Mare de Deu del Mont is my favorite mountain in the region. It´s partially quite steep but it offers many amazing views 360°. Also, the tiny road that leads up is marvelous, sneaking its way up through the cork oak forest until you make it to the middle plateau underneath a massive wall. Before you leave the forest you will pass the imposing ruins of Esglesia Sant Llorenc de Sous, a 1250 year old cloister. The final kms look a lot like high alpine passes and after enjoying the view towards Figueres and Banyoles for a long time, with the last turn the view opens towards the Pyrenees and France. On top there is the Santuari Mare de Deu del Mont and a restaurant as well and a great view over the whole area. Be careful on the downhill as it´s steep, tight corners and has some gravel on the road too.
Route 1: “G4.1: Girona – MdDdM – Beuda – Banyoles” (109 km, 1790 m)
This is the shortest loop to do MdDdM. It leads out over a bigger road because the small one to Medinya is closed but from there it`s small roads only to the climb, up and down to Beuda. There you can enjoy the beautiful Pont de Beuda and take a break or continue until Banyoles for a stop in a bakery. The way home leads over a small road until a unevitable 2 km part on the C-66, but it has a wide side lane for cyclists.
Route 2: “G5.2: Girona – MdDdM – Castellfollit - Olot – Banyoles” (148 km, 2380 m)
After coming down to Beuda as in Route 1 you take the chilled service road of C-66 over the beautiful village of Castellfollit de la Roca to Olot. From there a small road leads over the old village Mieres back to Banyoles. From there it´s the same way back over Camos as in Route 1.
Route 3: “G6.6: Girona – MdDdM – Olot – Vall de Llemena – Estanyol (168 km, 2460 m)
My longest version of a MdDdM-ride passes Olot as Route 2 but continues to Sant Esteve d´En Bas. It follows the bigger C-63 road until Les Planes d`Hostoles and turns then left on a smaller road to Vall de Llemena. From there you stay mainly on small roads, come back to Vall de Riuardes and over Estanyol back to Girona.
Route 4: “G5.6: Girona – Banyoles – MdDdM – Els Angels” (138 km, 2290 m)
Another shorter version that includes my favorite climb might also be the nicest one in terms of small roads ratio and it´s also the only one that goes up to MdDdM from Beuda and down to Cabanelles. After Esponella you continue southeast on small roads until after Sant Jordi Desvalls you have a little special something – a river crossing of Riu Ter at route point 12. I hope it works out with the water level. In case it doesn´t, you can either take a little longer way over Veges, Corca and Monells or go back straight to Girona over Medinya. After the river it´s only a few km until the last climb and another little highlight, the house climb of Girona to Els Angels.
Route 5: “G5.7: Girona – MdDdM – Rocacorba” (136 km, 2590 m)
This is one for the climbers. With a second mountain highlight this route over Rocacorba will demand quite some of your strength as both climbs are quite steep and contain 1700 m climbing of the 2590 m of this route. Its basically the same way as Route 1 “G4.1 …” but with the second climb from Banyoles and a second great view from a high position. I also like to call it “The 2 antennas loop” as both mountains have some technical facilities on their top and there are also good ways to do this loop on the mountain bike.