A visit to Lolita

60km, 850 meters altitude gain. This is my favorite +-60km loop around Girona. Starting on the fairytale lanes that take you to Canet d’Adri via Montcal and Adri - my favourite entry point into this hilly, quiet backroad wonderland is from Sarria de Ter (North Girona) but there are equally good options from Taiala and just before Sant Gregori.

The fairytale lanes are not always kind to cold or tired legs as there are steep pitches - up to 13% at it’s worst - but they go up in steps and the frequent little sections of respite in the gradient make it a lot friendlier. Don’t let that gradient put you off - the steps are really just that and the scenery more than makes up for it.

If you’re coming from Sarria de Ter, it is 10 km of steps and drops to the top where you get a reasonably close up view of the Rocacorba antennas, before swinging to your left and dropping back down the valley towards Canet d’Adri. As you come towards the town the trees open up, and you see one of my favorite views in the area - a church in front of you with Girona and the Els Angles “mountain” behind it in the distance. Swooping through Canet d’Adri you have a beautiful run back down to the Sant Gregori valley and have time to either relax a bit - or push on to bring up your average speed again.

The steepest section of the descent leads on to the intersection where going left takes you via Sant Gregori back to Girona in just under 30km - and a right takes you up the Llemena Valley towards the little village of Llora. Just as you are leaving Llora you cross a bridge with a sharp left hand bend after it. Instead of turning left, do yourself a favour and turn right onto a gravel parking area in front of what looks like a very old house - but it a cafe and home to the lovely Lolita! She works alone in her cafe serving coffee, snacks and platters of meat and bread, so asks that groups stay small though!

Upon bidding farewell to Lolita the ride continues up the valley before taking a left hand turn to Les Serres and Bonmati. The climb up to Les Serres is only 1.5km at 6% and after it you have a almost 8km of mostly downhill to Bonmati - just one little bump right before town to break the rhythm. Be warned that the road was redone with chip-seal in early 2017 and loose gravel can be expected in many of the corners for a long time to come.

Bonmati has a little cafe (El Raco dels Amics) for any emergency stops needed. After Bonmati you turn right onto the N141e for only 1 km before turning left again towards Mas Llunes. The N141e is one of the busiest roads that I regularly use while cycling around Girona and dislike it but almost anywhere else it would be regarded as a normal training road.

Entering Mas Llunes there is a 2km climb which always feels steeper to me than its 4+% but maybe that’s because the climb actually continues into the town and drags upwards for another 2km until you ever increasingly start heading downhill and past Estanyol. Just before the GI533 there is a tiny road to your right which leads you to Aiguaviva on backroads - easy to miss at first but well worth looking for. From Aiguavivia you pretty much enter the city but keep an eye out for the bike paths which the attached gpx file does follow - and they certainly make the city section more enjoyable.