Girona, Spain. Somehow all those youtubers didn't do it justice.

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mike
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by mike

girona is great for cycling but if you want other things to do i recommend other cities, like san sebastián/bilabu. san sebastio. has beautiful beaches and the town is not very big but has all the shops and restaurants you could ask for. you could also cycle around the city easily and it is easy to leave the city by bike. but there is no cycling culture really there and bike shops are not good there.

gurk700
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by gurk700

mike wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 3:34 pm
girona is great for cycling but if you want other things to do i recommend other cities, like san sebastián/bilabu. san sebastio. has beautiful beaches and the town is not very big but has all the shops and restaurants you could ask for. you could also cycle around the city easily and it is easy to leave the city by bike. but there is no cycling culture really there and bike shops are not good there.
Other things besides cycling? Who has the time or energy??? :mrgreen:

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mike
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by mike

then gurk i recommend girona for you. you could rent an apartment in the city and there is always a group ride everyday and people to speak english with. many are from usa and from uk as well. you will also see pros training there too and there are riders of all capabilities. you will certainly get faster as a rider since the only thing to do there is cycling

Knightyboy27
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by Knightyboy27

mike wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 3:34 pm
girona is great for cycling but if you want other things to do i recommend other cities, like san sebastián/bilabu. san sebastio. has beautiful beaches and the town is not very big but has all the shops and restaurants you could ask for. you could also cycle around the city easily and it is easy to leave the city by bike. but there is no cycling culture really there and bike shops are not good there.
San Sebastian has some great riding outside of the city such as Jaizkibel, but it is quite limited (I think a lot of the Tour route last year ended up on fairly major roads)

Other thing with Girona, is if you desperately wanted to, you can hop on a train to Barcelona which doesn't take too long.

There are also some great places to visit if you have a car, such as Cadaques (with Salvador Dali's house/museum)

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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

gurk700 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:28 pm
mike wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 3:34 pm
girona is great for cycling but if you want other things to do i recommend other cities, like san sebastián/bilabu. san sebastio. has beautiful beaches and the town is not very big but has all the shops and restaurants you could ask for. ...
Other things besides cycling? Who has the time or energy??? :mrgreen:
San Sebastian is serious debauchery. Spent 10 days there summer 2022. Epic rides followed by extreme pintxo forraging in the old city until exhaustion. The occasional evening stroll on incredible beaches. Crawl home, pass out, repeat the next day. Tip: stay just outside of the old city, not in it - the noise goes all night. We had an apartment on the river - highly recommended.
Knightyboy27 wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2024 2:57 pm
San Sebastian has some great riding outside of the city such as Jaizkibel, but it is quite limited
I found San Sebastian to be very good. If a town has a minimum 4 distinct, fairly epic 100km loops, I consider it an adequate location to spend a week. San Sebastian has 6 - 8 good loops, and more if you up the distance to 150km. If you can manage 200km, it gets even better (as with most places). Both directions on the coast are good rides, plus 4 or 5 loops inland to the south with serious climbing. The terrain around Vitoria-Gasteiz and Pamplona and everything in between is reachable by quiet roads. To the south east are the foothills of the Pyrenees. Lots of quiet roads, good climbs, etc. If you add out and back rides to your repertoire, among others the ride to Ermita San Agustin is amazing. Two serious climbs. The last descent on the way out can be taken at crazy speed if you have the nerve. The whole thing is only 66km but you'll feel you've had a serious day on the bike.

The Jaizkibel is nice but nothing special. The opposite direction through Igeldo is a similar climb but better views on a more interesting road.

The only catch with San Sebastian is that if you are sticking to small roads, there are really just two main ways out of town so the first 20km of most rides will be a repeat.

Re Bilbao, if you can get there for the summer festival - do it. Wild street party, live bands in every square. I'll see if I can find a photo of our night there.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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Stendhal
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by Stendhal

Great post gurk, and timely -- I live in Northern California too and my wife wants to visit Spain. I suggested Barcelona (I was there once on a cruise) and Girona is only 100 km away, perhaps that is do-able. And you're not far off about having a six figure income or being homeless here, and that it is unfortunate.
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robeambro
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by robeambro

gurk700 wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2023 9:27 am
-
much has been already said. Having personally been to Girona, Barcelona, Madrid (though not cycled here), Alicante, Malaga and even Gran Canaria, I can safely say that for the most part, Spanish drivers are on the more respectable end of the spectrum towards cyclists. I've loved Girona too, though I guess as a European living in the UK I take those cute historical town centres a bit more for granted and am less wowed by them.

One thing I'll say is that generally Spanish people are pretty terrible at speaking English - absolutely no disrespect meant. I've surprisingly had a much easier time with speaking English in Northern Italy (though I am native, my partner is not) and even France in this regard. Not an insurmountable obstacle, but I would consider starting early with the language learning to avoid some frustration.

