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Home Experiences Excursions in La Garrotxa around Olot

Excursions in La Garrotxa around Olot

Because it is located in a valley surrounded by mountains and dormant volcanoes, the Garrotxa region is an ideal destination for excursions. Whether you are going with children or not, in the surroundings of Olot you will find several routes to do on foot or by bicycle and enjoy nature.

I am an “adopted” Olotina and today I share with you some of the best secrets to get to know Garrotxa through its paths and views.

A tip: if you can, take the excursions at the end of October, beginning of November, when the leaves on the trees change color. It's a beautiful sight!

The Enchanted Rocks

This legendary itinerary begins at the Sanctuary of La Salut, 30 minutes from Olot (1,000m away). It is an itinerary with little gradient, it runs through the forest and offers many different landscapes. You can do the excursion in 2 hours quite easily (round trip). Once on the rocks, you can climb them and discover hiding places as if it were a natural labyrinth. You have to leave your car at the Salut restaurant. After admiring the views, follow the path towards the Enchanted Rocks that leaves to the left of the Santuario de la Salut. If you are hungry after the excursion, the Salut restaurant is an exquisite option.

Sant Miquel del Corb and Sant Martí

Between Olot and Les Preses there is a beautiful and very little-known path that will take you to two beloved hermitages: Sant Miquel del Corb and Sant Martí (approx. 1 hour). The path has almost no unevenness, is simple and crosses a forest near the Fageda d'en Jordà. It is a very quiet place, ideal for a calm walk and to disconnect. Take the detour towards Sant Miquel del Corb from the Les Preses road and about 3 kilometers further, leave the car as well parked as you can before entering the limits of the Natural Park of the volcanic area.

Bicycle Route through Vall d'en Bas

Take advantage of the fact that Olot is located in a valley and enjoy being able to cycle without too much effort. A very nice tour to do in a whole day (or half a day if you go on an electric bike) is the tour of the Vall d'en Bas. Leaving Olot, you will take a section of the Greenway from Olot to Girona until you reach Sant Esteve d'en Bas. There you should detour towards the bucolic town of Hostalets d'en Bas where you can stop for something to eat (try the sugar coca from the town's oven; fabulous!).

Els Hostalets are halfway through this cycle tour. The route continues along the old Parcelaria road, where hardly any cars pass and which crosses wheat fields and beautiful landscapes. The Parcelaria passes through typical and beautiful villages of the Vall d'en Bas where you can come and go to discover the area. Don't miss the main square of Sant Privat Joanetes and the El Mallol network. Continue towards Pinya and the Cirera Neighborhood and join the Carrilet Greenway again to return to Olot.

You can rent bicycles and ask for route maps at the ACMA store in the old Olot station, where the Greenway begins.

Xenacs Natural Park

The Xenacs mountain is a natural recreational area full of paths for excursions. Drive to the top (accessible from Les Preses) and, once at the top, first enjoy the views from the panoramic viewpoint. Afterwards, you can choose to do several excursions; A very nice one is Puig Rodó (900m), where you will also enjoy excellent views.

If you go with children, you can explore the Interactive Forest, where they will learn about the fauna and flora of the forest, walking through Xenacs.

In the Xenacs car park there is a restaurant-cafeteria, picnic area and barbecue. There is a 500m difference in altitude to Puig Rodó and the excursion lasts approximately 1 hour.

Santa Margarita Volcano, Croscat Volcano and Fageda d’en Jordà

The volcanoes and the Fageda d'en Jordà are a must-see if you have never been. Here you have three excursions in one; and very different from each other.

The Santa Margarita Volcano is an excursion with a steep slope (a very steep slope to the top, approx. 40 min). Once at the top, take a tour of the enormous crater of the volcano where you will discover a hermitage in the heart of the crater.

Croscat Volcano does not have as steep a slope as Santa Margarita but it is equally fascinating. In the past it was a mining exploitation and that is why currently visiting its stands will allow you to see what the lava layers of a volcano look like inside. You will need 1 hour to go and return, but take more time to be able to quietly visit the steps of the volcano.

Finally, the Fageda d'en Jordà is one of the best-known forests in Catalonia. Ideal to visit in autumn when the beech leaves change. There are several circular routes in La Fageda. At the entrance they will give you maps to follow the itinerary that best suits you. One of the itineraries passes through the La Fageda Cooperative known for its farm yogurts.

The easiest thing is to go by car from one point to another (very few kilometers separate them and there is parking at each point), but for the more daring you can also take the excursion on foot (or by bicycle) from La Fageda to the volcanoes.

Sadernes: Sant Aniol and the Salto del Brull

This excursion is the longest on this list: 5 hours of circular route through Alta Garotxa (approx. 300m elevation gain). It is not a difficult excursion but it does require more preparation. It can be done all year round but if you go in summer you will have the reward of being able to swim in the Sadernes River.

You will discover the steep landscape of Alta Garrotxa, the Romanesque bridge of Valentí, the beautiful Salto del Brull, the hermitage of Sant Aniol and a whole series of pools and waterfalls, typical of the area.

Take the car towards Sant Jaume de Llierca and Sadernes and continue advancing until Sadernes. If it is early (or out of summer season) you can park next to the Sadernes bridge. Otherwise, you will have to leave the car further back, at the Sadernes campsite (and walk an extra hour).

Montsacopa Volcano

This is a very simple and short excursion but it will easily leave you speechless. The Montsacopa Volcano is one of the volcanoes located within Olot and one of the most loved by the people of Olot. At the top you will have 360º views over Olot and its surroundings. If you go at dusk or early morning, the light is spectacular.

At the top of Montsacopa you will discover old watchtowers and the hermitage of Sant Francesc. There are two entrances to Montsacopa: by the stairs that come out next to the cemetery; and along a fairly steep slope called "Camino del Montsacopa" that goes straight up to the volcano. This path takes a little beyond the cemetery.

 

Where to stay:

The Hotel La Perla is very well located, in the urban center of Olot. If you go with children, you will like to know that it has a playground in front of the hotel, a recreation room inside, special menus for the little ones and family rooms themed to Olot showbiz characters.


The Hotel Cal Sastre is located in the medieval center of Santa Pau, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Catalonia. At Cal Sastre you will find a family, cozy and traditional atmosphere. The rooms are decorated in traditional style and period furniture.

The Hotel-Monumento Can Garay is located in Les Planes d'Hostoles, just 100m from the Carrilet route between Olot and Girona. It is a small hotel located in a beautiful modernist building where all the rooms overlook a 4,000m2 century-old garden.

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