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This is an outstanding circular route around the Catalan Pyrenees, crossing into France for 60 of its 340km. Riding clockwise from Girona, it’s a long haul up to the Col d’Ares, but rail trails ease the haul for the first 50km.

From there, it’s a glorious descent to the Tech valley floor in France. Here you pick up EuroVelo 8 for a (comparatively) easy crossing over the lower Pyrenees before 150km of easy riding along the Catalan coast and back to Girona.

In its purest form this is a gravel bike route. Several of the Pyrenean descents are rough and rocky, and definitely not rideable on a road bike. However, there’s absolutely no compulsion to follow the signposted route, with quietish roads always close at hand. So don’t let the surfaces put you off.

The route is, indeed, fully signposted. Though a moderately fit rider could finish it in four or even fewer days, you won’t regret taking longer over it. There’s a lot to see along the way, including famously 18 Michelin starred restaurants.

It’s easily accessible by rail and air (at Girona or Perpignan airports), and you can hire good-quality bikes in Girona.

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