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E-Biking through Medieval Villages

Our group was fortunate to spend a half-day e-biking through medieval villages we might otherwise not have considered in Catalunya’s Baix Empordà.

E-biking through medieval villages gives you an unanticipated perspective. You can go fast enough – with an electric boost for inclines and lengthy distances – to visit several villages in a short period of time. You can go slow enough to wind your way through narrow street corridors, taking note of special details. In the Baix Empordà region of Catalunya, you’ll be gratified by sweeping vistas across a landscape that is reminiscent of rural Tuscany or other more well-known Mediterranean locations, but far less crowded.

e-biking through medieval villages

Timeless Mediterranean landscape of the Baix Empordà’s coastal plain

A full one-third of the entire Baix Empordà is protected under a Natural Interest Areas Plan. What this means to the cyclist or e-biker is a great opportunity to design a route that takes advantage of rural scenery, and the castles, Romanesque churches, archeological sites, monasteries and other medieval monuments scattered throughout its coastal plain.

e-biking through medieval villages

An ancient gate at the Ullastret Roman Wall

The Baix Empordà’s signposted cycle touring network indicates suitable low-traffic routes which cyclists can share with regular traffic. Our group was guided through a 20+ kilometer route consisting of a series of dirt pathways, rocky roads dating from medieval times and modern blacktop. This made for an up close and personal half day of e-biking through medieval villages we might not have otherwise considered.

e-biking through medieval villages

Two roads converge in Palau where my yellow-shirted guide graciously awaits a laggard

Our electric bikes were dubbed “burricletas” – a combination of the words for “burro” and “bicycle.” They were equipped with deep saddlebag-like baskets big enough for all kinds of essentials: water bottles, sweater or jacket, purse or small backpack, camera, phone, etc. Usually when I’m biking, I don’t carry a lot of stuff along because I’m going under my own power, so this was great!

e-biking through medieval villages

Our group of fearless e-biking bloggers, grateful for a cloudy day when exertion is planned

We chose our bike helmets from an attractive selection, and after a quick lesson in how to operate our burricletas, we were off.

e-biking through medieval villages

Attired in our attractive bike helmets – Betsy with Patti of luggageandlipstick.com

I was proud that I managed to avoid a couple of minor mishaps that occurred in our group. The only time I wound up sitting on the ground was when I wanted to pose for this photo!

e-biking through medieval villages

“Poppies! Poppies!”

Many tourists of history to this region only visit the Gothic Quarter of Pals, which was one of the first to be restored after being declared an official Cultural Asset of National Importance in 1949. The village of Pals boasts a cultural museum, medieval tombs, a 9th century castle with Romanesque tower, the imposing Churches of Sant Pere and Sant Fructuós, and sweeping views of the coastal plain. Pals is a rightful standalone destination. Add great shopping and you might want to make more than a day of it.

Compared with the smaller villages we visited, though, Pals was a little too “Disney-fied” for me personally. I better enjoyed the smaller villages, where my voyeuristic tendencies confirmed that daily life goes on at an unhurried pace.

e-biking through medieval villages

Taking a break in Palau next to its beehive oven

e-biking through medieval villages

Three different architectural eras in one edifice – you can tell by the size and uniformity of the stones

After our day of e-biking through medieval villages, I was convinced I could poke around the Baix Empordà’s inland communities for weeks on end, take thousands of photos in any season, dine and drink in innumerable establishments located in refurbished vintage buildings, and still see something new all the time.

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e-biking through medieval villages

A medieval corridor in Palau

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E-biking through medieval villages in the Baix Empordà region of Catalunya, Spain

Burricleta Centre Baix Empordà in Gualta, tel. 972 75 50 82, also offers Segway tours for adults and children, a laser combat range and motorized mini-quad(for children) rentals. Advance reservations required and professional historian guides available.

Disclosure: Members of our group were the guests of Burricleta Centre Baix Empordà and Costa Brava TurismeTurisme for this experience. All opinions are our own.

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Jessica Brown

Monday 21st of December 2015

I still enjoy cycling, it really keeps me clam & fit too. You blog is very interesting & informative. Cheers

Betsy Wuebker

Tuesday 22nd of December 2015

Hi Jessica - Thanks for your comment!

Connie

Monday 14th of September 2015

Now that's my kind of bicycling. I'd want all the help I could get. Beautiful scenery.

Betsy Wuebker

Monday 14th of September 2015

Hi Connie - The e-bike sure made things far more enjoyable for me than they would have been under solely my own steam. :)

Jon @ jonistravelling.com

Sunday 13th of September 2015

Cycling has got to be the best way to get around, I've done it a lot in Asia but this looks a lot more relaxing (and not so hot).

Betsy Wuebker

Sunday 13th of September 2015

Hi Jon - It was a cloudy day, so that really helped. I wouldn't have wanted to be in the direct sun. Instead, it was quite comfortable.

Sarah

Saturday 12th of September 2015

Lovely pictures! The burricleta sounds like an awesome way to discover the medieval villages! I really need to learn how to ride a bike! I miss out on so many good tours because of it!

Betsy Wuebker

Sunday 13th of September 2015

Hi Sarah - It really is the greatest! Hope you get to try!

Robb Saunders

Wednesday 9th of September 2015

Sounds like a fun trip. I want to go on a burricletas and cruise through the streets. Also great photos! Keep up the great work!

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