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Santa Pau - Volcano Croscat - Castellfollit de la Roca - Besalu

Price: 72.00 EUR
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Countries: Spain
Route: Barcelona - Santa Pau - Volcano Croscat - Castellfollit de la Roca - Besalu - Barcelona
Duration: 10 h
La Garrotxa, the Volcanic Region of Catalonia, is one of the most beautiful regions of Catalonia. Not many people know where La Garrotxa is, but visiting is worth it, for it is packed with interesting sights, untouched nature, and beautiful villages and small cities. Our first stop in this region will be at Santa Pau which  is a medieval village in the heart of the Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa. Surrounded by volcanoes and amazing forests. Declared of Historical and Artistic importance in 1971, it has retained all its medieval charm, with tiny irregular alleys, walls and access points. The village was built around a Baron’s castle starting in the 13th century. The castle remained the residence of the lords, and later on the center of the village. The nicest view of the old historical center of Santa Pau is from a terrace located by a rather old fashioned (but extremely local) coffee shop called Can Pauet. Our next visit will be to volcano of Croscat which is gredales are one of the jewels of the Natural Park of the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa. The Croscat is  the youngest and highest volcano in the Iberian Peninsula, with the last eruption dated back to about 14,000 years Before Present. The volcanic cone has a horseshoe shape, and its northeastern flank was quarried for volcanic gravel until the early 1990s, exposing the internal structure of the cone from top to bottom. Our next stop will be at one of the most scenic villages in Catalonia, Castellfollit de la Roca is dramatically perched atop a cliffside at the meeting point of two rivers. With its jumble of stone-brick houses clinging to the edge of a soaring basalt cliff and a backdrop of forested mountains, the tiny town of Castellfollit de la Roca offers some striking photo opportunities. From afar, this is one of Catalonia’s most unmistakable postcard images, but looking out from the 50-meter-high clifftop provides an equally mesmerizing view, spanning the lush valleys of the Fluvia and Toronell rivers. Despite its magnificent location, Castellfollit de la Roca has little more than 1,000 inhabitants, making it one of Catalonia’s smallest towns and the smallest in Girona. Visitors, however, are plentiful and the narrow streets, medieval squares and 13th-century church of St. Salvador offer a fascinating glimpse into a time long gone. Strolling along the streets of the old town, the sense of closeness and proximity is such that you could forget you were just metres from a sheer drop. The Garrotxa volcanic area is famous for its hearty gastronomy rich in local ingredients such as Sant Pau beans and wild mushrooms. There are a small handful of traditional restaurants in Castellfollit de la Roca and they offer jaw-dropping views you’ll struggle to find elsewhere. Our last point in this tour will be at the most visited village Besalú in La Garrotxa, this small medieval village is incredibly charming. Once it was the commercial center of La Garrotxa and it’s quite simply a pleasant place to explore.  Following a succession of Roman, Visigothic and Muslim rulers, during the 10th and 11th centuries Besalú was the capital of an independent county that stretched as far west as Cerdanya before it came under Barcelona’s control in 1111.  The first sight of Besalú that we will get is that of the medieval stone bridge, Pont Vell. This was built in the 12th century in Romanesque style. Next we will see to the Monastery of Sant Pere; Casa Cornellà, which is a nicely preserved medieval house; the church of Sant Julià and there also are the remains of a synagogue, a reminder of how the Jewish community thrived in Besalú and the rest of Alta Garrotxa, from the end of the 9th to the 15th century. The views of Pont Vell are equally gorgeous from both sides of the river; those of the village from the southern side are stunning; whereas on the northern side there are just as many nice viewpoints. The northern side is also where the “humble chair” is located. This is a nice piece of artwork that comes from a collaboration between Besalú inhabitants and local artists who create their version of a chair. After that we will return to Barcelona.
Price: Per person
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Vratislav, 23.01.2022
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