I am fortunate enough to have had two extended stays at Mas Pelegri. My purpose of stay was training related however, given the breath taking scenery, epic cycling rides and beautiful accommodations it could have easily been mistaken as a luxury vacation.
I have cycled in many places worldwide and the location of Mas Pelegri, which is situated on the foot hills of the Pyrenees, is hands down the best training- in terms of scenery, challenge and tranquility from traffic. You can be out the door and riding on quite roads within minutes.
The small town, Banyolas, only 10 minutes away, offers a feel of real Catalina living. Since it has not been over run by tourism, you get the privilege of experiencing the true culture. Usually this experience comes with the price of not having access to modern training facilities, however Banyoles is unique in that it has two quality pools to train in, as well as, a beautiful lake. There are endless trail runs and a dirt track the surrounds the lake. (Lined with coffee shops-to meet caffeine needs)
The family that runs the Mas Pelegri are willing to help in any way to accommodate individual needs. They have a first-hand understanding of the needs of athletes, of all levels, as well as families.
I have had the privilege of receiving expert coaching from the owners, which has allowed me to reach my current level of competition as a professional triathlete. I would recommend, a short or long term training vacation at Mas Pelegri to anybody looking for a quite get away or a prefect cycling or triathlon training facility. I look forward to returning every year!
My husband and I recently stayed at Mas Pelegri, and absolutely loved it. Fiona and Gareth(the owners) are wonderful hosts, willing to accommodate any request. We stayed in a room with with a private bath and access to a lovely patio. Meals provided by the owners were amazing and they had excellent knowledge of the area for recommendations. The grounds of the house are beautiful and it was very quiet and peaceful. Our accommodations were setup through Equestrian Escapes as part of a horseback riding tour. The stables are about 1 km from Mas Pelegri. The swimming pool provided a refreshing workout and there are many running routes that travel nearby. Overall, we cannot wait to go back!!
I spent a week at Mas Pelegri, where the weather (in the last week of February) was brilliant: almost unbroken blue sky, and warm enough to be in a short sleeve jersey in the daytime. The location is brilliant, with a mass of recommended rides to suit a variety of abilities or stamina, across terrain ranging from high mountains to flatter valleys nearer the coast. For me the highlight was a 100-mile day ride across the Pyrenees into France and back.
My room was very comfortable, there was always ample hot water for bath or shower, and the sheets were crisp and fresh.
Gareth and Fiona are excellent hosts, very friendly and helpful, providing evening meals on demand (there are not many local restaurants, and the only one I tried to get into had quirky opening times...). Gareth provided me with recommended rides each day, which enabled me to explore the local area in each direction. The Spanish have built a large number of wide, smooth surfaced roads, which seem to be largely empty: basically a cyclist's paradise!
A wonderful place to stay and relax. The pool is 25m, clean and well looked after. The property is a converted farm house which is spacious, cool and well designed with spacious rooms. The owners are very helpful and give great advise about things to do locally. The village has little in it so a car is needed to get around to the local towns and mountains which are a joy to visit. Very, very recommended!!
My husband and I spent a week at Mas Pelegri. The room was large, elegant, comfortable and the food was terrific. Fiona and Gareth were friendly and helpful in every way, providing maps, suggestions about trips and places to visit in the area, even a cell phone. The location is outstanding, beautiful, and the building itself is remarkable. We have no complaints and will return again when we can.
...And you are pretty serious about your cycling...How serious?
Well, you are the type who will do research for 6 months to find the best deal, but value premium service. You make sure that you are meticulously prepared for any eventuality, and maybe you have a mileage goal in mind, or are training for an upcoming event...Or maybe, you just want to work on that tan and prefer to do it on a bike...However, the idea of camping with a tent and a pair of panniers on your bike does not appeal to you, nor does the idea of a sedentary, fat creating vacation with a tour guide who has to ask for directions themselves and offers you the same tired course every day...Bah!
Nope- What YOU want are quiet, relatively traffic free yet a huge diversity of endlessly challenging roads, a knowledgeable and friendly cycle guide and coach who customises the ride for YOUR ability, skill and comfort level, some damn good food and drink (including some really nice locally sourced wine), an awesome warm shower and clean crisp sheets with satellite TV to watch the Giro d'Italia in an 500 year old Spanish Casa at the end of a long ride to get you excited about the next day...Hey, if you can get entry into a local TT or cyclosportif to experience the local cycling culture, take snaps of some of the stunning countryside and city, or rub shoulders with a pro or two, no problem, right?
Okay, so two sporty Brits- Fiona and Gareth have set up permanent shop in the middle of some of the very best cycling in Europe (Really! Just ask one of the dozens of pro cyclist who might pass you on the road!)...
So they offered me all of these things during my too-short-stay there, AND got me entered into the local cycling club around-the-lake TT on my last day, AND Fiona gave me some valuable physio advice/cyclist's massage, AND Gareth helped me improve my technical skills in descending and climbing, evaluated my position and helped me set up my bike AND their two kids are completely adorable AND in 4 days I did almost 270km of really challenging rides AND I was even able to wash my stinky cycling kt in their washer before coming home...Just first-rate, top-drawer, pro-level stuff...
Really, there is no other option for anyone even remotely interested in their cycling- from novice to the pro-level cyclists/triathletes- It was superb!
Okay, so a few things? If you are a big group, have lots of kit, have "emerging" Spanish skills, or are not really good with self-transfers You might consider asking Gareth to come down (for an extra fee) to get you from Barcelona airport. He provided me with superb and comprehensive instructions for taking the train, but it IS a bit of a hike with a bike, in the Heat, and maybe the elevators are not always working and the signs are not installed in the station??...
Bring sunscreen and a Camera...The sun is glorious and Gareth knows those roads like Google Maps- You have been warned...
Be prepared to stay with working professional athletes who also spend time there. Tristan the pro triathlete who I stayed with is the gold standard, but I am sure that the other pros who make stops there are just as welcoming and generous with their advice (and energy gels!)
This thing is all-inclusive (including all meals at Mas Pelegri, and outside as well) and the food is another reason to visit- Catalan cuisine is exceptional. Consequently, it IS a little more expensive than average, but the service is also above average, and if you do the cost/benefit sums, you get exactly what you pay for- Premium fees for Premium service.
Again, if you are serious about cycling, or just serious about becoming serious about your cycling, want some sun, and want to do nothing but ride your bike and have everything else sorted, give Fiona and Gareth a ring. they will give you a warm Catalan welcome, and you will NOT rerget it at all!
I went for a weeks cycling with my husband and some friends (and left with more friends from the other guests!) Fiona and Gareth are wonderful hosts and a lovely family, and couldn't do enough for us, with tailored bike routes, advice on restaurants if we wanted to eat out and fabulous meals when we ate at the house. The facilities are amazing, the rooms gorgeous (the views are to die for) and the bike routes varied and scenic with great weather as well! There is so little traffic on the majority of roads, and the Spanish so considerate to riders, we really did have a wonderful trip - I can't recommend it highly enough and consider myself fortunate to have found such a fabulous place for winter training. There are also lots of lovely places to go to, like Girona and the Gaudi museum if you are not looking for a cycle holiday, it really does have something for everyone.
I greatly enjoyed my stay at Mas Pelegri. Gareth and Fiona were both lovely and couldn't do enough to help us; from providing the most yummy local food to great cycle routes of the local area, individually tailored to our daily requests. There is a great atmosphere about the place; very relaxed and informal. I would definitely recommend it as a place to stay.