Pure e-MTB cycling in the Pyrenees

Smugglers Trail

Pure e-MTB cycling in the Pyrenees

1.070 € pp
+ additional services

Overview

Short Tour Description

Of course, we do not suggest that you start any illegal trade activities as this tour name suggests, although you will go deep into the wild mountain land of northern Catalonia. You will trace the steps of smugglers and outlaws that are known to have passed through this area for many years and took much-needed shelter within the mountains.

For centuries, the Pyrenees Mountain range has been both a border crossing and a hiding place. Smuggling across the mountain border and avoiding controls has been a regular human activity throughout history. Many of the paths that are used today for your enjoyment with the e-bikes were open to smuggle illegal products throughout history. This included art masterpieces during times of war and essential products during periods of shortage to name a few.

This route with e-MTB, which passes through the Catalan Pyrenean foothills and the Pyrenees Mountains is quite technical and physical, although it is made easier thanks to the support of your e-bikes. Going through high mountain forests, meadows and charming villages you will enjoy spectacular views and breath-taking landscapes.

Duration

  • 8 Days / 7 Nights / 6 Days of e-cycling

Total km: 280-330 km*
Total Ascent: 13000-14000 m*
*This will depend on the daily variations of the tour that are available

Participants

  • Self-Guided: 2 - 8

Scenery

  • Pyrenees

Highlights & Facts

  • Pure e-MTB delight for experienced bikers
  • Wild Pyrenees - fantastic panoramic views
  • Swimming breaks at turquoise natural pools
  • Alta Garrotxa and high mountain pastures
  • Lunch in the picturesque mountain village of Beget
  • Luggage transfer included – you just need to bring yourselves!

Cycling Level

  • 4 wheels (Moderate to Challenging)

Recommendation

Wear warm clothes and waterproofs as some days you may get wet at altitude. The weather in the high mountains can change quickly and be unpredictable at times.

Smugglers Trail

Tour Route

Day 1: Besalú, arrival and first night

This medieval town on the river has been a pit-stop and place to shelter through the ages. Besalú will take you in for the first night before you start this e-bike trail in an enchanting lodging with views to the famous medieval bridge. This charming location is a perfect place to start your adventure.

Day 2: Exploring Alta Garrotxa - rocky mountains

A long first day of ebiking lies ahead of you, pedalling throughout the heart of Alta Garrotxa with moderate slopes. This remote area hides villages such as Lliurona and is surrounded by mountains. From time to time deer can be seen in this area, you will have to keep your eyes-peeled to spot on! You will enjoy a picnic for lunch with spectacular views to the Bay of Roses on the Mediterranean Sea. Following the mountainside of Bassegoda, an iconic mountain, and through an amazing valley you will later arrive at Castellfollit de la Roca, which is surrounded by woodlands and meadows. This town was built on top of a spectacular basaltic cliff, which was created thousands of years ago by a volcanic eruption.

Km: 55 km approx.
Ascent: 1600 m approx.

Day 3: Water dips, mountains and charming villages

Your trip today ascends through woodlands of evergreen oaks towards the villages of Oix and Beget. Along the way, river pools will invite you to take a quick dip in the refreshing mountain water. Lunch will be served in a lovely village surrounded by mountain peaks. This captivating village was a meeting point for outlaws and smugglers long ago. During the afternoon you will cross into a wild area, surrounded by deep forest and rivers. You will spend the night in a lively mountain town where you can taste the area´s local products.

Km: 50 km approx.
Ascent: 3000 m approx.

Day 4: Keep it up: towards the highest point

This circular track takes you to the summit and the most challenging Pyrenean day of your adventure. You head deep into a stunning area and ride among high mountain meadows, fir tree woods and free-range cattle. Enjoying the most spectacular mountain views, the sensation of freedom is stupendous! In front of you, you will catch a glimpse of the mystical mountain massif of Canigó. Down to the east appears the Gulf of Lion on the Mediterranean Sea. You will feel like you have stepped back in time, and right into the shoes of the smugglers! You will understand why they would use these high lands as a secret lair and hideout.

Km: 50 km approx.
Ascent: 2200 m approx.

Day 5: A landscape like Mongolia - land of herdsman

Thanks to the power of your e-bikes you can reach the high mountain meadows which are home to wild horses and cattle. It is colloquially known as the “Little Mongolia” of the Pyrenees – you will experience untainted natural surprises up here! Pathways among white birch woodlands and spring waters lead you down to the quaint village of Sant Joan de les Abadesses.

Km: 55 km approx.
Ascent: 3300 m approx.

Day 6: Garrotxa - land of volcanoes

You will ride the last peak and continue to the flat lands of the high mountains. From here you will spend the day descending while passing the wild and mysterious mountain range of Sierra de Milanys and the rocks of Puigsacalm. The rocks here were formed beneath the ocean millions of years ago. The next leg of the adventure will see you return to the dense nature of Garrotxa, where dark green colours are contrasted against volcanic stones. Your night stay will be at an authentic village from the Middle Ages.

