Mountain biking Girona: An under the radar MTB destination

Most people are familiar with Girona and its reputation as the cycling capital of Spain. However, when it comes to the abundant possibilities of enduro and cross country mountain biking this area is still under the radar. The endless and relatively undiscovered mountain biking trails around Girona, especially the ones in Les Gavarres can be considered true gems.

The closest option for cross country and enduro mtb rides are the cycling routes in Les Gavarres. In this area, there are over a 100 different trail sections and most of them start at just 1,5 kilometres from the city centre of Girona. In addition to this, is Girona a charming Spanish city with plenty of accommodations, restaurants and sightseeing opportunities. Furthermore, this bike haven is situated in the region Catalonia, only an hour away from the bustling city of Barcelona. This makes Girona such an attractive base for your mountain bike holiday in Spain.

Your mountain biking adventure will start just outside of Girona at the Massif de Les Gavarres, or better known as Les Gavarres. This is a mountain massif that stretches all the way down to the Mediterranean and the famous holiday destination the Costa Brava. After breakfast in one of the cosy, traditional restaurants in the city, you jump on your bike for a day full of exploring. Because most of the trails are in the western part of Les Gavarres, after your final descent, you’re back in the city centre to enjoy a well-deserved ice-cold beer. What more could you wish for after a day of exploring the bike trails of Les Gavarres?

Mountain biking trails near Girona: Les Gavarres

When leaving Girona, you enter Les Gavarres and start the uphill climb straight away. Girona is located at an altitude of 100 meters and most climbs are around 200 to 300 meters. This means that after biking for just 30 minutes you will already start your first descent! The main two starting points in this area are Puig Estela (378m) and Puig Miquel (380m). The climbs are considered rather friendly and luckily for you, there are only a few steep ascents.

At both the two starting points – Puig Estela and Puig Miquel – you can choose from various blue trails and a couple of red ones. Most of them are quite flowy with nice technical features in them. Here you really have the opportunity to play around as there are just so many features to spice up your ride. From small jumps to drops and choosing a different line, the possibilities are endless. Generally speaking, most of the trails are clean and provide great riding conditions. However, if you are looking for some more “remote” trails, that do not start at either Puig Estela or Puig Miquel there is a possibility that condition of the trail is inferior.

– Going down the trail Font Graciosa –

A bit further into Les Gavarres, you will find the nearest real high point: els Àngels (485m). This is the starting point for a couple of longer descents, around 300m drop. However, before you dive into the valley, you can treat yourself to a snack and refreshing drink at the viewpoint and restaurant called Santuari dels Angels.

Take this route during your first time in Les Gavarres

For your first visit, I would recommend going for Puig Miquel because next to the great mountain bike trails you also have the opportunity for some sightseeing. Specifically the ruins of Castell de Sant Miquel. The tower is still accessible and provides an incredible 360 degrees panoramic view. In the west, you will see Girona and the surrounding mountain ranges, whereas in the north you have a good view of the mighty Pyrenees. Depending on the season they are covered with snow (as early as late September till June). In the east, you have an amazing view over the entire Gavarres and can see as far as the Mediterranean, including the National Park of Cap de Creus (read more about this beautiful mountain bike area).

The view from Castell de Sant Miquel   during mountain biking in Las Gavarres - Girona
– The view from Castell de Sant Miquel – on the left you see Girona –

Final thoughts

Are you looking for a relatively undiscovered mountain bike destination with endless possibilities? Then Girona is the place to be. With Les Gavarres located on the doorstep of this beautiful city, you do not only benefit from off the beaten path trails but also a typical Spanish city. You can start your mountain bike adventure straight from your accommodation or campsite which makes Girona perfectly situated for your mountain bike holiday in Spain.

Depending on your level of fitness and technical skills you can create your own tailor-made cycling tour. The diversity of Les Gavarres allows for cross country, Enduro or even gravel biking. Because the trails are relatively short, on average a 250m drop, you can really pick your trails á la carte. On days you are feeling energetic and are longing for a big day: go for a 1500m day trip! But there are also plenty of shorter trails that are worth exploring.

For example, I often go for an hour or two during my lunch break where after 2 descents I am back at the office. Les Gavarres offers a trail for everyone. From an intensive, big day to a relaxing cross country day. Thanks to the large variety of access trails and green trails you can create your ideal ride. I still have to meet the person who is not amazed by the ease of access and the variety of this area which is literally at Girona’s doorstep.

Summary

  • Start: Girona (altitude: 100m)
  • Distance to start of trails (start of climb): 1.5 km
  • Vertical drop of trails: 100m to 390m
  • Surface: mainly dry & slightly rocky terrain, but nothing too crazy. There are a few full forest trails which are less used (but still popular enough)
  • Nearest highest point is els Àngels (485m)
  • Other high points: Puig Estela (378m) and Puig Miquel (380m)
  • Most access trails are pistas, (fire roads / double track) and some sections single trail
  • Girona is easily reachable thanks to Barcelona Airport and Girona- Costa Brava airport
  • Trailforks link: https://www.trailforks.com/region/gavarres-18904/