Casquette describes it as the “Girona’s savvy rival” so we simply had to find get the 411 on spanking-new cycling hotspot Osona. And who better to give us the lowdown than Cristina Cortés of Osona Cycling Tours?
Hi Cristina. Osona is steadily building up quite the reputation. What makes it such a great place for cyclists?
Osona offers so more variety of road profiles, from strong and long climbs to a flat and easy rides. Some of the climbs could be over 25km and more than 1100m of elevation difference. Also, because it is a less touristy area than Girona, there are much fewer cars. It is far more rural, so you get more of the flavours and feelings of the local riders in Osona.
If I were only in Osona for a day, what route would you recommend?
I would say the La Volta al Montseny: it is tough but worth it. The road is inside a natural park so in autumn or spring it becomes gorgeous due the different colours of the leaves.
If someone is looking for a good climb, what would you recommend?
Probably climbing Coll Formic, Santa Fe or, for strong riders, Turó de l’Home – which is much like Mount Ventoux in France but with fewer people. I’ve climbed both several times, since I love climbs, and I would say Turó de l’Home is a bit more challenging for me.
How about sprints?
We have a very wide area called La Plana de Vic, which is perfect for time trial and sprint work. It’s about 40km long and 30km wide, so there is plenty of space for good average speed and sprint workouts.
All that cycling means refuelling. Where is your favourite place to eat?
There are so many places. I personally enjoy more rustic and rural places, like La Fonda Alpens. The food here is simple but excellent. There are also some nice food spots in a village called Saint Julià.
Can you tell us your favourite place to stay?
Probably El Seminari de Vic. It is within walking distance of the city centre of Vic, but far enough away that you can relax. Also they have a very nice cafe with lots of meal choices.
Where can cyclists go to hang out on their off days?
The area of Montseny a les Guilleries is a big playground for the cyclists. For milder rides in beautiful surroundings, head to el Lluçanès or el Collsacabra.
And finally, where is the one place someone simply must take a picture for their Instagram?
I’m a nature person, so any view from Montseny is gorgeous, especially in autumn around Santa Fe area; the colours of the trees are amazing.
Osona Cycling Tours offer a variety of tours of the region, taking in the high peaks of the Pyrenees and the beaches of Costa Brava. They also provide post-cycle yoga and stretching sessions. Book or contact them online at www.osonacyclingtour.es/en/