Focus on: Girona

Last month we spoke about the many joys of cycling in Majorca, possibly the most popular destination for bike-lovers in Europe. However, the Catalonian town of Girona has enjoyed a rapid elevation in the popularity stakes during the past decade or so, and can now lay a legitimate claim to rivalling the Balearic island for cyclists attention.

An hour and a half north of Barcelona, Girona become known as a cycling paradise. Plenty of pros choose to live there, which is proof that it’s a bit special. The area around Girona has some great climbs – Els Angels at 11km, and both Rocacorba and Sant Hilari at 10km. Plenty of cyclist-friendly cafes can be found in the city, which is known for its social atmosphere.

Girona also boasts its own airport, which though small, has flights throughout the year from most UK airports. Of course, Barcelona is a major international airport and back-up option, and the drive north to Girona offers great scenery, particularly if you take the coastal route.

Naturally the Spanish summertime weather is normally fantastic, with the winter not too bad either. Despite its recent popularity rise, Girona remains somewhat off the beaten track, with pros still claiming that the area is still relatively untouched by tourism. Added positives are the seemingly endless quiet, smooth roads, the notoriously relaxed Catalan way of life, and also the huge variety of training roads.

The city itself only has a population of 100,000, and its authentic architecture and beautiful cathedral make for a pleasant backdrop when you’re sitting in one of the numerous cafes to refuel. There is a wealth of restaurants too, serving great, local tapas. The vibe in the town is upbeat – a student culture, prospering top-flight football team and recent prominence in the cycling world all contribute to what’s a truly up-and-coming destination.

So, if you’re stuck for ideas on where to take a cycling holiday this year, Girona is without a doubt a great shout. Be sure to book your bike shipment with bagSOLO – prices start at just £60, and you and a friend can also take advantage of our special friend referral offer.