The Montseny – Catalonia (Spain)
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION
The Montseny is a mountainous massif which forms part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range, it forms part of three regions: the Vallès Oriental, La Selva and Osona. Its profile, characteristic in the collective Catalan orographical imagination, is visible from various points of Catalonia. Declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, it is formed by three mountainous units (the Turó de l’Home-les Agudes, the Matagalls and the Calma), and has an approximate extension of 560 km². (1)
Its humid Mediterranean climate is quite variable changing along the width and height of the massif: as the altitude increases so do the probabilities of rain and the temperature drops. (2) The high level of humidity of the massif means that the vegetation is abundant and varied: holm oaks, cork oaks, white pines, alisal, chestnuts, and oak woods with boxwood and ferns, dress the massif. (3)
The towns which surround the Montseny communicate with the principal roads to Barcelona and other parts of Catalonia, as well as train (RENFE) and bus lines from various points of the country.
(1) The Montseny Natural Park
(2) The State Meteorology Agency (AEMET)
(3) The Montseny Tourism Board
WHAT TO VISIT
All the cultural and artistic heritage and traditions of the Montseny are closely connected to the territory and especially to its ensemble of natural spaces.
THE MONTSENY CENTRE
The Montseny as the stage for legendary stories (bandits, witches and ‘water-women’) is presented in an intriguing ad fantastic space, with audio-visual and interactive effects recreating its dense forests. It also offers various activities in the Natural Park of the Montseny and Viladrau, with proposals for fun, cultural and gastronomic excursions.
CASTLES OF THE MONTSENY
The human imprint on the wild landscapes of the Montseny is felt in its castles, some of which are being restored. Those which are best conserved are the Castle of Montclús, from the 11th century (Sant Esteve de Palautordera), and the gothic Castle of Montsoriu, residence of the viscounts of Cabrera and of great strategic importance in the middle ages.
WHAT TO DO
Nearly every activity that allows one to fully enjoy nature can be done in the Montseny: signposted paths for a stroll or to go hiking, mountain biking, and a string of activities in the open air like zip-lines, paintball, quads or archery.
MOUNTAIN BIKE ROUTES
The bicycle becomes the natural protagonist in the habitat of this territory. A series of routes (between 16 and 35 km) of varying difficulty invite one to penetrate into the beauty of the scenery and breathe the pure air of the Montseny.
HIKING AND EXCURSIONS ON FOOT
Around ten excursions, some established by the first hikers of the Montseny over a century ago, invite one to live the surroundings (very much prepared for fun activities) and observe one of the most praised panoramic views in all Catalonia.
The cuisine of the Montseny and the towns which surround it is one of the area’s most valued attractions. Each time of year has products to offer; chestnuts and mushrooms (typical of the autumn), honey, fruits and vegetables from the vegetable garden, artisan beer and wine, or remedial herbs and olive oil, among others. If you visit one of its restaurants it is almost obligatory to try the farmer’s escudella stew –perfect when the cold arrives–, sautéed mushrooms and black butifarra sausage, stewed veal and mushrooms, broad beans a la catalane or any dish prepared with wild game. The gastronomic tradition of all the regions which form part of the Montseny is demonstrated all year long, in various fairs and days in which to taste typical local produce.
TOWNS OF THE MONTSENY
- Cànoves i Samalús
- El Brull
- Fogars de Montclús
- La Garriga
- Llinars del Vallès
- Sant Antoni de Vilamajor
- Sant Celoni
- Sant Esteve de Palautordera
- Sant Feliu de Buixalleu
- Sant Hilari Sacalm
- Sant Pere de Vilamajor
- Santa Maria de Palautordera
TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND LINKS OF INTEREST IN THE MONTSENY
Emergency telephone numbers in Sant Celoni (capital of the natural region of the Baix Montseny)
Local Police: 93 864 12 17 / 93 848 40 36
Sant Celoni Town Hall