Girona, the Capital of Pro Cycling
Cycling, cafe's and more. Julian Roberts, talks to epico about moving to Girona and discovering all that the beautiful town has to offer.
The city of Girona, is it a good place to go cycling? It is, in my opinion, the ideal location for a family.
For Julian Roberts, aka Pedallingthroughlife, the city of Girona is more than a vacation destination for professional cyclists. In this journal, he explains why Girona has become such a popular cycling destination. And why you should plan a cycling vacation there.
His journey takes you along roads that were specifically designed for bicycles, from mountains to coastlines to fields of sunflowers.
Girona is, as they say, “the city of cyclists.” I can attest to the fact that this is true.
Many professional cyclists now call Girona, a proudly Catalan town 99 kilometres northeast of Catalunya’s capital, Barcelona, “home.” As a non-European rider, it’s easy to see why: the town buzzes with a sense of community and comfort for the long season of travel.
The fact that Girona is so close to Barcelona El Prat International Airport appeals to both business travellers and leisure travellers. The smaller Girona-Costa Brava airport, 10 kilometres from the city centre, is serviced by major European airlines, including RyanAir, for travel within Europe.
So I have lived in Girona since April 2022, but have been a visitor for a number of years, it’s a bit of a funny story really but it all started when I took my father on Holiday for our annual father and son get away on the bikes, after being thrashed by my father on his brand spanking new E-Bike, meeting the most beautiful people I have ever met in my life, I never left.
I wont lie, Mid-year, the Spanish sun is unrelenting, with the shimmering heat of the desert and twice the daylight hours. Its best that if you come in summer to be up at the crack of dawn if you looking to enjoy your ride in 22 degrees before it creeps into the high 30s, also with most cafes opening at 9am the best time of year to come in in Spring and Autumn, Autumn here is also special.
So what does Girona have to offer?
It’s difficult to convey just how diverse the Costa Brava is. From Girona, you can find yourself surrounded by snow-capped mountains, cycling along the Mediterranean, or surrounded by bucolic farmland in just a few hours in the saddle. Even in the winter, the weather in Girona is mild enough for shorts and a long-sleeve jersey, but you will find me in longs as I have fully acclimated now.
You have a plethora of routes to choose from, If you would like to his the climbs right off the bat you can head out towards the Icon Els Angels and over the other side for a stunning decent or head to the coast on one of Mitch Dockers (Ex EF Education Nippo) favourite loops Tossa Del Mar which is around 40km away on quiet roads and swings back up an amazing climbs full of switchbacks. I would highly recommend having a dip in the sea when you arrive on the coast.
But it’s not just cycling the city is known for, I’m sure many of you have heard of La Fabrica which is owned by ex pro cyclist Christian Meier, also founder of The Service Course. La fabrica is a small coffee shop in the historic centre of Girona. A large number of cyclists congregate there for pre-ride caffeine boosts, and he and his wife Amber can often be seen pulling espresso shots and chatting with customers. Indulge in an Americano while networking with other cyclists, track down useful route information, or learn who to call for a top-notch sports massage. My recommendation would be to head down to Forca 13 to get one.
There are also many other amazing cafes you can try, why not check out the top 5 cafes in Girona to discover more.
The nightlife is also something to consider; we have a saying here that “there’s always something going on”, from weekly live nights out on the street at Sunset Jazz Club to tempo festival, street performances, and a variety of other activities to celebrate Girona’s beauty.
So, as someone who lives and breathes cycling, I can strongly recommend Girona as your next cycling destination.
If you would like to check out some of the best routes in Girona you can head here and check out my collection or view some of the epico tours that will guide you on the best roads you have ever been on.