Water, provided by the Rossinyol and Tenes rivers and also by rainfall and thawed ice, has created a singular landscape in Sant Miquel del Fai, where caves of stalactites and stalagmites have made strange rocky formations, small ponds and beautiful waterfalls.
Added to the richness of nature in this setting is the beauty of the architectural heritage of an ancient monastery that was built around the church of Sant Miquel (10th century).
The place is documented from 887, when it is mentioned in a text that refers to the Romanesque shrine of Sant Martí (10th century). This shrine, very influential up to the 6th century, began to lose importance to that of worship celebrated in the church of Sant Miquel (10th century), built on a site where pagan had previously been practised.
In the year 997, the Counts of Barcelona granted the lands containing the church of Sant Miquel and its surroundings to the knight Gombau de Besora for him to found a monastery, but the house of the Priorat (Priory ) was not finally built until the beginning of 15th century.
From 1042 the Fai priory was attached to the Provençal monastery of Sant Víctor of Marseille, until in 1567 it came under the protection of the Cathedral of Girona. In 1832, with an increasingly evident lack of monks, the priory was abolished.
The visit to Sant Miquel del Fai begins in Abbey Square, where the house of the Priorat stands. The building, very well conserved, is a good example of Catalan Gothic and is currently used for banquets, private meetings and business events.
Following the stone path we arrive at the church of Sant Miquel, the only Romanesque chapel built under the shelter of a cave. Further on is the audiovisual room, where the history and architecture of this natural site is explained. The next stop is the museum, which exhibits archaeological remains from the area.
Then the itinerary splits two ways: visitors can either visit the cave of Sant Miquel, where we can admire the stalactite, stalagmite and small lake formations, or continue on along the main path to the lake of Les Monges, hidden beneath a rock. This path goes behind the spectacular waterfall of the Tenes river and ends at the recently restored Sant Martí chapel. The itinerary ends in the Les Tosques cave, which can only be accessed with a guide due to the level of difficulty of the path.
The visit to Sant Miquel del Fai can be concluded with one of the organised leisure proposals, such as shows, workshops for children, sports events or experiential training (extra-company training activities to improve the performance of employees via games and outdoor experiences).
Sant Miquel del Fai also has a picnic area, a nature school for school groups, a playground and a souvenir shop, where the Fai liqueur, made from aromatic herbs from the area, can be purchased.