The Pyrenees

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The Mediterranean is just one aspect of the breathtakingly sensual Costa Brava-Pirineu de Girona tandem. The other aspect is the Girona Pyrenees, the authentic cradle of the Catalan nation where man has struggled for centuries against a background of rugged nature. The striking features and implacable presence of these snow-covered peaks of over two thousand metres sculpt the entire landscape with their imposing granite heights and peaceful valleys and plains.

Marking out this rhythm rich in counterpoint and majestic crescendos, we travel over the plains until we come up against the startling arrogance of Castellfollit de la Roca, perched on the edge of a basaltic cliff, the elegance of Besalú, the naturalness of Santa Pau, the spectacular Garrotxa Volcanic Area Natural Park, the dream-like panorama of Oix and Beget… until we arrive at the foot of the Pyrenees.

Along this route, on this exciting journey, we will relive a world past, yearned for and much-loved, that prayed to the heavens while clinging to the earth, and with daily toil cultivated eternal life in a delicate balance of fear and hope that took material form in a unique historical legacy of hermitages, convents and churches: our Romanesque architectural heritage.

As we ascend the mountains, ski slopes and lifts gradually replace the shepherds and their huts, giving way to a new setting of leisure activities and hospitality which have given fresh life to the harsh economy of a region dominated by its natural features. Visitors will find at Vallter in the Camprodon valley, at Núriain the Ribes valley (reached by rack railway), and at La Molina and Masella (the Pyrenees largest skiing area), modern winter skiing facilities which in warmer weather become sports and mountaineering centres, and will be given a warm, friendly welcome.

This region is the best place to enjoy a real Pyrenees cycling tour.


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