By Jon Street
Warming up heading south
Rolling out from Girona’s Plaça de la Independència the first 25km of this ride heads due south through the villages of Fornells de la Selva and Sant Andreu, then east to Llagostera. This scenic, flat, and quiet route is the perfect introduction to the days cycling, your legs and lungs will be ready to take on the climbs.
Can you smell that sea breeze?
It’s a fairly gentle 5km climb out of Llagostera with the familiar tree-lined roads synonymous with the area. Reach the peak though and you are in for some fun. It’s time to grab those drops and find your flow, you have 10km of downhill to relish on the way to Tossa de Mar. There’s a real opportunity to grab some speed and raise that adrenaline as you chase down the sea air and views of the Mediterranean. Need a break? Tossa de Mar is the ideal stop with the remarkable architecture of its historic walled town.
Memories are made of this
If epic views are your thing then the 10km along the coast will stay with you forever. Leaving Tossa de Mar you are truly spoiled. With perfect tarmac pinned to the rocky hillsides and overhanging the pure blue sea, it’s jaw-dropping at every turn. Drink it in and enjoy the undulations, because when it’s over it’s time to climb!
It just keeps delivering
The big climb of the ride! Sant Grau. 6km of quiet single carriageway road that winds its way up the hillside with panoramic views of the Med. It doesn’t get much steeper than the average gradient of 5% bar a last sting in the tail, you’ll just about see 12% (don’t worry it’s no more than a few hundred metres!). You can take a break at the monastery 1km from the end, enter into the impressive building through its large wooden doors to find the bar on the left, you’ve earned it.
It’s all downhill from here. All the way back to Girona. The Sant Grau to Llagostera descent is 10km long and a lot of fun. How about practising those aero positions? The corners are gentle and the views over the plains are plentiful, alternatively you could just sit back and reflect on the day. From Lagostera you retrace your route from earlier and your warm-up has now become your cool down. A ride you won’t forget and a talking point that will last far beyond the evening’s conversations.
El Àngels, Girona
A certain ‘ex’ 7x tour winner regularly rode this route for a tough short workout, but there’s far more than just a test of fitness to be had. Cross the Gavarres mountain massif twice and climb to the chapel where Salvador Dali married. This loop is an ideal intro to Girona road cycling.More
1 hour to summit
Rocacorba has been used for over a decade by many local pros as a test of form, the famous mountain is a challenge to anyone and everyone. The 10.7 km climb has a deceptive overall gradient of 7%. Starting teasingly gentle before levelling off, disciplined pacing will pay off.More
Sant Hilari from Girona
For a good day’s challenge, we recommend taking on the Sant Hilari loop. This loop takes you up to the town of Sant Hilari Sacalm, inland from the coast, offering a great quiet alternative in the holiday season.If you are in the Girona area, this ride is not to be missed!More