Along the old monks’ paths. Route 2 Santa Pau

When you go up to Sant Julià del Mont, the valley of Santa Pau opens up to us and we can see how the lava of Santa Margarida and Roca Negra volcanoes filled the entire valley, forming a wide and fertile plain.

  • Modality
    • By foot
  • Region
    • Garrotxa
  • Towns
    • Santa Pau
  • Time
    • More than 4 hours
  • Difficulty
    • Medium
  • Estimated duration
    • 5h
  • Distance
    • 15,2 km
  • Hide elevation maximum
    • 898
  • Hide elevation minimum
    • 457
  • Ascent
    • 797
  • Descent
    • 797

This walk starts in the village of Santa Pau in la plaça de Baix where you will find the junction marked by Itinerànnia signpost G29 Santa Pau. We cross the Plaça Major and go down outside the wall. We cross a bridge and following the signs we go up and go to the right until we find the Doma path. We go left until we cross the road and take an a minor road passing through fields and takes you to Itinerànnia signpost G28 Can Coderc. In this point we found the yellow marks for the path Coll de la Boixeda just found the Itinerànnia signpost G119 La Boixeda.
In a a few metres you will have to pass through an electric fence and then continue on a footpath through the fields. With a gully down to your right, head up to the left to reach a fence below a farmhouse. Circumnavigate the house to your right, passing between two ancient oak trees. Here you pick up the old trail that beguins to climb gently over bare rock ramps with a line of reddish cliffs up to your left. As you gain height the views over the Santa Pau valley and the Serra de Finestres broaden out.
As you reach the base of the cliffs there is a small rock outcrop on your right that provides stunning views over the Santa Pau valley. Try and imagine how the lavas from the volcanoes of Santa Margarida and Roca Negra filled up the valley bottom and formed a plain that is today much wider and more fertile than it otherwise would have been.
At Coll Satrapa you come to Itinerànnia signpost G117 and the route changes direction. Turn left and continue to climb, now on the shadier north face of the mountain.
Cross over a track and immediately take a path off to your left. From here you continue up to the summit of Sant Julià del Mont, where there is a triangulation point. This is the highest point of the walk (907 m), although you can still ascend a few more metres if you climb to the top of the bell tower of the ruined church.

The Church of Sant Julià del Mont was once part of the Benedictine monastery that was established on this summit in 866. Within a century it had come under the control of the monastery of Banyoles.

The descent begins next to the information board about Sant Julià and heads north to where, at the end of the downhill, you come to Itinerànnia signpost G116 Sant Julià del Mont. Turn left towards ‘Santa Pau’ and begin to drop rapidly. At the end of the footpath, turn left and continue downhill.
A little further on you come to a broad track, which you should follow right. This track takes you out to a broad saddle on the ridge, where you should keep straight on and a little to the left of the ridge top as the track U-turns away to the right. Further on, cross straight over the same track and then come back to it once again. Turn right to a metal gate and out  to Coll de la Boixeda and Itinerànnia signpost G118 Coll de la Boixeda. If we are tired we can return to Santa Pau following the indications.

If we want to go a little further we can do a circular route to Sant Abdó i Sant Senén. The round trip will take approximately an hour to walk. We go to the right and after a few minutes we find the signpost G994 Camí de Sant Abdó, where you should follow the green sign towards ‘Sant Abdó i Sant Senén’. In just 25 min you will then reach this small mountaintop church. From the church, follow the marked path down to Itinerànnia signpost G25 Coll de Palomeres, where you should head right. After a walk of around 35 min you will find yourself back at signpost G994, from where you should continue back to Itinerànnia signpost G118 Coll de la Boixeda, and then right down towards La Boixeda, Mascou and the centre of Santa Pau.