The Alta Garrotxa is without doubt the most important area in the eastern pre-Pyrenees because of its diversity and exceptional surroundings.
The Alta Garrotxa is located between the countys of El Ripollès, La Garrotxa and L'Alt Empordà. In La Garrotxa county, the Alta Garrotxa includes five municipalities.
Its extremely abrupt relief has shaped the landscape, vegetation, fauna and human settlements throughout history and has allowed the continuation of a relatively isolated natural space that preserves an important biological richness. So much so, that it has been declared a Space of Natural Interest and has been designated as a Zone of Special Protection for Birds in the Nature Network 2000. At present, the Alta Garrotxa Consortium manages this space.
The relief of the Alta Garrotxa, marked by deep valleys enclosed by long cliffs and walls of rock, is what gives the area its name: les garrotxes are "rough lands of bad tracks". The landscape of the Alta Garrotxa is truly spectacular, not just for the magnificence of its topography but also for it forestry, dominated by holm and common oaks.
What's more, this extensive territory is richly endowed with regard to its cultural heritage: archaeological sites, farmhouses, hamlets, hermitages, charcoal-making sites…
La Punyalada (The Stab), one of Marià Vayreda's best-known novels, was set in the Alta Garrotxa. It is a story of blood and fire, passion and love, and is centred on the soil and country. A love triangle is used in the narration of the story to tell the reader about good and evil. La Punyalada is a text that addresses complex human relationships and strong passions.
In the Alta Garrotxa there are 6 walking itineraries that pass through the area's most interesting places. All are signposted and they can be easily followed with the help of information sheets. There is also signposted route Trepitja Garrotxa, conceived as a ultratrail.
Practically all the Alta Garrotxa itineraries coincide with those of the Itinerànnia network of hiking paths. So, from the Alta Garrotxa routes you can access on foot any other point in the Garrotxa, Ripollès or the Alt Empordà through Itinerànnia.
To regulate traffic around Sadernes and Sant Aniol and, at the same time, encourage trips on foot to the interior of the Alta Garrotxa, which are the best way to enjoy this area, vehicular access to the Sant Aniol sector is restricted during the busiest visitor periods. Specifically, the Sadernes road is closed all weekends and holidays from March 15 to November 30, and July, August and September during the whole month. Just at the beginning of the section closed to traffic, there is a big car park.