16-24 July 2020.
The last family holidays that we had was back in 2017 in Mallorca, after the lockdown in Spain it was about time that we met all together. We rent a Masia (Country house) with swimmingpool and huge garten located in a small village between Banyoles and Santa Pau. The idea was to make some trips and in case the places where really busy stay at home.
I didn’t have any idea about this area located in the Girona province. Once I start to read a little bit about it I was fascinated. It has 45 inactive Volcanes, many mediaval towns and a lot of gorg and waterfalls and natural pools. During the week that I was there I visited the next places:
One of the most popular Medieval villages with a fortification bridge from the 11th century over the riu Fluvian. It is a small town with narrow streets with some churchers and Jewish baths and Synagogue. We spent like an hour. I have read that it is possible to swim in the river.
On our way to some natural pools we make a short stop in this small town located on top of a 50 meter high basaltic cliff, formed by two overlapping lava flows. Although it is a lovely village to visit,what 's impressive is the view from the town from below. I took my photos from the the road, but there is a pedestrian runaway where you can see the view just under the church.
We drove north almost to France through a narrow and curvy road, the views are impressive, but for those of us who get dizzy the truth is that the trip is not the most fun. In the middle of the Campodrón valley is Berget, a small cobbled village, with a church that stands out from the landscape and two Roman bridges that cross the river at different points.
We walked along the side of the river in a path full of weeds, at some point the path ended and instead of return we decided to cross the river, so we all took off our shoes and tried not to fall, my nieces had a great time watching their grandparents crossing the river.
Berget ist probably the most beautiful village we visited, and due to its location it is a start point of many routes, rather walking or biking. The way back was a little bit easer because you reach a main road after "only" 14 km of curvy road
Santa Pau was really close from where we were staying so we went there a couple of times, after visiting a little bit of it village center we walk around the Volca can simo, is and easy trek of 3 km, nothing really special but nice.
After we start the Ruta de las pozas, which take to to 3 differente natural pools, we just make to the first one, it was a really hot day, and there were some km to walk in a paved road with no shadows at all, so we went back to hour villa and enjoy the pool.
We decided to take one of the routes that runs through different volcanoes, it is well marked and easy to follow, in total we did approximately 15 km in 4 hours, with hardly any stops.
The route begins at La Fageda d'en Jordà, a beech forest settled in the lava flow, the walk is very pleasant since you mainly go between trees. We pass by a cooperative where they make yoghurts and continue through Can Batlle.
Then we ascend to the Romanesque church of Sant Miquel de Sacot. The climb to this church is the most complicated section of the entire route, there were points where you had to help yourself with your hands to climb
Well, as everything that goes up comes down, we do it to the Sacot plain to find ourselves close to the Santa Margarida volcano.
From far you can see the crater, all covered with trees and in the center, the hermitage that gives the volcano its name. There are two entry points to the crater, we enter through one and exit through the other.
After a nice walk through the trees we arrive at the Santa Margarida volcano car park and continue towards the Croscat volcano. where we take a detour to get closer to it, there are just 3 km of easy access circular route.
The Croscat volcano has a horseshoe-shaped crater about 160 m high, 600 m long and 350 m wide, with a lava tongue more than 6 km long and a volcanic cone cut like a cake. this is the youngest volcano in the Iberian Peninsula
After visiting the The volcano of Croscat and its gredales we kept going on the original route (route 1) going around the volcano, the route ends in the same parking spot.
One of the days we went to the beach, E’startit. This beach is famous because really close to it are the Medas Islands, one of the best places to dive in Spain, I'll have to come back to dive there...
If you like cold water and natural shade, Girona has many, this was is located really close to Santa Pau but there are a many more in the area.
On our last day we went hiking to Dama de la Garrotxa viewpoint, it is 7km hike from mires, but we did the first part by car about 3 km. The unevenness is about 450m and the day was was very hot. So the climb was hard, but it was worth it for the views we found of the valley. The way back was a pleasant walk
We stayed hier in Las Planellamas, located in Mieres a small village between Santa Pau and Baniolas https://www.masplanella.com