From the Roca del Drac to the headquarters of the Cric circus, visit the Barcelona natural park, ideal for weekend excursions on foot, on horseback or by bicycle 

Cradle of generals and bandits, tomb of guerrillas, nest of witches and healers, hiding place of dragons, women of water, devils and ghosts ..., in Montseny life, legend and history are confused in every corner of its more than 30,000 hectares of natural park. On horseback between Girona and Barcelona, ​​it is the green lung of the Catalan pre-littoral, a paradise for nature lovers. The possibilities of excursions, gastronomy, culture and sport are enormous and adaptable to all tastes and budgets.

Montseny, in the dragon's lairExpand photo
JAVIER BELLOSO

Arriving from the A-7 motorway, Sant Celoni, Santa Maria and Sant Esteve de Palautordera are the west gate of Montseny and a good port to start the journey towards the great mountain. If the route is not decided, it is convenient to visit the tourist office. For the walkers there are a couple of easy options. For example, visit the Castell de Fluvià, an architectural ensemble from the 12th century where a bloody episode of the War of the Segadors took place. On the way you pass through the church of Santa Margarita and back you can reach the castle of Montclús or de los Moros, surrounded by the remains of an old Iberian village. Legend has it that, on the verge of ruin, the lord of Montclús sold his soul to the devil and that when Lucifer went to collect, the lady of the castle chased him away with a silver cross. Also on foot you can reach the Circ Cric, an initiative of the clown Tortell Poltrona, which has built a circus in the middle of the Montseny. From there we continue to the hermitage of Santa Magdalena, in Fogars de Montclús, less than 10 kilometers between pines, oaks and holm oaks of great beauty. An excursion suitable for all audiences wanting to walk. Nearby, in Mosqueroles, is the Mariona farmhouse, a magnificent example of regionalist architecture turned into an office of the natural park. From Mosqueroles there are also segway routes that, for 40 euros, breakfast included, offer effortlessly and for a couple of hours a look at the park.

Horses in this natural park in the northeast of Barcelona. Enlarge photo
Horses in this natural park northeast of Barcelona. JOAN TORRAS GETTY
Largest tree
Around the Montseny a powerful equestrian industry has developed, and touring the park on the back of a horse is a great option. The equestrian Can Vila, Can Marc or Equus combine classes and routes even for the neophytes. With a car, the options multiply. You can visit the hermitage of Sant Elies de Vilamajor, with its bell Vella; the Coll de Sant Marçal, where the table of the three Bishops is located; the chestnut d’en Cuch, in Cánovas, with a perimeter of 12 meters, considered the largest tree in Catalonia; the hermitage of Sant Salvador, and the swamp of Vallforners.

On a clear day, from the peak of Turó de l’Home the Costa Brava and Montserrat are distinguished

The bicycle is another ideal means to tour the Montseny park because most excursions are very affordable for average cyclists and bikes can be rented. By the BV-5301, from Santa Maria de Palautordera, passing through Sant Esteve and Fogars on a winding road, you reach the Costa del Montseny, last point before making the big decision: whether or not to climb the Turó de l'Home, which with its 1,706 meters is the highest point of the massif. The challenge is worth it because on a clear day from the peak you can distinguish the Costa Brava, the mountains of the Pyrenees or Montserrat. In addition, the path to the top passes through the Fontmartina campground, the Plana Amagada viewpoint or the Sot de l’Infern, where you can see a reconstructed coal cabin, an old lime kiln and a beautiful waterfall. From here the view of the Turó de l’Home is magnificent, and if you do not convince the possibility of walking or pedaling, the car will take us comfortably to the foot of the top. Afterwards, there are only a couple of kilometers of walking slope that culminate in the old observatory built in 1932.

One can also approach the town of Montseny. It is interesting the viewpoint of l'Estela, which hosts a megalithic menhir about 5,000 years old. The church of Sant Llorenç de Vilardell and the Drac rock, a white stone where a dragon was supposedly hiding that had the region frightened, is another walk that combines legend and landscape.

GUIDE
Tourist Office of Montseny.
Circ Cric
Horse Riding Can Vila
Horse riding Equus
Sant Celoni tourism.
Viladrau tourism.
Bandits
During the 16th and 17th centuries the Montseny was a land of bandits. The most famous was Joan Sala, known as Serrallonga and born in Viladrau. An itinerary that concludes in his farmhouse remembers his figure. Originally from Sant Hilari Sacalm, he was General Josep Moragues, a soldier who fought against the Bourbons in the War of Succession and was beheaded (his head was exposed at the door of the Sea of ​​Barcelona). The anarchist had no better end 
Quico Sabater, who, after escaping from the Civil Guard, managed to arrive by train to Sant Celoni. Injured, he sought help, but on the street of Santa Tecla, a couple of somatenes came to pass that ended his life. A tombstone recalls the fact and in the cemetery of Sant Celoni rest its remains.

With the disappearance of Racó de Can Fabes, the gastronomic level of Montseny lost integers. But the offer is still very powerful and varied. Highly recommended are Parrufu, in Hostalric; Els Avets, in Sant Celoni; Can Manel, and Can Barrina, where they also have rooms. The L'Om aparthotel mixes relaxing treatments with your stay and, at 850 meters high, at the Sant Bernat hostel, guests receive huge San Bernardo dogs. And to sleep under the stars, the campground Les Illes, in the heart of a park that for more times to visit always surprises.