Olot and its natural volcanos
Olot is located in the north of Barcelona, more exactly in the province of Girona, capital of the region of La Garrotxa. Here, we (me and my girlfriend) rent a room at canblanc.es, a nice and quiet rural hotel with swimming pool.
The spanish town is surrounded by 4 natural volcanos and in its surrounding areas, there are more than 20 but the most famous are the volcano Santa Margarida and Croscat. Olot is a small town and very nice so to visit it, it was very quick. What you can see ?
Of course, the 4 volcanos – Montolivet, Montsacopa, La Garrinada and Les Bisaroques. The museums – La
Garrotxa regional, Volcanos, Casa Trincheria and Interactive of the fauna of the Oriental Pyrenees. I can't tell you about the museums since we didn’t visit them. Our goal was to visit the volcanos since the area is reputed for that. By going up to Montsacopa, you will have an overview of the town and its impressive surroundings. Very nice, you can seat here to take a peaceful rest for a while before to start to go down.
That’s the big problem, each time we went up, we had to go down after and for some volcano, we did it twice !!!
On the top, you can visit a little church and you can go inside 2 little towers which served before to defend against the enemies. The church is like any european church (in my opinion) so nothing special to see and the towers, well it is worth if you want a better overview of the town. But if you are greedy, you can pick up a lot of blackberries. For people who don’t like to walk, you can rent bicycles but to visit volcanos, you have to do it with your feet.
The other volcanos are not so interesting so you can skip them or to visit them later when you have time like we did. Outside of Olot, our adventure. We started each day to take a good breakfast before to walk following one of the itineraries to visit the most famous volcanos of the area. Depending which one you are going to take, you can walk for 2h or 4h or even more.
One day, we walked during almost 8h. Ok I confess, we got lost. First we took the right way, after we took a bifurcation to visit another volcano and to come back on our first itinerary, we took a shortcut and from this moment we got lost so we walked during almost 8h this day to come back to our hotel !!! Like a saying, walking is good for health !!!
Just to let you know, there are more and less 20 volcanos (big and small ones) but only 2 are very interesting - Santa Margarida and Croscat (they are the 2 bigger ones).
The particularity of the volcano Santa Margarida is that you can go down to the center of the crater (after to go up) where you will find a little chapel in the middle and a plain to rest before to go up again to be able go down again. After visiting this one, you have the choice to go to see little ones - Puig Subià, Font Pobra, Puig de Mar and/or Can Tià, or to the forest of La Fageda d’en Jorda or to Croscat. By going to the forest, you are close to visit the volcano Puig de la Costa and if you are lucky, to meet this nice green frog and if you know a little about mushrooms, you can search and pick them up to cook at home.
By going to the volcano Croscat, you can make a stop to eat to 2 rural restaurants. About food, the specialty of the area calls “volcanic cooking”. It is simply food cook by volcanic stone and by using traditional cultivated ingredients.
After to eat very well, we went to visit Croscat. The particularity of this volcano is that one quarter side is missing like if a giant cut it off to eat for its dessert. In the point of scientific view, this side, which has been collapsed since centuries, provides a lot of information for the research because we can see the different layers of lava formed during those past years.
And after if you are not tied to visit volcanos, there are small ones around or you can visit them another day. What we did it is to visit one big and some small per day and I can guarantee you that you will be tired since it will take you more and less between 3h or 4h without counting the lunch time, the break time… and because you are going up and down so imagine visiting them all in one day !!!! Crazy !!!
And if you get tired about volcanos, you can make horse. It cost us around 30€ for both of us and the horse walking last around 40 minutes. If it will be your first time, it will be worth if not, not at all. Or doing a hot-air balloon tour for about 180€ per person (too expensive) so we discarded this option.
Really it is a nice place to visit and to have some peace. Good for a weekend but if you plan to stay 1 week or more and your plan is not like peaceful vacation with the nature, you will get bored and tired of volcanos. Hopefully you have very nice little town to visit around like Besalù, Cogolls, Les Preses… and if you are curious and to discover more, go to this official website of the volcano neighborhood or to see more pictures at my other website Concept RT.