The Vallès Oriental, despite their proximity to Barcelona, retains a natural environment full of beauty and tranquility. Fields and forests characterize this area.
The region is in a depression that extends to the edges of important national parks as Montseny, Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac and Serralada Prelitoral. Villas like Caldes de Montbui, Granollers and Castellterçol holds modernist buildings, thermal baths and celebrate traditional festivals throughout the year.
Environmental tourism resources:
Montseny Natural Park: located in the oriental extreme of the Catalan pre-coastal mountain range, this is one of the largest protected parks in Catalonia. It rises between the valleys of la Selva, Osona, Vallès Oriental and has over 30.000 hectares. It has an easy access from everywhere and we can enjoy the many environmental pleasures that offers, with changing landscapes of forests of oak, beech and chestnut trees and its excellent views over the whole territory. There are a lot of trails to discover by foot or mountain bike. All of them are marked and suitable for all ages. Highlight excursions to the highest peaks: Matagalls, Les Agudes and the Turó de l'Home. The last one is accessible by private vehicle.
Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac: declared Natural Park over thirty years ago, first in Spain. This park has a unique landscape where colors and the different types vegetation contrast perfectly. You can take guided tours and make activities such as climbing, hiking in the various natural springs and caves. The highest mountain massif is La Mola crowned with the interesting Romanesque monastery of St. Llorenç del Munt.
Park la Cordillera Litoral: located between the plains of Vallès and the coast. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate it acquires a vegetation with different species of algae, fungi, ferns and where the forest is dominated by Holm oak, and oak in the valleys. We may also find different aquatic species like the green frog, or species of interest such as the peregrine falcon, kestrel and owls.
Montnegre i el Corredor Park: located between the county of Maresme and the depression of La Selva and Vallès Oriental, it naturally develops parallel to the coast line with an area of 15,000 hectares. The best-known routes and pathways thanks to its rich natural and cultural heritage are: Path from Torrent d'en Puig to Corral, The Plain of the Corredor, Dolmen of Pedra Gentil, the bridge of the town, the Hermitage Erola, among others.
Bertí cliffs: they are part of the pre-coastal mountains, linking the counties of Vallès Oriental and Osona. Perhaps the most famous landmark is found in Sant Miquel del Fai. In this area we can find grottos, caves and gorges. The streams are abundant in this area and form closed valleys with lush vegetation. Highlights: Sant Miquel del Fai (hermitage of San Miguel), Romanesque hermitage of Sant Bertí, Puiggraciós Sanctuary.
Sant Miquel del Fai: Benedictine monastery founded in the tenth century by Gombau Besora. Romanesque Church built in a cave and is considered the largest troglodytic church in the country. Nestled in the rock where rivers Rossinyol and Tenes rush forming cascades and small lakes.
Modernism in Vallès Oriental: in the early twentieth century, the noble families of Barcelona began to spend the summer in this area and built their homes. These were commissioned to famous architects and artists who left an important architectural legacy. The most interesting modernist houses are: Raspall buildings, la Casa Barbey, la Casa Mayol (in la Garriga), la Torre Gual, l’Alqueria Cloelia, la Casa Rovellat, la Casa Viader, els Pinetons and the municipal cemetery (in Cardedeu), la Casa Clapés y la Sala Tarafa. (Granollers), Can Millet, El Café, City Hall and other buildings (l'Atmella del Vallès), old Congost Hotel or Can Gallart in Figaró-Montmany.
Castellterçol: the hometown of Enric Prat de la Riba, where we can visit the House Museum of the author and the churches of Sant Fruitós and San Francesc.
Archaeological sites: dolmen of La Pedra Gentil in Vallgorguina and the Pedra de l’Arca in Vilalba Saserra are Neolithic examples. Iberian Exponents: remains of Turó del Vent or Puig del Castell.
Termalism in Vallès Oriental: towns of La Garriga and Caldes de Montbui are villas which have historically enjoyed the pleasures of the hot springs, which has left an interesting architectural legacy. In Garriga we can find: the Font del Lleó, the Romanian Baths, the Roman bridge, Thermalia (Caldes Museum). In La Garriga: the Roman villa of Can Terrers.
Traditional celebrations and Outstanding Activities:
Market de la olla y la caldera y Artisans Market, Caldes de Montbui: mid March the town celebrates a festival concerning one of the most important elements and activities of this town: boil the pot. Throughout the weekend, the historic center of Caldes is full of people to experience the different activities related to the boiler (cooked and tasting demonstrations, workshops and games, culinary samples, samples of the culinary arts offices and the pot the boiler).
