Bike Tour Reviews  Best Of Catalonia Cycle Touring


Best of Catalonia Cycle Touring

COUNTRY: Spain

8 nights
5/5 (12)
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours Client favorites
Rider Level: Active Electric bike tours Client favorites

5/5 (12)
8 nights

Guided from EUR € 2250
Self guided from EUR € 1650

Guided:
Daily, upon request: Mar 1-Jun 30; Sep 1-Nov 15, 2024

Self-guided:
Daily, upon request: Mar 1-Jun 30; Sep 1-Nov 15, 2024

Description:
This is a 9 day/8 night cycling tour that includes cycling the 'Carrilet', the converted railway that runs for 135 km from Ripoll in the Pyrenees to Sant Feliu de Guixols on the Mediterranean Sea. The riding starts in the mountain town of Ripoll, cycling…

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  • Best of Catalonia Cycle Touring
    (5/5) Anne Stanek 5 months ago

    Second time on this trip and it was well worth a second visit!

    This trip is extremely well organized, with lovely hotels, great breakfasts and so much variety in the bike routes. Although it has some challenging uphills, a lot of it is down hill, which is great fun. There is so much scenic beauty - going from the Pyrenees down to the Mediterranean Coast. It was really nice to stay in the same hotel two separate times (one right on the Mediterranean and another next to a castle) but still do loop rides which were fun. We found Daniel, owner of Creative Catalonia, was a most personable and easy going guy. We had a problem with a bike and within two hours (during which time we enjoyed one of the many superb lunches we had along the way) he had arrived where we were and fixed the bike. This is still one of my most favorite rides out of the ten tours that we have done over the years.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    10
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Platja D'Aro from S'Agora Hotel (photo by Anne Stanek)
    • Our second day of riding - Pyrenees are behind us as we coast down towards the Mediterranean! (photo by Anne Stanek)
    • Followed the Via Verde much of the way - an extremely well maintained rail trail. (photo by Anne Stanek)
    • A medieval castle town on a hill as seen between olive trees. (photo by Anne Stanek)
    • The Mediterranean! (photo by Anne Stanek)
    • View from Far de Sebastian over LLafranc, where we spent two nights. (photo by Anne Stanek)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Theresa Schwingenschloegl 9 months ago

    A fabulous 7 days

    Our e bike tour was meticulously routed by our guide Daniel. With his planning we adapted our North American stomachs to a later lunch which was always timed perfectly for the 4 of us to to end our day, allowing us to relax and enjoy a delicious main meal accompanied by wonderful local wines and beers. It was a surprise to us that our bike tour was just the four of us but it turned out to be a wonderful active holiday at just the right pace. A mirror and a bell for my e bike are the only suggestions I could make. We were mostly on well packed trails but also had fabulous downhill riding on quiet well paved roads where you could see a good distance ahead, which gave confidence to a novice rider. The weather cooperated, our accomadations were very comfortable, our bags were always there ahead of us, the bikes were great. What wonderful holiday.

  • (5/5) Theresa Schwingenschloegl 9 months ago

    A fabulous 7 days

    Our e bike tour was meticulously routed by our guide Daniel. With his planning we adapted our North American stomachs to a later lunch which was always timed perfectly for the 4 of us to to end our day, allowing us to relax and enjoy a delicious main meal accompanied by wonderful local wines and beers. It was a surprise to us that our bike tour was just the four of us but it turned out to be a wonderful active holiday at just the right pace. A mirror and a bell for my e bike are the only suggestions I could make. We were mostly on well packed trails but also had fabulous downhill riding on quiet well paved roads where you could see a good distance ahead, which gave confidence to a novice rider. The weather cooperated, our accomadations were very comfortable, our bags were always there ahead of us, the bikes were great. What wonderful holiday.

  • (5/5) Julie Griesert 9 months ago

    Fabulous trip

    This was our third self-guided bike trip and probably the most organized and well-planned. Daniel met us at the first hotel and was very thorough with instructions, giving us both a map with notes as well as a gps that worked great. He even made dinner reservations at one of the hotels (the restaurant is amazing and reservations must be made in advance). We loved the variety of areas the route took us through - country and coastal. The last 2 hotels were over the top, and the last one was our absolute favorite. Things to know when considering this trip: you have to want to bike most of the day, that's what these trips are about. We'd start our days with a great breakfast and then were on the road by 10 or 10:30, biking until the afternoon (anywhere from 2 - 4pm depending on the mileage). I had an e-bike but the other 2 of us had regular bikes. I was happy to have the assist so I could keep up. You will likely run into a few stretches that aren't pleasant; maybe next to a noisy road, or suddenly it gets super windy or rainy and bugs are flying into your eyes (I recommend eye wear of some kind) but then you are in blissful sections in the middle of a quiet forest on a rail-to-trail path, or rolling through sunny fields of wheat. The less pleasant bits were rare but do note that these trips are better for people who can handle a bit of rain or wind or whatever. Food tip: Meal times in Europe are skewed later and restaurants and stores may not be open when you want to eat. Try to plan ahead and either buy picnic food in town in the am so you can eat on the road later, or be prepared to eat a fixed price multi-course lunch in the later afternoon (unless you are in a bigger town that has more options). We managed to convince a couple places to do a lower fixed price lunch with fewer dishes but it's just not the norm. By the end of the trip we were so done with large meals. It was new for us to have the 2 night stays in 2 of the hotels but they were at our 2 favorite hotels and with the one on the coast, we ended up taking advantage of the 2 nights by not doing the second day's ride. It was cold, windy, and a bit rainy so we ended up taking a very slow morning until the rain subsided, then we walked the coastal footpath, which was gorgeous. It worked out well as a nice break. Also, I recommend not looking up the hotels in advance - one of the fun things about these trips is rolling up to the hotel in the afternoon and knowing nothing about it. On previous trips we've had some pretty odd mixes of places, including one semi-creepy place (not on this trip) that we still laugh about today and even kind of appreciate that we ended up there. All-in-all a great trip.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Ulla Dueck 10 months ago

