Volcanoes, lavas and ancient lakes circuit. Route 5 Garrotxa

The arrival of the Croscat volcano lava flow about 11,000 years ago,
altered the landscape of this place and its effects extended not only
to a wide area but quite reach our age.

Region
  • Garrotxa
Towns
  • Olot
  • Preses, Les
Difficulty
  • Easy
Time
  • 2h 55min
Distance
  • 9,76 km
Hide elevation maximum
  • 614m
Hide elevation minimum
  • 438m
Ascent
  • 197 m
Descent
  • 195 m

Begin the route in the car park at Parc Nou in Olot. Head down Avda. Santa Coloma towards the centre of Olot and then, just before crossing the bridge over the river Fluvià, turn left along a footpath along the river bank. Once at the Fonts de Sant Roc (a series of natural drinking fountains) take the Via Verda del Carrilet (cycle lane) towards Les Preses and continue on past the former station of Codella and then the entrance to the Parc de Pedra Tosca.
After crossing a minor road you enter into La Vall d’en Bas, still following the Via Verda. This broad flat-bottomed valley was once a lake that formed when the river Fluvià was damned by a lava flow. The lake eventually silted up and as a result the soils here today are very fertile, in part also due to the proximity of the water table to the surface.
Near Les Preses you cross another minor road and you find the signpost G185 refugi antiaeri continue to Les Preses (centre). Then take the second left and cross the main road.
In Carrer Marboleny you come to the signpost G72 Les Preses where you should continue towards ‘Olot (pel Racó’ and on to the municipal swimming-pool along Carrer Josep Tarradellas.
Just after the swimming pool bridge, turn left and begin to climb towards the volcano El Racó along a footpath that passes mostly through an oakwood with an understory of box bushes. Soon you reach the crater of the volcano. You walk over as you head back down to the valley.
Ignoring all turn offs, from the crater the path takes you quite steeply downhill to the signpost G143 volcà del Racó, from where you should follow the sign indicating ‘Olot 1h 30 min’
Once past the children’s playground in the suburb of Pocafarina, turn right and begin a stretch of the walk in an area known as El Bosc de Tosca that crosses a lava flow and continues between dry-stone walls constructed out of volcanic rocks. At the end, turn left along a road and then right along a track that takes you down into La Moixina.
Keep left along the road as far as a roundabout. Cross straight over and continue along a partially made-up track. At the end, turn right and soon you will reach the Casal dels Volcans; walk through the park and back to the car park at the beginning of the walk.