Round trip from Montpellier

The Mediterranian coast from Montpellier in France to Catalonia has a suitable climate for cycling all year. The route starts along a canal at the coast, goes towards the Pyrennees, and then to Costa Brava in Spain. Near Montpellier airport, Hotel Montpellier Sud Neptun at Carnon Plage can be recommended for overnight stay. Bicycles can be rented from Cyrpeo.

Biking west from Montpellier along the coast towards Sète, one may continue on the famous bike path along Canal du Midi. We have instead preferred to travel by train from Sète to Perpignan, and bike southwest along the coast towards Spain.

The present route can be made longer by biking further south on Costa Brava, or shorter by returning to France over the hills between Garriguella and Banyuls-sur-Mer).

Day 1. Montpellier to Sète (31 km, map link)

The suggested route starts at Carnon Plage, biking west along the southern side of Canal du Rhone á Séte. A detour for lunch to the beautiful haven of Palavas-les-Flots can be recommended (for example at Le Galion Restaurant).

Étang view from the canal

From Palavas-les-Flots, go back to the unpaved bike path along the canal, with a wonderful view to the étangs on both sides where flamingos often are seen. At Les Aresquiers, the mapped route continues on Avenue des Étangs away from the canal, and crosses over the canal to Frontignan where a café stop may be made.

Flamingos along the canal

From Frontignan, bike along Quai Voltaire on the northwestern side of the canal, and continue along the canal towards Sète. At the crossing with Canal de la Peyrade, a bike bridge over Canal du Rhone á Sète is found just after passing below a road bridge. Then take the first crossing over Canal de Peyrade, and continue south along the right side of Canal de Peyrade into the centre of Séte, where many accomodations and restaurants are found. Le Grand Hotel can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2. Perpignan to Argeles-sur-Mer (30 km, map link)

Wonderful morning in Sète

In the morning, go to the railway station in Sète (shown on the Montpellier-Sète map) and take the train southwest to Perpignan. From the west side of the railway station in Perpignan, the suggested route goes south along Boulevard Saint-Assicle, turning right to Avenue Julien Panchot, and immediately left along Avenue de Belfort continuing on Avenue Victor Dalbiez (D73).

After 2 km, turn left along Chemin des Arcades at the roundabout, going along the railway. Just before a large old bridge, turn right along the bike path, turn left just before the main road and left again (north) along Avenue d’Espagne, to find a bike path crossing under the avenue continuing east along Chemin de la Fossella. After 1 km turn right, go through the roundabout on the main road (D914) and turn left (southeast) along Rue du Docteur Parce, leading to Zone Agrosud where Le Restaurant de Boniface La 7éme Vague is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Lac de la Raho

From Zone Agrosud, go south through a roundabout to a very nice bike path along the road Mas de la Raho, towards Villeneuve-de-la-Raho. After 2 km, the bike path turns right towards the beautiful lake Lac de la Raho, with a scenic view towards high mountains in the Pyrenees. The suggested route continues southeast along the lake to Avenue du Roussillon, turning right to Route de Bages, and left along Rue de Bretagne continuing as Rue de Normandie, to the main road D8 (Route de Montserrat) going south. After crossing the river Agulla de la Mar, the suggested route turns left along Rue d’Avall Rich past Domaine Belric, continuing as a narrow path ending on the road D80 (Rue de Montescot). Go left along D80 and take the first right turn southeast along Chemin de Villeneuve towards Elne, which is a beautiful old city.

View of Pyrenees from Elne

In Elne, the suggested route continues on Rue du Onze Novembre and Rue Nationale to the old city centre. A detour for sightseeing or a café visit may be a good idea. Out of Elne, go east along the road D40 and turn right along Avenue de Elne at Latour-bas-Elne. Continue east along Rue du Centre and Avenue de la Mer, turning right (southeast) along Les Claves continuing on La Negada to the roundabout at the crossing with the road D81. Cross over to the bike path along the left side of D81, continuing south towards Argeles-sur-Mer. Follow the bike path along D81, C1 (Chemin de la Salanque), Rue de Trabucaires, Rue du 14 Joillet and Avenue de la Liberacion to Argeles-Ville. Many accomodations and restaurants are found in Argeles-sur-Mer. Auberge de Roua can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3. Argeles-sur-Mer to Cantallops (46 km, map link)

From the centre of Argeles-sur-Mer, bike west along Route de Sorede (D2), and turn right (northwest) along Transverse San Pere immediately after the bridge over the main road (D914). Transverse San Pere ends in a roundabout, where a very nice bike path is found on the right (north) side of the road D618, with a wonderful view towards the high mountains of the Pyrenees.

