Itinerari 3

GIRONA - VIC (180 km)

Comarques: El Gironès / Pla de l’Estany / La Garrotxa / Osona

1. Girona

To see

Your Itinerary begins in Girona, capital of the Gironès region. It has almost 100,000 inhabitants. It is a charming city that does speak for itself; you just have to stroll around for a while and will easily fall in love with it. The Onyar River separates the medieval old town from the quarters of more modern creation. One of the many bridges that cross the river is the Pont de Ferro (Iron Bridge) or the les Peixateries Velles (Old Fishmongers), suitable point of observation of both the old, higher quarter as well as the picturesque and colourful houses lining the river. We recommend visiting the most emblematic historical monuments: The Cathedral (11th – 17thCentury), the Basilica of Sant Feliu (13th – 18th Centuries), the Walls (14th Century), El Call or Jewish Quarter (12th – 15th Centuries), The Arab Baths (12th Century), the Church of Sant Pere de Galligants and Sant Nicolau (12th Century) and the Plaça del Vi (13th -19th Centuries). It is an excellent historical, architectural and sensorial symphony that takes you pleasantly back to the past.

It is worth noting the originality of an exhibition called “Time of Flowers” which takes place the first half of May: The historical centre of the city is full of flowers, colours, light, scents, perfumes, creativity, forms and floral arrangements of all kinds. It is undoubtedly memorable. For more details visit the Town Hall website: www.girona.cat

Accommodation

Hotel Llegendes Girona Catedral (Girona) ****
Hotel Històric (Girona) ****
Hotel Ciutat de Girona (Girona) ****

2. Besalú

To see

Leave Girona on the N-IIa until you find the C 66 in the direction of Banyoles and Besalú. We cross the Pla de l’Estany region of rolling hills, pleasant lands with balanced alternation of fields and forest of pines, oaks and holm oaks.

The lake of Banyoles

In the town of Banyoles there is the largest natural lake in Catalonia. It has a slight guitar-like shape with a surface of 112 ha and a maximum depth of 62 m. It was declared by the Generalitat of Catalonia a zone integrated in the Plan of Spaces of Natural Interest (PEIN). Included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Interesting wildlife. It is an appreciated place for leisure and entertainment.

Besalú

It is a village located in La Garrotxa region and is considered an important county town since the early Middle Ages. In fact, the origin of the town was the castle of Besalú already documented in the 10th Century. You should go through the majestic fortified bridge over the river Fluvià and the Capellades stream and then get lost in the streets, alleys and squares and admire the church of the Monastery of Sant Pere, Sant Julià (former pilgrim hospital), the House Cornellà, the church of Sant Vicenç, the Gothic Room of the Palace of the royal Curia and the micvé or Jewish baths. For more details visit the Town Hall website www.besalu.cat

Sanctuary of the Mare de Déu del Mont (14th Century)

From Besalú we recommend visiting this Sanctuary, taking the C 66 to Beuda. However, it should be noted that you will have to drive about 15 km on a paved track with many curves. Do not be discouraged, it’s worth it! The mountain of 1,124 m. of altitude falls abruptly on all four sides except for the Pla de Solls and the small flat ground where the Monastery of St. Lorenç dels Sous is situated (worthy of a visit and admiration!) and where the road rises. It is the highest point of the Alta Garrotxa and an exceptional viewpoint of the Eastern Pyrenees and the Massif del Canigó, the Empordà and all the Pla de l’Estany. Lonely place, rocky, majestic, halfway between heaven and earth. The Catalan national poet Jacint Verdaguer in 1884 decided to spend the summer in this Sanctuary to seek inspiration for his epic poem “Canigó“. “I see the Canigó face to face and I have some talks with him. Oh sweet solitude!” – he wrote.

Accommodation

Casa Marcial (Besalú)***
Spa Sant Ferriol (Sant Ferriol) ****

3. Castellfollit de la Roca

To see

From Besalú you will take the A 26 until you will reach the N 260z that will take you to Castellfollit de la Roca.

As we approach the village, you will see unique scenery. The village is located on a rock of dark basalt from volcanic lava, a cliff of more than 50 meters high and almost 1 km in length, eroded by the river Fluvià.

The old town is medieval with houses made of volcanic stone. At the end of the village, at the prow of the rock or cliff where the Fluvià and Turonell rivers mix their streams there is a viewpoint with a magnificent view of the rough and steep Alta Garrotxa slope with abundant cliffs and gorges. Declared a Natural Area of ​​Interest. For more details visit the Town Hall website: www.castellfollitdelaroca.org

4. Olot

To see

Say goodbye to Castellfollit de la Roca on the N 260z until you reach the A 26 which will take you to Olot. Olot is the capital of La Garrotxa region, called the region of the volcanoes. In La Garrotxa you can see two totally different landscapes: in most of the southern half there are more than 40 volcanoes and several lava flows that form smooth, fertile landscape without many slopes while the north part is extremely mountainous. A zone protected by the Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone of the Garrotxa. It is crossed by the Fluvià River. La Garrotxa is one of the most forested regions of Catalonia (oak, holm oak, beech). For more details visit the Town Hall website: www.olot.cat

Museum of the Volcanoes

It is located on the ground floor of the Castanys country house, modernist style, located in the old garden of the estate, called Parc Nou. On the first floor, there is the Information Centre of the Natural Park which is complete and informative. It is interesting to reach the base of the Montsacopa volcano, which is one of the most representative volcanoes of the Natural Park and closest to the city and from where we will enjoy a view over the whole town and the Olot plain. If we wish we can also do excursions to other volcanoes nearby.

