Girona’s Best Climbs
There is so much to ride and experience as a cyclist in Girona but there are three must-do climbs that every rider should experience and no rider will forget.
Stats: 10.7km, 7%, 742m, Category 1
We aren’t just partial to our namesake climb, Rocacorba has a history every cyclist should become a part of. Used for over a decade by many local pros as a testing climb, the famous mountain is a challenge to anyone and everyone. The 10.7 kilometre climb has a deceptive overall gradient of 7%. Starting teasingly gentle before levelling off and demanding your easiest gear on sections up to 11%, disciplined pacing will pay off for the last half of the climb that averages 9%. However, the quiet tree-lined road offers just enough respite to remain achievable for the determined weekend warrior. Keep your eyes peeled toward the top for the faded “Look Right” painted on the road to see spanning Pyrenean peaks through an opening in the trees. If you ride it on the weekend, reward yourself with a coffee and a cupcake from the seasonal Rocacorba Food Truck on your way down.
Strava link: https://www.strava.com/segments/686229
Mare de Déu del Mont
Stats: 18.5km, 5%, 919m, Category: HC
Boasting a 360 degree view that includes the peaks of the Pyrenees and Costa Brava coastline on a clear day, there aren’t many cycling climbs like the 18.5 kilometre Mare de Déu del Mont. There are two roads up D’El Mont that join past the mid point. Both options are narrow and twisty roads through the forest with steep hairpins but, if you choose the less popular route through Besalu instead of approaching via Cabanelles, add on an extra 1.5km. Where the two roads join the road quality improves and there is 6.8km to go. When you hit the 500m flat/downhill section 13 kilometres in, take a moment to enjoy the exposed view and prepare your legs for the final ascent to the summit. You’ll leave the trees behind and ride past the rocky cliffs before the final 300 meters that wrap around the back of the peak. After 18.5 kilometres with an average gradient of 5%, as the road ends, you’ll feel on top of the world. Make sure you park your bike and venture up to the church and cafe so you can get the whole 360 experience.
Strava link: https://www.strava.com/segments/3449399
10.1km, 3%, 344m, Category 2
Just outside of Girona, Els Angels is conveniently placed less than ten minutes from the city centre but you’ll feel miles away from the city. A staple climb for every local cyclist, pro and amateur, the twisty forrest-lined road has an approachable average gradient of 3% but, over 10.1 kilometres, it still requires some legs. The variable terrain will keep your attention with hairpins, downhills, flat and fast sections, and a few short steep rises that will tempt you out of the saddle. While the big cross marks the official summit for cyclists, you can continue up toward the Santuari dels Àngels church to see where Salvador Dali was married and catch a better view of the land and your accomplishment.
Strava link: https://www.strava.com/segments/654192