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La Garrotxa Viewpoints

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La Garrotxa Viewpoints

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15 Elements of the PROPOSALS IN THIS TOWN
Ranges, plains, valleys, volcanoes… A great way to admire the geography of La Garrotxa is by climbing to the highest points with outstanding views.

Description

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The orographic characteristics of the region give rise to several viewpoints with striking views of La Garrotxa landforms and their surrounding areas. This tour will take you to the best 14 places full of history from where we will admire La Garrotxa from every perspective.
The comarca of La Garrotxa is located in the north of Catalonia, in the bank of the river Fluvià, close to the Muga and the Amer and Llémena creeks. To the north it borders Vallespir; to the east the Alt Empordà, El Pla de l’Estany and El Gironès; to the south La Selva and Osona, and to the west El Ripollès.
La Garrotxa boasts a singular landform unique in Catalonia, since it is clearly divided into two areas: the half south and the half north, known as the Alta Garrotxa.
The half south of the comarca, located within the Transversal range, presents a geography clearly marked by the presence of 40 volcanic cones and several lava flows which form a soft landscape without slopes. In 1985 this area became La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. Olot city, together with Santa Pau, are the two municipalities which have more volcanic formations. Almost all the volcanoes are located within their territories, although the lava flows are located in Sant Joan les Fonts or Castellfollit de la Roca. Particularly in Sant les Fonts we can admire 10 volcanoes and several lava flows of great geological interest. One of the most important ones is the complex formed by Fondo and Boscarró mills, a unique place in the Peninsula where you can admire three superimposed lava flows dating from different years. This is because, in the past, lava flew through the valleys of the rivers Fluvià and Turonell.
Olot has four volcanoes within its territories. The last one, the Montsacopa, stands above the city right in the middle. Next to its crater there is Sant Francesc chapel, which has some striking panoramic views of the city, the Bisaroques and Montolivet volcanoes, the ranges and valleys surrounding Olot, as well as the several summits of the Pyrennees and the Canigó. Another place from where Olot and its volcanoes can be admired is the Puig Rodó summit, located within Les Preses municipality in Del Corb range at 909 metres above sea level.
The basaltic cliff, on which the town of Castellfollit de la Roca was built, is a keen exponent of La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. It is the direct result of the erosive action of the rivers Fluvià and Toronell on the remains of the two lava flows from the volcanic eruptions which took place in the past. The cliff is stunningly beautiful and has an extraordinary gological singularity. Moreover, from one end, in the Josep Pla square, also constitutes a natural viewpoint from where the mountains of the Alta Garrotxa as well as the river Fluvià can be admired.
The river Fluvià is born in Collsacabra range, at a height of 920 metres. It flows into the sea thorugh L’Empordà marshes, close to Sant Pere Pescador. It takes the water coming from the Transversal range in the south and from the Alta Garrotxa in the north and its course is 100 km. The Fluvià valley integrates the villages of Sant Joan les Fonts, Sant Jaume de Llierca, Argelaguer, Sant Ferriol, Beuda, Maià de Montcal and Besalú, which, in turn, include several viewpoints present in our route.
Within Argelaguer there are the remains of the Montpalau castle and Santa Magdalena hermitage, from which there is only a part of the defence tower left. In Maià de Montcal, at the top of a high plain there is Santa Maria de Jonqueres church, known as Santa Magdalena, from where you can admire the Empordà plain, the Roses bay and the Cap de Creus. The last viewpoint of this route along the Fluvià valley is Sant Ferriol sanctuary, located at a height of 366 metres.
In the south of La Garrotxa there is Vall d’Hostoles and Vall d’en Bas. The first one comprises the villages of Sant Feliu de Pallerols and Les Planes d’Hostoles. The second one gives name to the village where it is found and is characterisitic for having the most fertile land in Catalonia. Within the municipality of Vall d’en Bas there is the Guàrdia range, with the Puigsacalm summit (1,513 metres high), and also a great part of the Collsacabra which, together with Les Planes d’Hostoles, Sant Feliu de Pallerols and other municipalities of Osona and La Selva create the subregion of El Cabrerès. It is precisely in this place where we can find Dela Font de la Salut sanctuary, with stunning views onto the Hostoles and Bas valleys, as well as the Alta Garrotxa.
The Llémena valley, bordering the comarques of El Gironès and La Garrotxa is located between the valleys of Fluvià and Hostoles. It is one of the most well-preserved natural spaces and it follows the Llémena creek. To the west it borders the Finestres range, and to the noth and north-west the villages of Santa Pau and Mieres. The Finestres range stands in the centre of the comarca and boasts one of the viewpoints included in our tour: the Finestres castle, located near Santa Maria de Finestres hermitage and 960 metres above sea level. From the hill where the castle stands one can admire Santa Pau, the Pyrennees, the Llémena valley and the plain of L’Empordà. If it is sunny, you can even see the harbour of Roses and the Mediterranean Sea. However, to reach it there are steep paths which are recommendable if you are scared of heights.

