Budget biking vacation in Spain

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Budget biking vacation in Spain

Environment

The accommodation. We have lovingly restored a townhouse in the centre of Palamos which had been derelict for 7 years, We employed local tradesmen to breath new life into the project and have upcycled many pieces of furniture purchased from second hand shops. We have installed solar panels on the roof terrace to take full advantage of the sunny south facing position, therefore all our water is solar powered and the system also contributes to our heating. The utility room has three different bins, one for organic waste, one for plastics and one for cardboard and glass.

Small rucksacks are provided with the bikes and guests are asked to put all rubbish in it for disposal at the end of the day. Packed lunches are provided in reusable containers and refillable water bottles.

Fresh food is sourced locally, and menus are very much dictated by the seasons, which reduces transportation. Strawberries and peaches only appear on the menu in the summer, and pumpkins, mushrooms, apples and pears are on the table in autumn. Our local bakery produces fresh bread every day from a wood burning oven, free range eggs and chicken are delivered from the smallholdings to the butcher, and weekly markets provide organic produce.

The Emporda is an area of great natural wealth. Its situation and layout means that it provides a habitat for a number of species which are under threat of disappearing. There are three areas of special interest that you might want to visit by bike. The Isles de Medes, a tiny archipelago which has a unique flora and fauna system, supporting a lavish marine life, the Aguamolls Natural Park, a wetland home to over300 species of birds, and the Gavarres Natural Park, where wild boar roam through ancient cork, oak, and pine forests. Guidelines are given to our guests on arrival regards using the Cycle Network in a responsible manner.

Community

Our aim is to provide quality self guided and guided tours, enabling our guests to experience the natural beauty of the Emporda region of Catalunya without damaging the environment. The main economy in the area is based around agriculture and tourism. Through our cycling tours we support the local economy by booking directly with locally run and managed hotels and restaurants, including the ‘Turisme Rural' initiative. We support local markets and producers by including visits and tastings by bike on our travels.
Preserving local culture is of paramount importance to our cycling tours. Although Catalunya is in Spain, and everyone here speaks Spanish, the first language, particularly in rural areas is Catalan.

We are based in Baix Emporda which is very much a rural community that takes great pride in its heritage, particularly since the end of the Franco regime, when many local traditions were banned for the Catalan people. Every village has a strong sense of community, and there are always festivals, concerts, film shows, craft fairs, markets throughout the year. We have started a regular articles page on our website of any forthcoming events, and we actively encourage our guests to participate. Our tour always includes several visits to local producers.

We believe that experiencing local culture, makes a vacation memorable and worthwhile, and the best way to do it is on a bike! In many ways this strong sense of tradition is what makes this area so unique and worthy of a visit. Unlike some other areas of Spain, the Baix Emporda area of Catalunya is largely unspoilt, has managed to preserve its language and traditions, and has retained its own identity. We feel very privileged to live in such a beautiful place, and would like the opportunity to share the experience with like minded travelers through cycling with us.

For 2017 we are supporting 2 local charities. first the Fundacio Mona, a chimpanzee sanctuary that provides primates with a nurturing and restorative environment.The second project is the International Red Cross. This particular scheme is run by volunteers who provide baby milk, nappies and clothes to babies up to 18 months, whose families are on low income support. For every tour booked we donate €20 between both projects which is paid annually in October.
We have also employed a new cycling guide who is Catalan and was previously made redundant.

1 Reviews of Budget biking vacation in Spain

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 10 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The biking days were fabulous - all abit different and nothing too demanding. We loved the day following an old railway line past the old railway stations that have been reinvented as cafes. Our favourite part of each day was trying out the tapas bars that Allan recommended - a week wasn’t long enough to get around them all!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It was warm and sunny - pack a sunhat and sunscreen. Plan to have a few days in Palamós as well - it’s got a great community atmosphere in the old town, with market days and the daily fish auction plus a lovely beach.
Come prepared to try the local specialties - the sardines and anchovies do not taste anything like the ones in tins -(yuk) - they are delicious!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Allan recommends local bars and restaurants so that must be beneficial for the local economy, We biked everywhere and so car/van use is minimal (just to transport us to the nearby villages to start our biking on 2 days). Most of the rubbish is sorted at the community level but perhaps there could be a separate bin for recyclables in the flat - to discourage people who aren’t so
conscious of the issue from just lumping everything together.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic. Allan and Vivienne have got everything sorted. There is as much or as little support as you desire. We enjoyed having a drink with a group of their friends on our last night and they are very friendly and convivial people. Their knowledge and understanding of the local area and society seems well grounded in their personal experiences.

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