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Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava, Spain

If you are looking for a cycling adventure for summer 2013 then biking the rail trail in Costa Brava might be the right choice for you.

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Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

If you only had one option to get around Europe, then I would recommend by bike. Especially if you are in the northeast of Spain around Costa Brava. Wide open landscapes, warm weather in summer and cute towns around every bend make it a cyclists haven.

Check out our awesome short video below of my adventure biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava.

A multitude of old rail trails dissect the landscape and provide the perfect excuse to see the hidden gems of Spain and work off all those tapas you have been eating. Not to mention the fine wine that you have been guzzling.

To travel from Girona airport into the City before your rail trail experience, we recommend Atlas books and transfers.  They will help you get your bike to the start of your adventure.

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

Descending from the Pyrenees to the pearly white sandy beaches dotted along the Mediterranean Sea the biking pathways crisscross this beautiful landscape.

With just a simple bike you can meander along along abandoned railway tracks that have been converted into gravel cycling paths suitable for all abilities, including kids. With minimal inclines you don’t even have to break a sweat, yet can still cover 30+ km’s in just a couple of hours.

Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava

The entire cycling network is over 125 km in length and is broken into 4 distinct routes; the Iron and Coal Route, the Olot-Girona Narrow-Gauge Railway Route, the Girona-Sant Feliu de Guíxols Narrow-Gauge Railway Route, and the Little Train Route.

Make sure you check out Vies Verde de Girona for more information on the Greenways around Costa Brava. They have maps, secret spots to be discovered and all the things you might not have thought about. If you are travelling from another city, then Girona airport transports will get you and your bike to the start of your adventure.

Along the way the old railway stations have been converted into Tourism Information centers as well as small cafes so that you can rest your legs.

Rail Trail Train Station Costa Brava

On our first day we covered 35 km in just a few hours. And that was with plenty of rest breaks to snap photos and have a coffee.

Plus you can compare your hotel and accommodation options before you go. This way you will know exactly how far you have cycle each day and then you can rest when you need to.

While it took 2 days for our butts to get used to molding into the seats, I would jump at the chance to do it all again. Especially with views like this to look forward to.

Costa Brava Landscape Rail Trail

Travel Tips and Information

You can Bike the Rail Trail with Ciclo Turisme and find out more about the Greenways in Costa Brava by checking out Vies Verde de Girona who can provide maps and information.

You can fly direct to Girona airport, in Costa Brava, from throughout Europe.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Costa Brava tourism board for 3 days, although the video footage, photos and opinions are always our own.

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Andrea

    October 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Love the video! Great memories. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Cheers Andrea 😉 Was a great couple of days with some lovely people!

  2. Abhishek Behl (Wild Navigator)

    October 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Nice video Cole 🙂 – I’m surely going to take your options of seeing the place on a bike when I do visit the place.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      Thanks Abishek! Bikes are much better for the environment and wildlife too 😉

  3. Chad @RoadDogTravel

    October 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    The views do look incedible and the weather looks nice too. Great photos. Seeing the area by bike sounds like an excellent idea, you can cover a lot of ground, but still be in the environment. Sad I just sold my bike, ha. Thanks for the info.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:02 AM

      We had hire bikes and they were perfect. The team fitted us out and away we went!

  4. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    October 18, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    The key word in this post is “descending” from the Pyrenees. Certainly wouldn’t want to bike those hills in the other direction!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      Haha you got that right! Luckily it is not a huge decline either, rather a gentle slope.

  5. Carla @ Coolmons Blog

    October 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    What a beautiful place to go for a ride nice pictures and article too.

  6. Raymond @ Man On The Lam

    October 18, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    What a stellar backdrop for a bike ride!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM

      Not many places can beat Costa Brava for its scenery.

  7. Laurence

    October 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Wow, that is such a great video 😀 Really captured the essence of the trip. Plus, it had me doing a skid. Which was so like.. rad. And stuff!

  8. Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog

    October 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Nice video and amazing pictures, Cole. What a place to go for a bike ride.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Even though it was lots of exercise, it was somehow very relaxing at the same time! I guess the beauty of the area helps, plus the enormous amounts of food we ate haha.

