Adventure Sports - Girona Province
Activities on the coast
Scuba diving is one of the great attractions on the Costa Brava, and at last count, there were fourty-one SCUBA clubs in the Province, many of which offer a variety of courses with English-speaking instructors. Some courses last for as much as eight or nine days and costing less than 50,000 ptas. total to obtain an international diving qualification. If you are already qualified, single dives cost 4,000 ptas. including equipment hire. Packaged diving-holidays which include two-dives per day can cost as little as 7,000 per day, including accommodation, transport, and meals!
Sea kayaking has become popular and there are trips for beginners that last about half a day and cost 6,000 pesetas per person. The largest Kayaking company is based in L'Escala but the excursions leave from different locations, including Tamariu ((Calella) and Port Lligat (just above Cadaques). Two-day trips are also available for those with more experience. Groups are limited to 12 in both single and two-person kayaks, with an accompanying instructor and a motorised back-up boat. As the Costa Brava coastline is so spectacular, this is a good way to see it up close.
Water skiing, windsurf, jet ski, motor boat, yacht rental
There are seventeen marinas on the Costa Brava, many of which have rent-a-boat companies offer a variety of craft, ranging from jet-skis or the little Astromar motor boat (L=4.7m x W=1.83m) at about 18,000 ptas./day to luxurious motorcruisers and yachts for 500.000 ptas/week. These are average tariffs that go up and down depending on season. No pilot's license necessary. Security deposit required. - Water skiing normally costs 3,000 ptas per 15 minutes.
Rafting, kayaking, bungy jumping, canyoning, spelunking, hydrospeed, treking, mountain climbing and skiing
A number of reputable government-regulated Adventure Sports companies offer a whole series of organized activities supervised by professional staff. However, with many of these activities there is some risk involved, so make sure that the tariffs include personal insurance (assegurança de responsabilitat civil), as well as the hire of material, monitors, and transport costs. Although there are 29 Adventure Sports organizations registered locally, about a handful of these have consolidated the "Active Tourism" business in Catalonia and offer everything from a single bungie jump for 2,000 ptas. (additional jumps 1/2 price) to an entire weekend packed with different activities for about 12,000/day, including a accommodation and meals.
- River sports like rafting and hydrospeed is best in the Pallars Jussa region beween the towns of Llavorsi and Sort in the high-Pyrenees. A 15-kilometer stretch of white-water taking 2 to 3 hours costs 4,000 to 5,000 ptas.
- Guided Canyoning costs between 4-6,000 ptas. depending on the difficulty and lenght of the routes. Don't go on a rainy day.
- Quads (four-wheel off road vehicles) rent for 1,400 ptas. per 15 minutes.
- ear rental for cross-country skiing along 30-40 km-long routes costs approx. 3,000 ptas.
- Half-a-day of moutain biking with guide and assistance costs 4,000 ptas.
- At last count there were thirty-nine horseback riding clubs in the Province. Riding gets cheaper the longer you ride but excursions generally cost 2,000/hour.
Sky diving and ultralight
There are 16 aeroclubs on the Costa Brava. Some of these is locally famous for hosting international competitions in sky-skating and formations, but also take on beginners who, for 5,000 ptas. including gear rental and instruction, can have the thrill of a lifetime dropping from 12,500 feet, or 3,800 meters in a one-minute freefall in tandem (meaning strapped to an instructor).
The aviation center also offers short flights in propellor planes for about 5,000 per person for 10 minutes (maximum 3 passengers), or different routes throughout the region in Ultralight craft for 5,000 ptas./15 minutes up to 16,000 ptas./for close to an hour's flight. ULM pilot course with 10 hour's flight and certificate costs 180,000 ptas.
Hot air ballooning
Getting up, up, and away costs a small fortune; a couple of hours flight with champagne breakfast either on board or afterwards costs 18-20,000/ptas. per person. There are four specific areas for ballooning: Olot and the Volcanic Zone, Girona and the Costa Brava, the Mountain of Montserrat, and the high Pyrenees. While flights are available year-round, the scenery is most impressive in January and February, and visibility best in the early morning, so expect to get started at 7 am.
Paragliding, delta and hang-gliding
Thanks to improvements in material technology, paragliding is now the most popular way to soar. The easiest way to get up there if you lack experience is to take a tandem flight with an instructor which lasts about 15 minutes and costs 5,000 ptas. Beginners courses can last up to four days and cost around 48,000, plus 6,000 to join something called the Federació Aérea Catalana.