The interior of the province of Girona hides unique natural spaces, from large lakes to spectacular natural parks. In this post, we discover some of the places that you cannot miss near the city of Girona if you are a true nature lover.
The Estany de Banyoles (or “Lake of Banyoles” in English), located in the city of Banyoles (in the Pla de l’Estany region), about 25 kilometers north of the city of Girona, is the largest lake of the province of Girona and of the region of Catalonia.
It has an area of 107 hectares and a characteristic eight shape. It is an area of great landscape and geological interest that encompasses the whole of the so-called Banyoles lake basin, which separates the Empordà’s plain from the Serra Transversal (in La Garrotxa region), halfway between the Costa Brava and the Pyrenees.
Its waters come from rain seepage from certain areas of the Alta Garrotxa region through underground flows that cause it to flow outside. In addition, it concentrates a great variety of lake flora and native fauna.
In the lake you can practice sports such as kayaking, rowing or sport fishing. It also has three areas for bathers, as well as paths that surround it for those cyclists who want to go around the lake.
The easiest and fastest way to access the Estany de Banyoles is by car and the closest car park is in the Parc de la Draga.
20 kilometers north of the city of Lloret de Mar are the Estanys de Sils, a protected natural area of special interest due to its temporary flood habitats. They have an area of 4.54 km² and are located between the municipalities of Sils and Maçanet de la Selva, in the region of La Selva.
In the past, these ponds occupied a large area of the La Selva region and formed one of the most important lakes in Catalonia. In the 19th century it was dried to favor crops and control malaria (a disease transmitted by the bite of a mosquito).
Despite this, thanks to the special humidity and flooding conditions, various species of flora and fauna characteristic of wetlands are still preserved and now, in the 21st century, it has been decided to recover part of its original extension to conserve its natural values. and landscape.
It is an ideal place for walking or cycling, as it has three routes: around the lagoon (3.5 km), the Old Observatory route (5 km) and the route through the ponds (12.2 km).
The best way to get to the Estanys de Sils from anywhere is by car, since the town of Sils is very well connected, just off the AP-7 and the N-II. It can also be reached by train from Barcelona or Girona with lines R11 and RG1.
In the eastern Pyrenees, in the region of La Garrotxa, is La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, a protected natural area with many craters and volcano cones. It has an area of more than 15,000 ha and has 28 nature reserves.
One of the most emblematic places in this area is the Fageda d’en Jordà, a nature reserve located between the municipalities of Santa Pau, Olot and Les Preses, about 60 kilometers from the city of Girona. This is a beech forest with unique characteristics in Spain, as it grows on relatively flat terrain formed by a cooled lava flow from the Croscat volcano (in the municipality of Santa Pau) at an altitude between 550 and 650 metres. It has an area of about 4.8 km².
There are three walking routes that run through the Fageda d’en Jordà: itinerary 1 (Fageda d’en Jordà - Santa Margarida Volcano - Croscat Volcano), itinerary 2 (Joan Maragall Path - La Fageda d'en Jordà) and itinerary 3 (Olot - Santa Pau). Each time of the year is unique to visit this incredible place, although in autumn the leaves of the trees form a carpet of warm colors that stain everything.
Keep in mind that access by motor vehicle is prohibited within the reserve, so the only way to access it is on foot. La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park authorizes access to the beech forest for vehicles that prove the user’s degree of disability.
Montseny Natural Park is a protected natural area that includes territories of the counties of Osona, Vallés Oriental and La Selva. It is located about 65 kilometers from Lloret de Mar and occupies an area of 30,120 ha.
It is the oldest natural park in Catalonia and in 1978 it was declared a biosphere reserve by Unesco, as it houses, in a relatively small area, plant communities typical of the three great European biomes: the Mediterranean (holm oaks, cork oaks and Aleppo pine), Eurosiberian (Scots pine, beech and white fir) and Boreoalpine (alpine meadow).
If you like hiking, in Montseny Natural Park you can find El Turó de l’Home (1,706 m), Les Agudes (1,703 m) and El Matagalls (1,697 m).
The easiest way to get to any point in Montseny Natural Park is by car on the AP-7, the C-17 or the C-25.
Guilleries-Savassona Natural Area is located in the Osona region, in the province of Barcelona, although it is relatively close to the city of Girona. It has an extension of 8,300 ha and three landscape units can be distinguished: Guilleries, Savassona and Collsacabra. In this area you can do a multitude of routes, both on foot and by bicycle, of very varied distances and difficulties.
One of the most emblematic places in this natural area is the Sau Reservoir (“Pantà de Sau” in Catalan), a small hydraulic infrastructure located in the municipality of Vilanova de Sau that covers the old town of Sant Romà de Sau. This reservoir is even more spectacular when the water level is low and the bell tower of the Sant Romà de Sau temple is visible.
One of the most impressive panoramic views of the Sau Valley is achieved at Morro de l’Abella, an impressive natural viewpoint of considerable height that is located in the town of Tavertet.
If you liked this publication on natural spaces around Girona, take a look at our post about natural spaces on the Costa Brava.
Do you want to discover the interior of the counties of Girona? Rosamar Hotels has five hotels in Lloret de Mar, a town located in the south of the Costa Brava and the province of Girona, a few kilometers from the main natural areas.
Rosamar Maritim, Rosamar Garden Resort and Rosamar & Spa hotels are ideal for getaways with the family or with children, as they have services designed for the whole family. Rosamar Es Blau Adults Only (+16) and Rosamar Maxim Adults Only (+18) hotels, on the other hand, are perfect for getaways with your partner or friends.
Enjoy nature with Rosamar Hotels!