In Girona you have a high chance of getting your coffee being made by a rider
The coffee revolution has well and truly come to Girona, with no less than 3 high end bean bars owned by current and ex professional cyclists, all opened in the time that I’ve lived here. One could spend the day comparing notes between what is on offer at Rory Sutherland’s Federal Cafe, Robert Gesink’s Hors Categorie and Christian Meiers’ La Fabrica. Less known to the fine tuned cycling culture purveyor is that Girona is also home to the largest Nescafe factory in Spain. Situated on the edge of town with a purpose built autoroute exit, long before Girona became a mecca for cyclists, it was churning out enough caffeine to keep the Tour de France peloton alert for years. Late in the evening, as the overnight roasting gears up, you can smell the coffee in the air, wafting in over the river Onyar. Coffee is in the life blood of our little city.
It would be easy to come to Girona for a cycling holiday and simply forget to ride with all of the intricacies and intrigues the town alone has to offer. I’ve lost many an afternoon to perusing the local offerings at the Mercat de LLeo, and the carrot cake from Buttercup. The city wall walk is an annual tradition (although best avoided on weekends) and the Temps de Flor festival in May sees the city taken over by blooming flower displays. Sometimes my riding can best be encouraged as the only plausible offset for the steaming bowls of Patatas Bravas and fresh baked creme Catalan.
Girona’s Top 5 cycling friendly cafes:
Buttercup : Best for baked goods
Federal Cafe : Best for burgers
La Fabrica : Best for brunch
Hors Catégorie : Best for healthy foods and Kombucha
Coffee & Greens: Best for açai bowls
To the south the city, to the North the valley, to the west the beach and to the east the mountains. Girona is and always will be one of the world’s cycling centres. Just remember, when the wind comes from the east, and the smell of coffee is in the air, it’s flowing from the Pyrenees, via the coffee factory into town. When the Nespresso winds blow, always pack arm warmers.
By Laura Fletcher
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