We had a fantastic time cycling Salou, Cambrils and the Costa Daurada and thought it would be helpful to share our firsthand tips on the practicalities that will help you ensure you have an outstanding time too.
We also share the tips for cycling the Costa Daurada published by Cambrils tourist board.
Note: this article doesn't include our routes, info on where to stay, bike hire suggestions. For that kind of info, make sure you read our comprehensive ultimate guide to cycling the Costa Daurada and our FAQs on a holiday to the region.
Part 1: Our tips
Preparation for cycling Costa Daurada
1. Gearing and training. The hills we rode weren't too steep, so you should be fine on a semi-compact 52-36. However, while the hills aren't overly steep, they are often long, so doing some training before you arrive will ensure you enjoy your rides.
2. Bring spares: our packing list should help. There are bike shops in Salou and Cambrils (our ultimate guide has details), but you don’t want to be caught short when you’re out on the road. Make sure you know how to fit the spares too (at least the basics, like changing a flat tire)!
3. Check/service your bike before your trip. While there might be bike shops around, it's always better not to have to spend time on a mechanical while you're on holiday.
4. Plan your routes before you visit. Our ultimate guide to cycling Costa Daurada contains four routes we’ve tried and tested. We give you GPX downloads, route profiles, descriptions, photos and videos, so you have a good idea of what to expect. There are also links to lots more routes if the ones we rode aren't quite what you want.
5. Make sure you've looked at the map before you start riding. Take a look at our maps and route profiles, and think about logistics like how long each climb should take, where you plan to eat and whether there are any shortcuts you could take if needed. Going out with no clue of where you're going or what you're going to ride is a recipe for disaster!
6. Refuelling. While many of the routes go through small towns and villages, not all of these will have shops or restaurants - particularly shops or restaurants that are open and serving food when you need it! Also some of the routes are through very rempte countryside, so it's always best to be self-sufficient if at all possible.
7. Rain. There's a reason there are so many green swathes of forest in inland Costa Daurada: it does rain. Yes, they tend to get over 300 hours of sun each year, but you could get unlucky! Always take a waterproof in your back pocket.
8. Sun. Remember those 300+ hours of sunshine? Respect them! It can get seriously hot, and you should plan for it. Take two bottles, refill them when you get opportunities and avoid cycling in the middle of the day. One tip we haven't yet been organised enough to try is freezing our bottle before setting out - it might be a good way to have cold water into your ride!
9. Ride with a friend. If you’ve got the opportunity to ride with a friend or group, it can be sensible to do so. Then, if something goes wrong, there’s someone there you can rely on.
10. Remember the essentials. We keep a small rear light fitted to our bike in cause we come across unexpected bad weather or tunnel. Money, ID and your phone are also (obviously!) crucial.
Part 2: Tips from Cambrils Tourist Board
Cambrils Tourist Board advises cyclists:
11. ID card or passport must be carried at all times
12. Headphones must not be used to listen to music, radio or mobile phones
13. Ensure you can be seen in situations of poor visibility
14. Groups of cyclists may be accompanied by a vehicle properly signalled and to be positioned on the right
15. Circulate with care and with respect for the other users of the road in which alcohol or drugs must not have been consumed
16. Helmets must be worn by all and whilst in the town by children under the age of 16 years
17. Make sure enough space is left between cyclists, at most being tow in a row, and on roads without a hard shoulder, try to go in single file
18. On the road circulate on the hard shoulder otherwise stick to the right. Expressways or motorways must not be used.
19. Bike lanes must be used in the town, if not circulate along the lane on the right hand side of the road and never along the pavements.
Been cycling around Cambrils/Salou and got some additional tips? Please comment below!
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