If there is any truth in his name, La Garrotxa ("Rough and uneven earth") is very much alive, even if the craters dug by 600 years of violent explosions now they are in a deep sleep.
This is where we come in.
You see, the vast 700 km2 region, famous for its fresh airaccount 28 nature walks, a famous ivory colored cheese and some of the best culinary specialties of the region.
Day trip from Barcelona? He went!
Go to the Garrotxa
I don't recommend trying to go by coach or train. Sure, you will get there, but it will be practically impossible to see everything. The only solution ishave a car.
You can hire one at El Prat airport or Girona airport, but to save money I prefer to go through Rentalcars.com.
By car, you have to around 1h30 to get to La Garrotxa from Barcelona.
If absolutely necessary, weekend buses are provided by the TEISA bus company that will take you from Barcelona to Olot. From Monday to Friday, you will first need to take a train from Sants Estacio to Vic and then take a local bus for 45 minutes.
Points of interest in La Garrotxa
Leave your high expectations at the door - you won't see anything that closely or remotely resembles Etna or Vesuvius.
The Volcanoes they are relatively small in size but fascinating in themselves. The three most famous volcanoes are Montsacopa, Croscat and Santa Margarida.
City of Olot and the volcano of Montsacopa
The particularity of this urban volcano is that it is located in the heart of Olot, the most important town in the Garrotxa region. You will start your hike at the tourist information center and 35 minutes later you will be at the top of the crater.
laChurch of Sant Francesc and the two watchtowers provide excellent vantage points. You will see the entire city as well as the neighboring peaks of the Pyrenees.
Other highlights include Avenue d'Olot lined with elegant, modern houses, the Parc Nou botanical gardens and the volcano museum, as well as the oldest bullring in Catalonia.
Looking for a hike? Route n ° 3 ("Olot-La Fageda d'En Jorda») It offers a low-difficulty 8,2 km hike that will take you to the Bisaroques de Olot volcano. It is done in 2h30. the panoramic in altitude they are magnificent.
But what I like the most is having a bite to eat at the Olot market: local specialties include anise cakes, a fortified almond and peach wine called ratafia, and a delicious salami product called fuet d Olot.
Croscat, Santa Margarita te Santa Pau
The Santa Margarida and Croscat volcanoes are very close and, as such, can be visited by the same 11 km trail, route 1: “Fageda d'en Jordà - Santa Margarida Volcano - Croscat Volcano”.
You can park your car in the Santa Margarida car park and walk to one of them. It takes about 30 minutes to walk if you want to visit both.
The unique thing about Santa Margarida is that the crater only housesa single isolated building: a hermitage ("chapel" in Spanish) and its surrounding meadow. It's a great place to take photos and / or take a nap awake.
Croscat has recently been excavated and you will be impressed with its excavator-eaten slopes that reveal three different layers volcanic surface. The colors are very striking. Is the highest volcano in spain, a 160 m.
After all this nature, maybe you want a bit of "civilization": a few kilometers from the park you cannot miss the well preserved medieval village of Santa Pau. The city's castle, its jagged arches and its arcaded main square are a real throwback.
Saint John the fountains of Castellfollit de la Roca
People come to Sant Joan les Fonts (about 5 km from Olot) to take walks in the forest, observe old lava flows and discover the many typical streams of the pre-Pyrenees. Is here second largest city in the region behind Olot.
The highlight is the Monastery of San Juan the Sources, a XNUMXth century Romanesque monastery. Also keep an eye on the medieval bridge in volcanic stone.
Castellfollit de la Roca is a town built on the edge of a 150 meter high basalt cliff, the result of two convergent lava flows eroded by the confluence of two rivers. He almost balances on the edge and looks fearfully into space; You have to see it to believe it.
Among the architectural sites, we can mention theChurch of Sant Salvador thirteenth century and the cross bridge ("Broken bridge"), two monuments of the city that you cannot miss and that have been destroyed and rebuilt.
Tourists also enjoy the Sausage Museum (Museu de l'Embotit): a retrospective of hunting activities, animal sacrifice practices, and meat conditioning techniques. It is also the strange seat of the vietnam war museum.
Eat in La Garrotxa
In La Garrotxa, it is a rustic kitchen highlighting fresh ingredients and traditions.
You will find typical mountain restaurants in wood or stone, a mandatory fireplace and a Friendly service in a little town.
Try the Olot Potato: these sautéed potatoes are filled with minced meat and calçot, a kind of grilled spring onion. The most popular goat cheese in Spain is Garrotxa cheese. This creamy and herbaceous medium hard cheese goes great with crusty bread.
When I came, I found one of the best restaurants in the area, La Casilla, which serves typical Catalan dishes (especially grilled meats). It is in the bar located on the road from Olot to Les Planes d'Hostoles, to the left of Can Bastans, a few kilometers after Santa Margarida in Olot.
The views over the surrounding nature from the terrace they are spectacular.
For an excellent value for moneyHead to the tapas paradise of Hostal del Sol. The hand-selected cheese and cold cuts dishes are delicious. Add to that a goat cheese salad, sausages and delicious cocktails, and voila!
Hostal del Sol is just a 15-minute walk and a 2-minute drive from the center of Olot.
If you're looking for something modern, rural restaurant renovated, Font Moixina. It is part of the group of local restaurants "Cuina Volcanica". Go here for a fantastic paella.
Regardless, I'm sure you'll eat well almost anywhere. I have always paid between € 10,00 and € 20,00 per person for a full meal.
Accommodation in La Garrotxa
I found accommodation in Olot on Booking.com because they offer the best prices. I think it is best to find a rural accommodation, one of those houses or hotels surrounded by greenery, with gardens for a good breakfast in the sun or in the shade of a tree.
I stayed in Can Garay, a truly picturesque country hotel. The welcome is warm thanks to the dynamic owner, Lluis, a gracious host who cooks delicious food. Located at the end of the village of Planes d'Hostels, this hotel is surrounded by green spaces, ideal for relaxing.
Somrurals and Garrotxarural are some of the sites specialized in accommodation in La Garrotxa. If you have found a property but are not sure, leave a comment at the end of the article and I will give you my review.
Click on the blue button below to access all the accommodations in La Garrotxa:
Other excursions in Catalonia
Fans of excursions can also consider trips to places like Montserrat. Here you will have pointed and multiple mountains with a XNUMXth century Benedictine monastery. The highest point in the Catalan lowlands offers great walks and is easily accessible by train.
There are also Figueres, the city of the famous Spanish Costa Brava, which has become famous for being the cradle of Salvador Dalí. The city is home to the largest Dalí museum in the world and also allows you to explore the coast, a great option in summer.
Contact me in the comments below
If you have any further questions about your La Garrotxa vacation or anything else related to Barcelona, be sure to leave a comment below.
Also, don't be afraid to join the discussion on my new Facebook group called "For City Lovers." Here you can ask questions, voice your complaints, chat with other travelers and more - anything goes!
Good trip ?