Cycling around Barcelona: Col de Parpers; Turo de l’Home

A short blog summarizing three nice road-bike rides last week around Barcelona–mostly for those who may visit in the future.  (I like to find good rides when I am in a new area but it was fairly difficult to Google something in English…)  Ride 1 and 3 were very similar 3hr rides that left straight from our hotel in the city (near Diagonal del Mar).  Ride 2 was the queen stage: 40min train ride and a 6hr big ride with two big climbs.  Wonderful!


Day 1: Col de Parpers-. Here’s the downloadable GPS route. We started from the hotel and rode north, first through Badalone and then continue along N2 to Mataro.  The N2 is a fairly busy highway but reasonable OK to ride; definitely the most efficient way to get out of town.  A little tricky to find the right hand turn onto Carrer Riera d’Argentona, but if you are prepared, it’s easy.  From here on the road starts a gentle climb into the foothills.  At km 30, you pass the freeway and ride for a little on what seems a freeway entrance, but then veer to the right.  Before you know it, the 3km climb to Col de Parpers starts.  The route back is fairly flat all the way back into Barcelona.  Don’t miss going down the ramps onto the excellent bike path next to the river, starting from km 62.

Day 2: Turo de l’Home and La Costa de Montseny. BIG RIDE-130km, 2850hm: Take the 30-40min train to Sant Celoni and get ready for a beautiful loop through Parc National de Montseny. The first 23km, 1100hm, about 6-7% climb starts straight out of town: Turo de l’Home.  (You can see its summit with the antenna from the trainstation.) Wonderful steady climb with quite a bit of shade, which was welcome given the 30C. Once past the antenna, a fun descent towards Montseny–careful though: narrow road with poor surface conditions.  

The second climb starts two km past Montseny. We hadn’t done a good recon of the map and didn’t know how long it was.  Typically that means the climb turns out longer than expected…  Although it’s only 600hm and about 10km, it felt harder and longer.  Once over the top, we had a nice 1hr lunch menu in El Brull at the restaurant just near the road. It had been about 3hr20 since we left the trainstation and definitely the right call to re-energize.

Further descent towards Seva at km60.  From here on it is “rolling hills”, yet still another 1000m to climb in aggregate. The last shorter 7km, 250hm climb starts at km 77, first next to the highway and then continues past the overpass.  From there on, it is mostly downhill along a major road.  (Turns out we missed the right hand turn to Breda and continued all the way down to the right-hand-turn onto C-35.)  A 10km slog to Sant Celoni’s trainstation along an uninteresting fairly busy road completes an otherwise wonderful big loop.

Day 3: like Day 1 but we added a nice in&out climb from La Rocca des Vallees to the nice hidden town of Orrius.

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4 Responses to Cycling around Barcelona: Col de Parpers; Turo de l’Home

  1. andrew j. spatz says:


    Elaine wants to go to Barcelona and Girona. Did you use your garmin 800? to keep you from getting lost?

    Get google translate (free app for phone).

    Check out the completive cyclist sale. I think you have the garmin edge 800 GPS?

    ride safe, andy

    andrew spatz (adas/spatz properties)

    1216 main street, evanston, IL 60202

    (O) 847.864.3100 (C) 847.971.3290 (F) 847.869.5647 (e-mail) (website) Click here: adas spatz properties

    • Andy: I used my old Garmin 705–just love that GPS whenever I ride in unfamiliar territory. Even useful here in Flanders: even being only 20km from my home town can be a town I’ve never been. Today, after my road race, I rode home. Just pushed “go home” in the 705 and follow the screen (like in a car). In Barcelona it was very useful not only to keep the route but also to make it back to the hotel easily. I use ridewithgps to map it in advance.

      I saw the Vompetitive Cyclist sale. There is a new Garmin 1000, so the 800 and 810 will be discounted everywhere.

  2. Craig Bryant says:

    Nice! Thanks for sharing. Heike and I are headed to Italy in the mountains. I hopefully will find a hill or two (and a bike!) to get lost sans Garmin on!

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