Biking the Rail Trail in Costa Brava, Spain

| October 18, 2012 | 52 Comments

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.

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.

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.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (52)

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  1. Andrea says:

    Love the video! Great memories. :)
    Andrea recently posted..Thinking of KeukenhofMy Profile

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

  3. 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.

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

  5. What a beautiful place to go for a ride nice pictures and article too.
    Carla @ Coolmons Blog recently posted..Hawaiian Islands – Popular Travel DestinationsMy Profile

  6. What a stellar backdrop for a bike ride!
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..The Magical MediterraneanMy Profile

  7. Laurence says:

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

  8. Nice video and amazing pictures, Cole. What a place to go for a bike ride.
    Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog recently posted..Tenerife, Canaries: The Island of Eternal SpringMy Profile

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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

    • 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 says:

    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 says:

    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!
    Dave recently posted..Saving for the Big Trip – Meal PlanningMy Profile

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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. :)
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Art and the Wild WestMy Profile

  17. Oriana says:

    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!

  18. Danyelle Franciosa says:

    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.

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

  21. Alex Smith says:

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

  22. Arti says:

    Who would not love to bike along these lovely trails!! Beautiful captures and a wonderful video to go with them :)
    Arti recently posted..Japanese People – Helpfulness and FriendlinessMy Profile

  23. Definitely something I would enjoy.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Knead: Local is DeliciousMy Profile

  24. davidwilliam7854 says:

    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. This is awesome and a great adventure. The views are superb and inspiring. :)
    Wends of Journeys and Travels recently posted..Photo Sunday: Wat PhnomMy Profile

  26. 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!

    • 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!

  27. 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

    • 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

  28. 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
    David Lloyd recently posted..Allemans – All quiet in south-west FranceMy Profile

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