Escaldarium, Caldes de Montbui: it is a festival that takes place during one night of the first half of July and has as main themes: the origin of Caldes and its thermal waters. The festival takes place around the hot springs of Caldes del Lleó where they hold the fireworks display, dancing under the water, the different dances and music that accompany the celebration.
Agricultural and Livestock Fair, Castellterçol: mid-September the town celebrates an exhibition related to the rural world. The activities are linked to tradition, the work and typical prodcuts of the earth. Throughout the day there are exhibitions of animals such as horses, sheeps and chickens, elaboration of artisan food, tractor riding, etc...
Christmas and Artisan Nougat Fair, Cardedeu: The second weekend of December, the town celebrates a holiday with an only topic: the nougat of Borrego from Cardedeu (typical of the area) and the Christmas party. There are craft stalls and Christmas items and many activities for everyone: storytelling, dancing sticks, popular dining, “sardanas”, “caga-tio”, picnics, parades, etc.
Vallès Oriental is a region with many possibilities. It has different protected natural areas with great charm and with very good communication that will allow us to enjoy sports and different activities.
Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy the marked routes that traverse the county and the long-distance paths (GRS): GR-2, the GR-5, GR-92 and GR-97.
In the park of Montseny we can highlight excursions to the highest peaks: Matagalls (1h30min to go), Les Agudes (2h 30min to go) and the Turo de l'Home (1h 45min to go). The latter is also accessible by private vehicle.
In the park of St. Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac we can take guided tours and enjoy activities such as climbing, hiking to the various natural springs and caves and climb the mountain of La Mola, crowned with the interesting Romanesque monastery of Sant Llorenç de Munt.
Other offers of active tourism in the Vallès Oriental are: multi-adventure activities, mountain biking, horseback riding, balloon flights, pitch and putt, golf, karting, quads, etc. In Circuit de Catalunya we can find races and events throughout the year with the Formula 1 and MotoGP as major events.
We can also enjoy the natural properties of water in this region. The villages of La Garriga and Caldes de Montbui are the villas that have historically enjoyed the pleasures of the hot springs. There are several resorts where you can relax and enjoy the therapies that water offers.
Near to the Vallès Oriental
Monastery of St. Benet of Bages: this is a Benedictine monastery founded in the tenth century, a few miles from St. Fruitós of Bages, medieval architecture and surrounded by a beautiful natural environment. It was renovated by Josep Puig i Cadafalch during the 20th century and opened to the public in 2007.
The Far Sanctuary: in the easternmost part of the Tavertet cliffs, there is the risco de el Far 1123 meters above the sea level. Em the sanctuary of Mare de Deu del Far, Gothic church from the 15th century, there is a restaurant and a leisure area. The views are spectacular: in days without clouds you can see many places of Catalonia as the Pyrenees, the Medes Islands, Montserrat. It can be accessed from San Marti Sacalm.
Vic: The capital of Osona has one of the most superb historic centers of Catalonia with features mostly medieval but we can also find modernist touches or rosemary. Its historic center is quite pedestrian and lost by narrow streets and squares is necessary to know first hand each of the charms of the hull. Mercadal Square is the focal point of this town and where the business has been done historically. The large size of the square, its arcades and some of its buildings make this area a great place.
Vic Cathedral: Located in the old part of town, this stunning building has undergone many changes since its first construction (dated the year 516), which led to mix different architectural styles from Romanesque, Neoclassical, the Gothic and Baroque. In 1931 it was declared a national monument and is now the seat of the diocese of Vic
Episcopal Museum of Vic: next to Vic's Cathedral, this museum contains a very interesting medieval rich, specialized in liturgical art, sculpture and painting Catalan Romanesque and Gothic. In 2001 he was honored as the Museum of National Interest. There are a wide variety of exhibitions and activities for both children and adults.
Sant Pere de Casseres: Romanesque Benedictine monastery founded in the tenth century which has spectacular views over the fields, forests. Historic-artistic monument in 1931. We can easily reached by private vehicle, but if you want you can walk through a very well marked path suitable for the whole family departs from the Parador de Sau.
”Mercat de Música Viva de Vic”: middle of September (since 1989), this exhibition brings together professionals and music lovers who enjoy the more than 100 actions that are carried out in different urban settings.
Same time there are exhibitions, congresses and all kinds of events related to the world of music. During the 5 days of the festival, Vic brings thousands of visitors and live-intensive one of the most important events in the region.
Medieval Market of Vic: early December to coincide with the Constitution Bridge, Vic turns into a medieval city for four days. The city is transformed to revive the lifestyle of the Middle Ages more than 350 stations spread all around the old town. In its streets you will find all kinds of characters dressed up selling traditional foods, handicrafts and trades are old ...