  9. Daniel McBane - Funny Travel Stories

    October 20, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    I think bikes could be a great way to get around and I would love biking myself, if it weren’t for the seats. It’s hard to fathom that, in all the years since the invention of the bike, and with all the improvements to the bicycle since, the one thing they haven’t managed to do is invent a more comfortable seat. I usually last a few hours, before I start hating my bike and then it takes a few days before I can once again enjoy sitting down.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      It usually takes about 3 days before your butt gets used to the seats. Problem is that on a cycling trip like this you don’t get time to ice it haha.

  10. Jeff Titelius

    October 22, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Wonderful tour of Costa Brava my friend and loved the video too…that bridge looked a wee bit harrowing though…my stomach flopped over once on my virtual ride. LOL. Stunning pics too!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      Thanks Jeff! I just made sure I didn’t get too close to the edge to look over the bridge 😉

  11. Cez (@CezKrol)

    October 22, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    Hey Cole,

    I agree that cycling is the best way to travel. Not only exposes you to views all A to B, but also gives you enough time to fully appreciate and think about them. The efforts always pay back and it’s unforgettable. I have cycled the full length of Vietnam (only 2500 km) and I didn’t get enough. Yes, the seat is uncomfortable and I don’t think I got used to it in nearly two months, but nothing will give you as much exposure to scenic landscapes as your bike.

    On the note, I think the best way to plan your biking journey is not to plan it. Some days you can cycle for 30 km and can’t move any further, and other days 110 km is easily achievable. In my opinion booking in advance can limit you on the day, and could be more expensive. On a bike you can visit few hostels/hotels to ask for prices within little time and save money this way.

    I hope you’re going to cycle more. I’d love to read more from you about it (and see another video!).

    Safe travels,
    Cez

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Wow cycling the full length of Vietnam is my dream! Wanted to just do it on a scooter but biking sounds like way more fun Cez! We are going to cycle around Eastern Europe next summer 🙂

  12. Turtle

    October 22, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    The best thing about biking is being able to stop and take photos, have a rest, and that kind of thing. The worst thing is sore legs. That’s why I used an electric bike in Costa Brava! (Shortly before I asked someone to peel my grapes and feed them to me…) 🙂

  13. Dave

    October 23, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Thanks for this… I thought i had heard of most of the cycle routes in Spain, but this one slipped me by completely. At least i know what I will be doing the next time i am there now!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      It is only a really new cycle track so that is probably why you missed it Dave! I think they plan to increase the length over the next year or so. Should be fun next summer 😉

  14. Pola (@jettingaround)

    October 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    I have recently taken up biking again and have done so on the road too. Costa Brava looks to be an ideal setting for that. I loved your pictures!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Costa Brava was perfect for it because the rail tracks are all nice and flat. Means you can take it at a much more leisurely pace 😉

  15. Jade - OurOyster.com

    October 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    I’m not that into cycling – I only learned how to do it recently when I lived in Belgium – and now even thr thought of a gradual incline puts me off – but I guess a rail trail would be mostly flat. And the fact that you can stop for coffee along the way… well that’s not too bad

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      You can get electric bikes if you want Jade 😉

  16. Cathy Sweeney

    October 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    I just couldn’t get enough of Costa Brava and will definitely be going back, putting bike trails like this on the agenda — perfect for working off the tapas and wine. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:29 AM

      I have never eaten so much food before than when we were in Costa Brava! Was glad to do a bit of exercise every day to burn a bit of it off Cathy 🙂

  17. Oriana

    October 24, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    I really liked the video, especially the down-to-the-wheel perspective (which I would never be able to manage *while* cycling!!).
    This goes straight to my ever-growing travel wish-list!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Haha luckily I had a little tripod I could hang onto Oriana to get some of those shots. And looks like I am going faster in the video than I actually was 😉

  18. Danyelle Franciosa

    October 25, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    That was totally a big biking event! Biking like this is fun and how I wish I could join like this event. That was totally fun. Thanks for the video I enjoy it.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      Thanks Danyelle! I really enjoyed making the video and hope to have some more up soon 😉

