Exploring L'Escala by road, gravel and mountain bike

Located on the shores of l’Escala, Hostal Empúries is our starting point to embark on three rides using three different bikes, seeking and discovering evocative landscapes that transform the experience into a harmonious connection with nature.

Founded in 1907, and located close to the only Greco-Roman archeological site on the Iberian Peninsula, Hostal Empúries is a benchmark for tourism on the Costa Brava, and increasingly a leader on sustainable tourism, becoming the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hotel in Europe.

Hostal Empúries is ideally located on the beach of Portitxol, in l’Escala, and offers one of the best views of the Mediterranean Sea. Completely renovated, it has 55 rooms, a gym, spa, restaurant, beach bar and bicycle facilities. It is open all year round, as well as its spa and restaurant.


116 kilometers / 1550 meters of elevation

A cycling path runs from the hotel’s backdoor to the beach. This scenic stretch of asphalt marks the beginning of our four-hour journey to Cap de Creus.

Our journey then takes us up the first of three significant climbs for the day, the Coll de Perafita. This ascent is crucial, as it connects most of the roads and paths leading to and from Cadaqués or Port de la Selva. We head towards Cadaqués, renowned for its charming white houses and its rich artistic history.

The road to our final destination, Far del Cap de Creus, meanders through twisting and winding road, with occasional sections of less-than-perfect asphalt. This could be attributed to the blustery weather conditions regularly experienced in this natural park.

Our return journey takes us through Cadaqués once again, up the Coll de Perafita, and then veers right, descending towards El Port de la Selva. Here, the day’s greatest challenge awaits: the ascent to the majestic monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. This 4.5-kilometer climb, with an average gradient of 8%, can be grueling, but the breathtaking views at the summit make it all worthwhile.

As we make our way back to Hostal Empúries, we follow similar roads parallel to those we took on our way to Cap de Creus—mostly flat but still stunning, with signs guiding us back to l’Escala.

Learn more about the route on Wikiloc.


61.5 kilometers / 290 meters of elevation

Once again, we head north, but this time along entirely different routes and surfaces, providing a whole new perspective of the l’Escala and Hostal Empúries area. The main challenge of the day comes after the initial ten kilometers of gravel, at the Puig Segalar, offering stunning panoramic views of the Alt- and Baix Empordà regions.

As we approach the Fluvià River, the route becomes a bit more challenging but remains enjoyable. We follow the gravel sections leading to Sant Pere Pescador, cross the bridge, and then make our way back to the beach. It’s a short ride back to the comfortable hotel.

Learn more about the route on Wikiloc.


49 kilometers/ 900 meters of elevation

After a brief tour through l’Escala’s city center, we tackle some challenging singletracks in Montgrí National Park.

This route features significant climbs, steep uphills, and demanding descents with technical challenges, making it an incredibly enjoyable ride. The views of the ocean are stunning, particularly as the density of trees decreases within the national park. However, the highlight of this journey is undoubtedly the Castle of Montgrí.

As we return from the majestic castle, we encounter more beautiful singletracks that will keep you engaged before indulging in the wellness amenities of Hostal Empúries.

Learn more about the route on Wikiloc.

This story is part of Nafent Magazine volume 8. Read the full story in our digital or paper magazine. Go to our webshop, or buy yours at one of our 200 partner places.

Photography: Rocacorba Cycling and Hostal Empuriès

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