Parc Natural de la Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa

Parc Natural de la Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa
 

Overview
The National Park of the La Garrotxa volcanic area lies in the Catalan pre-Pyrenees, in semi-mountainous land. It covers 119 square kilometres. This beautiful and unique area includes thirty extinct volcanoes cones and their lava flows. Included in the Natural Park are another 26 nature reserves which are more strictly preserved.

Walking
This area is a walker’s paradise, with a great variety of flora and fauna, and numerous cascades and natural swimming pools for a quick and cold summer dip.

One of the most popular walks is to the 13th Century Chapel built in the middle of the crater of Santa Margarida. Another popular walk is to La Fageda d´en Jorda, which is a beautiful beech forest that grows either side of lava flow.

Sightseeing
Santa Pau is the central village of the volcanic zone. It was once a medieval fortress complete with castle. The original buildings and their surroundings have been beautifully preserved. Inside, the old town surrounds a large and very attractive double plaza, popularly known as the Firal dels Bous, or cattle market.

Geology
With its more than 30 volcanic cones and numerous lava flows, it is the best-preserved volcanic region in the Iberian peninsula.

Animals/Birds
The area is rich with birdlife, with a 143 species recorded which include short-toed treecreepers, firecrests, hawfinches, crag martins, blue rock thrushes and rock sparrows. There are also a great number of butterflies. Mammals include beech martens, wildcats, genets, badgers and wild boar, as well as a number of small insectivores. Otters have also been sighted along the rivers.

Plants
The vegetation of the National Park of the La Garrotxa, ranges from typical Mediterranean to Central European and Atlantic. Holm oak woods predominate, with oak wood, beeches and alders.

 

 
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