Across the Collsacabra plateau. Route 4 Garrotxa

This route follows part of the old ‘Royal Road’, a medieval trail joining these two cities that was probably paved to be able to transport timber to Barcelona to construct a fleet for the king.

Region
  • Garrotxa
Towns
  • Vall d'en Bas, La
Difficulty
  • Medium
Time
  • 4h 10min
Distance
  • 11,22 km
Hide elevation maximum
  • 951
Hide elevation minimum
  • 488
Ascent
  • 545
Descent
  • 545

The starting point of this route is the car park at the entrance to the village of Hostalets d’en Bas.

At the end of Carrer Teixeda, turn left and pick up the first yellow marks that, along with the signposts, will guide you on this walk. After 100 m, you come to the Itinerrània signpost G 65-Hostalets d’en Bas, where you should continue straight on towards ‘Joanetes (pel Grau)’ along the road. Ignore the right-hand turns along the Saint James’ Way towards Cantonigros-Vic and another to the farm of El Bertran. Cross a stream and immediately afterwards, turn right alongside a field following the yellow Itinerànnia paint marks. 

You reach an old mill, Molí Vell, where you will find the first information panel about this Royal Road, which was once an essential part of the communication network between Olot and Vic.

At the foot of the mountain, turn right up a track that starts to climb quite steeply into the forest. Once you reach El Pixador dels Matxos you will begin to note the first traces of the old paved trail.

Once at La Font de les Marrades, you enter into the beech forest along one of the best-preserved parts of the King’s Way. Past this natural spring, the trail winds up its steepest section via zigzag bends buttressed by well-appointed stone walls.

You come to a sign that points to La Mina dels Bandolers (10 minutes there and back), a favourite hiding place for the local highwaymen who preyed on the travellers on the Royal Road: to visit, leave the yellow marks and head along a narrow path to a large cleft in the rock that gives excellent views over the Royal Road; return to the main trail along the same path.

Continue following the yellow marks and, as you end the climb and reach the plateau of Collsacabra, the old Hostal del Grau appears on your right.

Pass through a wooden gate, circumnavigate a field and pass through another gate. Here, cross over a track and follow a path down to another track where you will find the Itinerànnia signpost G68-Hostal del Grau. Here, turn left towards ‘Sant Feliu de Pallerols’ and continue along another section of paved trail to the old bridge of L’Hostalot. Cross the river by the bridge and soon you reach the road with an information panel explaining the history of the medieval bridge of L’Hostalot.

Retrace your steps back to signpost G68-Hostal del Grau, where you should turn left towards ‘Hostalets d’en Bas (per Falgars)’. Continue through a leafy forest until reach an area of pastures with a number of impressive oaks. From here, the yellow paint marks take you up to the road. Turn right and head on to and then past the hamlet of Falgars d’en Bas to the Itinerànnia signpost G 66-Pla de Falgars. From here, follow the sign to ‘Hostalets d'en Bas 1h’, at first along a concrete track and then along a path that drops steeply into the woods and down to Hostalets d'en Bas.

Be sure to follow the yellow Itinerànnia marks on this steep downhill section back to Els Hostalets d’en Bas.