The path of the Carlists in La Garrotxa
From Olot to Riudaura passing through La Pinya, this route will take us to enjoy the views from the Sierra de San Valentín, passing through the Montolivet volcano to the La Pinya washhouses and the Plaza del Gambeto de Riudaura.
- Difficulty: medium
- Distance: approximately 10 kilometers
- Time: 3 hours and 45 minutes, not counting stops or breaks
- Slope: 523 meters of positive slope
Our starting point for this route will be the G15 Olot intersection, located at the intersection of Calle de Sant Rafel and Calle de Camil Mulleras, from where we will take the path that leads to La Pinya, and which we will follow until we reach the most high of the passage of the Begonias. Just where the asphalt ends we will see that on the left hand side a path marked with a sign begins, from where the yellow marks that we will follow along the route will also begin.
We take this path straight on for about a kilometer, until we reach the viewpoint of the Montolivet volcano, also known as Mount Pelado. However, today, it is difficult to recognize that what we will have under our feet is a volcano, since the lush vegetation that covers it almost does not let us distinguish it. From there we will get spectacular views over the Les Preses area and the Bas Valley.
We will continue our route for a couple more kilometres, skirting the mountain until we reach this time the Sierra de San Valentín viewpoint, from where we will enjoy panoramic views of the northern slopes of La Garrotxa. Next, the path will take us, after approximately fifteen minutes, to La Pinya. In the center of the small nucleus we can see the old laundries and the town church.
Leaving the village behind, at the G152 junction we will take the path to the right, taking a section of road that leads to Riudaura. After some houses that will be our reference, we will turn left along a paved track until the end of everything. When the asphalt turns into a dirt road, we must go around the house that will be on our right hand side to take a small path covered with grass that will go up, crossing a forest of oaks and holm oaks until we reach a meadow. There, you will see that the path makes a sharp curve to the left and continues to climb, now more decisively and with more closed curves. When we are almost at the top, we will leave the main path and take a fairly steep path that is on the left. Be very alert because the vegetation is quite thick and you will have to pay close attention to the markings so as not to get confused on the way.
Finally, we will arrive at a red pine forest and further on, a leafy beech forest. At the end of the forest, we will cross a fence, recovering a main path that will lead us to a more traveled track on which we will continue. The track links up with another that will lead you to cross a bridge. Next, we will see before us the bell tower of Riudaura.
Once inside the town, if you want to return by public transport, you will find the bus stop on Calle Tiradors to return to Olot. Remember that you will have to be an early riser, as there is only one daily bus that takes you back to Olot.
Text and images: Turisme Garrotxa