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Bus and boat tours from Barcelona to Girona and Figueres are run by Julià Travel. Buses leave Barcelona Tuesday through Sunday at 8:30 and return around 6. The price for Girona and Figueres is €71 per person. Pullmantur runs tours to several points on the Costa Brava.
Hiking and walking tours around Valencia and the Costa Blanca are an alternative to relaxing at the beach. The Sierra Mariola and Sierra Aitana regions are both easily accessible from the Costa Blanca resorts, and many companies, including Abdet, and Mountain Walks, most based in the United Kingdom, offer "walking vacations."
There are also several riding schools, which provide classes as well as trekking opportunities. Pick up brochures at the local tourist offices.
Water sports are widely available, and you can learn to sail in most of the major resorts. Kite surfing is becoming increasingly popular; the necessary gear is available for rent direct from several beaches, including Santa Pola, and the same applies to windsurfing. Scuba diving is also a favorite and in the smaller coastal towns it's possible to go into reserve waters if you book ahead.
If pedal power is more your thing, several companies offer a range of cycling holidays: Ciclo Costa Blanca is a good place to start.
Ciclo Costa Blanca (Camino Viejo de Altea 29, Alfaz del Pi, Valencia, 03581. 699/045475. www.ciclocostablanca.com.)
Julià Travel (Ronda Universidad 5, Barcelona, 08007. 93/317–6454 or 902/024443. www.juliatravel.com.)
Mountain Walks (965/511044. www.mountainwalks.com.)
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