Sea Otter Europe returns to Girona and experiences important growth

The second edition of this global cycling event closed with a financial impact of 2.7 million euros in the Girona counties. The third edition will also take place in Girona.

A well-founded choice

In 2017, after being held in California (USA) for more than 20 years, the Sea Otter festival chose Girona as the location to bring its successful formula to Europe for the first time.

The Girona counties have a long cycling tradition and offer all the services and infrastructure necessary to practice this sport. In fact, professional cycling teams such as Mitchelton-Scott (Australia) and EF Education First-Drapac (USA) maintain a training base in the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees and many top-level cyclists such as Robert Gesink from Team LottoNL-Jumbo and Rory Sutherland from UAE Team Emirates live and train in the area.

What’s more, the city of Girona, which hosts the event, holds the Sports Tourism Destination seal.

The formula works in Girona

For two consecutive years, the event has concluded by surpassing the expectations of the organ-isers and collaborating companies and institutions. Yielding very satisfactory results, the two edi-tions have generated considerable hotel occupation and important economic activity in the Girona counties.
During the Sea Otter Europe weekend, Girona became the global cycling capital, both for road and mountain biking. The festival was enthusiastically supported by the region’s companies and institutions, making it a huge success.
The first edition, held between 2 and 4 June 2017, and coinciding with the Cycle-tourism Year in Girona and the Costa Brava, set the bar very high, with some spectacular figures including 30,000 visitors and more than 4,000 sportspeople in attendance, and very positive results from the experience, both for the exhibiting brands and the professional sportsmen and women and general public who attended the event.
The presentation of the second edition included details of all the new features of the sports pro-gramme and an important increase in the size of the commercial zone. Just a few weeks after the announcement, and seven months before the event was due to take place, more than 70% of the space set aside for the cycling industry had already been reserved.

Sea Otter Europe 2018 – the challenge

The challenge is a complex contest made up of a wide variety of activities concentrated in one weekend during which the Girona counties turn into the world cycling capital thanks to the Sea Otter festival.

Visitors to the event – more than 50,000 people in 2018 – range from families to cycling legends, as well as amateur sportspeople, companies and professionals from the world of cycling of 50 nationalities.

In the 2018 edition, the festival occupied 60,000 m2of Girona’s congress and trade fair space, divided into the commercial fair and the different spaces where the cycling trials were held and zones for services and family activities. The exhibition area, covering 26,000 m2, included a trial display zone and stands offering sports services, such as sports nutrition, physiotherapy and mechanical services, among others.

The exhibitors – brands selling bicycles, accessories, products and destinations – exceeded their expectations thanks to the huge amount of visitors and financial gain generated.

(*) Source: BM Consultors and Sea Otter Europe

Activities for all tastes

Races, exhibitions and activities linked to cycling took place in an ideal setting for both road and mountain bikes, delighting sports fans and families as well as sportspeople of all levels, where elite professionals from the world of cycling could also be spotted.

The excitement was guaranteed with the BBT classic race, the Dirt Jump on a downhill circuit with large jumps and the spectacular Eliminator, for which a new gravity zone was specially constructed, among the most popular tests with amateur audiences.

Another highlight or visitors was the Demobike area, a battery of tests where 34 brands made over 400 mid- and top-range bicycles available for visitors to try out during the three-day event. One of the strongest features of Demobike’s are the two circuits, situated a few metres from the entrance to the Sea Otter event, which cross the city’s historic quarter and a series of tracks that are perfect for putting the latest cycle models to the test. 

The event’s official accommodation in 2018 was provided by Hotel Ultònia and Hotel Carlemany in Girona, both located in the city centre. Both establishments hold quality certifications that guarantee suitable services for cyclists and information about the local Greenways available to clients. 


According to a study conducted by BM Consultors, the more than 55,000 attendeesat the 2018 Sea Otter Europe Costa Brava rated the event with 8.9 out of 10 and the Girona region with 9.1 out of 10.In terms of financial results, the impact for the Girona counties was 2.7 million euros. As the second edition of Sea Otter Europe came to a close, the organisers confirmed that Girona will host the third edition in 2019, between 31 May and 2 June

The Girona counties have consolidated their commitment to cycling with this successful event in terms of its economic dynamism and its international attraction.


  • Locals
  • Foreigners
  • Direct surroundings

Collaborating entities: