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Costa Daurada: the golden coast

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20 Jun 2018
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This feature was produced in association with Costa Daurada

There’s a good reason why so many of the world’s best cyclists train in the rich countryside of Catalonia – it’s simply a cycling paradise. As popular as the region is with cyclists, however, the Costa Daurada offers a real hidden gem.

This pristine strip of Mediterranean coast is 80km from Barcelona, and connected by a high-speed train that takes only 35 minutes.

When you get there, you’ll find 2,000km of quiet, well maintained roads connecting the foothills and vast white limestone cliffs of the Serra de Llaberia mountain chain to countless local historical sites and vineyards, not to mention the coastal fronts of the Mediterranean.

It’s a region just begging to be explored, and numerous specialist travel and tour agencies in the area can help you do it, arranging your trip based around a wide selection of cycle-friendly, locally certified accommodation, and guiding you through the local terrain.

Cultural cycle

Many two-wheeled adventurers will be drawn to the flat scenic vineyards which populate the Priorat region inland from the port city of Tarragona, home to some of Spain’s most famous wine producers.

The area is also a hub of culinary splendour, boasting two Michelin-starred restaurants over and above the natural bounty of fine seafood and other restaurants the north of Spain is known for.

Costa Daurada also has a rich cultural heritage to explore. Tarragona, for instance, has a wealth of Roman ruins and an historic old town.

Ride 20km inland to the foot of the Prades mountains and you’ll find the Poblet Monastery – an imposing structure that dates back to the year 1151. It houses the remains of eight kings and queens of Spain and is an official UNESCO World Heritage site.

On a more contemporary cultural note, the nearby city of Reus is the birthplace of Sagrada Familia architect Antoni Gaudi.

It offers an architectural array of 100 modernist houses, but is also a local hotspot for retail and shopping.

With mountains on one side and the azure waters of the Mediterranean on the other, the Costa Daurada is also a popular hub for watersports or mountain hiking.

But let’s be honest – with everything it has to offer cyclists, you might have a tough time being pried away from your bike.

• For more information on planning your trip to the Costa Daurada, please visit costadaurada.info