High mountains in the Pyrenees

Except from a minor detour at the crossing with Route de Brouilla (D2), the bike path stays on the right side of D618 all the way southwest to Le Boulou, where the bike path south towards Maurillas is marked by signposts (through a beautiful landscape across Riviere de Maurillas, over a bridge crossing the road A9, on Route Mas Fourcade downhill to D618, and uphill along D618 to Maurillas-las-Illas). Biking south through Maurillas-las-Illas on Rue Longue and Rue Sainte Madelaine, a lunch café may be found, for example 66 sur Vins or El Tap.

Out of Maurillas-las-Illas, continue on Rue Sainte Madelaine (D13), and turn left along D13C after ca. 1 km, going south and uphill to Riunogues. Continue to the top of the hill along Ham de la Selva, and continue east on the well paved and winding bike path towards Spain. Going into Spain, the paving of the bike path disappears, so be careful to avoid falls in the steepest downhill paths towards the train station north of La Jonquera. Continue south following the bike path signposts, entering La Jonquera through a tunnel below the road N-11 near the centre of the village, where a café can be found.

Wonderful view on the top of the hill

Out of La Jonquera, go left along Avinguda 6 d’Octubre, and turn left in the roundabout to the road GI-601 towards Cantallops, where Hotel Can Xiquet can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay. Staying more than one night in Cantallops may be a good idea, allowing local bike trips in the Costa Brava region south of Cantallops.

Day 4. Cantallops to Gariguella (36 km, map link)

If the bicycle vacation includes culture, Figueres with its popular Dalí and toy museums should be included. Alternatively, one could bike directly to Gariguella via Sant Climent Sescebes, Mollet de Peralada and Peralada.

Old village Cantallops

The suggested route goes east from Hotel Can Xiquet to GI-601, turning right, left and right again (south) along Carrer San Climent through a nice rural landscape. Turn left (southeast) in the crossing with GI-602 after 8 km, and right (south) in the crossing between GI-602 and GIV-6026. From GIV-6026, turn left in the crossing with GIV-6024, going south through Cabanes towards Figueres. Continue on the road C-252 (Carrer de Tapis) into Figueres, where the suggested route takes the first turn right along Carrer de l’Aigüeta (a narrow road continuing as a bike path ending on Carrer Verdera). Continue west along Carrer Verdera and Carrer Montgó, turn left (south) along Avinguda Marignane, and continue south on Carrer de la Tramuntana to the old centre of Figueres and the Dalí Theatre and Museum.

Since the 22 km bike ride downhill from Cantallops is relatively easy, Figueres may be reached at lunch time. The afternoon can then be used for museum visits and sightseeing, including the main street La Rambla.

Church in Peralada

One may bike out of Figueres through the centre, east along Carrer Canigó and Carrer de la Muralla, continuing north along Carrer de Peralada and C-252, which bends left (northeast) towards Peralada at the crossing with GIV-6024. When C-252 enters Peralada, the suggested route includes a short detour through the historical centre. C-252 is then followed northeast to Gariguella, where Hotel Spa Vilamont can be recommended for overnight stay.

If you prefer to spend more time in Figueres, you may stay there overnight, for example at Duran Hotel & Restaurant.

Day 5. Garriguella to Cadaqués (28 km, map link)

From Garriguella, the suggested route goes southeast along Carrer de Castelló to C-252, which changes its name to GI-604 and then to GI-610 passing Viljajuga. After 12 km (near Roses) turn left (east) along GI-614 over the high hills towards Cadaqués, with a spectacular view towards west, south and east.

In the hills towards Cadaqués

Cadaqués is called ‘the white town’, with white houses spread out around the beautiful bay. Many visitors take a detour to Port Lligat 1 km further north, where Salvadore Dali’s house may be visited. Many accomodations and restaurants are found in Cadaqués. For example Hotel Playa Sol may be recommended for overnight stay.

