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Cycling Gastro TOURS: Costa Brava Gastro by UTOPIC Bike Travel


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A Gastro Tour to discover the great cuisine available in Costa Brava. Cycling and gastronomy together to enjoy a unique trip

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Cycling Gastro TOURS: Costa Brava Gastro by UTOPIC Bike Travel

  1. 1. COSTA BRAVA GASTRO CATALONIA GASTRO 2014 DURATION: 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS TYPE: TOURING /HYBRID BIKE START&FINISH: GIRONA/GIRONA (SPAIN) DATES: MARCH TO OCTOBER LODGING: 3*, 4* HOTELS / RURAL ROUTE LEVEL: 1 KM.PER DAY: 30–60 KM TRAVEL OPTIONS: GROUP & PRIVATE GROUPS: 4/... MIN/MAX PRICE: FROM 2.350€ / See prices COSTA BRAVA GASTRO Catalonia possesses an extraordinary landscape and patrimonial richness, but it is undoubtedly one of the main gastronomic destinations in the world. Catalan gastronomy dates from classic roman age. A complex, assorted and rich cuisine, plenty of mediterranean influences and based on all kind of products (seafood, vegetables, and all kind of meat). It is adapted to every season and all sort of traditions, as well. We cannot talk about gastronomy without including wine. Catalonia is the number one producer of high quality wine in Spain and one of the most important wine producing areas in Europe, holding a great history. Ancient Greek and Roman introduced the wine -making process and, by middle-age, catalan monasteries conitnued with this practice. Nowadays, Catalonia has eleven protected denominations of origin, spreaded throughout all our territor, with a great variety of white, rosé and red wines. In UTOPIC BIKE TRAVEL we believe that cyclo tourism is not at odds with the pleasure of a good meal and that’s why we have created gastronomic rotes for everyone who wants to experience a new culinary experience. It is still a cyclotourist route where we discover villages, valleys a beautiful spots of Catalonia, but we are going to dedicate more time to discover gastronomic culture and traditions, enjoying typical products and dishes available across this territory. In this COSTA BRAVA GASTRO tour, we ride through the beautiful “Costa Brava” (meaning Brave Coast), enjoying charming crystal water coves, steep cliffs and picturesque fishing villages. We are going to discover the most rural and unknown part of the “Empordà” region. A tile of vineyards, cereal, fruit, all kind of vegetables and even rice fields, sorrounded by an endless number of medieval villages, romanesque churches and old castles, that will set us out on a time travel in this historical land inhabited in past centuries by iberian, greek, roman and modern pirates. The city of Girona is to be discovered as well. A place with the charm of big cities but with no crowds. Located in a privileged site between the sea and the mountains it offers us a great display of unique and spectacular monuments, testimony of its millenary history. We will lodge in old stone country houses and in little charming hotels, selected upon their quality, exclusivity and personalized care. And, of course, we are going to taste “l’Empordà”, starting with “la gamba de Palamós” (Palamós prawns), Pals rice or the famous “anxoves de l’Escala” (salted anchovies). Sea products are responsible for the name of several Costa Brava’s villages. And Catalonia, being a seafaring tradition country, has always tried to make the most out of Mediterranean sea resources. We are waiting for you! Utopic Bike Travel
  2. 2. ITINERARY/ COSTA BRAVA GASTRO / DAY 1 - 2 DAY 1: GIRONA Individual arrival at hotel. UTOPIC BIKE TRAVEL presentation. Bicycles set up. Possibility of pickup at the Train Station or at the Girona Airport. Please consult "Arrivals & Departures" in case of different arrivals or for additional logistical information. WELCOME TO CATALONIA! Once settled in the hotel, our guides will give you information regarding tour details and will complete the setup of your bike. You have spare time to visit the Barri Vell (Old Neighborhood), the historical center of the city where you can find unique constructions in Europe: the roman city walls, el Call (one of the best conserved jewish quarters in Spain) and the Gothic Cathedral, with the widest central nave in the world. We