Nature And Medieval Villages In The Garrotxa Region

In La Garrotxa, a unique volcanic landscape intermingles with medieval towns. A beautiful area in the province of Girona, in Catalonia.
Nature and medieval towns in the Garrotxa region

The Garrotxa region forms a natural park where the protagonist is the most important volcanic landscape of the Iberian Peninsula. Rich in multiple species of flora and fauna, the greenest part is combined with several locations that will immediately catch your attention. Do you want to meet her?

The towns of the Garrotxa region

The Garrotxa region, in the province of Girona, stands out for its splendid volcanic territory, but in it we find medieval towns that have witnessed the passage of time for centuries. We visit some and tell you what to see and do in them.

Besalú

Besalú bridge in the Garrotxa region
Romanesque bridge of Besalú

One of those jewels is Besalú, which already existed in the 10th century as a fortress. A town that today still maintains the essence that it had hundreds of years ago.

Its beautiful medieval bridge, built in the 12th century over the Fluviá River, welcomes the visitor. Its two doors at both ends, along with the great length of an almost thousand-year-old bridge, already suggest that this is not just any town. In fact, we perceive it as soon as we walk a few minutes through its streets.

The route takes us to the Jewish quarter, where we can see the old baths, the best preserved of this type in the Iberian Peninsula. Despite having left the town in the 14th century, the presence of Jewish culture for two centuries is still felt.

There is more. The town has other charms, such as the church of Sant Pere, which dates from the 12th century. Among its characteristics, the figure of a lion stands out on its façade or, above all, the circular ambulatory inside.

Santa Pau

Plaza Mayor de Santa Pau in La Garrotxa
Plaza Mayor of Santa Pau

Santa Pau also stands out among the medieval towns of La Garrotxa. It is a magical town where we can enter its walled space to see, among other things, a sturdy castle that has its origins in the 13th century.

Another attraction of Santa Pau is the church of Santa María, whose bell tower stands out in the Gothic construction of the 15th century. It was built after the earthquakes that devastated the area in 1427.

The church is one of the buildings that we can see in the town square. Indeed, the Plaza Mayor stands out for its collection of porticoes with uneven arches, both Romanesque and Gothic. An aspect that is charming.

Other towns

Castellfollit de la Roca
Castellfollit de la Roca – Daniel Rubio / Flickr.com

Besalú and Santa Pau are the most recurrent examples of medieval towns in Garrotxa, but there are more. Castellfollit de la Roca is worth mentioning, overlooking a spectacular cliff from which there are magnificent views of the Garrotxa region.

Another town that deserves a visit is Sant Joan les Fonts. It is made up of three population centers and its Romanesque monastery and Juvinyà castle stand out.

Discover the nature of the Garrotxa region

Landscape of the Garrotxa region
Landscape of the Garrotxa

Nature lovers cannot miss the natural park. Located in the part of Alta Garrotxa, the landscape shows large valleys surrounded by rock walls and cliffs. In the more than 12,000 hectares of the park there are almost 40 volcanic cones and 20 streams.

This place is one of the most fertile in Spain, as it has a great variety of vegetation and also animal species. Regarding volcanic activity, some of the cones generated significant lava flows. The Olot area stands out, where the lava followed the direction of the Fluviá valley.

It is advisable to follow one of the routes created to fully enjoy the experience. There are several and most are perfectly signposted. Routes of different lengths that lead through treasures such as the Fageda d’en Jordà, a wonderful beech forest, or the Croscat and Santa Margarida volcanoes.

Of course, it is asked to be very respectful of the environment. We must avoid disturbing the fauna that lives there. But above all, it is requested not to collect plants, rocks or minerals. Do not forget that it is a space of enormous value.

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