Saturday, 20 July 2013

Costa Maresme cycling tour

We have been planning a cycling tour for a while but we weren’t entirely sure where and how. After asking several people’s opinion we decided to explore Costa Maresme, the coast that lies between Barcelona and the Costa Brava. The Sunday after the Holi Festival seemed like the perfect day for it.

Maresme is a long, thin county that is sandwiched between the sea and the hills of Catalonia’s coastal mountains, the Serralada Litoral and its capital is Mataró. Its main attraction is obviously the beach that just goes endlessly as long as your eyes can see. We decided to hire bikes for the day, take them to Mataró by train then cycle back on the coast. Paul managed to find a shop that hires bikes for only £5 euros a day and after picking them up we cycled to the train station. The train ride took about 40 min from Barcelona.

The first impressions of Mataró didn’t really tempt us to explore it so we just followed the crowd down to the beach. 

We checked out the port then found the cycling lane and started the 30km ride back to Barcelona.

It was all good until we got out of the town and then the cycling road suddenly disappeared!

After a few minutes of trying to find our way (we really didn’t want to go on a dual carriage way with our hired bikes) we finally found the cycle lane and were off again.

Our first dip in the sea happened in the next place, Cabrera de Mar. The beach was stony and the sea a bit dirty but boy, did it feel good to cool down in it! We had our lunch here, too.

After our short break we were back on the bikes and pushed through Cabrera de Mar and Vilassar de Mar. We noted how some families are really kitted out for the season! They have lots of parasols, chairs, seats, cool bags, water toys, sand toys, anything you can think of!

A nice looking beach bar.

We saw this sailing school out on the sea, lots of little dinghys were circling on the water.

Our next stop was at Premiá de Mar. The name is a giveaway as this was the nicest beach on the whole coast. The facilities were great, the houses were lovely and there was a nice cycling path right along the beach. What more could you want? We stopped for our second dip of the day.

Even from here we could see Barcelona and its landmarks, including the W hotel.

You could find showers and fountains at regular intervals together with this small fountain to wash your feet. There´s even a shelf to put your foot on!

After Premiá de Mar we pushed through El Masnou and Montgat all the way to Badalona.

We found a place where you can try wakeboarding.

Our last stop was in Badalona that is on the outskirts of Barcelona. We love this place, it has a lovely wide promenade with lots of restaurants and crystal clear water. The beach wasn´t too busy and there were a few boats beached on the sand. There was this huge pleasure/party boat that pumped out loud music, too. This was our third and last dip in the sea.

From here on we cycled all the way to the city. When we got to Poblenou we celebrated this great day with an horchata.

We had such a lovely time. From Premiá de Mar onwards the beach is continuous all the way to Barcelona and only ends in Barceloneta. There are regular showers and fountains, there are beach guards and beach bars for your comfort. And the cycling road is flat, easy to ride and top quality all the way. The whole day cost us only 10 euros, 6 for the bike and 3 something for the train ticket. I can definitely recommend this route to everybody.

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