Montsacopa and Montolivet volcanoes. Route 3 Olot

This route visits two of Olot’s most remarkable volcanoes, Montsacopa and Montolivet.

Modality
  • By foot
Region
  • Garrotxa
Towns
  • Olot
Difficulty
  • Medium
Time
  • 2h30min
Distance
  • 8,25 Km
Hide elevation maximum
  • 531m
Hide elevation minimum
  • 436m
Ascent
  • 328m
Descent
  • 328m

This route visits two of Olot’s most remarkable volcanoes, Montsacopa and Montolivet.

Located in the heart of Olot, Montsacopa is of great interest due to the inactive quarries on its flanks that today act as an open-air museum where you can touch with your own hands different types of volcanic material. Once on top of the volcano, you can visit the circular crater and enjoy wonderful views over the city of Olot, much of the county of La Garrotxa and the peak of El Canigó in the Pyrenees.

Montolivet, a twin to Montsacopa since both volcanoes were built by magma emerging from the same fault. On the summit of Montolivet there is an optical telegraph tower dating from the eighteenth century that is well worth visiting. The walk along the Muntanya Pelada offers further wonderful views of the city of Olot and the town of Les Preses.

This route begins in Plaça de Josep Clarà at junction G15 and then heads along Carrer de Mulleres you should turn left, at right there are junction G160 antic jutjat, head up to Carrer de l’Hospici  and Plaça Móra. Follow Carrer del Pati and up to the city’s main square, Plaça Major.

Continue along Carrer Major on to Plaça del Conill. Here, signpost O6 points you left past Casa Pujador, a Modernist building, and up Carrer de la Verge del Portal. At the top of this street you will pass by a small chapel, Capella del Portal. Turn right and come to a flight of steps that will take you up Carrer Sant Francesc de Paula. Reach a small square, Plaça de les Rodes, which you should cross to then head up right on Camí de Montsacopa. Soon you will reach junction O7 Viacrucis, whose signpost points you up to the crater. The climb up Montsacopa is known locally as the via crucis due to the shrines with representations of biblical scenes that line the way. It is paved and there are benches. Once on top of the volcano of Montsacopa, you can walk down into the crater or climb up either one of the two watchtowers dating from the Carline wars of the nineteenth century, which offer wonderful views northwards to the mountains of the Pyrenees and L’Alta Garrotxa. On the far side of the crater, you can visit el fortí and the church of Sant Francesc.

You should return back down along the via crucis to junction O7, where you should turn right and pass through one of the quarries that once extracted volcanic stone from Montsacopa. Pass behind the cemetery and then turn left at junction O8 Cementiri. Drop down into the city and towards the volcano of Montolivet along a series of streets – Pintor Domenge, Francesc Montsalvatge, Casimir Plana, Bernat Vilar, Plaça Balmes, Bernat Vilar (again) and Pare Roca – until you reach a school, Maria Reina, at junction G163. Here, you are pointed up along Avinguda Dr. Joaquim Danés to Plaça de Montolivet and the steps up to Sant Pere Màrtir.

In front of you rises a whole district of low white houses, presided over by the modern church of Sant Pere Màrtir with the saint’s head carved into its façade. Climb the stairs that lead up towards the church. Once at the church, keep left again to reach another flight of steps that will take you to a square, Plaça de Sant Pere Màrtir, another excellent vantage point over the city. Once you have finished enjoying the view, continue under the arches that surround the square, cross Carrer Geranis and climb another set of steps, this time alongside the infant school. You will come out on to Passatge Begònies, where you should keep straight on and then left up some steps and into a cul-de-sac. At the end of this road you will come to an Itinerànnia information board just as the paved road ends. A few metres after starting along a path, you will come to a signpost pointing you up left to Montolivet. Climb the wooden steps up towards the summit of this volcano and the strategically placed signalling tower, an essential part of the network used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to keep Olot in contact with the rest of the world.  Once at the tower, head back down the same path and steps and back to the junction.

Here, turn left and head towards the Muntanya Pelada, an open ridge running along the right-hand side of the lip of the crater of Montolivet. Once at the Muntanya Pelada itself, you come to junction O10, where you should turn left and drop down towards the river and the area known as Els Tossols. Here, turn right and pick up the track along the river, and then cross over a concrete bridge to a spring, Font de la Gruta. From here, continue left along the footpath that follows the right bank of the river back towards Les Fonts de Sant Roc. Turn left towards Pont de Sant Roc and junction O11. Here, continue towards Olot(without crossing the river) along the right bank of the river as far as the other bridge, where you should turn left towards Passeig de Barcelona. Continue along the central promenade back to the starting point of this walk at la Plaça de Josep Clarà (O15).