  19. Adrian@Travel universally

    October 26, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    Biking is always been my favorite sport activity and when it comes the Rail Trail in Costa Brava , I would get there to do that even if I forget to wear my Pants! Thanks

  20. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    October 26, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Bicycling looks like a great way to see the countryside. Beautiful photos!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

      After this trip we definitely now want to cycle more of Europe. Maybe Eastern Europe for a few months next summer…

  21. Alex Smith

    October 27, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Sometimes, we easily forget one of the most exciting modes of entertainment in our travels which are bicycles.

  22. Arti

    October 27, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    Who would not love to bike along these lovely trails!! Beautiful captures and a wonderful video to go with them 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:49 AM

      And the trails were pretty much flat the entire trip! Hardly worked up a sweat 😉

  23. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    October 27, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Definitely something I would enjoy.

  24. davidwilliam7854

    November 15, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    I usually last a few hours, before I start hating my bike and then it takes a few days before I can once again enjoy sitting down.I just couldn’t get enough of Costa Brava and will definitely be going back, putting bike trails like this on the agenda

  25. Wends of Journeys and Travels

    November 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    This is awesome and a great adventure. The views are superb and inspiring. 🙂

  26. Pingback: Ermita de Sant Elm - Costa Brava : Photo Travel Guides

  27. Cicloturisme

    March 14, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Hi Cole! Thank you for this post! It’s great to know that you spend such a wonderful time here in Girona and its surroundings going by bike and all the other activities you made during TBEX meeting. Telling your experience via blogging it’s one of the best ways to let people know about all the nice and interesting places you’re visiting, and even more when you can see this “adventure” on a video. It’s great! 🙂
    BTW thank you to mention Cicloturisme website 🙂 Let us know if you come to Girona again, you’ll be very welcome anytime!

    • Cole Burmester

      March 18, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Would LOVE to return to Girona and Costa Brava to going cycling again. Such an amazing part of the world and we will definitely need to return 🙂 Will be in touch for our next visit!

  28. Pingback: Start Bookin’: Bicycle tour of Costa Brava and Pyrenees, Spain | Follow Ben and Jenna

  29. Hello! This summer I will visit for the first time the Costa Brava, and I would love to do a cycling tour. I’m staying at the Hotel Garbi in Calella de Palafrugell. Do you know any route from that village? I’d like to stop to bathe on the beaches and coves, but also to visit villages of the area. Thank you!

    Gina

    • Cole Burmester

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 AM

      Hi Gina!
      Unfortunately I don’t know Costa Brava that well. I would recommend getting hold of Cicle Turisme or Vies Verde de Girona who can help you organise it though!
      Cheers,
      Cole

  30. David Lloyd

    September 22, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    Hi guys, just wanted to say thanks for tip on Ciclo Turisme in Girona. As a family of 4 doing a 6 month OE it was great to get back in the saddle again (even for a short ride) and these guys were awesome to deal with. Thanks again and great blog by the way.
    Cheers

    • Cole Burmester

      September 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM

      Glad you enjoyed it David and the team at Ciclo Turisme are definitely awesome! Enjoy the rest of your trip 🙂

  31. Adam

    April 27, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    It’s good to know that Costa Brava has adventure sport options … I might look into doing this if I travel to this part of Spain in the future…

  32. Pingback: Top Travel Blogs: The Travel Tester Favourites April '16

  33. Wilson

    May 23, 2016 at 9:30 PM

    Wow….!!!!!!!!! really awesome place for bicycle ride.

  34. wtgseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog. it was very informative and the pictures are captured very beautifully.

  35. pwmseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:46 PM

    Great photos. thanks for the blog. I like this blog.

  36. anzseo

    June 13, 2016 at 12:27 AM

    Beautifully photos. Interesting read. thanks for the blog. keep up the good work.

  37. alexa.al

    August 30, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    thank for great article

  38. Elias Santana

    September 3, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog.

