The massif of Montgrí is a large limestone formation that rises up as a natural border between the Baix and the Alt Empordà. It is considered the great guardian of the area, from where you can enjoy unbeatable views, a great panoramic of 365º from the Canigó, passing through the bay of Roses and Sierra de Rodes, the coast of L’Estartit and Illes Medes, and even the plain and mouth of the river Ter. You will find a wide variety of protected flora, several ruined hermitages, dunes and paths. They say that the massif depicts the figure of a sleepy and stretched bishop who seems to want to touch the waters of the Mediterranean with the tip of his toes. Others say that it depicts the figure of a naked woman lying or the face of a dragon. Judge yourselves and set your imagination free:
One of the most effective itineraries, and suitable for all ages, is the one that climbs to the castle of Montgrí. It is a short route, which can be done in the morning or afternoon and has a very attractive destination: an authentic castle (unfinished) with large walls, towers, access door and spiral stairs that reach above the towers . The construction of the castle of Montgrí began between 1294 and 1301, on the initiative of King Jaume II to defend themselves from the threats of the counts of Empúries, but the works were never completed. So what we can see today is an unfinished castle with high walls crowned by perfectly drawn ashlars and with four cylindrical towers attached to the sides.
From the Camí de les Dunes street, located at the foot of the Montgrí massif, at the end of Torroella de Montgrí, you can choose one of the three routes that can be made from this point: the castle, to the hermitage of Santa Caterina or the dunes. From here you will find the GR (red and white) markings that you should follow to the castle. In twenty minutes you will reach the beginning of the Creu saddle, where you will pass by three curious stone chapels. These constructions are small rosary stations of the pilgrimage path to the hermitage of Santa Caterina.
Arriving at the castle, you will see that the main façade is oriented at noon and there is the access door (always open), formed by a half-point arch. By a spiral staircase of one of the towers we access the viewpoints to enjoy a spectacular view of the Empordà, with the Medes islands in front, the Pals beach on one side and the bay from Roses to the other.
If you want to continue, following the GR marks you will reach the hermitage of Santa Caterina, where you can stop for a good picnic. The hermitage, nestled in the heart of the Montgrí massif, was founded around 1392 by three monks of Montserrat who left the monastery due to disagreements with their superiors, following the period of crisis experienced between 1378 and 1417 by the Catholic Church. The building has undergone a multitude of reforms over the years. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, hunger, wars and pests converted Santa Caterina into an excellent place of popular devotion; that is why on November 25th, the day of Santa Caterina, there is a meeting in her honor, to whom is attributed the salvation of the town of Torroella de Montgrí of these ravages.
Well, now you know that you only need sportswear, the desire to have fun and get yourselves on the run. Remember that the Naturaki houses of the Albons Resort are located 18 minutes by car from Torroella and the Montgrí Massif and allow you to enjoy this wonderful treasure of the Empordà.
Cover photo: naturalocal.net