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Tour Details

Duration
8 days / 7 nights
2016 Tour dates
August 8th-August 16th
Start Location
Tour Starts -August 9th after airport hotel pick up
Tour ends – August 16th after transfer to Barcelona area airport hotel
Airport -Barcelona
Train Station- Girona
3-4 Star hotels
3 nights in Spanish Villa (Banyoles area)
3 nights in Ax les Thermes
1 night at airport hotel in Barcelona airport hotel
5 group dinners and all breakfast is included
Price Per Person(Double Occupancy)
$3798
Single Supplement
$700
(Limited Availability)
Difficulty Level ****
Strong Intermediate to Advanced
Daily Ride Averages
30mi-70mi
2,000 – 9,500ft
Terrain
Rolling hills with Medium and High Mountainous Terrain
Non Rider discount (20%)
Rental Bike

$450 per tour
(Limited sizes and availability)
What’s Included
8 days / 7 nights fully supported and accompanied trip
All breakfasts
5 out of 7 dinners
Pick-up at  Barcelona Airport Hotel
Drop-off at  Barcelona Airport Hotel
All ground transportation
All luggage transfer
Support and services of our expert guides
Support vehicles
Breaking Away Bicycle Tours maps, cue sheets and elevation profiles

What’s Not Included
Airfare
Travel and personal insurance
Additional hotel expenses i.e. phone charges, mini-bar, gratuities
Lunches

Tour Highlights

Does warm sunshine, quiet & winding roads, spectacular views, savoring regional Catalan and French cuisine & wine get your interest? This cycling vacation offers itinerary and routes with spectacular mountain and sea views and peeks at the ancient past of Spain and France as you will be pedaling past Roman ruins, fortresses and abandoned castles. We will spend our time staying multiple nights at a Catalan 12th Century, completely restored Villa to days spent cycling the Al Emporda’ rolling Tuscan like plains. Cycling loop rides from our Villa that take us to the alluring Mediterranean and the near by Spanish Midi Pyrenees plus multiple nights in France at a mountain resort town of Ax les Thermes. On this tour you’ll savor the essence of Spain & the French Pyrenees and all it’s flavors, culture and colorful traditions that come with it. Start planning now to join us on this unbelievable cycling vacation..the food, the people, the vibe of the Pyrenees and the cycling routes are the finest you’ll ever experience.

Daily Itinerary

August 8th: Depart the USA
August 9th: Arrive Barcelona, Spain. 11:00am pickup in front of the Barcelona airport hotel (Hesperia Tower Hotel) & transfer to our countryside Villa. Check in. Our mechanic will be happy to help you unpack and help you build your bike and do all the final adjustments for rental bikes. Relax by the pool before meeting your fellow guests at our
“Welcome Meeting/ Group Dinner Party”
August 10th: After a delicious breakfast todays ride will take us through Garrotxa Volcanic Natural park. This Natural Park has an abundance of volcanic cones and lava flows. It is the site of a previously quarried volcano, the Croscat, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and 17,000 years old. Riding from the Villa we will cycle by the pristine lake of Banyoles before starting your gradual climb into the Volcanoes National Park. We will make stop at a medieval village of Santa Pau where you can wander the cobblestone street. This route will take through a forested plateau and the medieval village of Santa Pau. Then follow a mostly downhill route winding its way through the Emporda’ plain and back to the Villa. Group meeting and open night for dinner in the hip, old town of Girona. Walking tour of old city quarter before open dinner night.
August 11th: On today’s ride, our route will take us through the Emporda’ Plain and towards the Mediterranean and the spectacular Bay of Roses…don’t forget to bring your camera to capture your memories as we’re cycling through stunning countryside that’s scattered with an abundance of forests, wineries, sunflower fields, ancient villages and Roman ruins. Challenge yourself or a fellow guest on a climb up to 10th century monastery and admire the views of Costa Brava coastline before plunging down a short descent with wide open sea views of Bay of Roses. Our last climb will take us past some of the areas best organic wineries. Finish this spectacular day of cycling with a screaming descent all the way back to the Mediterranean coast. After a delicious lunch in Cadeques, along the seaside promenade, we will have a van transfer back to the Villa. Relax by the pool or schedule a massage. Group meeting and group dinner.
August 12th: After a short transfer you’ll venture along a path less traveled … cycling past olive groves and cypress tree lined lanes, stair stepping along quiet a forested plateau snaking its way past ancient villages and abandoned farmhouses into France. You’ll climb up to the small medieval village of Coustouges and the small walled town of Prats de Mollo. Take a lunch break and a stroll among its narrow streets that form terraces linked together by stairways and ancient passages, of which one leads directly from old town to Fort Lagarde, an impressive fort built by famous Marshall Vaubam in 1600’s. Your last big climb of the day comes in the menacing form of Col de Ares and its nearly 7% average for 13 km. Sprint for the top of the mountain sign…it also doubles as a border sign for France and Spain. Catch your breath, as any good climb it’s followed by a long fast descent into the valley and the Villa. Relax poolside before our last group dinner at the Villa.
August 13th: After breakfast and check out we will have a short transfer to a village near the Spanish and French border. Today’s route will take us through the Midi Pyrenees, close to the border of Spain and Andorra. Traversing along small mountain roads through Park Natural des Pyrenees making our way to mountain spa of Ax Les Thermes which is well known for its sulphurous waters that were used by Romans for healing many ailments. Ax les Thermes is also known for a great variety of nearby cycling climbs. Hotel check in for 3 nights.
August 14th: Today’s loop takes us east towards our first challenge of the day Col du Pradel. Take in the panoramic views at the top before plunging down the woody, tight switchback riddled descent leading down into the Rebenty valley. Climbing again to the Aunat plateau will be rewarded by a spectacular, narrow descent into the Gorges of the river Aude. Lunch in Mijanes should give you plenty of strength for the last challenge of the day – Col de Paiheres, which happens to be the second highest French Pyrenees Col at 2001m. Finally, finishing with a descent back to our hotel.
August 15th:After a delicious breakfast of local delicacies our route takes us into Principality of Andorra, which is also the highest point and the longest climb of this cycling vacation in the Pyrenees.. Port d’Envalira standing tall at 2407m. Enjoy your open afternoon in Andorra and take advantage of an abundance of restaurants, relaxed tax laws and over 2000 shops. Late afternoon transfer back to Ax les Thermes. Group dinner.
August 16th: Early breakfast. Hotel Check Out. Our final ride takes us out-skirting the French border before transfer back into Spain but not without its final challenging ride of this tour which come in a form of last two Cols …Col de Marmare, followed by a looooong descent into Quilland and final climb to Col Saint-Louis with spectacular sweeping descent through rugged rock formations of Agly gorge. After lunch we will transfer to Barcelona area hotel. Our mechanics will assist you in packing your bike for your flight home. Airport transfers in the morning.