Sant Miquel del Mont, a viewpoint over la Vall de Bianya. Ruta 5 Vall dels sentits

A circular walk that provides spectacular views of L’Alta Garrotxa and the Pyrenees as it passes through woods of ancient oaks.

Region
  • Garrotxa
Towns
  • Vall de Bianya, La
Difficulty
  • Medium
Time
  • 3h
Distance
  • 8 km
Hide elevation maximum
  • 759 m
Hide elevation minimum
  • 364m
Ascent
  • 453m
Descent
  • 453m

Start at Itinerànnia signpost G174 Hostalnou de Bianya and head towards ‘Santa Margarida de Bianya’. Walk along the road as far as signpost VB12, where you should turn right towards ‘Santa Margarida de Bianya’ and then on to signpost VB13 Santa Margarida de Bianya right outside of the church itself.

Continue straight on, then bearing left just behind the church and entering into the woods. Pass through three electric fences before reaching the spectacular oakwood of La Torre de Sant Pere, one of the few pedunculate oakwoods in La Garrotxa that preserves trees of such magnificent size. Here you reach the signpost VB 14 Roureda de la Torre, where you should continue straight on up the track.

You very soon pass by a spring, La Font de la Torre, an ideal place to rest and gather strength before starting the climb up to Sant Miquel del Mont. Continue up the track for 250 m and, just before a bridge over the gully, turn left on a path off the track that will take you up to the pass at Coll de Bastons. Start to climb. Turn right on the first track you come to and then almost immediately continue up steeply to the left on a footpath. You head up into a mixed oak and beech forest on the north face of the mountain of Sant Miquel del Mont and eventually come out at Coll de Bastons and the good dirt track that from here heads up to the summit. Turn left but then after just 40 m pick up a path on your right that heads up into the woods and on towards the church of Sant Miquel del Mont. First you reach the ruins of the house of Cal Menut and the dirt track again; however, here you should keep to the left of the electric pylon and follow the footpath right up to the summit and the beautiful Romanesque church that crowns it. If the weather is clear, once on top there are magnificent views north to the L’Alta Garrotxa and the Pyrenees.

From the church, take the path that leads down to the left of a stone boundary marker indicating the boundary between the municipalities of Vall de Bianya, Olot and Riudaura. Head down along the top of the ridge of Serra de Sant Miquel, with the electric fence always on your right. Continue alongside the fence until you find a plastic handle on the wire and a green sign on an oak indicating ‘Sant Andreu del Coll’. Follow this path and continue dropping gently down through the holm-oak forest until you come to a track. Continue along this track until you come to another green sign with a left-pointing arrow that indicates the path to follow. Here, the path steepens and takes you down to the track again. Continue downhill until you come to another track, this time in better condition as it leads to a house, Els Saiols. Cross straight over and you come almost immediately to a spring, Font dels Saiols, a good place to relax and have a quick drink of water. Don’t forget to replace the stick that acts as a stopper! Continue on past the spring and come to the Romanesque church of Sant Andreu del Coll. From just in front of the church door, take the footpath that heads towards Castell del Coll down to a track, where you should turn left. Keep straight on at the first junction and then in a few minutes you will come to Castell del Coll, a fortified medieval house dating back to the eleventh century. One hundred metres past the castle you come to a sharp bend in the track, where you should continue straight on (don’t carry on downhill) to the signpost G20. Here, following the indications towards ‘Hostalnou de Bianya’, you come out into a field, where a yellow mark on a post sends you right along the field edge and towards the forest. Start to descend gently through a forest of oaks, ashes and maples. Eventually, you come to an electric fence: use the plastic handle to open and then close the fence after you. Continue until you reach the impressive house of El Colomer and then downhill along the minor road as far as signpost VB12 again. Continue straight on and come to Hostalnou de Bianya and signpost G-174 from where the walk started.