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pyrenees, catalonia, spain, landscape, scenery, bicycling (4)

Cycling in the Pyrenees

  |   22 Comments

This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park

All too often the road seems more like a highway. As I travel across countries, trying to see as much as possible, sometimes it’s the detail that gets lost. On trains, you see the landscapes blur past. On buses, it’s always the quickest way between cities – not necessarily the most scenic. And planes… well, I don’t think I need to describe how little you see on them.

pyrenees, catalonia, spain, landscape, scenery, bicycling (7)

So it was a nice change to spend a morning exploring the countryside of northern Spain on the back of an electric bicycle. Along the quiet laneways, past the fields and through the small little villages that spot the area. The Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park has an ominous name but it’s as calm as anywhere could be. The gentle hum of the bike’s electric motor and the whishing of the turning wheels capture perfectly the Pyrenees region of Catalonia. It’s quiet and peaceful but not in a way that should be mistaken for inactivity. There’s always something happening.

I loved the scenes along these roads, little moments of country life captured in frames. I thought I would share some of them with you, to try to give you a sense of the region. Here are my favourite photographs:

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Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona tourism board but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

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22 Comments
  • Angela | Dec 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Great views, I love the photo with the old house, so similar to Sardinia’s villages.
    Angela recently posted..I want to “Go With Oh” to ParisMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

      There’s something very quaint about those small villages. I can’t wait to get to Sardinia sometime.

  • Nina F | Dec 4, 2012 at 5:13 am

    I can hear the quiet sounds and feel the warm sun and light breeze from your photos. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

      A nice little escape from the stresses of the day, to look at these photos :)

  • Natasha von Geldern | Dec 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Very charming indeed, and I love the idea of an electric bicycle for the hills!
    Natasha von Geldern recently posted..Destination wedding in BaliMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

      My gosh – the electric bike is the best invention ever! It made going up those hills so much easier!!

  • The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) | Dec 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    This is so beautiful. I’m an avid cyclist and have wanted to ride in the Pyrenees for quite some time now. Very inspirational photos, thanks Michael!
    The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) recently posted..Celebrating 30 years of life on the Great Wall of ChinaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:33 am

      It’s such a wonderful area to ride around. There aren’t many cars on the small roads and there are so many times you want to stop and take photos. So a bike is the perfect way to do it!

  • Jennifer | Dec 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Beautiful photos! I e-biked around some of the medieval villages of Costa Brava and it was a great experience. I’m sure cycling in the Pyrenees was even more beautiful.
    Jennifer recently posted..Splish-Splashing at Aquaventure at Atlantis The PalmMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

      I would love to have done some more of it. The villages around Costa Brava would have been a perfect place, I imagine.

  • ANGLO/Dale | Dec 5, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Terrific setting, terrific photos.

    Read lots about using electric bicycles here in Taiwan, so looking ahead at the next two weeks, that might not be half a bad idea.

    Cheers Michael.
    ANGLO/Dale recently posted..Purchase or Pass? Our Japan Rail Pass VerdictMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:36 am

      It’s pretty much like riding a normal bike but it gives you a little bit of a boost when you need it. It means that if you’re not used to riding (which I am not) you can go for much longer without starting to get sore in your leg muscles.

      • ANGLO/Dale | Dec 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm

        Having so far managed to get through two weeks in Taiwan without having to use any kind of bicycle, scooter or electric bicycle; I’m kind of disappointed :( Got my hopes up a little too much I suppose.
        ANGLO/Dale recently posted..LOCATE CAVEY – NikkoMy Profile

        • Michael Turtle | Dec 17, 2012 at 9:11 pm

          Ha ha. Don’t let it get to you too much :)

  • D.J. - The World of Deej | Dec 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I have done a lot of biking while traveling of late and find it to be so enjoyable. You’re right…you soak in so much more on two wheels than any other way!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..2012 Passports With PurposeMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

      …and you can stop so easily to take photos. That’s what I loved about doing it in such a scenic area!!

  • Jake Leyland | Dec 7, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Hey love your pictures! Found your blog from the 101 holidays 2012 blogger recommendation. Glad I did! Keep posting :)

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 11, 2012 at 1:00 am

      Thanks so much, Jake! I really appreciate you stopping by and look forward to seeing more of you around these parts! :)

  • Vera | Dec 13, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Yoho, Mister T! Very atmosperic and scenic shots – we too biked the Pyrenees in Catalonia (of course we did NOT e-bike, as we are REALLY sporty. …Okay, so it was basically downhill all the time, but!), and your shots look somehow familiar and yet different. … I can’t believe you e-biked. I’ve never e-biked. I don’t think having the option of giving less than everything is very becoming for me. Too tempting. And considering the exquisite Catalonian cuisine and my tendency to overeat, they’d soon needed a, uhm, special e-bike for me. True story. But you’re not as feeble-minded and therefore still sexy:).
    Vera recently posted..Travelling responsibly: #betterchildprotectionMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Once you try the e-bike, my dear, you will never go back! Who needs that kind of challenge in the Spanish countryside? It was hard enough trying to eat everything I was offered – let alone then having to get on a bike and pedal for myself!

  • Carolina | Jun 22, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Hello! Do you think it’s ok to go from Figueres to Garrotxa by bike? (not e-bike?)
    I’m traveling on my own by bike and Ive got 25kg of luggage on me :/ What do you say?
    I appreciate the advice ;)

    • Michael Turtle | Jul 12, 2014 at 5:42 am

      Yes, I think that would be fine by bike. The paths are very good and there’s not much traffic most of the way. I’m not sure is that exact route has many hills but you’ll definitely be going uphill at the end for some of it. That’s potentially the only issue you’ll have. It’s such a beautiful area, though, it’s worth it!! :)

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