Medieval Southern Catalunya Cycling Trip Itinery


Day to Day Program at a glance

Day 1 Arrive in Penedès, bike fitting and settling in
Day 2 The Wines & Cavas of Penedès 20/40km level: easy
Day 3 The Route of the Reconquest, Penedès - Montblanc 60 km level: moderate
Day 4 The Moorish Queen of Siurana, Montblanc – Gratallops, Priorat, 40/80km level: tough
Day 5 The Ebro river and the castle of Miravet, Gratallops - Horta de Sant Joan, 30/80 km level: moderate
Day 6 Picasso’s Highlands, Horta de Sant Joan – Tortosa, the city of 3 cultures 65km level: easy
Day 7 The Ebro Delta, rice paddies and seafood heaven, Tortosa to Eucaliptus beach 50km level: easy
Day 8 Transfer from l’Ampolla to Barcelona


Accommodation
you will find links to a selection of accommodations from comfy Bed & Breakfasts, 3 star hotels to historic Paradors and luxury boutique hotels. We recommend you visit their webs, and let us know the ones you prefer. Or you can tell us your preferences and we will select the one that appeal to you

Day 1 Arrive in Penedès

Collection point is you accommodation in Barcelona or Barcelona airport
We bring you to our shop for bike-fitting, you can bring your own clips, saddle and accessories if you wish. Our shop is fully equipped with all bike sizes, accessories and clothing. Then we head for Penedès and get you oriented for the next 4/7 days. We leave you to settle into your accommodation and enjoy a stroll or warm up cycle in beautiful quiet Penedès wine country.



Day 2 The Cava & Wine route of Penedès 20/40/60km

A lazy sunny wine route through the towns and villages of DO Penedès, A territory full of family run wineries. Between the medieval castles and small restaurants you will stop to taste crisp white wines, bold rosés, vintage white and rosé sparkling wines and lots of big fruit forward reds. Some wineries will be expecting you and you may just drop-in on others. Your route will be marked with locations of good restaurants, olive mills and historic sites of interest.
On day 2 you retire to same accommodation as Day 1



Day 3 The Route of the Reconquest, Sant Marti Sarroca – Montblanc - Poblet 80 km

Climb to the historic walled towns of La llacuna and Santa Coloma de Queralt. You pass the Modernist Cathederal of wine at Roquefort de Queralt, and then the Winery of Carles Andreu, the only producer of Trepat red wine and wonderful rosé sparkling wine. Lunch will be in the medieval walled city of Montblanc; explore Espluges de Francoli and Poblet, the largest Cistercian monestary in Europe and final resting place of the Catalan Nobility. Visit Torres Milmander winery with some of the finest Chardonnays of Catalunya and Spain



Day 4 DOQ Priorat Poblet – Gratallops 40/80 km

The Crown of Southern Catalunya has many jewels but one that shines particularly bright. is the DOQ Priorat. Isolation has meant preservation. Since its most prosperous period over a centuary ago the population and wine production has dropped to a tenth. The vines grow on steep slate granite hillsides, the climate is extreme, the varieties rare and the production miserable. The resulting brews are magnificent.
Our approach brings us from the soft landscape of La Conca del Barbera, over the Prades mountains into the intense presence of Priorat and the Montsant. We follow the Siurana river past the beautiful Carthusian abbey town of Scala Dei, la Vilella Alta and Baixa and Gratallops. This is the toughest days of the tour, but your efforts will be amply rewarded, Priorat is heaven.



Day 5 Miravet Castle and the Ebro river 40/80 km

We come out of Priorat and down to the Ebro River which we cross at Mora del Ebre for some easy cycling to the impressive Castle of Miravet . The fortress/monastery looks down over the Ebro river and controlled all access to the Iberian interior from the Mediterranean. The quiet little town was the scene of two of the fiercest sieges in Medieval history, first to oust the Moors and then to defeat the Knight Templars. We use the "cable ferry" to cross the Ebro and cycle to Benifallet and meet the "Via Verde" green route between Tortosa and Horta de Sant Joan in Terra Alta. We turn south along the converted train line that tunnels its way into beautiful valleys for the easiest route to Horta de Sant Joan. There are two variants for climbers and roadbikers.


Ceramic workshop, Miravet

Day 6 Picasso’s Highlands, La Via Verde de Terra Alta, Arnes - Tortosa 40/80km

We tour through the beautiful highlands of Terra Alta, The Ports mountains, full of valleys, forests and iconic geological formations, a hiding ground and path of discovery. The town of Horta de Sant Joan can boast it was the subject of one of the earliest cubist paintings. Visit the Picasso museum for an excellent presentation of the artist’s early work and visits to Horta. Wander up the spiraling narrow streets of the fortress town. Enjoy a coffee in the plaza before descending the Green Way or a choice of roads to the Ebro and Tortosa, the city of 3 cultures.


The Picasso centre, Horta de Sant Joan

Day 7 Flamenco Catalana, Ebro Delta, canals and beaches, Tortosa to l’Ampolla 50km

We leave Tortosa and the mountains of Terra Alta fade into the distance. Straight ahead (and absolutely flat), lies l’Amposta, the Delta and the rice fields of Catalunya. There are 3 nature reserves. Flamencos and storks will regularly rise out of the canals and paddy fields. Soak up the cool Mediterranean sea breezes, sun and the best seafood in the world. Cross the Ebro by ferry at Deltebre and cycle to the lake of les Olles and the elegant fishing port of l’Ampolla which is you final stop in Southern Catalunya.



Day 8 Departure L’Ampolla – Barcelona by train or by transfer



Starting dates of Guided tours 2012

June 3
June 17
July 1
July 22
Aug 12
Sept 2
Sept 16

These tours with accommodation are booked in collaboration with our participating Travel Agents
Spanish Trails Adventures
Euro Adventures Tours

El Molí Tours, for the best of Southern Catalunya