Pioneers of self-guided cycling vacations, Pure Adventures, arranges tours for bicycle-loving and food-driven clients from April through October in Spain’s Catalonia region.
In combination with moderately challenging daily rides, guests experience gourmet dining on the company’s Spain - Catalonia Gastronomic 7 Nights Cycling Tour that begins in Girona, home to one of the world’s top restaurants. This trip has been the highest rated and best-selling Pure Adventures offering over the last 11 years, popular for both the rides and cuisine matched with charming accommodations.
For those amateur chefs at home, there’s Spain - Biking and Cooking 7 Nights that brings cyclists into Catalonian kitchens to learn and cook alongside local chefs. The icing on the cake is that participants will get to enjoy their hard work afterward.
Located in the northeast section of Spain, Catalonia is one of the world’s most diverse and scenic destinations and home to some of Europe’s most highly celebrated restaurants. The coastline, known as the Costa Brava, also happens to be a cycling hotspot.
The itineraries begin and end in Girona. Those planning their trip far enough in advance may be able to snag a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca where three brothers are at the helm of what Restaurant Magazine named #1 in its 2015 World’s Best 50 Restaurants competition.
All Pure Adventures self-guided cycling trips begin with orientation and bike fitting, and all of the Costa Brava trips visit both the Pyrenees foothills and coastline. Much of this region is a naturally protected area. Prawns, jamón, tapas and Arros a La Cassola a la Catalan help satisfy appetites after stops that may include a bird sanctuary, Botanical Gardens,museums, medieval walled towns, wine cellars, olive oil mills and gastronomy centers.
Spain - Catalonia Gastronomic Cycling Tour is priced from €1443 per person, double and includes seven nights deluxe lodging, daily breakfast, four gourmet dinners (two of them tasting menus), luggage transfers, local Girona-based emergency support, road books with riding route maps and cue sheets, and suggestions for places to see and local dining. One tasting menu dinner is at Restaurant La Plaça in Madremanya where guests feast on eight mini courses, each complimenting the other.
Those venturing into the heat of the kitchens on Pure Adventures’ Spain - Biking and Cooking adventure will become well-versed in the fare of the coastal Empordà region after visiting terraced olive groves dating to the ancient Greeks, rice paddies near Pals, kitchen gardens, small farms and the sea. Grapes have been staggering down steep slopes here since the Phoenicians introduced vines in the 5th century BC. Foodies will also stop at fish markets and visit a sheep farm (or olive oil farm) sampling local products. Along the route tasting menus and private cooking classes are woven in. The class at Espai del Peix invites guests to spend three hours concentrating on four different dishes followed by lunch with the chef and a guided visit of the port where the fishing boats come in. The per person, double occupancy rate starts at €1381.
“While we love guests who plan well in advance, we can also accommodate 11th hour reservations for our guaranteed-departure self-guided bicycle trips,” said Loren Siekman, Pure Adventures founder/owner. These trips allow one or several family members and friends traveling together the peace of mind that all essential travel plans are taken care of before they begin their trip. Flexible start dates for departure mean that clients can travel according to their own schedules; itineraries can also be modified on an as-needed basis.
“You pick who you travel with; a spouse, a child, a friend. You are not lumped together with a group of strangers on our self-guided trips,” he said.
Clients can choose varied itinerary options in the dozen or more countries in Europe where Pure Adventures has bicycling and trekking programs. The self-guided concept emphasizes the freedom to choose travel dates, departures and even “days off” as well as flexibility of pace, duration, start times and dates and special requests. These trips are more affordable than guided trips without sacrificing quality hotels, meals, routes, luggage transfers, orientation and more that the company organizes. Behind the tour is the company’s support through onsite personal orientation, in country bilingual support and transfers.
In addition to self-guided programs, Pure Adventures offers other ways to organize bicycling and hiking vacations: Guided vs Self-Guided vs Supported, Self-Directed, See: http://pure-adventures.com/blog/2014/06/23/how-to-choose-the-perfect-bicycle-vacation/#.VUk4UvlVhHw