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


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Arrive by Train or Transfer

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

Arrive by Train or Transfer, Our minivan will collect you in Vilafranca del Penedès, a 1 hour train ride from Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona city.
We bring you to our shop for bike-fitting, our shop is fully equipped with all bike sizes, accessories and clothing.
Yes, you can bring your own bike, clips, saddle and accessories if you wish.
Then we introduce you to your
accommodation. We get you oriented for the next 4/7 days and leave you to relax and settle in. enjoy a stroll or warm up cycle in beautiful quiet Penedès wine country.
Stay in, cook a meal, enjoy the peace and quiet, there is a little terrace bar in every village, perhaps with a Barça game!

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some nice lightweight Massi's


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

Today is easy, ok, if you want to break a leg on day one, here's a map, but is about aclimatising, getting a fell for the roads, signs, traffic and people of Penedes. A lazy sunny wine route through the towns and villages of DO Penedès, A territory full of medieval castles, villages, small restaurants, terraces, and family run wineries where you will stop to taste crisp white wines, bold rosés, Gran Reserva and Brut Nature sparkling wines and lots of big fruit forward reds.
There are lots of wineries. Some 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.
This evening you retire to same accommodation as Day 1

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

We have three routes to reconquer the south of Catalunya, this is the roadbikers. You Climb to the historic walled towns of La Llacuna and Santa Coloma de Queralt. On the long, slow straight descent to Montblanc, 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

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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 nothing. 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 down past
Siurana to Cornudella, the Siurana river to the abbey town of Scala Dei, la Vilella Alta/Baixa and Gratallops a spectacular hill town in the centre of Priorat.
This is the toughest day of the tour, but your efforts will be amply rewarded with a truly medieval landscape, hardly a straight flat road in the county, towns moulded to mountains, a landscape that guarantees character. Old friends like Carles Pastrana of
Clos d'Obac, Raul Bobet, Stefan Lismond, introduce us to the heart of Priorat

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

You come out of Priorat and down to the Ebro River which cross at Mora del Ebre for some easy cycling to the impressive Castle of Miravet . This fortress/monastery looks down over the Ebro river and controlled all access to the Spanish interior from the Mediterranean. The now silent town was the scene of two of the fiercest sieges in Medieval times, to oust the Moors and later the Knight Templars.
We recommend you use the
Pas de la Barca to ferry cross the Ebro and cycle to Benifallet and meet the "Via Verde" a converted train line that tunnels its way into beautiful valleys for the easiest route to Horta de Sant Joan. The green way runs between Tortosa and Horta de Sant Joan in Terra Alta. As usual there are variants for tourers and roadbikers.

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Ceramic workshop, Miravet


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

Terra Alta, is the very quiet southern highlands south of the Ebro River. The geology and scenery changes again. The Ports mountains are full of unexplored valleys, forests and iconic geological formations, a hiding ground and path of discovery for a young artist. You ride on some great roads or the Green Way
The town of
Horta de Sant Joan, at its highest point, can boast it was the subject of one of the earliest cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso. Visit the Picasso museum for an excellent presentation of the artist’s early work and visits to Horta.
You can sped hours wandering up and down narrow streets of this frontier town. Tourism is catching on and there is a growing choice of eateries, bars, and artesan shops. Enjoy a coffee in the plaza in the morning before descending the
Green Way or roads to the Ebro and Tortosa, the city of 3 cultures.

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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 Ebro 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.

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Day 8 Departure L’Ampolla – Barcelona by Renfe train to Barcelona 2 hours or by transfer

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Starting dates for Guided Tours 2014
April 13
May 25
June 29
Sept 21
Oct 19

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

El Molí Tours, for the best of Southern Catalunya