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Amid volcanoes in the Garrotxa nature reserve

  • Croscat volcano. Sant Pau, Girona © Turespaña

    Croscat volcano. Sant Pau, Girona © Turespaña

  
  


"Little more than 50 kilometres from the city of Girona thirty conical volcanoes rise up, with craters, beech forests over lava rivers and spectacular gorges with basalt walls, the product of prehistoric ..."

Little more than 50 kilometres from the city of Girona thirty conical volcanoes rise up, with craters, beech forests over lava rivers and spectacular gorges with basalt walls, the product of prehistoric explosions. Exploring the volcanoes in the La Garrotxa Nature Reserve is like travelling to a world of fire and ash, where amazing mountains and landscapes have been sculpted, with a multitude of towns and villages nestling harmoniously in their rugged environment.

This volcanic region is unique in Europe and was finally formed 11,000 years ago when the last eruption took place. Since that time the volcanoes have remained dormant, although not all are extinguished. All this geological heritage is covered with tracks and trails, viewpoints, castles, monuments and churches, all of surprising beauty.

The contrast of colours is overwhelming. The ochre earth, dark ash and petrified lava come together with forests and intensely green meadows in spring and summer. The sound of water is ever-present, flowing through springs and transparent brooks. A route along the park’s trails is highly recommended to all, whether on foot, by bike or on horseback.

A visit to the Croscat volcano is a must. It is the Iberian peninsula's youngest, with an impressive opening that leaves its inner folds and strata open to see. You should also visit the streets of Batet, a small village set between walls of volcanic rock, or discover the spectacular Fajeda d'en Jordà, a huge beech forest set on petrified lava, whose halo of mystery seduces all who enter it. There are many other places to visit in the Garrotxa area, such as the Montsacopa volcano, located right in the middle of the town of Olot topped by the shrine to Sant Francesc, or the picturesque village of Santa Pau with its maze of medieval streets. Not forgetting, of course, the stark silhouette of the small village of Castellfollit de la Roca built over an immense basalt gorge more than 50 metres high. Lose yourself in its winding streets that open out onto the abyss.

These sensations multiply when seen from the air. The chance to look out over one of Spain’s unique protected landscapes from the dizzy heights of a hot air balloon is a real adventure for children and adults alike.

Nature and tradition, festivities and gastronomy, excursions and art. All these are possible in La Garrotxa, an area packed with hidden treasures in the heart of Catalonia.

More information:

Costa Brava Tourism Board

Catalonia Regional Environment Agency

Olot Town Hall

Discover the surroundings

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