E-Biking through Medieval Villages
Our team was fortunate to spend a half-day e-biking throughout medieval villages we might not have considered in Catalunya’s Baix Empordà.
E-biking through medieval villages gives you an abrupt perspective. You can go fast enough — with an electrical increase for slopes and prolonged distances — to visit several villages in a brief period of time. You may go slow enough to wind your way through narrow road corridors, taking notice of particular details. In the Baix Empordà region of Catalunya, you’re going to be amazed by sweeping vistas across a landscape that’s reminiscent of tropical Tuscany or other more renowned Mediterranean locations, but less crowded.
Antique Mediterranean landscape of the Baix Empordà’s coastal plain
A full one third of the entire Baix Empordà is shielded under a Natural Interest Areas Plan. What this means to the fisherman or e-biker is a fantastic chance to design a road which takes advantage of rural scenery, and the temples, Romanesque churches, archeological sites, monasteries and other medieval monuments scattered across its coastal plain.
- Roman Bridge on the River Daró at Gualta
- Ancient wagon wheel ruts on Roman bridge at Gualta
An gate at the Ullastret Roman Wall
The Baix Empordà’s signposted cycle touring network suggests suitable low-traffic paths that cyclists can share with regular traffic. Our team was guided via a 20+ kilometer route consisting of a collection of dirt paths, rocky roads dating from medieval times and modern blacktop. This made for an up close and private half a day of e-biking throughout medieval villages we may not have considered.
Two roads converge in Palau where my yellow-shirted guide awaits a laggard
Our electric bikes were dubbed “burricletas” — a combination of the words for “burro” and “bicycle.” They have been equipped with deep saddlebag-like baskets large enough for all kinds of essentials: water bottles, sweater or jacket, purse or small backpack, camera, telephone, etc.. Usually when I am biking, I do not carry a lot of stuff along because I am moving under my own energy, so this was terrific!
Our team of fearless e-biking bloggers, grateful to get a muddy day when effort is planned
We picked our bicycle helmets from an attractive choice, and after a quick lesson in how to run our burricletas we were off.
Attired in our attractive bike helmets — Betsy with Patti of all lipstickandluggage.com
I was proud that I managed to prevent a couple of minor accidents that happened in our category. The only real time I wound up sitting around the floor was when I wanted to pose for this picture!
Many tourists of background to this region only stop by the Gothic Quarter of Pals, which was one of the very first to be revived after being declared a formal Cultural Asset of National Importance in 1949. The village of Pals boasts a cultural museum, medieval tombs, a 9th century castle using Romanesque tower, the most imposing Churches of Sant Pere and Sant Fructuós, and sweeping views of the coastal plain. Pals is a standalone destination. Add good shopping and you may want to create more than a day of it.
- Shopping in medieval Pals
- Arched pathway in Pals
In comparison with the more compact villages we visited, however, Pals was a little too “Disney-fied” for me personally. I better enjoyed the smaller towns, where my voyeuristic tendencies affirmed that daily life continues at an unhurried pace.
Taking a Rest at Palau alongside its beehive oven
Three distinct architectural eras in one edifice — you can tell by the size and uniformity of those stones
After our day of e-biking throughout medieval villages, I was convinced I could poke round the Baix Empordà’s inland communities for months on end, just take thousands of photographs in any time, dine and drink in innumerable institutions located in pristine classic buildings, and still see something new all the time.
A corridor at Palau
Burricleta Centre Baix Empordà at Gualta, tel. 972 75 50 82, additionally offers Segway tours for adults and children, a laser combat range and motorized mini-quad(for children) rentals. Advance reservations required and skilled historian guides available.
Disclosure: Members of the team were the guests of Burricleta Centre Baix Empordà and Costa Brava TurismeTurisme with this adventure. All comments are our own.
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