  39. anna jennai

    September 22, 2016 at 8:45 PM

    I love the video great memories we had hire bikes and they are were perfect

  40. ResultsMigration

    September 28, 2016 at 12:51 PM

    Costa Brava just looks amazing on those photos. Back here in Brisbane, AU, biking doesn’t seem so loving on the legs with some of our inner city hills unfortunately 🙂

  41. Sonali Chauhan

    November 18, 2016 at 6:21 PM

    Biking has such amazing fun & this some become more amazing when you are Biking with your friends group.

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Adventure Travel

Popular vs. Underrated Destinations:How To Avoid The Crowd?

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The biggest dilemma you have to face as an enthusiastic holidaymaker is whether to embrace popular destinations or to find lesser known regions for your vacations. Popular destinations have the advantage that they are experienced with tourists. You can be sure that you will find someone speaking your language and that hotel receptions will be open 24/7. But they are likely to be crowded to the point where it can be impossible to find a free spot on the beach or to walk down that famous avenue you’ve read about in your guidebook. Underrated destinations, in comparison, offer freedom of movement and peacefulness that you associate with a quiet pace of life. But they may not have all the necessary facilities to welcome tourists. You may struggle to find someone who speaks your language or even to get a decent hotel room, let alone direct flights to get there. In short, what’s the best answer to this dilemma?

Popular destinations with a twist

When you pick a destination that is familiar to the tourist industry, it’s both a blessing and a curse, as the available facilities and attractions are likely to attract hundreds if not thousands of same-minded tourists. However, these destinations are popular for a reason, so it would be a pity to avoid visiting marvels of the world just because you want to stay away from the crowd. Dubai, for example, receives every year a growing number of tourists, with estimations for 2020 to top 20 million. Needless to say, you’ll need to find things to do in Dubai that avoid the main entrance to their attraction area. But, looking for concierge services in famous cities like Dubai, Paris or Hong Kong can get you access to a privileged network to avoid tourists.

Visiting Dubai without the tourists

The perfect mix: Destinations that are about to get trendy

There are some destinations that are getting the necessary infrastructure to welcome tourists without having yet become popular. They are destinations in the making, areas that are about to go big and that you can visit while they’re not yet famous. The rising stars of the holiday industry are places such as José Ignacio in Uruguay – where you can meet the likes of Shakira among other celebrities – and Sofia in Bulgaria, which is Europe’s cheapest city destination. In those places, you can enjoy quality visits, beautiful landscapes, and architectures, without forgetting the exquisite hotel services too.

Beautiful and underrated destinations offer peace

Finally, there are places that simply don’t attract tourists for a reason or another. They are not specifically growing in popularity, but they remain hidden gems across the world. You will need to plan your holiday in advance, as some of these areas provide minimal comfort, such as the Basque Country which is a humble and quirky location. The Canary Islands, while being a highly popular spot in summer, is almost deserted in spring. There, you don’t need to worry about holiday attractions.

The charm of the forgotten destinations

In short, picking the best destinations for you demands a little bit of logistics juggle at first. Nobody likes a crowded place, so you can avoid other tourists either by choosing a different tile in a popular area or by working directly with a privileged service. If you are not keen on a famous destination, visit rising holiday stars or forgotten jewels. You’ll have fewer tourists but still a lot of fun!

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Adventure Travel

Five Of The Best Ways To Soak Up Scotland

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Rugged scenery, historic landmarks and a rich heritage – Scotland is a fantastic place to explore. With walking routes dotted between quaint cosy pubs, cities full with culture, and miles of beaches and scenic drives, there’s really no excuse not to embrace the tartan. Here are some of the best ways you can explore and soak up Scotland’s rich heritage.

Tour famous film locations

Scotland’s landscape is stunning, so no wonder its dramatic scenery has been captured on the big screen. Explore the picturesque film locations, such as Glen Coe for James Bond’s Skyfall moments. Visit Gairloch for the Billy Connolly classic, What We Did On Our Holiday where you can see views of the Isle of Skye from the expansive Red Point beach. Explore the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber for the iconic arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express chugs down in Harry potter.

