be taking this concept further afield under the leadership of Managing Director, Gareth Davies. With new and exciting destinations on the roadmap, including Andalusia this year and the Douro Valley in 2018, we hope you will be able to join us for the ride.
Anthony Wallington OBE
Founder and Executive Chairman, Bacchus on Bikes
Tony Wallington OBE • Executive Chairman
Founder of Bacchus, Tony served in the British Army for 30 years, during which time he also competed as an Olympic bobsleigher, captaining the British team in 1980 & 84. He went on to hold major appointments through five Olympic Winter Games. Since retiring from the Army he has established a high profile in business and sports for his leadership programmes and coaching high performance individuals and teams. An epicurean and keen cyclist at heart, Tony conceived the idea of Bacchus the perfect balance between adventure and gastronomic exploration.
Gareth Davies • Managing Director
Appointed as Managing Director in 2016, Gareth brings experience in organising and completing charitable expeditions across all parts of the globe. Having spent a number of years in Spain and South America enjoying the culinary delights of each destination and learning to speak the language fluently, Catalan and Italian are next on the list. He manages all day-to-day operations at Bacchus and his unquenchable thirst for adventure and attention to detail will be the driving force in delivering a tailored trip that meets your every expectation.
Josep Maria Codina • Catalan Director
Co-founder of Bacchus, Josep Maria spent much of his early professional life in the property business. Having met Tony through his profession in Catalonia, their friendship and penchant for wine tasting was the recipe for Bacchus’ initial 3-day cycling tour of the Empordà. With a passion for everything the region has to offer, from sailing, hiking and cycling to eating the best of local Catalan cuisine and drinking fine wine, his invaluable local knowledge means Bacchus continue to uncover hidden gems. A native Catalan, he looks after Bacchus’ office in the Empordà and manages relationships with local hotel owners, restaurateurs & wine makers.