Volcanoes, Magic Woods and Medieval Towns in La Garrotxa

Catalonia is a land of diverse landscapes: mountains, coasts, river prairies and even volcanoes! Yes, there is a region, La Garrotxa, known for its volcanic zone, with 40 volcanic cones and more than 20 lava flows. Although the volcanic activity in La Garrotxa ceased more than 10.000 years ago, two of its main volcanoes still have the particular conic shape and visitors can climb up to its craters.

vulcanos

To visit the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park you’ll have to travel to Olot, the main town of the region. A tip: If you stop there for a bite, don’t miss to taste the typical Olot Potatoes, delicious fried potatoes stuffed with minced meat and stir-fried tomatoes and onions. From there, you can take one of the many trails that will take you to the volcanoes Croscat and Santa Margarida. Climb up the last one and you can visit the chapel built on the top of the crater.

Next to the volcanic area, there is an amazing wood landscape that it’s even more interesting than the volcanoes themselves: Fageda d’en Jordà, a breech wood that is somehow mysterious and magical. To describe it, nothing better than the verses that Joan Maragall, a Catalan poet dedicated to this special wood.

Saps on és la fageda d’en Jordà? Si vas pels vols d’Olot, amunt del pla,trobaràs un indret verd i profond com mai cap més n’hagis trobat al món:
un verd com d’aigua endins, profond i clar;
el verd de la fageda d’en Jordà.
fageda2 Do you know where the to find Fageda d’en Jordà?
If you walk around Olot, up to the plain,you’ll find a place, green and profound,
as you have never seen before: a deep water green, profound and clear, it’s the green color of Fageda d’en Jordà.

In your trip to the Volcanic Zone and la Fageda, there are some stops on the way you shouldn’t miss either. There are two medieval towns that are really worth a visit. They are beautiful and picturesque: Besalú and Santa Pau. Besalú has many Romanesque sites, the most characteristic being the stone bridge over the river that leads to the Old Town. Santa Pau is another medieval village with old houses made of stones and a typical arcade. Santa Pau is famous not only for its beauty, but also for its beans. The excellence in quality of these beans has been recognized with the Designation of Origin.

besalu            santa pau

Finally, another picturesque view is the one offered by the village of Castellfollit de la Roca. This small village is standing literally on top of a rock. It is one of the smallest villages in Catalonia and the basalt crag where it is situated is over 50m high and almost a kilometre long. It was formed by the overlaying of two lava flows. It is definitely a unique site!

castellfollit


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