costa brava spain
If you ever find yourself in the region of Catalunya, Spain you will be spoilt for great cycling route options. One of the best and most well trodden loops takes you to the iconic coastline of the Costa brava, which is where our riders shot for on today's exploration. The Costa Brava coast was named after the Mediterranean's wild and rugged coastline. Temperate winter conditions and gentle rolling roads mean it has a lot to offer for cyclists.
Joining this adventure for sun, sea and a scoop of gelato are 4 riders who happen to find themselves in Girona. An American, a Russian, an Irish Woman and a South African walk into a cafe... Colin, Max, Jenny and Lauren are an unlikely bunch. Each of them have unique life experience but they all share a common goal- experiencing the joy of a simple bike ride together and taking in the sights that Northern Spain has to offer.
Heading out from the cafe the route heads towards the seafront town of Tossa del Mar passing through Llagostera. Tossa del Mar is a bright town bursting with life and in summertime it has its fair share of tourists too. On the way out to this spot the riders take on winding roads and breathtaking views. Whilst breathing in the colours of spring, they can begin to taste the salt in the air and the promise of a tasty bite to eat too.
To get to the highest point (and the best sea view) you have to climb up a winding road to the rocks that speckle the coastline. Once you reach
the fishermen you can take a moment to rest and enjoy the scenery before you get ready for lunch.
If you ride between the sandy beach and the town you come across numerous places to indulge in the local cuisine. Paella, patatas bravas and a cold cerveza are the perfect accompaniment to the tranquil
The full route is a smidge under the 100 kilometer mark at 96.72km and features 1,402m of elevation gain, most of which is during the Sant Grau Climb. There are many similar climbs heading inland, but the 6.3km climb up to Sant Grau is particularly popular.
Turning off the main road, the climb tilts up a super narrow road. The gradient constantly oscillates between 4-8% and just half a kilometer before the top the road steepens to a punishing 14%. The peak of the climb is home to a quiet church, a place where time stands still as hundreds of cyclists wizz past every day.
This leg-stinger pays dividends as high inland from Tossa, it gives amazing views back to the coastline.
There isn’t much respite here though because the riders want to make it back in time for some ice cream. After an epic day on the bike, 2 scoops are required.
You can view the route
on strava here: https://www.strava.com/routes/16748955