Km: 60 km approx.
Ascent: 2500 m approx.

Day 7: Follow the tracks of bandits

During the morning, you will enjoy a relaxed e-cycle past volcanoes and later in the day, climb up to a Romanesque Church (where you can ring the bell!) with impressive views across the volcanic zone. Now you will enter into the land of the famous bandit called Serrallonga, who became a kind of Catalan Robin Hood during the 17th Century. During the picnic, you will be able to jump into the fresh natural pools of the River Ser. Through the intense forest area, the path brings you back to the fresh Mediterranean Sea air during the afternoon. Arriving to Besalú you will complete the final part of the Smugglers trail.

Km: 30 km approx.
Ascent: 1000 m approx.

Day 8: See you soon!

Back to reality and to abiding by the law, hopefully with a lasting smile on your face and lots of tales to tell about your experiences here! We hope to see you again soon on another one of our e-bike tours.

Information & Services

Character

The Smugglers trail is something truly special and is just perfect for adventurers and real mountain lovers! You will not want to miss the scenic views and the tasteful accommodation options that this tour has to offer! You will enjoy a dynamic e-MTB tour from the lowlands of Catalonia, to the alpine mountains of the Pyrenees, and back again! Magnificent vistas will be your reward for the steep climbs along this route.

This is an e-MTB tour and you will require a good level of physical fitness and technical bicycle riding in varied terrains. This tour is classified as moderate to challenging! Even though the electric bikes give you an extra push on the uphill climbs, there will still be some parts of the tour where you will need to push or ride your bike downhill and uphill in problematic topography.

You will ride through high-altitude mountains and will need comfortable walking shoes with grip tread, good weatherproof clothing and suitable sun protection and sunglasses. On some days, shorter alternative routes are available, depending on your condition, cycling ability and energy reserves!

Included services

  • e-cycling programme as described
  • 6 cycling days with 7 nights’ accommodation, including breakfast. Stay in a double room with shower and toilet facilities (approximately 1-2 nights of which will be with shared shower and toilet facilities)
  • GPS with detailed route
  • Taxes on stays in tourist establishments
  • Transportation of luggage

Excluded services

  • Flight or public transport (on arrival and on departure) including taxis
  • Transfer to / from the start / end-point of the tour
  • e-bike rental and accessories
  • 6 lunches and 7 dinners (a packed-lunch style picnic for you to take with you in your bike bag for 10,- Euro or a restaurant for 25,- Euro depending on your choice)
  • Drinks / food in bars
  • Entrance fees to museums, monuments and any associated guided tours
  • Tips for the team and other services
Transfer fees for 2019 here

e-bike hire

Your hired e-bike is equipped with a rack - bike bags, basic e-bike tools and a battery charger are all included.

e-bike
Fee per e-MTB 300,- Euro
e-bike
Fee per helmet 9,- Euro

Accommodation

Double room

Single room supplement – extra 30,- Euro per night

Please note

  • Arrival day: at 7:00 p.m. with a tour briefing and introduction to the e-bikes (typically last about 2 hours). Dinner at 9:00 p.m.
  • Departure day: Breakfast (approximately 9:00 a.m.) – departure with transfer to the train station / airport (Girona).
  • The tour operator reserves the right to substitute the described accommodation with an equivalent alternative if necessary.
  • Due to local conditions, a route change or amendment may be necessary.

Arrival / Departure

Self-guided tour:

For a private taxi (1-4 persons) the costs are approximately:

Arrival:
70,- Euro from Girona Airport (GRO) / train station
230,- Euro from Barcelona Airport (BCN)

Departure:
70,- Euro to Girona Airport (GRO) / train station
230,- Euro to Barcelona Airport (BCN)

We would be happy to organise your personalised arrival / departure to the respective start/end points. If needed, we can book a taxi transfer or reserve train tickets in advance for you. Please contact us!

Important notices

Important notices to all customers!

All tour itineraries are general guidelines and in order to offer our customers the best e-cycling holiday experience we make occasional changes. The number of daily kilometres and metres of ascent are approximate as we offer different options on most of the days of the tour. For example, sometimes you can choose between a longer or a shorter route and sometimes between easy and more challenging paths to suit your preferences.

Depending on the number of simultaneous tours, the season, the weather and national holidays, we may make alterations to the itineraries at short-notice, which could affect the number of hours of e-cycling per day, the route we take to any given destination or the use of alternative accommodation. Tours can also be cycled in both directions. All changes are at our discretion, but when changes are made, we endeavour to ensure that our high quality standards are maintained and reflected in the alternatives that we choose.

Presentation, organisation, photos and information are provided by Anaïs Roca and Rudi Stolz.

Booking

Available Months

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For self-guided tours

Book now!

You can choose your own travel dates (upon request).

1.070 € *
* Prices without not included services

Guest opinions

Smugglers Trail

July 2018

Thanks for a fantastic tour! Well-organised, fantastic trails passing through old villages, high mountains and beautiful landscapes. Good food and charming lodgings.
The electric MTBs are just perfect for this terrain!

Bianca & John