Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park

Nature area / Countryside / Open space, Natural parks, PEIN (Plan for areas of natural interest), Natura 2000 network
The volcanic area of La Garrotxa, declared a natural park in 1985, is the Peninsula's best example of volcanic landscape and one of the most significant in Europe.

The volcanic area of La Garrotxa, declared a natural park in 1985, is the Peninsula's best example of volcanic landscape and one of the most significant in Europe.

Within the 15,000 hectares that comprise the park we can find 38 volcanic cones, over 20 lava outflows and many biological and cultural attractions. This natural gem encompasses 11 different municipalities, the majority on the banks of the Fluvià river.

The mountains, the land and the climate give it a varied and exuberant vegetation of great value. More than a thousand species of different plants have been identified and almost 65% of the area is occupied by leafy holm oak forests, oakwoods or beechwoods, such as the famous Fageda d'en Jordà.

A large variety of animals also inhabit the area: wild boar, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, weasels, moles, hedgehogs, newt, water snakes, toads

One of the features of the natural park is the high volcanic activity, due to the large fault that divides the region in two: to the north there are hills, calcareous rock-faces and ravines and to the south the land is flatter. Every year there are a hundred or so almost imperceptible seismic movements.

The most popular and emblematic volcanoes are Santa Margarida, Montsacopa and Croscat. The latter is the largest volcano on the Iberian Peninsula and also the youngest at only 1,500 years.

There is a significant human presence in the park, with towns and villages, country houses, masias and numerous cultivated fields that occupy a quarter of its surface area. However, the territory forms a balanced and harmonious landscape.

There are around thirty routes of different distances in the area, the majority well signposted. The most popular paths are those of Olot to Can Xel, Can Xel to Santa Pau and the one that circles the Croscat.

There are three information points in Olot, Santa Pau and near the Croscat volcano, where information can be obtained regarding the different itineraries around the park.

  • Year of declaration: 1985
  • Regulations: Law 2/1982, 3rd March, for protection of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone.
  • Area: 15644
  • Ownership: Public
  • District: Santa Pau; Sant Feliu de Pallerols; Sant Joan les Fonts; Olot; Sant Aniol de Finestres; Preses, les; Planes d'Hostoles, les; Montagut i Oix; Mieres; Vall de Bianya, la; Castellfollit de la Roca; Riudaura; Vall d'en Bas, la.
  • Visitor centres: N
  • Annual closing: Abierto todo el año, excepto los días 25 y 26 de diciembre, 1 y 6 de enero.
  • Opening hours - summer : Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00; Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00; Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00.
  • Opening hours - winter: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00; Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 18:00; Sundays from 10:00 to 14:00.
  • How to get there: Main N-260 road (Figueres-Ripoll) until the Olot exit. Local road C-152 from Vic and Girona.
  • Languages: Catalan, Spanish

Facilities

Access for disabled people

Parking

Picnic area

Chapel

Museum

Signposted itineraries

Flora

In terms of plant life, this landscape is very rich and varied; it is home to one of the best examples of wetland vegetation in Catalonia, with native Pyrenean and Atlantic species. It is worth pointing out the wetland forest, containing beechwoods and common oak groves, a combination that is rarely found lower down on volcanic substrates and the southern slopes of the Pyrenees.

Fauna

The wildlife in the natural park is also characterised by its diversity, which is explained by the many different environments here. There are some very interesting species, especially invertebrates, including many rare and endemic species.

Routes

El Parque Natural, en colaboración con los ayuntamientos y entidades municipales, ha elaborado un conjunto de veintiocho itinerarios para recorrer a pie. Los hay de todos los niveles y la mayoría están señalizados. Algunos de los más populares son: Hayedo de Jordà - Volcán de Santa Margarida - Volcán del Croscat, Riscales de Castellfollit de la Roca o Valles de Sant Iscle y del Vallac: volcanes y castillos. Además, el GR 2 cruza el espacio.

Bird-watching tourism

WHAT IS AROUND HERE?
Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park
  • Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park

  • Address:Avenue de Santa Coloma de Farners, 47

  • 17800 Olot

  • Girona / Pyrenees

  • Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park
  • Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park

  • Address: Avenue de Santa Coloma de Farners, 47

  • 17800 Olot

  • Girona / Pyrenees

  • Telephone:972 268 112 / 972 266 012

  • Fax:972 270 455

  • E-mail:pnzvg.dmah@gencat.net

  • Web:http://parcsnaturals.gencat.cat/ca/xarxa-de-parcs/garrotxa/inici/

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