Harbour of the white city Cadaqués

Day 6. Cadaqués to Banyuls-sur-Mer (52 km, map link)

The suggested route goes uphill from Cadaqués along GI-614. On the top of the hills, turn right (northwest) along GI-613, which is a scenic winding road going downhill through a spectacular landscape to El Port de la Selva.

Marvellous view of El Port de la Selva

El Port de la Selva is a beautiful town and an important fishing port and tourist centre, with a lot of hotels. Visiting a lunch café, for example Can Pepitu, may be a good idea.

El Port de la Selva

From El Port de la Selva, bike northwest on GI-612 along the beautiful bay towards Llanca. From Llanca, there are two options: 1: Continue along the mapped route on the main road N-260 (in Spain) and D914 (in France), biking all the way on the hilly roads to Banyuls-sur-Mer. 2: Continue along GI-612 to the train station in Llanca, and take the train to Cerbere. The view from the road over the hills between Cerbere and Banyuls-sur-Mer is spectacular.

Many accomodations and restaurants are found in Banyuls-sur-Mer. Hotel Les Elmes can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7. Banyuls-sur-Mer to Elne (28 km, map link)

Harbour of Port-Vendres

From Banyuls-sur-Mer, the suggested route goes along D914 trough a scenic landscape to Port-Vendres, turning left in the crossing between D914 and D114. D114 is then followed through Collioure to Ageles-sur-Mer, where Restaurant La Gamate is conveniently placed for a lunch stop.

Collioure

From Argeles-sur-Mer, the suggested route to Elne is the same as described for Day 2 (alternatively, a detour may be made to see Port-Argeles before going north along D81). In Elne, Hotel Cara Sol can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 8. Elne to Sète (49 km, map link 1, map link 2)

The suggested route from Elne to Perpignan (shown under map link 1) is the same as for Day 2 from Elne to Agrosud in Perpignan. Continue north along Avenue Albert Einstein and Avenue Paul Alduy. After passing a sports park on the left hand side, turn left (west) to Avenue Alfred Sauvy, and turn left again (northwest) along Avenue René Cassin, continuing on Boulevard Nungesser et Coli, Allée de Bacchus, Rue Pierre Renaudel, Avenue Henri Ribère and Rue Georges Courteine to the railway station in Perpignan.

Take the train to Agde. Bike southeast along Avenue Victor Hugo and across the canal on the road D912, bending left along Rue Claude Bernard and right along Rue Richelieu to the centre of Agde, where a lunch stop may be a good idea (for example at Restaurant Larcen La Suite).

From the centre of Agde, the suggested route goes southeast on the bike path at the right side of Boulevard du Soleil and the road D32E10 (Avenue Francois Mitterand) towards Cap d’Agde. At the roundabout, the bike path continues along Chemin de Docteur Guy Torreau. Turn right to Chemin des Golfeurs passing under a road bridge, and follow the bike path back to D32E10. The bike path ends at Palais de Congrès Cap d’Agde, where the beautiful path going upwards in spiral is a wonder for cyclists.

Cap d'Agde

Then the suggested route goes south to Port du Cape d’Agde, with a beautiful view to the boats and the sea. Back from the quai, bike northwest along Avenue des Sergents, to find a nice bike path at Cours des Gentilhommes just after the roundabout. The bike path crosses the road and continues north along Avenue des Cantinières, Avenue de la Butte and Avenue du Bagnas, turning left (northwest) past a swamp and lake area, ending on a narrow bike path northeast along D612 (Route de Sète).

Along Marseillan Plage

Continue northeast along D612 and Avenue de Sète, and further northeast along the beach (Marseillan Plage) all the way to Sète. Arriving in Sète, continue northeast on D2, and turn left to D612 going along the seaside to Canal de Sète,  Continue north along the canal into the centre of Sète, where Le Grand Hotel can be recommended for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 9. Sète to Montpellier (38 km, map link)

The suggested route from Sète to Les Aresquiers is the same as for Day 1. From Les Aresquiers to Palavas-les-Flots, a better paved but longer bike path is suggested for Day 9, via Vic-la-Gardiole and Villeneuve-les-Maguelone. A detour for lunch to the beautiful haven of Palavas-les-Flots is recommended (for example at Le Galion Restaurant), before returning to Carnon Plage and Montpellier along Canal du Rhone à Séte.

Sunset at Montpellier