    Great adventure!

    This was our first visit to Spain and what a fabulous way to see part of the country. Our guide (Daniel) was the best. The terrain varied many times along the route, but was always manageable. The hotels were great and the food was delicious. Loved the abundance of seafood.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 2023
    How many tours have you completed?
    4
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Craig Williams 10 months ago

    Loved all the old cities!

    Great route, the cities we rode thru and old rail trails were safer than city/country roads. The guide was fantastic with educational info, language skills and expertise on coffee and lunch/dinner stops.

  • (5/5) StuNH October 14, 2021

    A tour far exceeding expectations!

    Reading previous reviews, what most needs to be said is praise for this tour is not over rated. It was an exceptional tour! We did the tour in late September into October. The high tourist season was past, so our entire tour was quiet, peaceful, relaxing. The weather was very pleasant, and swimming in the Mediterranean was delightful. We had 3 days on the coast to enjoy that. We loved the various cycling experiences - the "Carrilet", the coast (Costa Brava), and the medieval villages. The hotels were all outstanding.
    Even though the tour was self guided, the tour operator remained in touch and was exceptional.

    What was the date of your tour?
    9/28/21 - 10/6/21
    How many tours have you completed?
    10+ (I've lost count)
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Cycling in medieval town (photo by StuNH)
    • The Costa Brava (photo by StuNH)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) GregS June 25, 2018

    Wonderful Trip, Great Experience

    Great service, Hotels and staff were the best. Level 3 was a little tough for a beginner, but I made it.

    What was the date of your tour?
    5-8-18/5-18-18
    How many tours have you completed?
    First
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • First Day of our adventure (photo by GregS)
    • We made it to the sea. (photo by GregS)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) george October 3, 2017

    Surprisingly luxurious biking

    the biking was largely on old railroad right of ways or farm roads. the sections on paved roads were nearly deserted of traffic. The Costa Brava was gorgeous. Lots of medieval stone hilltop towns. The hotels were just fabulous. Great lunches and dinners for relatively little money. A side trip to the Dali museum.

    What was the date of your tour?
    mid-September
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Much easier
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Anne52 October 2, 2017

    An idyllic, romantic and gorgeous bike trip!

    This was our first self guided bike trip and what a lucky choice it was! Daniel and Lucy of Creative Catalonia are a dynamic couple who were so personable and helpful. They have organized a fascinating and beautiful bike trip. We were amazed at the often paved bike paths that wound through gorgeous country side, from the mountains to the sea. The places we stayed were super, we were often alone on the paths, the side trips were interesting, the restaurant recommendations were outstanding... We can't rave enough about this outstanding bike tour.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 14 - 21, 2016
    How many tours have you completed?
    This was our first.
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Rosie September 26, 2017

    One of the best researched and organized tours I've ever been on

    Creative Catalonia selected absolutely the best routes through beautiful countryside and seaside scenery as well as taking one through picturesque villages and selecting really great hotels in interesting cities and villages. We had a great variety of scenery and experiences. Additionally their equipment was great and their maps and instructions were very clear. Their assessments of distances and difficulty were right on and they kept us on small farm roads or streets with very few cars as much as possible. They also provided one garmen for every group that had the route programmed into it. It was impossible to get lost. They were also helpful with he small changes we wanted to make and had great suggestions for restaurants and other experiences along the way.

    This is an exceptional outfitter.

    Rosemary Heil
    fall 2017

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2017
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • BikeTours.com staff reply from Jim Johnson, Founder and president September 27, 2017

      Thank you for the great review, Rosemary! We love the "superlatives!" We agree that Creative Catalonia is among the best of the best--absolutely exceptional.

    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Pablito October 23, 2016

    Great Trip

    We had a large group (16!) with varying levels of ability. All aspects of the tour were great. Logistics worked well: pick up and fitting of bikes went without a hitch. The rides were very scenic and covered a range of terrain, from mountains to the flats. All hotels were very nice and Creative Catalonia booked a couple of very fine meals in Olot and Llafranc at truly world-class restaurants. Scenery on the rides was fantastic, and the routes had little traffic and were often off the roads altogether.

    The only hiccup of the trip was that only 4 map packages were provided to our group. Would have expected that each rider would get a full pack of maps.

    What was the date of your tour?
    October 9-16
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection