Journalist, communicator, curious walker, in love with people and my little country
Leave the car and the bustle behind and surrender to the beauty and benefits of a woodland stroll
Here we bring you a collection of forest groves to be found in the Girona region where you can enjoy a sunlit walk at any time of the year. Wander, admire and inhale their wonders while respecting the natural rhythm, balance and their illustrious inhabitants. It could be that you feel the presence of elvin folk calling you into the Forest of Enchanted Rocks in Garrotxa’s Planes d’Hostoles as it’s hard not to be swept up in the magic and legend of this fairytale setting. This beautiful beech forest, dotted with huge, moss-covered rocks is also a wonderland for those with a passion for photography.
Planes d’Hostoles. Rafael López Monné.
The diminutive must-see natural treasure of Les Estunes in Porqueres, Pla de l’Estany, is another spot that is sure to capture your imagination. The trails that run through it may not be long, but there is a discovery to be made around every corner: giant holm and common oaks and trailing ivy which cascade from the rocks, grottos, caves and huge rock crevices created by the movements of the Earth’s crust.
Just as magical is the Forest of the Giants trail in Romanyà de la Selva, which you can follow around the foot of the Gavarres mountains in the Baix Empordà region. It runs through a splendid oak forest and is home to several cultural and natural treasures, including the curious Menhir de la Murtra, the spectacular Daina Cave dolmen and its three monumental cork oaks: the Xato Cork, the Little Almeda Cork and the Almeda Cork.
Romanyà de la Selva. Miquel Millan.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of it all in the evocatively named, Vall Infinita (Infinite Valley) that is home to more than twenty natural beauty spots dotted around the Maçanet de Cabrenys municipality in Alt Empordà. Some will take you into the heart of the forest, others to the banks of the river, along trails and gorges, and some offer wonderful panoramic views to soothe body and mind. They are known as ‘silent spots’ and are included in a guide that provides you with the relevant geolocation information and instructions on how to get there on foot, by car or 4×4.
Maçanet de Cabrenys. Maria Geli i Pilar Planagumà.
If beauty is what you’re looking for, the Sant Valentí de Salarsa oak grove will not disappoint! Set at the edge of one of the Girona region’s most picturesque towns named Beget in Ripollès, you will walk among sturdy oaks, with their strong branches, whorls of capriciously serrated leaves that reflect the summer sunshine and crunch under foot in the lingering winter months. The Romanesque (twelfth century) hermitage of Sant Valentí de Salarsa awaits you at the top of a small hill, protected by a 25m-high oak tree standing to attention nearby. A majestic partnership seemingly frozen in time.
The Espinelves Arboretum, the forest created by Marià Masferrer in the picturesque Girona town Espinelves near the Guilleries mountains, is another retreat to lift the soul. Masferrer was a naturalist and botanist, who, in 1860, began bringing back conifer seeds he collected on his travels around the world to plant here. The result is this magnificent 45-minute signposted forest trail that will take you on a slow, peaceful stroll among redwoods, pines, spruces, lindens, cedars and other species. Some of the specimens you will find there have been declared natural heritage by the Government of Catalonia.
Cerdanya is another region that offers a multitude of options to enjoy its exceptionally beautiful landscape, of which the municipality of Alp is just one. Here you can follow the path that leads you, first through an ash forest, and then through a Scots pine forest, on your way up to Roca Castellana; a natural vantage point with stunning views over the Cerdanya plain where you cannot fail to wonder at life’s great adventure.