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Catalan Grand Prix: touring routes around Barcelona

Planet Biker 13 June, 2019

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If you are going to the Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and want to take your bike for touring, we recommend you these routes to enjoy over two wheels of the Catalan roads and even of Barcelona city!

The biker Barcelona

The Catalan Grand Prix gives us the opportunity to visit Barcelona due to its proximity. A city with lots of bike user and love for the two-wheels, where you can still see amateurs riding with  in restored Vespa, Montesa or other classic bikes.

Apart from Barcelona’s already know tourist attractions, the mountain of Montjuïc is a must for any motorsport lover. Many Grand Prix were held there, in both F1 and motorcycling as well as the Barcelona 24 Hours: names like Sheene, Nieto, Agostini, Hailwood, Surtees, Woods to name a few rode here. If you a lap on the old Montjuïc Park (see map below), you can find a commemorative plaque next to the Museum of the Olympic Games, next to the Olympic Stadium.

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Montjuïc also offers differents atractions like the National Palace or the popular fountains. (Photo: vpogargia – Flickr)

Not far away, you will find two biker bars in the city: the Paddock Motard Bar (Avingude Paral·lel, 92) and the Ace Cafe Barcelona (Carrer de les Ciències, 105, L’Hospitalet).

Mountain route: Montseny

A classic that we already discussed in our ‘routes to escape from the city’: the Montseny; a massif located 30 kilometres from the Circuit. Around Montseny you can make many routes in different directions.

We recommend you to depart from Sant Celoni or any nearby town; it’s easy to get on the AP-7 towards France. From here, we can route the massif by different roads, crossing small villages. The peaceful atmosphere of the area contrasts with the great love for motorsport to in the region, being usual to share asphalt with other bikers or rally fans.

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View from the Matagalls, one of Montseny’s peaks. (Photo: horrapics – Flickr)

Stopping at Seva is a near must; hometown of Álex Crivillé, there’s a monument dedicated to the two times world champion. We also have a gastronomic recommendation: it is a good idea to taste the local cured pork sausages. Once on flat terrain, we reach the region’s capital: Vic – a city with a rich historical heritage – and the final point of our route. To return to the Circuit, just take the C-17 road towards Barcelona.

Costa Brava route: Blanes-Sant Feliu de Guíxols

The GI-682 road, which connects the towns of Blanes – Costa Brava’s first seaport coming from Barcelona – with Sant Feliu de Guíxols, is very popular with Catalan road users; here you can enjoy a very biker atmosphere on weekends throughout the year.

This twisty road will delight lovers of sporting riding and there’re plenty of viewpoints to stop to watch the spectacular views over the Mare Nostrum… and also taste it! It’s a region famous for a traditional cuisine that merges the land products with the seafood. Palamós grilled red shrimp (gambas a la planxa) is also a must… if you can pay it!

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Tossa de Mar and its castle built in a rocky peninsula. (Photo: Speed Kore – Flickr)

It is worth making a stop in Tossa de Mar. It’s one of the most beautiful villages of the Costa Brava. It preserves a castle located on a cliff on the beach and you can taste the traditional dish of the population: the cim i tomba, a traditional fish stew to which aioli is also added during the cooking.

Celebrated in June, usually during the GP there’s good weather and who knows if we can finish on the beach… bring your swimsuit with you!

Country and shore route: Garraf and Penedés

This route is ideal if you have chosen Barcelona as your place to stay for the GP. The starting point is the town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, known for being the capital of cava (Catalan champagne). The route to Vilafranca del Penedés, capital of this wine-growing region, runs on flat land and a very peaceful rural environment perfect for wine tourism.

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Sant Joan Salerm romanic hermitage, Subirats. (Photo: Angela Llop – Flickr)

In search interesting roads, we can deviate towards the Garraf, a mountainous massif between Vilafranca and Castelldefels beaches. There are not many towns or gas stations in this protected park, as well as the quality of the asphalt is not ideal, especially for super sports motorcycles – be careful with that. As a curiosity, in the center of the massif is one of the few Buddhist monasteries in Spain. We can continue by the the C-31 road. It offers spectacular views, as it runs between cliffs that face directly to the sea; maybe in summer time is more busy than usual.

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Summer sunset at Sitges featuring the promenade’s church on the background. (Photo: Valerie Hinojosa – Flickr)

The C-31 flows into Sitges, a popular town. It still retains the charm of a coastal town and has a beautiful promenade. It is not by chance that now racing legends like Randy Mamola or Wayne Gardner are living a gold retirement here. And the same can be said of Vilanova i la Geltrú, which has one of the most important fishing seaports in Catalonia; an excellent place to make a gastronomic stop.

Finally, we can get back to Barcelona by the AP-7 highway. Moreover, we can do it taking advantage of the last twisty road of the day: the one that leads to the Foix reservoir (BV-2115); this time the asphalt is good and the traffic is low. Enjoy!

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