recommend too a visit to the river Onyar colored houses that, together with the numerous bridges and the Cathedral in the background, define the most emblematic image of Girona. At night we will have dinner in one of many traditional restaurants available. Lodging in a central 4* hotel. DAY 2: GIRONA - ST. FELIU DE GUÍXOLS - 42 km / Elevation 190m After breakfast, we start our adventure riding through what used to be the old route of El Feliuet, the narrow-gauge railway line from Girona to St. Feliu de Guíxols, set up nowadays for cycling and walking. We will discover two regions today, el Gironès and el Baix Empordà. This route has smooth curves and slope. Leaving Girona behind we find a tile of fields alternate with forest terrains. After Cassà de la Selva our itinerary runs through farming fields, little forests, streams and country houses until we arrive to Llagostera, the midpoint of our journey. In the charming park besides the old Station we will rest and enjoy a picnic prepared by our guides. Trip continues along the valley of the river Riudaura to arrive finally to Sant Feliu de Guíxols, by the sea, which is our final destination today. We will visit the village and then we will head to our hotel, a former XVIII century "Masia Catalana" (country house) completely reformed in a purely natural and mediterranean environment. At night we will taste a unique way of cooking Ganxó fish (sardine, anchovy, mackerel, horse mackerel, seabass, tuna or sea bream among others) in a Sant Feliu de Guixols restaurant. Lodging in rural 4* hotel. AN INTENSE ROUTE One of the most attractive regions in Europe Beautiful crystal water coves in Costa Brava Picturesque fishing villages Rural roads surrounded by farming fields and gardens Genuine medieval villages in Baix Empordà Exquisite catalan cuisine. A unique experience. Catalan hospitality
  3. 3. ITINERARY / COSTA BRAVA GASTRO / DAY 3 - 4 DAY 3: SANT FELIU DE GUÍXOLS – CALELLA - 32 Km / Elev. 230m Today's stage runs through the warm and shiny Costa Brava, plenty of charming crystal water coves and picturesque fishing villages. Undoubtedly, 100% Mediterranean flavour... We start our journey following a road that follows the sea line until we arrive to the fishing village of Palamós with its harbor plenty of fishing boats that bring all kind of fresh seafood and fish everyday. Palamós fish market is one of the most important in Costa Brava and supplies restaurants and stores with the best products. After visiting the harbor and the seafront promenade we will have lunch in one of the best Palamós restaurants to enjoy "El menú de la gamba" (prawn's menu). After this culinary experience we keep our journey visiting the la Fosca beach and the beautyful Platja de Castell beach, with an ancient iberian village on its top. We keep the pedalling through a "green way" that connects Palamós and Palafrugell and is known as La Ruta del Tren Petit (little train's route), a 6 kms section that will allow us to explore the rural and farming landscape of the zone.In Palafrugell we keep our route until we arrive to the charming and picturesque village of Calella de Palafrugell, with its white façades that remind us of a fishing past. Here is our hotel. Dinner and lodging at a 3* hotel. DAY 4: CALELLA– PALS - 30 Km / Elevation 270m Time to leave Costa Brava behind and head inland into the Baix Empordà region. We ride through rural roads in the middle of a farming landscape, splattered with medieval villages. Time seems to have stopped here. In the village of Pals we will be able to admire the medieval area, one of the best conserved and most visited of the Girona province, and a magnifiscent panoramic view of all Empordà, with Medes islands, from its overlook. After a walk through its cobblestone streets we will enjoy a typical rice dish, arròs a la cassola, in one of its restaurants. Pals is well known for its rice, which has always been highly regarded thanks to the praiseworthy work of local farmers and a combination of environmental factors, like sun and water. Back to our bikes, we will ride through the rice fields and marshes of Pals. Todays lodging is a completely reconditioned fortified XVI century country house. For dinner, if weather permits it, we will enjoy a barbecue by the pool with grilled meat, typical catalan cold meats and pa amb tomàquet (tomato's spread bread), all accompanied with cava, catalan sparkling wine. Lodging in rural hotel. MOST IMPORTANT INCLUDED VISITS TEATRO-MUSEO DALÍ Biggest surrealist object in the world ARCHAELOGICAL SITE OF EMPÚRIES The only one in Iberian Peninsula where greek and roman remains can be found together. TRADITIONAL FAMILY WINERY Visit and taste of wines in a reference Winery D.O. Empordà ANCHOVIES FACTORY A family business that is dedicated to anchovies salting in its most traditional way