By rail

Take the leisurely route around Scotland and travel by train. It’s a much needed break from walking routes, with stunning views from the window that look out across the ever-changing landscape. Scotland’s rail routes connect its seven cities with stops in many towns and villages across country, so you’ll find it easy to delve into the West Highlands from Glasgow, traveling through the scenic Fort William, or roll past the battlefields of Robert the Bruce through Dumfries.

Walk, trek, stroll

Discover all the wonderful wildlife and nature on foot. Trek through the rugged countryside for unbelievable sights of the towering mountains, shimmering lochs, golden beaches and lush farmland. Find Lochan Urr in Glen Etive for a spot of paradise, stroll along Applecross Bay, or scale new heights for stunning views of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. For longer routes head to Fort William and Glen Coe for miles of green countryside.

Castle to castle

You’ll find castles on top of, near enough, every rolling hill in Scotland. From pretty fairy tale castles to robust medieval fortresses, you can visit the most spectacular buildings all around Scotland. Enjoy strolling around the floral gardens looking up at the enchanting French design of Dunrobin Castle, on the northern coast near Dornoch. Explore Culzean Castle for dramatic scenes, or, Kilchurn near Dalmally in Argyll to gaze over the Loch Awe. Visit the royal stronghold, Fyvie Castle near Turriff for rich decor and 13th century furnishings. For something completely different, head to Kelburn Castle in Ayrshire for a colourful mural of unusual cartoons.

Cruise the Scottish waters

Take a look at Scotland from a different point of view by travelling Scotland’s shores on a boat cruise around the islands. Visit the Isle of Skye, Stornoway, Port Ellen, Montrose and the picturesque Holy Loch Port. For something even more adventurous, canoe in the lochs and rivers around Fort William.

Sound good? There’s so much to see in Scotland that you’re bound to be mesmerised!

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Adventure Travel

Top things to do in Cleveland

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Cleveland, Ohio may not be a well-known city like the Big Apple or the sunny beach cities of California, yet there is still much to do in this small but very vibrant city. If you have been planning on heading out to this wonderful city, then you’re in luck as there are numerous activities, attraction, and reservations that will be sure to educate as well as entertain the family.

Here is a small list of places and activities for the family and visitors to enjoy.

Why We Rock: Top Things to do in Cleveland

 

# 1 Hard Rock Rocksino

The Hard Rock Rocksino offers people a Las Vegas-esque kind of vibe and feel for the citizens and tourist of Ohio. If you love games, racing, elegant cuisine and just an overall fantastic night out on the town, the Hard Rock Rocksino is the place for you.

 

# 2 Outdoor Activities

If you are someone who isn’t too much into the nightlife and the whole city feel then Ohio still has you covered. Ohio indeed is one of the most aesthetically pleasing states to see and visit. Boasting and offering its residents and visitors sights and environments such as the Cuyahoga River in Lake Erie where people can go kayaking to The Townpath Trail where people can go jogging, hiking or horseback riding.

If you are an outdoor’ kind of person than this is the place for you. Beautiful atmosphere, surrounded by nature and overall a sight that is awe-inspiring to look at – what more could an outdoors person as for?

 

# 3 Education – Family friendly Orientated Places

Now, ask yourself what type of family trip it would be if you just visit and didn’t walk away learning something new and different? Well, in Ohio there are a plethora of places where you can take the family for an educational trip for the day.

There is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo which boasts a wide array of animals from all around the world. There really is nothing more splendid for kids to see the animals that they love to imitate in person.

If the Zoo were fascinating and intriguing then the next destination, Greater Cleveland Aquarium would be sure to be as equally entertaining as the Zoo. When Visiting the Greater Cleveland Aquarium enter into an under that is akin to the Atlantis. Experience the aquatic lifeforms in such proximity.

Lastly, Ohio offers its residents and visitors many museums. There is the International Women’s Air and Space Museum which educates the populace about the story of aviation and how much women had their part in history. And let’s not forget the famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Final Thoughts

If you are deciding to visit this fantastic state, then be prepared for a wonderful visit and many cultural aspects that will be learned and offered. Make this trip a trip to remember with these places in mind.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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