Besalú in La Garrotxa in the province of Girona in Catalonia
Since I learned of its great attractions, I had long wanted to make a trip to the region of La Garrotxa, inside the province of Girona in Catalonia.
Recently I had the chance to travel to Baja La Garrotxa, leaving for another time to know the high zone of this region, the closest to the Pyrenees.
I'll tell you first La Garrotxa It is just an hour and a quarter away by road from Barcelona, making it an ideal place to get away during a tourist trip to the Catalan capital.
It is a relatively isolated interior area, which highlights its great explosion of nature,
So in your tour of La Garrotxa you will go between landscapes of hills and valleys with lush forests of oaks and oaks, and you can also see an outstanding beech.
You will understand the reason for this explosion of nature that characterizes La Garrotxa knowing that it is a volcanic zone where there are 42 small volcanoes cataloged.
Most concentrated in the area of Santa Pau, the last identified eruption dates back to 17,000 years ago, although the result of the volcanic action was the creation of a lake, so that it has now become the most fertile area of Catalonia.
Path to the Croscat Volcano in La Garrotxa in Catalonia
In a getaway to La Garrotxa Can you do it nature activities, but you also find many places of cultural interest such as its very beautiful medieval villages.
What to see and do in La Garrotxa
As an invitation, I will highlight 8 places of interest to visit in Baja Garrotxa. pending a future trip to the Alta Garrotxa.
Volcanic zone natural park
As I said, the Baja Garrotxa it's an old volcano area, which is now reflected in the so-called Volcanic zone natural park. which extends for 120 square kilometers.
In your tour of this area of the region, among the very lush vegetation you can see or guess several volcanic cones, such as the Santa Margarita volcano, in whose interior there is an old Romanesque hermitage.
El Croscat volcano in La Garrotxa in Catalonia
In the same town ofOlot, considered the capital of la Garrotxa, another volcanic cone rises.
Croscat volcano in La Garrotxa
But perhaps the most visited corner is the Croscat volcano, from which a lava flow of about six kilometers in length on which sits another of the most prominent corners of the region, the Beech of Jordan.
At the base of the volcano you will arrive hiking after leaving the car on the road, and once there, you will see a huge pit that breaks one of its slopes, where its reddish lands stand out.
This is the result of the exploitation of gredas or volcanic slags, which was carried out for 25 years in that place, until it stopped permanently in 1991.
Castellfollit de la Roca
At the entrance of this place you will find a information Center where through information panels you can learn the history of the formation of these volcanoes.
Castellfollit de la Roca in La Garrotxa in Catalonia
Also note that on one of the basaltic washes the town of Castellfollit de la Roca, configuring one of the most famous postcards of La Garrotxa.
Besalú It has always been natural access from the coast to the region of La Garrotxa and it is, by far, the most tourist town in this area, one of the corners on the excursion agenda for those who spend the summer Costa Brava.
It's about a medieval village With a monument, its long bridge, which has become one of the iconic tourist images of Catalonia.
Its greatest boom was at the time it was an independent county, between the tenth and twelfth centuries.
Church of San Pere in Besalú in La Garrotxa
The famous Besalú Bridge dates back to the twelfth century and was built to save the waters of the river Fluvia; With seven arcades, there are two doors.
On your walk through historic center of Besalú you will see his church of San Pere, from the year 977 with its curious circular apse with ambulatory.
And also him miqvé or room ritual baths that the old Jewish community enabled, the only one of the medieval era discovered in Spain.
Apart from the tourist Besalú, if in your trip to la Garrotxa you want to know a very authentic town where when you walk you will really feel moved to medieval times, you must visit Santa Pau.
It is a walled town of the thirteenth century that was built from a castle.
On your walk through its interior enclosure you will pass through arcaded galleries, small squares and, above all, many charming corners.
In some of the buildings you can see Gothic or Renaissance windows.
Hostalets and other villages of Vall d'en Bas
If you want to see one of the most typical postcards of La Garrotxa you should approach Hostalets d'en Bas. at Bas d'en Valley.
At present this very small town is having a greater tourist boom because it has become another road access thanks to the highway that passing through Vic It reaches that region.
Hostalets d'en Bas in La Garrotxa in Catalonia
You will find the aforementioned postcard in the town square, in fact the Teixeida street, with the beautiful scene of the houses with balconies covered with geraniums, with the background image of the church tower.
It's really a charming corner, but in this area of Bas d'en Valley you will also see others nice corners, of which I will highlight another three.
On our visit the one that surprised us the most was San Privat d'en Bas, a village with a lovely square that you will access after crossing under a porch.
For its part in the near El mallol You also find a couple of streets with beautiful corners, as well as a narrow prison from the medieval era.
And in Saint Esteve d'en BasIn addition to seeing a church of the twelfth century, the facade of the old one will catch your attention Rectoral House.
Beech forest of Jordá in La Garrotxa in Catalonia
Beech of Jordan
As an enclave of nature, another place to visit in Baja Garrotxa is the Beech of Jordan (Fageda d'en Jordá).
It is a nature reserve that, as I have already said, extends through the laundry Croscat volcano.
Therefore, during your walk through this beautiful beech, the southernmost in Europe at a height of about 550 meters, and which occupies the bottom of a valley, you can see that you walk through volcanic soils.
To highlight the monolith that you will find on the entrance path to the beech forest, which is dedicated to the poet Joan Maragall, who wrote a famous poem from the inspiration produced by the visit to this forest.
Convent of Carmen in La Garrotxa in Catalonia
Olot, capital of La Garrotxa
He largest town of Baja Garrotxa is Olot, whose medieval city was destroyed by an earthquake, so that it was rebuilt in Renaissance style.
Yes the Olot center It shows the atmosphere of a modern population, has some outstanding corners.
For example, him Convent of Carmen 16th century, which now houses an art school.
Or the old hospice built by the architect Ventura Rodríguez, with a three-story patio and where you can visit the ethnographic museum of La Garrotxa.
Modernist house Solá Morales in Olot in La Garrotxa
But also in Olot highlights some modernist housesspecifically theSola Morales House reformed by the architect Domenech and Muntaner in 1916, with a facade with plant motifs and two figures of caryatids.
To also point out the Gaietà Vila House, in which some element of medieval style, like a battlement, will call your attention.
How to get to La Garrotxa
The region of La Garrotxa is located one hour from the city of Girona and two hours north from Barcelona.