  4. 4. ITINERARY / COSTA BRAVA GASTRO / DAY 5 - 6 DAY 5: PALS - 44 Km / Elevation 130m Circular route calmly pedalling through Baix Empordà's plains and crossing numerous medieval villages like Palau-Sator, Peratallada, Ullastret, Monells. We visit too La Bisbal d'Empordà, region's capital and well known for its ceramics and pottery tradition, with multitude of stores and craftsman workshops dedicated to this activity, as is reflected in the old town zone. Lunch will consist of a picinic prepared by our guides with typical products. In the afternoon we will visit one of the winaries distinguished by Robert parker. A former XVIII century country house where award-winning wines, which have become synonym of high quality, are produced. We'll go for a walk through its vineyards, visit the cellar and enjoy the taste of one of its +90 points wines. Back to the hotel, spare time to relax in the library, the living room, the pool or with a massage (this service is not included in the tour price and must be reserved previously). Before dinner, our guides will explain the next two days of the tour. Dinner and lodging in the same rural hotel. DAY 6: PALS – L’ESCALA - 60 Km / Elevation 340m After breakfast we continue our trip riding through a very beutiful farming landscape. Cereal, fruit trees and all kind of vegetables as we keep crossing little stone villages. Today's route main point is the Montgrí massif, crowned by a XII and XIII century castle from which all Empordà plain can be admired. The route continues and we meet Mediterranean sea again. This time the fishing village of L'Escala, where we end today's stage, centres our attention. Our hotel is located in an extremely beautiful and historical place. Once settled in we will visit the ancient Greco-Roman city of Empúries, located just besides our hotel. It is the only archaelogical site in iberian Peninsula where greek and roman archaelogical remains can be found together. We can actually see very clearly how the city was arranged, and admire its homes, temples, streets, markets and stores. Dinner at the hotel. Visit the most beautiful fishing harbors of Costa Brava We’ll witness the arrival of the fishing boats to one of the most important ones And we will have the chance to see a live fishing auction
  5. 5. ITINERARY / COSTA BRAVA GASTRO / DAY 7 - 8 DAY 7: L’ESCALA This is one of the places where a stop is well deserved. The hotel, placed in front of the sea, rests in a millenary spot which is considered one of the best of Costa Brava. After breakfast we will visit Salvador Dali's Museum in Figueres. The biggest surrealistic object of the world. Coming back to L'Escala, free lunch to get the chance to explore the area by yourself. Our guides will be delighted to suggest some of our favourite restaurants. L´Escala has got a long heritage in the salted anchovies industry. This process remains today and it has worldwide reputation, thanks to the use of completely natural products and its traditional elaboration. In the evening we will visit a salted anchovies factory and we will be able to watch this traditional preservation process. Later we will visit some of the most beautiful spots of L'Escala and will have dinner in one of the best mediterranean and seafood cuisine restaurants of the village. Lodging in the same hotel. DAY 8: DEPARTURE After breakfast, farewell and end of our services. NOTE:Possibility of extra days in Costa Brava, Girona or Barcelona. Consult us. ONE ROUTE, SEVERAL OPTIONS Routes designed to enjoy them at your own rate. Take your time to take a good picture or to have a tasty coffee. The most important places and visits have been taken into account. Mileage has been calculated thoroughly as well to keep you feet till the end of the day. Additional mileage offered for our most exigent clients.
