Day 4 - on the plateau (Alan and Jan MacLeod)
Day 4 - on the plateau (Alan and Jan MacLeod) 
Route summary
£805.00 (2014)
TBC (2015)
7 nights
7 B&B, 5 evening meals, 5 picnics
Luggage transfers between hotels
Medium - Hard
4½ - 6 hours per day
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Catalonia (Spain)
Quiet byways of the Garrotxa
Full Description

A self-guided walking holiday in Catalonia, visiting the volcanic zone of La Garrotxa and the mighty cliffs of the Cabreres.  Stay in medieval Besalu, Santa Pau, Rupit, Joanetes and Olot

 

Beautiful Besalú and extinct volcanoes

This walk through unspoilt Catalonia begins in the beautifully preserved medieval town of Besalú, where you stay in the comfort of a stylish hotel next to the old bridge. From here you walk through the heart of La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park with its numerous (now extinct) volcanoes. Winding up through the beech woods and rolling pastures of El Cabrerès, the cliff-girt plateau, the views are over the Catalonian hills, the towering heights of Mt. Puigsacalm and the (hopefully) snow-capped Pyrenees, before you move down finally for your stay in a converted farmhouse in the rural calm of La Vall d'en Bas. You might consider a return to Besalú for a further night to explore in more detail its medieval alleys and Catalan restaurants, or combine with a stay in stylish Barcelona.

 

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie

 

Standard option (as per "Itinerary"): 7 nights

Suggested shorter alternatives: 

6-night miss night 7; 5-night miss nights 1 and 7 - start in Santa Pau


Highlights
  • Breathtaking walking in unspoilt countryside
  • Extinct volcanoes and tranquil meadows
  • Walking the cliff edge of the Cabrerès plateau
  • Catalan cooking and fabled hospitality
  • Medieval Besalu, Rupit and Santa Pau
  • Two nights in a stylish Vogue-featured farmhouse

WE RECOMMEND: An extra night in lovely Rupit in the middle, for some local walking or just to rest in Susanna's comfortable hotel.  Combine with Barcelona and a stay in one of our recommended hotels, explore Gaudi and Picasso's heritage, and shop (even Simon enjoyed it!).

 

EATING AND DRINKING: Try your Catalan on Carmen's recommended menu (El Ferres, night 5) - "Fesols amb cansalada i botifarra - Les patates d'Olot - Carn a la brasa - todo es molt tipico de nuestra zona. El vino de la casa està muy rico...".  Frank Hofmann did the walk in April '13 and has some add-on tips: "Would highly recommend Les Cols Restaurant in Olot (2 Michelin stars) - despite arriving with backpacks and poles, generally bedraggled, we were received and treated like royalty with guided tour of restaurant, cellar, kitchen and function rooms - outstanding cuisine.  Pro tip: try for a reservation at El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, currently rated no.1 in the world - you won't be disappointed.. but NB the booking line is open for an hour a month and tables committed a year in advance."

Route map
Catalonia (Spain) route map
Route designed by

Mike Lockwood

Mike Lockwood, who originally designed the route, has lived in Catalonia for 25 years and now lives in the middle of Besalú. He is a wildlife and walking guide, author of the 'Sunflower' walking guide to the area and designed much of the network of historical paths that this tour follows. He is fluent in Catalan and Spanish. 

 

Richard Calvin

Mike has handed over his baton to Richard Calvin, who is a keen walker as well as a sculptor in stainless steel.  His wife Sara looks after hotel liaison as well as running her own villa rental company.