60km 1000 meters altitude gain. I call this the Classic Loop as it’s probably the most popular loop in town - especially for newcomers on their first afternoon out. Just over 60km and just under 1000 meters of climbing, it’s a perfect introduction to Girona riding, especially as you have views of the bigger climbs and the ocean - all beckoning to be explored.
A short warmup of 4km before you hit the steady 10km climb to Els Angles which averages a mere 3.5% but that is deceptive as there is a short and welcome downhill in the middle. That said, it never exceeds 7%. At the top you find the Santuari dels Angels where Salvador Dali got married (the second time - to the same lady) where you can enjoy amazing views of the mountains, Girona and the coastline while refuelling at the cafe.
The downhill over the other side is reasonably rough so I prefer to take this one easy.
At the bottom of the descent, a right turn takes you from Madremanya to Monells where a stop in the town square is highly recommended. There you will find cafes as well as a drinking fountain with good drinking water. Restaurant Bar Roura Blanch and Ca l’Arcadi cafes are both in the square.
From Monells you can go straight to Sant Sadurni de l’Heura or take a minor detour via Cuilles to get there - which would make it three beautiful Medieval towns in a row. In Sant Sadurni de l’Heura you pass a hall which usually has red plastic chairs and tables outside which does not look like the most appealing stop - but is surprisingly good with homemade cakes, quiches and delights in a town-hall-cafe, La Concordia.
From there you have one little dip down a hill before you start up Santa Pellaia which is 6km long at 4% average. No downhills in the middle of this one but it is one of the most beautifully steady climbs I’ve ever ridden. It has a kick up to 8% right at the bottom but from then on meanders up the valley at a beautiful, easy grade. The downhill on the far side has two sections of beautiful switchbacks which can be taken at speed if you are capable - but the last switchback in the first section always catches me out as the road is slightly off-camber on a left hand bend so beware.
Down the hill into Cassa de la Selva where most people seem to take the C65 straight back to Girona but I strongly recommend taking the back roads via Fornells de la Selva. Smaller, quieter and scenic while only adding a handful of kilometres, these back roads are always a pleasure but hard to explain so following the attached route is recommended. In the outskirts of Girona, follow the route past the Girona Football Stadium for the most stress free re-entry into civilisation.