Beautiful Besalú, extinct volcanoes, the Parador and the lake
People have been walking the hills of northern Spain for millennia and you will be following in the footsteps – literally – of the traginers (carters), carboners (charcoal burners), priests, bandits, peasants and smugglers who walked these paths day and night, rain or shine. Nowadays, you are only likely to meet other walkers – although the odd shepherd might wish you the time of day – since the ancient tracks of La Garrotxa are quiet and still for most of the year, and no longer bustle with life as they once did. These motorways of the past, along which life – both material goods and information – flowed incessantly, before electrical and mechanical forms of communication were invented, are today sadly being lost, although we can console ourselves with the thought that by treading these ancient, smooth-worn cobbles we are helping to keep alive a memory of our not too distant past.
This walk through unspoilt Catalonia begins in the beautifully preserved medieval town of Besalú, where you stay in the comfort of a stylish hotel next to the old bridge. From here you walk through the heart of La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park with its numerous (now extinct) volcanoes. Winding up through the beech woods and rolling pastures of El Cabrerès, the cliff-girt plateau, the views are over the Catalonian hills, the towering heights of Mt. Puigsacalm and the (hopefully) snow-capped Pyrenees. Move on for two nights in pretty Rupit, before an astonishing day along the cliffs of the Collsacabra, across the lake of Sau by small boat and a night in a Parador overlooking the lake. Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie and Mary
Please note that the minimum party size on this route is two people.
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Indendent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.
Quiet byways of the Garrotxa