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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.

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.

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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. 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!

  27. Accommodation in Calella de Palafrugell

    May 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    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

  28. 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 🙂

  29. 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…

  30. Wilson

    May 23, 2016 at 9:30 PM

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

  31. 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.

  32. pwmseo

    June 12, 2016 at 10:46 PM

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

  33. anzseo

    June 13, 2016 at 12:27 AM

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

  34. alexa.al

    August 30, 2016 at 12:33 AM

    thank for great article

  35. Elias Santana

    September 3, 2016 at 7:56 AM

    I like this blog. thanks for the blog.

  36. anna jennai

    September 22, 2016 at 8:45 PM

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

  37. 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 🙂

  38. 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

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated and they are cities on our list to visit again once the Coronavirus allows. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy and we want to change that after Coronavirus. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them to learn about while stuck at home due to Coronavirus:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

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Adventure Travel

3 Tips For A Luxury Camping Experience

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If you are used to travelling in style and staying in high end hotels, camping is probably your idea of hell. Why would you spend a week sitting in a freezing cold tent, hiding from the rain when you could be relaxing around the pool in a nice hotel? But camping gives you a completely different travel experience and if you do it right, it can be very rewarding. If you invest in the right equipment, you can enjoy all of the good things about camping without any of the downsides. If you follow these simple tips, you will have a comfortable experience and fall in love with camping.

Image From Pixabay CCO License

Buy The Right Tent

The tent is the most important thing if you want a comfortable camping experience. All of those horror stories you hear about leaking tents only happen because people buy cheap tents. If you invest in a good quality tent, it should hold up to the weather and keep you dry and warm.

When you are buying a tent, you need to check the hydrostatic head rating. This gives you an indication of how much rain the tent can stand up to before leaking. The higher the rating, the less likely your tent is to leak. It is also important to consider the size of the tent and how easy it is to put up, especially if you are planning a road trip. You need to make sure that it fits into the car easily, and you also want to avoid anything that is too complicated to put up. However, be careful with pop-up tents because most of them will not stand up to the rain.

If you want the ultimate comfortable camping experience, you should consider a camper trailer instead. There are some great camper trailers that come with all of the same facilities that you would find in a basic hotel, so you can camp in comfort. If you really hate the idea of camping, this is the best option.

Get A Good Quality Sleeping Bag

If you are worried about being freezing cold at night while you are camping, you need to get a good quality sleeping bag. A cheap one will not be comfortable and it won’t keep you warm, so you need to make sure that you buy a good thermal one. Sleeping directly on the floor will be uncomfortable as well, so you should invest in a sleeping mat as well. If you are willing to spend a little more on good sleeping equipment, you will be nice and comfortable while camping.

Pack Good Food

The food is another big issue for people when they go camping, but there is no need to live on beans all week. You can get some great dehydrated camping food packs so, as long as you take a small camping stove, you can still eat proper meals. If you pack a coolbox and freeze some food before you go, it should last a while so you can have barbecues as well. As long as you plan ahead, there’s no reason why you can’t eat well while you are camping.

Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare experience that you think it does. If you follow these simple tips, you can have a luxury camping experience and enjoy all of the benefits of the great outdoors.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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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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