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By Dipika Patel
If you enjoy active holidays that enable you to discover another side to a country then you should consider booking cycling holidays in Spain.
Visiting the southern European nation during such a break is an excellent opportunity to really get under the skin of one of its many diverse regions and Catalonia could prove to be the ideal destination, particularly if you are new to this kind of break.
Cycling in Catalonia ranges from straightforward trails suitable for beginners to more challenging routes but regardless of which part of the region you decide to explore, you are sure to discover plenty of picturesque villages and beautiful landscapes along the way.
The Catalan coast is a particularly popular option and you can look forward to following a route along quiet back roads and empty farm tracks to make your cycling experience all the more enjoyable.
As you journey through the area, you will come across numerous bays and coves, with inviting stretches of golden sand and the clear blue ocean beyond.
Of course, one of the best things about self-guided cycling holidays is that you can set your own pace and this means you will have time to stop off and enjoy the scenery if you want a break from your saddle.
You will also find that there is time to explore some of the ancient villages dotted along the coastline and further inland, each with their own unique stories to tell about the country's past.
One particularly fascinating village that you may want to visit as part of your cycling break is Peratallada.
The houses here are constructed from stone carved out of the moat that surrounds the village and you will find a beautiful old castle and palace if you take the time to wander around its narrow streets and open squares.
Many of the buildings are centuries old and you are bound to feel as though you have stepped back in time as you walk around the village.
But there are many stunning places to find as you travel around on two wheels and you will be in a great position to choose how long you stop for and where you go.
As you travel between destinations, your bags will be carried ahead, so you won't need to transport heavy cases or worry about the logistics of your cycling holidays in Europe.
One of the reasons that the Catalan coast makes such a great destination for cycling breaks is that you can easily head inland for a change of scene during your trip.
Just a short distance from the coast, you will find an idyllic rural setting comprised of farmland, vineyards and rolling fields.
Small villages are dotted around the area and if you want to have a taste of traditional Spanish cuisine then you will be able to savour the local delicacies each evening once you arrive at your accommodation.
By staying in small, family-run locations, you will be treated to true Spanish hospitality - as well as a real flavour of the Catalan region - throughout your holiday.
And if you are not ready for an entire break based around cycling, why not take to two wheels for a few days before settling in one place on the beautiful Catalan coast and soaking up the sun before you return home?
Then you can have the best of both worlds - an active break discovering some of the hidden gems in the area and a few days of lounging on the beach or sightseeing elsewhere.
InnTravel can help you plan your cycling holidays in Europe. Although there are a host of destinations to choose from, cycling holidays in Spain can be particularly appealing. Visit Inntravel to find out about the wonderful opportunities for cycling in Catalonia.
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