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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

robeambro wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2024 10:48 am
I can safely say that for the most part, Spanish drivers are on the more respectable end of the spectrum towards cyclists.
My impression was in the Girona area, the drivers were by far the best I have ever encountered as far as sharing the road with cyclists. In fact I found them polite to a fault, Often willing to hold up traffic rather then slip by even when there was plenty of room to pass. Most of the time they would wait until it was safe to pull all the way into the oncoming lane and then pass incredibly slowly. It was a bit ridiculous at times.

As we cruised out of town one day, the passing traffic was extra absurd in their patience and the space given when passing to the extent that we were wondering what was up. After about 20km we stopped to remove a vest and just as we were remounting, 4 guys from Ineos passed by. They had been trailing us by a kilometer or two and had all the motorists attention well focused by the time they got to us. If you drive in Girona and run over a cyclist, there's a good chance it will be someone famous enough to land you on the front page of the local paper. :D Might explain the exceptional manners.
Last edited by Mr.Gib on Wed Feb 21, 2024 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

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Nohands83
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by Nohands83

Yeah I'd agree with the above, generally, I've found Spanish drivers much more tolerant than French, Italian, and UK drivers. Mallorca can be the exception to that rule as you have a lot of tourists renting cars and they take their bad habits with them - I'm mainly talking about my fellow countrymen here!

We're going back in May, staying near Pals not Girona itself this time as we wanted something more rural with a pool. Can't wait!

spartacus
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by spartacus

mike wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:48 pm
then gurk i recommend girona for you. you could rent an apartment in the city and there is always a group ride everyday and people to speak english with. many are from usa and from uk as well. you will also see pros training there too and there are riders of all capabilities. you will certainly get faster as a rider since the only thing to do there is cycling
lol yeah. I did the fall in love with Girona thing but job options are incredibly limited compared to say, Orange County, it would probably be a career blow up to try to move there for me personally.

mike
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by mike

spartacus wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2024 10:41 pm
mike wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:48 pm
then gurk i recommend girona for you. you could rent an apartment in the city and there is always a group ride everyday and people to speak english with. many are from usa and from uk as well. you will also see pros training there too and there are riders of all capabilities. you will certainly get faster as a rider since the only thing to do there is cycling
lol yeah. I did the fall in love with Girona thing but job options are incredibly limited compared to say, Orange County, it would probably be a career blow up to try to move there for me personally.
yeah agree unless you are indepedently wealthy or are willing to take a low wage job in spain and go through the visa process to remain there, vacationing in girona and other parts of spain while keeping a steady paycheck is a good decision.

gurk700
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by gurk700

Yeah Girona for us is looking like a retirement option rather than work / live option as I got converted to full-time in my job and they don't let people work from abroad (except like 2 weeks work from anywhere allowance)
So hoping early retirement at 50. Should be doable unless something changes drastically.

RoadDonk82
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by RoadDonk82

My impression was in the Girona area, the drivers were by far the best I have ever encountered as far as sharing the road with cyclists. In fact I found them polite to a fault, Often willing to hold up traffic rather then slip by even when there was plenty of room to pass. Most of the time they would wait until it was safe to pull all the way into the oncoming lane and then pass incredibly slowly. It was a bit ridiculous at times.
Same impression from Andalucia (outside of major tourist hubs) and similar from Tenerife (here unfortunately more tourists drive but locals are mostly amazing drivers).
When I cycle in Spain I feel drivers are my friends and we co-operate so it's easier for everyone involved. It's simply amazing coming from a country where I feel drivers are out to kill me and I have a stress reaction every time I need to do a few kilometers on road (Poland).

About Girona: our plans changed last minute and we are considering staying in the area for 2-3 weeks but there are very limited options (we like renting whole apartments) so we are considering small towns nearby. Any recommendations? The part to the North looks tempting as it's close to Pyrenees as do the part to the West as it's closer to the sea. If we can't find anything we will likely stay in Calpe/Altea but I am very curious about Girona reading all the reviews online.

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naylor343
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by naylor343

RoadDonk82 wrote:
Fri May 17, 2024 8:50 pm
About Girona: our plans changed last minute and we are considering staying in the area for 2-3 weeks but there are very limited options (we like renting whole apartments) so we are considering small towns nearby. Any recommendations? The part to the North looks tempting as it's close to Pyrenees as do the part to the West as it's closer to the sea. If we can't find anything we will likely stay in Calpe/Altea but I am very curious about Girona reading all the reviews online.
Take a look at La Garrotxa. It's the volcanic park region to the north west of Girona town. We stay in Santa Pau every year, between Banyoles and Olot. Plenty of choice of apartments and ancient town or farmhouses. Great cycling from the door, and the great Spanish driving courtesy reaches here too. In fact, its the same all over. From here you can still easily reach Girona town to get your fill of cycling coffee shops and boutiques. There is a disussed railway gravel route joining Olot and Girona town. Huge chain gangs are always passing through from local clubs or the Girona shop rides. If you are there in May, take a look at the La Remences granfondo. Starting and finishing in Sant Esteve d'en bas. Great roads, lots of climbing, and the best road closures/control I have witnessed.

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