Between the peaks of the Pyrenees and the magnificent beaches of the Costa Brava there is an enormous area of volcanoes and lava, craters, ash and basalt that form landscapes of infinite beauty. Such is the Volcanic area of La Garrotxa, a European Nature Reserve, packed with castles, ancient stone and age-old country houses that invite both rest and adventure.
Little more than 50 kilometres from the city of Girona thirty conical volcanoes rise up, with craters, beech forests over lava rivers and spectacular gorges with basalt walls, the product of prehistoric explosions. Exploring the volcanoes in la Garrotxa Nature Reserve is like travelling to a world of fire and ash, where amazing mountains and landscapes have been sculpted, with a multitude of towns and villages nestling harmoniously in their rugged environment.
This volcanic region is unique in Europe and was finally formed 11,000 years ago when the last eruption took place. Since that time the volcanoes have remained dormant, although not all are extinguished. All this geological heritage is covered with tracks and trails, viewpoints, castles, monuments and churches, all of surprising beauty.
The contrasting colours are spectacular. Ochre earth, dark ash and petrified lava mix together with intense green forests and meadows in spring and summer. All the while you can hear the sound of water flowing down crystalline springs and streams. A route along the park’s trails is highly recommended to all, whether on foot, by bike or on horseback.
The City of Olot the capital of la Garrotxa is hosting this April, Olot Negre, a festival dedicated to Crime/Noir Genre. More information and programme available here (Spanish and Catalan).
Garrotxa Guide (English)