Cycling in Costa Brava=Finding Hidden Gems

cycling in Costa Brava on well marked bike paths

Cycling ia great way to explore Costa Brava and discover some of its hidden gems that most tourists don’t know about.

There are 125km of cycling paths for all levels, each with its own theme.  I biked the Rail Trail over 3 days which follows the old railroad that has been converted to bike paths.  The route was leisurely cycling on mostly flat terrain.  At the end of each day, I felt energized, not exhausted.

I will take an active holiday any day over lying on a beach (although Costa Brava has plenty of beautiful beaches).

So if you get a kick out of “discovering” all the “hidden” places as I do like, there’s no better way to find them than by cycling in Costa Brava:

cycling in Costa Brave  you will find hidden waterfallsGorge of Cogolls, a popular spot with locals: One local and his dog jumped in for a swim when we were there.    The few other people who were there were locals.  No other tourists were there – bliss!  Nearby rest area Les Planes d’Hostoles makes a great place for a picnic lunch.
cycling in Costa Brava  you will pass by small villagesSmall villages that you would drive right past, barely knowing they were there: In three days we visited or passed through:  Olot, Les Planes, Bescanó, Tamariu, Palafrugell, Palamós, Cassà de la Selva and Quart!  I love exploring off-the-beaten path villages like this since each one is unique.

cycling in Costa Brava you can visit small museumsCultural and heritage sites that you would easily pass by if you weren’t on bike:  We visited an old textile mill with a working steam engine (pictured above) in Anglès and the Pottery Museum in Quart.  There’s also a Cork Museum in Palafrugell, Parc Art, where  over 100 contemporary sculptures are displayed in Selva, a Wine Museum in Peralada or the Museum of Saints in Olot to name but a few!  There are 69 museums, plus many more cultural attractions in Costa Brava!  You can plan your route around the sights that you want to take in.

cycling in Costa Brava you will see converted train stationsOld converted railroad houses:  As I cycled the “Rail Trail” I passed many old rail houses that had been converted to cafes, restaurants or retail office space.  Most of them had been beautifully preserved.

Costa Brava scenery Countryside:  It’s hard not to feel relaxed when you’re biking in such beautiful surroundings.
cycling in Costa Brava you will see hidden beaches Hidden beaches:  We just “happened” across this beach where only a few other people were hanging out.  This was my favorite find on our trip!  Semi-deserted beautiful beach?  Any day!  Even if I don’t plan to lie on it for very long.
cycling in Costa Brava bike path I loved our three-day “Bike the Rail” tour, and would love to come back and explore Costa Brava along the other bike routes.  I don’t know what “secret’ spots” are still to be discovered, but knowing Costa Brava I have no doubt that there are plenty more!

Cycling in Costa Brava – The Logistics:

  • You can plan and customize your own bike route depending on how much (or little) of a challenge you are looking for and what sights you want to take in. Our group used Vies Verdes to plan our route.
  • Bike can be rented bikes from Cicloturisme and Outdoor Empordà provided support vans for us which was very much appreciated.
  • There are a wide variety of cycling paths to choose from ranging from a couple of hours to longer routes lasting up to 8 days.
  • Lance Armstrong used to train in Costa Brava so you can even trace in his now disgraced footsteps.
  • Many of Costa Brava’s cycling paths are appropriate for children.  Check with Vies Vierdes if you are looking for a family friendly cycling route.

Thank you to Costa Brava Tourism for showing me another way to explore this region which keeps me coming back for more!  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their hiking, cycling and wildlife vacations in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.



  1. Aga December 8, 2012 at 11:31 am - Reply

    I wasn in Palamos and it is truly a beautiful pueblo! There are so many hidden gem in Costa Brava, with every weekend I spent there, I discovered one 🙂

    • Laurel December 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      @Aga – Completely agree. I’ve been to Costa Brava three times this past year, but always discover something new each time I visit.

  2. Jennifer December 18, 2012 at 12:59 am - Reply

    I got to bike in Costa Brava and loved it! We randomly came across an apple orchard being farmed and it the experience is one of my favorite memories from Costa Brava.

    • Laurel December 28, 2012 at 12:30 am - Reply

      @jennifer – Very cool! You never know what you’ll see when you’re biking in Costa Brava!

  3. Ruth (Tanama Tales) December 19, 2012 at 1:27 am - Reply

    Looks like the perfect way to discover the region. All those museums sound really interesting (specially the cork one).

    • Laurel December 28, 2012 at 12:27 am - Reply

      @Ruth – Agreed and i need to go back to visit the Cork museum.

  4. […] Fellow blogger Laurel from shares her take on cycling in Costa Brava […]

  5. Cicloturisme March 14, 2013 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Hi Laurel! We are so glad you spent such a nice time here in Girona and its surroundings last September with TBEX meeting. You can count on us in your next trip to Girona region if you want to experience new hidden places to discover by bike. Thank you for your mention to Cicloturisme website and Outdoor Empordà 🙂 You are very welcome anytime!

    • Laurel March 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      @Cicloturisme – Thank you so much. I really enjoyed my cycling tour with you and would love to come back.

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