The Natural Park of the Volcanic Area of La Garrotxa is the best exponent of the volcanic landscape of the Iberian Peninsula, and we’re lucky to have it near to some of our houses! It has about 40 volcanic cones, 10 craters, 23 well preserved cones and more than 20 lava flows. It is a lunar landscape of colors of dark sand, black, red, green and purple. The geographic location of the volcanic zone is highly attractive both due to its proximity to the sea, on the coast of the Alt Empordà, and the proximity to the mountainous regions of the country.
We propose you a route through our favorite places of la Garrotxa, with volcanic mountain landscapes, nature and calm!
1. The Santa Margarita Volcano
The volcano of Santa Margarida is located in the municipality of Santa Pau (Garrotxa) and is one of the most emblematic volcanoes in the area. It erupted 11,000 years ago and has an altitude of 700 meters. Its extensive mouth today is a great meadow with an extension of 2,000 meters in perimeter and from where you will enjoy incredible views. In the middle of the plain there is the church of Santa Margarida, of Romanesque origin, which gives its name to the volcano. In order to reach its crater, you have walk there, it’s steep, but it’s manageable.
2. Castellfollit de la Roca
This singular town is located at 296 m above sea level and rises above a basaltic cliff due to the erosive action of the Fluvià and Toronell rivers on the volcanic remains of thousands of years ago. With less than one square kilometer, it is one of the smallest municipalities in Catalonia. We recommend climbing up to the bell tower, from where you will see spectacular views, as well as cross the catwalk to see the viewpoint of the town from the river and make some impressive photos.
3. The Croscat Volcano
This volcano of lunar landscape is located between the municipalities of Santa Pau and Olot. For 25 years it was dedicated to clay exploitation, which is why it presents a staggered aesthetic. It is one of the largest volcanoes of its category in the peninsula and the most curious is that we can see its interior. The best way to visit it is to go for a 2.9 km walk (approximately one hour and without sloping) suitable for all audiences. Highly recommended also for enjoying the surrounding Garrotxa landscape.
4. La Fageda d’en Jordà
La Fageda d’en Jordà is an exceptional beech forest, as it grows on the lava flows of the Croscat volcano, in a flat place with soft hills. An endless maze of trees and herbs emerged from an authentic fairy tale that has served as a source of inspiration for artists such as Joan Maragall. You can visit on foot, by bike or by horse. Although the horse-drawn carriage visit is especially recommended.
5. Olot and Montsacopa Volcano
From the 120 meters in diameter and 12 in depth crater of the Montsacopa volcano you will see a 360 degree panoramic view of much of the Garrotxa. It is the volcano most linked to Olot since it is located just in the center of the city. During the French War, this was a strategic place due to its great visibility at the entrance of Olot from Castellfollit to Riudaura and the Vall de Bianya. As you can see, it is one of the volcanos of the Garrotxa with the most perfect crater!
6. Santa Pau Old Town
A medieval town from where you can contemplate splendid panoramic views over the Ser. On a clear day, from the Portal del Mar, you can see the Gulf of Roses and the sea. Walking through its old quarter, you can enjoy its unique buildings such as the castle built in the 13th and 14th centuries, the porticoed square or the Fair of the Bulls, which served as a shelter inside the market, the gothic church of Santa Maria, with only one ship or the viewpoint over the valley of Ser. If you go in January, you can not miss the bean’s fair.
It becomes indispensable, at any time of the year, to visit this spectacular spot of the volcanic area of La Garrotxa. Let yourself be seduced by its landscapes and feel pure nature!
Cover photo: sportravelling.com