The Wetlands of La Moixina and La Deu

From Parc Nou you can walk about 15 minutes and reach the Wetlands. It is a place of great beauty, near Olot, and of geobotanical interest (abundant wildlife). It is ideal for a quiet stroll, enjoying the leafy greenery of the place until you reach the Moixina and the Deu fountains.

La Fageda d’en Jordà

Take the GI 524 to Santa Pau. At 4 kms you will find a parking lot called Can Serra. There you take a path that will take you to the Fageda d’en Jordà. It is a leafy and immense beech forest that has formed on the lava flows of the Croscat volcano, with gentle undulations of the ground. In autumn, it offers a splendid palette of autumnal colours that inspire poets, painters, musicians and captivates all other mortals. The great national poet Joan Maragall immortalized this fairy forest with his famous poem “La Fageda d’en Jordà”. A slow visit is gratifying and memorable.

Accommodation

Les Cols Pavellons (Olot)****
Hotel Can Blanc (Olot) ***
Hotel Riu Fluvià (Olot) ****
Hotel Borrell (Olot) ***

5. Rupit

To see

To reach your next stage, you shall take the C 153 to Vic.

Mirador del Far

When we reach the port of Condreu, we will turn left to visit the Sanctuary and panoramic viewpoint of the Far. This viewpoint is situated on the edge of a cliff that looks like the towering prow of a huge vessel sailing through a sea of ​​forests, valleys and sky. The scenery of the wooded mass of the Guilleries is really impressive. It is worth seeing. You will not regret taking this detour.

Rupit

The Far is a dead end, therefore, you will have to return to the C 153 and get to Rupit. Rupit is love at first sight because it is a cosy, small, manger village, crossed by a stream that can be crossed by a suspended bridge. With houses of rustic stone construction of the 16th and 17th Centuries, cobbled stone streets, set in the slope of a great rock that dominates the village. In Latin rupes means rock, the rock where the medieval castle was. The environment is the landscape of the Collsacabra, grandiose, green, wild, wooded, and immense. From there you can do some excursions on foot to the hermitage of Sta. Magdalena or opt for the classic walk to the waterfall of Sallent following the course of the Riera or stream (30 minutes). It is a spectacular waterfall of Rupit stream. For more details visit the Town Hall website: www.rupitpruit.cat

6. Tavertet

To see

You will continue along the C 153 to Sta. Maria de Corcó where you will take the B 5207 to Tavertet.

Tavertet is a village of rustic stone houses, about 40 of which were built between the 17th and 19th Centuries. The urban core was declared Cultural Nation Heritage by the Generalitat de Catalunya, but what makes it unique or remarkable is its situation on the edge of a long and deep cliff called the cliffs of Tavertet in front of the Guilleries and the dam of Sau (River Ter). You can take a walk along the cliff to the Castle. For more details visit the Town Hall website: www.tavertet.cat

Accommodation

L’Avenc de Tavertet SL (Rural road from Rupit to Tavertet) www.avenc.com

7. Vic

To see

You will then undo your way and you will return to the road C 153 to Vic. Final goal of your Itinerary 3.

Vic is the capital of Osona region located in the middle of the Plana de Vic. It has about 40,000 inhabitants and an ancient history, like all of this ancient country, reflected mainly in its old town centre that still preserves a part of the walls of 14th Century. We recommend going for a calm walk from the Roman Temple (2nd Century) to the Plaça Major or Mercadal, immense sandy square, porched with buildings of all times and authentic social forum of the town. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful major squares in Catalonia. Then you have to go down to the cathedral square. In the cathedral ,there are spectacular paintings by Josep M. Sert and a beautiful Romanesque crypt and the Romanesque belfry (11th Century), the highest in Catalonia, built under the Bishop of Vic and Abad de Ripoll Oliba. If you are interested in Romanesque and Gothic art, a visit to the Episcopal Museum of Vic (MEV) is indispensable. The MEV occupies a pre-eminent place among the museums of Europe and holds one of the best collections of Romanesque and Gothic art in the world. For more information, visit the Town Hall website: www.vic.cat

La Plana de Vic is rather long-shaped and surrounded by mountains but the most emblematic, high, majestic and omnipresent is the Montseny mountain range in the southeast. See Itinerary 2.

Accommodation

UP Rooms VIC (Vic) ***
Hotel Can Pamplona (Vic) ***
Mas Albareda (Sant Julià de Vilatorta) ****
Parador de Vic-Sau (Ctera de Tavèrnoles BV 5213) ****
Xalet La Coromina (Viladrau) ***

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