  6. 6. WHAT’S INCLUDED? / COSTA BRAVA GASTRO PRICES 2014 Minimum Group : 4 people* Tours available from: March 1st to October 30st Price per person (double occupancy) ……...……………............ 2.350 € Supplements: Single Occupancy supplement .............................................. 350 € *Minimum group supplement (per person): 2 people group ……………………..……....…..………………...... 600 € 3 people group ………………………………..….…………..…..…. 300 € Other options Bike rental …………..…………….......…….…………………………..... 140 € Transfers to Barcelona /hotel /Barcelona Airport .............. 50 € Extra night in Girona, Barcelona, Costa Brava ……………...... Consult us Optional Travel Insurance (2.500€ cancellation costs) 75 € INCLUDED Arrivals & Departures Transfers to and from Girona Train Station or Girona Airport to Hotel Lodging & meals 7 nights at selected 3* and 4* hotels and charming rural houses. Breakfast every day, lunches or picnics, snacks and drinks throughout all the route. 6 dinners with wine included. Support Minimum of one guide + one support vehicle. (depending on group size) Road book with maps and tour documentation in spanish, english or german. 24h personalized care. Clothes clean and ready every day. Luggage transportation during the tour. Client transportation in our support vehicle if necessary. Insurances and tips Travel and cancellation Insurance (consult policy) . All tips in restaurants and hotels. NOT INCLUDED Plane ticket, air taxes and airport taxes. Bike rental. Optional travel or cancellation insurance. Guide tips Personal items purchased during the tour. Optional activities not programmed by Utopic Bike Travel Any aspect not specified in the above section. MAIN REASONS TO TRAVEL WITH UTOPIC BIKE TRAVEL: We design our own trips * Our team is formed by a group of young nature and cycling lovers who have decided that their passion would become their way of life * Our guides have spent their lifes on their bikes and have covered thousands of miles on each zone * We want to share our experiences with our clients * For us, every client is unique, every need is different and every trip is unrepeatable!
  7. 7. LODGING & MEALS/ COSTA BRAVA GASTRO LODGING In UTOPIC BIKE TRAVEL we have made a selection of what we think are special lodgings, regardless of their price or category. They are usually located in unique surroundings and placed at historical or ancient buildings with a great architectural value. Charming and inviting places which are family-runned and join quality, peacefulness and personalized care. In this route COSTA BRAVA GASTRO we will stay in little 3* and 4* hotels (spanish qualification) and in rural houses. Given their characteristics, we cannot allocate accomodation until we receive confirmation of availability by the hotel. MEALS & GASTRONOMY To taste Catalonia can become a great experience! It possesses an extraordinary lanscape and patrimonial richness, but it is undoubtedly one of the main gastronomic destinations in the world. Catalan gastronomy dates from classic roman age. A complex, assorted and rich cuisine, plenty of mediterranean influences and based on all kind of products (seafood, vegetables, and all kind of meat). It is adapted to every season and all sort of traditions, as well. We cannot talk about gastronomy without including wine. Catalonia is the number one producer of high quality wine in Spain and one of the most important wine producing areas in Europe, holding a great history. Ancient Greek and Roman introduced the wine-making process and, by middle-age, catalan monasteries conitnued with this practice. Nowadays, Catalonia has eleven protected denominations of origin, spreaded throughout all our territor, with a great variety of white, rosé and red wines. In this trip we will taste this country’s traditional dishes and we will discover the authentic Emporda’s cuisine, which masterfully combines fish and seafood, local fruits and vegetables and meat and cheeses from this zone. Every morning abundant breakfasts containing dairy products, cereals, bread, fruit and natural juices are waiting for us. Besides, in most of our selected lodgings we will find typical cold meats (all sort of sausages and ham), home made bakery and jam, and more… Lunches are adapted depending on the route we are making and, therefore, can be more varied. A picnic on the top of a hill, some snack in a bar by the sea, energy bars right after surmounting a mountain pass… Supper time in UTOPIC BIKE TRAVEL is intended to enjoy the authentic local gastronomy. Every night we will taste the most traditional and popular local dishes, either at the hotel’s restaurant or at some popular one around the place. And of course, a good meal must be accompanied by a good wine. A good DO (denomination of origin) or a good house wine will surely complete the event. In some of our trips we give the opportunity to our guests to explore by themselves and do it their way to discover places or restaurants the might find interesting. These meals are not included in the price of the tour. Nevertheless, our guides will be delighted to suggest you any of our favourite restaurants if you want. GENUINE CATALAN GASTRONOMY “Cuisine is landscape put into a cooking pot” Josep Pla TYPICAL PRDUCTS Like sweet catalan sausage, “requit de drap” (local cottage cheese), rice of Pals, prawn of Palamós… TYPICAL DISHES Like “escalivada”, “platillos”, grilled meat, cuttlefish with green peas, all kind of fish “suquets” and all sort of rice dishes…
