Few people know that only half an hour drive from Barcelona is Spain's largest volcanic area called La Garrotxa and is a protected nature reserve. If you stay in Barcelona and have the opportunity to rent a car, we suggest you be sure to visit the scenic edge.
In total, in La Garrotxa there 70 volcanoes, including 40 They are active. The last serious eruption in a conservation area recorded almost 12 thousand years ago. Scientists call the volcanoes in the Garrotxa region is not extinct and "dormant", assuming that volcanoes can wake up. Here were discovered and numerous thermal springs, mountain streams and beautiful gorge.
Volcano of Santa Margarita - the card Garrotxa: due to its relatively large size and the small church of the Romanesque period, picturesquely situated in the center of the crater. Here, a special atmosphere of peace and tranquility. This volcano is located near the town of Santa Pau.
Without exaggeration we can say that these places are able to shake the imagination of any traveler. You will be amazed extraordinary harmony of majestic landscapes and amazing calm and measured life of its villages. Having been here once, fall in love with this place forever and dream to come back as soon as possible.
If you decide to come to know this region alone, the first beautiful place on your way to the medieval town of Besalu (Besalú), the hallmark of which is a defensive bridge of the 12th century, serving the central entrance to the fortress city. The historic city center is a rich collection of examples of Romanesque architecture. Wander through the medieval streets of Besalú is endless. The town is rich in folk art stalls and workshops of local artisans. It has a small museum of cheese, smoked and dried meat of local production. Visitors to tell the secrets of the manufacture and offer to taste the best products of masters. In our 1996 g. Besalú was declared a cultural heritage of Spain, is a real open-air museum 130 km from Barcelona.
Not far from Besalú, in 15 minutes, settled, or rather hung on the edge of a precipice, a unique village Castellfollit de la Roca (Castellfullit de la roca). This town stands on top of a narrow basalt rock, which was formed by collisions of lava flows. Houses prostroen of cobbles, cobbled together from the same lava. Be sure to climb to the top of the church tower, which is located at the end of a single main street, the view from there is breath-taking.
Now it's time to get acquainted with the capital of La Garrotxa, the wonderful town of Olot (Olot), which is decorated with huge trees alley plane trees. gastronomic fair is held in Olot constantly held a variety of fairs and festivals, for example, every Monday at Jaume Balmes square with 170 benches, and in the rest of the week except Sunday advised to visit the local market in the Plaza de Mercado. Even if you are not going to buy anything, it will be interesting to see the local products and feel the spirit of the inhabitants of this town. Walk in the center of Olot also bring pleasure. From local restaurants suggested to visit La Quinta Justa in the city center, or a more expensive double Michelin the Coles Tasting menu for 85 €. It is better to book a table in advance, as we recall that in these parts in all the restaurants with lunch time 13-00 to 16-00, and dinner is served from 20-00 to 23-00.
It is best to arrive in La Garrotxa for two days with an overnight stay. Then you do not have to rush and you are in a quiet measured rhythm visit all the most interesting places in the region. Of all the hotels we recommend to choose the range of the category «Casa Rural», the hotel is a rural type, which are often located in a beautiful old manor house with its own gardens and grounds. We recommend two hotels of this type - Casa farm and Cal Sastre. Casa Echalde is located near the town of Camprodon, an ancient house of the century, the owner of which shall be six cozy rooms and personally cooks breakfast to its guests. Wonderful views from the windows on the hillsides, babbling brook, cats, horses and total peace. Around the house there are plenty of trails for relaxed walks. The room for the night for two here costs about 80 €. The second option is Cal Sastre is located in the town of Santa Pau in the old mansion, there is also very beautiful, comfortable and quiet.
On the second day we recommend to see the city Camprodon and be sure to dine at the restaurant Fonda Riga in the town Tregura de Dalt, which is quite steep serpentine. This is one of the best restaurants of La Garrotxa, reserve a table at least for a day and enjoy the stunning views and excellent cuisine at unrealistically low prices.
La Garrotxa, as we mentioned, is famous for its so-called "volcanic cuisine". This is mainly meat dishes, grilled. In all Catalonia known local sausage and goat cheese - semi-hard, soft, with a noble mold on the crust and slightly spicy taste. Be sure to try the local cheese, tomatoes, beef dishes, snails, rustic bread and beans.
EXCURSIONS IN Garrotxa
If you wish, we will hold for you a tour in Garrotxa. In the morning we'll pick you up at your hotel or apartment and otpavimsya trip with professional guide. Cost of the tour for a group of 2 to 4 man on 1 day will be 200 € . Accommodation costs for gasoline and tolls to be paid separately.