I’m reaching the end of a family holiday in L’Estartit and we are all agreed it is one of our best holidays yet. The sun and gorgeous turquoise sea take most of the credit, but we have all been aware of how much the trip has been enhanced by our bikes.
It’s a family tradition to head to Spain for a bog-standard package holiday. With two nephews aged 10 & 12, and a Grandad in his 70s, we just need something that suits everyone and gives my sister a well-deserved break. This year we decided to hire bikes, and it has made all of the difference. Suddenly everything is so much closer and more accessible. Our various accommodations are now separated by a fun 5 minute cycle instead of a sweaty half-hour walk, and different priorities regarding ice cream vs beach vs pool are easily reconciled as we can zip so easily between them all. We’ve been able to go further afield, exploring quiet rivers and country lanes- and we’ve been delighted to discover that L’Estartit has pretty good bike lanes. Many are separated from the traffic by low bollards, and though they do suffer from being inconsistent, the traffic is quiet so this does not become too much of a problem. The jewel in the crown however is the path system through the nature reserves- wide open and even lanes that are not open to cars- bliss.
The L’Estartit tourism website proudly displays the new cycling infrastructure, and the benefits to the local tourism industry are immediately apparent. L’Estartit is spread pleasingly thinly over a large area- quiet campsites reach far along the coast nestled next to farms and nature reserves. The bicycle is ideally suited here and it is great to see a growing cycling infrastructure that embraces the obvious benefits. It really has enhanced our holiday so much and it’s made me wonder how many resorts could receive a hugely beneficial boost by investing in cycle lanes. The only draw back was the overall cost of bike hire- at €12.50 a day we thought it was pretty reasonable, but four bikes for ten days added a considerable cost to the trip. It was worth it, but it would be great to see the cost come down to get more holiday-makers on their bikes.