Grau d'Escales route. Route 2 Montagut i Oix
Grau d'Escales is a relatively easy pass (grau = ‘pass’ and escala = ‘step’ in Catalan) between two abrupt cliffs from where there are good views of the Salt dels Lliberals (Liberal’s Leap).
- By foot
- Montagut i Oix
- Between 3 and 4 hours
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- Parishes Alta Garrotxa routes
Start at the church in Oix; go down the steps and then turn left on the road to Beget. Almost immediately after crossing a stream, turn right down a path that follows this stream downhill. Cross it twice before you come to a larger river, Riera d’Oix. Turn left and continue along the riverbank as far as the medieval bridge, known as the ‘Pont Romà’. Cross the bridge, keep left and enter into an area of pastures. Continue along this path between the pastures and forest, always following the yellow Itinerànnia waymarking.
Cross another stream, El Torrent d’Aiguavella, after which you come to a house, El Pla d’en Pei. Pass by the house and pick up a path that heads for a holm oak wood. Follow the path as it gently undulates to reach signpost MiO4 El Pont Trencat. Here, continue along the main track, cross the bridge and come to signpost MiO5 Carretera d’Hortmoier. Turn right down a path that will take you to a bridge, Agafa l’Ase. Cross the river, Riera de Beget, and start to climb up into the holm oak woods on the other side. Almost as soon as the path flattens out, you will come to signpost MiO6 El Puig: turn right and you will soon reach the church of La Mare de Déu d’Escales.
If you carry straight on the path heads gently up to El Grau d’Escales, the mountain pass where the Hortmoier valley begins. Take care here because some parts of this section are slightly vertiginous.
Continue along the path as it rises and falls alongside the cliff before dropping down to signpost MiO7 La Palanca del Samsó. Here, if you turn right, an hour’s walking will take you to Talaixà, one of the most recently abandoned villages in Catalonia.
If you choose not to go to Talaixà, turn left and walk down to the bridge – La Palanca del Samsó – that crosses the Riera de Beget. At the track from Oix to Hortmoier, turn left and soon you will see – over the other side of the river halfway up the cliff – the path you have just walked along.
Follow the track until you reach signpost MiO5 Carretera d’Hortmoier again and then signpost MiO4 el Pont Trencat. Here, instead of returning by the path you came along, continue along the track that gradually climbs up to the metalled road to Beget. Once here, follow the yellow waymarking and in a few minutes you will be back in Oix.