The Alta Garrotxa
The Alta Garrotxa is classified as a Protected Natural Place of Interest. It has an interesting geography with lots of deep valleys surrounded by cliffs. It is covered with a dense forest mass dominated by holm oak and oak. The Alta Garrotxa river system comprises the river Muga and its tributaries (Llierca and Borró). The Llierca valley is the main entrance to the Alta Garrotxa area. This river is born in Sant Pau de Segúries, in the comarca of El Ripollès, close to the Capsacosta, and flows through the Bac and Oix valleys. The river Llierca limits the villages of Tortellà, Montagut i Oix and Sales de Llierca. Montagut i Oix is one of the most extensive villages in La Garrotxa. In the Cós quarter and specifically in the Mare de Déu del Cós church there is a splendid viewpoint. From there we can see the valley of the Llierca river in the north; the Mont sanctuary in the north-east; the valley of the river Fluvià, the Puigsacalm range and the Cabrera sanctuary in the south, and, finally, the Far sanctuary in the south-west.
In the east of the Llierca valley there is the village of Vall de Bianya, named after the valley in which it stands. In the south of this village there is Sant Miquel del Mont range, which separated the valleys of Olot and Bianya and offers an impressive panoramic view of the Alta Garrotxa and Transversal range, from the Puig de Bassegoda to the Mont sanctuary.
Within the limits of the Alta Garrotxa there is also the Mont range, which stands between the river Muga, in the north, and the river Fluvià, in the south. At the bottom of this range, formed by a block of calcaric stones, there is the village of Beuda where there is another point of our route: Sant Miquel de Coma-de-roure church. Located in a small mountain pass between the Borró valley and Espinau, it overlooks the Mare de Déu del Mont sanctuary, the bank of the river Fluvià, the valleys in Olot, the Collsacabra and even the Pla de l’Estany.
Another part of the Alta Garrotxa which is also part of the La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park is located within the village of Sant Joan les Fonts and two viewpoints are included in this tour. One can be found in Canadell tower, an old tower built during the Carlist Wars. From this viewpoint, orientated to the south, we can admire the whole plain of La Garrotxa up to Besalú, the plain of Begudà and also the area of Vall de Bianya and Castellar de la Muntanya. Moreover, it also offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains: Mare de Déu del Mont, Alta Garrotxa and the Pyrennees of Girona.
The other viewpoint is located at the crater of Aiguanegra volcano, a privileged site from where we can admire the Alta Garrotxa, the Canigó, the summits of the Pyrennees, the Vall de Bianya and the Puigsacalm.
La Garrotxa’s singular geography and geology, with its constrasts of flat and fertile valleys with the surrounding ranges, give rise to many interesting sites from where we can admire the singularity of this comarca and its immediate environment, from the Pyrennees to the Mediterranean Sea.

Curiosity

The name “Garrotxa” stems from the garrotxes which are infertile and dry lands. The comarca was given this name since it has plenty of mountains with deep valleys surrounded by cliffs.

Additional data

Recommendation: To go along one of the six pedestrian routes which go by some of the most spectacular sites in La Garrotxa. They are all signposted and it is easy to find them using the route guides. From these routes you can access on foot many paths of La Garrotxa, El Ripollès or Alt Empordà, by going on the Itinerànnia network of hiking trails.