From Planoles to Ribes de Freser through the mining route of les Ferreres de Ventolà. Route 1 Ripoll

Region
  • Ripollès
Towns
  • Planoles
  • Ribes de Freser
Difficulty
  • Easy
Time
  • 3h
Distance
  • 8,75 km
Hide elevation maximum
  • 1310
Hide elevation minimum
  • 905
Ascent
  • 260
Descent
  • 485

The route begins in Planoles, from its Casino square, near thechurch of “Sant Vicenç”, dating back to the twelfth centurya nd worth a visit. You head down towards the east following “Les Escoles” street, where at its end and on the left side you will find the stairs that will lead to the R151 sign Font de la Serra.

Take the path towards Ventolà and Ribes de Freser, it finishes in a paved road coming up from “Les Casetes” neighbourhood. From here, take this road up until the main road.

Cross the main road to follow another path. On your left there is the road that leads to the rural guest-house “El Serrat”. Keep walking on the path throughout an oak forest while slightly gaining altitude.

You will arrive at “Solà”, a small group of scattered houses dating back to the mining activity during the eighteenth century. You leave behind some of the houses and further ahead you find a completely renovated house. The path heads to the bottom of the “Vernedes” stream, where the vegetation is dominated by high poplars. Once you cross the stream and after a short but steep climb, you can see the village of Ventolà.

You will arrive at Ventolà through Planoles Street. The origin of this village is also related to the mining activity in the area. It spreads around the Romanesque church of “Sant Cristòfol”.

Leave Ventolà going down the road and passing near a huge holly tree. At the first bend of the road take a mining path that will lead you to “Can Paloca”, an old miners house, nowadays in ruins. Walk next to the water spring and shortly afterwards you will arrive at a mining complex, with opencast and gallery mines, known as “Ferreres de Ventolà”. These iron, copper, nickel and arsenic mines operated from the Roman days until the 60's in the twentieth century.

Once the mining complex is left behind, the path rapidly descends to the Collada de Segura, right above the town of Ribes de Freser, where you find the R120 sign. From here you have 40 minutes to the end of the route. Located just a few meters away, it is worth a visit to the ruins of the ancient rock castle that dominated the whole valley.

Descend rapidly through a trail to Ribes de Freser going around a large granite mass, a consequence of an ancient volcanic chimney. You arrive at the town through the Oratori of SantCristòfol R122 sign, the old way coming from the neighbouring county of “La Cerdanya”. You are now in Ribes de Freser. Optionally you can return to Planoles by train.