  8. 8. ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES / COSTA BRAVA GASTRO HOW TO GET HERE Flights. We recommend you toarrive at least one day prior to the start of our tour. It will allow you to adapt to a different time zone and will minimize risks of missing the start of the trip because of flight delay. There are two airports close to Girona: Barcelona Airport – El Prat, is the biggest and most important airport in Catalonia. 100 km from Girona. It receives flights from companies operating all over the world.. Girona Airport – Costa Brava, much smaller. Is the closest one. There are a few companies operating in it, most of them low cost like Ryanair. If you come from a EU country this is the cheapest and best option. There are several option to transfer from Barcelona Airport to Girona (besides taxi). Bus. There is a direct bus from the airport to Girona three times a day. It takes 1 hour and 50 minutes from T2 terminal and 1 hour and 35 minutes from T1 terminal.Further information in Train. If your flight’s arrival does not let you take the bus, train is available too. You must go to Sants Station in Barcelona and then change trains to go to Girona. Further information in Utopic Bike Travel offers an optional transfer service from Barcelona Airport to Girona and vice versa. (consult optional supplements in the price list). DEPARTURE If you want to fly the same day the tour ends, please schedule your flight to leave after 16:00 PM to avoid delays due to traffic problems. HOUR & MEETING PLACE Girona / Catalonia. Our guides will be waiting for you in one of theses places: Our Girona hotel, Train/Bus station, Girona - Costa Brava airport or Barcelona - El Prat airport (with supplement) One week prior to the start of the tour we will arrange our meeting place and time. You will receive an email with our guides names and their contact details. If you cannot get on time to the scheduled meeting please contact our guides and, should they not be availabe either, please inform the hotel of your expected arrival time. You will find all hotels contact details in the mail once we have confirmed all reservations. BOOK NOW If you are ready just fill our reservation form. If you think this tour does no adapt to your needs either because of its duration, lodging category, or budget... BESPOKE TRAVEL We are specialists designing tailor-made trips. We can modify any of our available tours or arrange a completely new one for you. Tell us your ideas a we can make it together.
  9. 9. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION / COSTA BRAVA GASTRO WEATHER Catalonia is famous for its warm days and fresh nights. Days are sunny and hot in summer and mild in spring and autumn. You can expect lower temperatures in the mountains zone, specially at night. But weather is definitely privileged in Costa Brava: mild temperatures throughout the year, with moderate oscillations and mostly sunny. This is the result of Pyrenees protection in the North and Mediterranean Sea in the East. Cold weather in winter is regulated by a warm stream, whereas higher summer temperatures are alleviated by the fresh breeze coming from the sea. Hottest months are July and August, november is the rainiest and January and February are the coldest ones. BIKE RENTAL Check the specs of our bikes. ACTIVITY LEVELS We have tours for eveyone. You can find the one that suits you best. FAQS In our “FAQ” section you will find answers to all your questions. INSURANCES Every Utopic Bike Travel tour includes its Travel Insurance. Consult our policy. CONTRACT GENERAL CONDITIONS Consult our contract general conditions. IMPORTANT This document is a generic travel offer that must be considered as provisional since it is published beforehand the actual tour. The final travel contract (handed once the payment of the tour is done) contains all the services contracted definitely. In Utopic Bike Travel we try our best to offer the perfect trip to all of ous clients. This is why our guides reserve the right to modify the itinerary of our routes either by weather or logistic causes. ROADBOOK, MAPS AND BROCHURES You don’t have to worry about anything in our guided tours, but we will hand you a roadbook containing detailed information (maps, profiles and suggestions to know what to expect ahead of us). SUPPORT VEHICLE At your disposal throughout the day. Food, drinks, clean clothes, bike spare parts or simply to keep any of the shopping you made during the day or to take you back to the hotel ahead of schedule.