If you like walking or cycling at one with nature, visit the greenways (‘Vías Verdes’) in the Girona region. These paths are suitable for trippers of every kind, following old railway lines, which were used for both freight and passenger transport.
Want to explore some of these trails? Continue reading!
- The Iron and Coal Greenway
The name of this route connecting Ripoll and Ogassa comes from the positive impact this railway line’s construction had on the development of heavy industry in Catalonia. This section offers a 12 km stretch along the old tracks, which went out of operation in 1980. The whole trail boasts lush vegetation and pretty scenery. If you fancy extending your journey, go 3 km further by joining the section that goes to San Juan de las Abadesas and Toralles.
- Royal Highway and Farmer (Camino Ral y Ganadero) Greenway
Still in the Ripollès region lies another rail trail in the municipality of Campdevànol. From the town, the excursion begins along the old migration path, which affords a pleasant 4 km stroll past the Sant Eudald fountain, the Romanesque church of San Lorenzo de Campdevànol and the Querol fountain, which sits in a beautiful setting offering visitors some stunning views. The fountain boasts a picnic area to take a break, recover energy and enjoy the setting.
This is the longest route suggested. In fact, it’s often split into two sections because the excursion follows a lengthy journey tracing the line that connected Olot with Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The first stretch runs between Olot and Girona, a 55-km path crossing volcanic landscapes, forests, valleys and charming villages, typical of the La Garrotxa and El Gironés region. The second section begins in Girona and goes as far as Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Along the way, enjoy a close to 40-km excursion along pretty, shady paths crossing the Gironés and Baix Empordà regions.
This route’s name hints at its location. Do you know where we’re talking about? Caldes de Malavella to be precise, a town known for the quality of its thermal waters. To begin this 15-km excursion, start from Cassà de la Selva and hike trails running through farmland, oak and flat forests, dishing up views of Montseny or the Guilleries. Afterwards, enjoy a visit to the Roman baths or a relaxing time at the spa.
Lastly, we have a route perfect for families, particularly if you’re taking the children. The Small Train rail trail runs along a flat, 6-km path connecting the towns of Palamós and Palafrugell. The journey passes through scenery where the Little Train line used to operate, affording splendid views of the Aubí plains.
The ’Vías Verdes’ are an excellent way to explore the Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees in sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion. The wide range of trails available also offers something for hikers and cyclists of every level. Here are five options, but several more are available throughout the region. Can you recommend any others?