The ascent to the castle of Sant Miquel is one of the most popular itineraries known in Girona, as it offers some privileged views of Girona, the Empordà plain, the Gavarres massif and the valleys of the Onyar and Ter rivers. It is an ideal family trip since it doesn’t have much difficulty. The mount of Sant Miquel rises 395 meters above the first foothills of the Gavarres and at its summit we will find the remains of a hermitage dedicated to Sant Miquel and an optical telegraphy tower at the top of which there is a magnificent viewpoint of the range. There you can enjoy a good picnic with your family, friends or your partner; more than one local has climbed to the castle a romantic full moon night ;-)
Start: Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants
The linear route of almost 10 km length (round trip) crosses the Sant Daniel valley, follows the course of the Galligants river and its tributaries and goes through a landscape dotted with woods and small crops. The most typical starting point is the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants, now the headquarters of the Archeology Museum of Catalonia-Girona. The route that we propose begins here.
You will start the march and you will be following the course of the Galligants river. On the Sant Daniel street, after about 7-8 minutes you will find the font i el pont del Bisbe (the fountain and the bridge of the Bishop), a corner that gives peace and beauty thanks to the only medieval bridge that remains in Girona. According to some sources, this would be the starting point of the path to the Empordà through the Gavarres during the Middle Ages, while others give it a previous origin as a Roman road to access the Valley of Sant Daniel.
You will arrive at the monastery of Benedictine monks Sant Daniel, which also has lodging facilities. You can take a guided tour, but you need to previously check out the opening dates. The monastery is located in the old town of Sant Daniel, added to Girona in 1963. Here starts the access to the Valley of Sant Daniel, formerly known as the Gloomy Valley or the Shady Valley. You will also cross between the fields of crops, the cemetery of Sant Daniel and the crossroads of access to the Font del Ferro-picnic area where you can stop to take energies-until you reach the old Saguer Factory , where the water of the Font del Ferro (Iron Fountain) was bottled for commercialization.
You will continue straight on along the main road between a pine forest and next to the Miralles stream and you will reach a second bridge, that of Sant Miquel. You will cross the Campdorà stream and a few meters further up, a path on your right hand side will take you under the N-II in a steep stretch between a typical vegetation of the Gavarres massif, formed mainly for holm oaks and Mediterranean shrubs. After passing the bridge, you will see the sculpture “Girona, llindar d’Europa” (Girona, the threshold of Europe), by Bonaventura Ansón, made of marble from Carrara, and shortly afterwards you will come to the Can Lliure farmhouse.
You will come across a series of farmhouses, where the path goes up the road for a trail to follow if you want to enjoy an extraordinary view of Girona with the cathedral as the protagonist. The route continues towards Can Mitraire, an old farmhouse in ruins with an explanatory panel that explains the role of the farms in the Valley of Sant Miquel. The vegetation becomes thicker as you climb and you will see many cork oaks. You will detour at Martina fountain and along a rocky stretch you will reach the crossroads of Can Micaló.
The trail leads to a magnificent holm oak, recreation area with benches and wooden boards that are at the top of the hill. Take the left and in two minutes you will reach the summit of the Mount of Sant Miquel. At the top of the hill you will find the medieval remains of a watchtower, a section of the wall and the remains of the hermitage of Sant Miquel, from the XVth century. Many of the remains of the hermitage were used for the construction of the optical telegraphy tower, at the top of which there is an excellent viewpoint of the Gavarres, with panels interpreting the panorama.
As you can see, Girona is much more than its old town and the Onyar River. We encourage you to discover this walk to the summit of the castle of Sant Miquel, and as a reward, we suggest you bring a good picnic ready for your arrival.