The Saint James’ Way is one of Europe’s great cultural treasures and its waymarked route allows pilgrims (and others!) to visit on foot many of the country’s most important historical points of interest.
In Catalonia it begins at Sant Pere de Rodes and crosses Catalonia to connect with the Aragonese branch of the Saint James’ Way near the town of Fraga. A small but fascinating part of the Way passes through La Garrotxa and follows a stretch of the Carrilet cycle lane. The Saint James’ Way enters La Garrotxa at Les Planes d’Hostoles and continues through Sant Feliu de Pallerols and Sant Esteve d’en Bas on its way towards El Grau.
To reach the town of Vic, the waymarking takes walkers on the climb from Hostalets d’en Bas to L’Hostal del Grau via Falgars, although another option is to follow the Itinerànnia marking and climb along the old paved trail linking Olot and Vic that climbs directly to L’Hostal del Grau. The Saint James’ Way is marked with the blue signposting used throughout Europe, along with a representation of a cockle shell. Some stretches are also marked with the yellow arrows that indicate all of the different stretches of the Way. These marks have been painted by the association Friends of the Saint James’ Way, but should not be confused with the yellow markings of the Itinerànnia network (which are smaller and not as arrow-shaped).
Did you know … ?
The Saint James’ Way also passes through Olot, which makes this city an excellent starting or finishing point for walkers and pilgrims. The Way has been classified as of ‘Cultural Interest’ and has been recognised as a Primary European Cultural Itinerary by the European Institute of Cultural Itineraries, an institution linked to the Council of Europe. The various different branches of the Way have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Don’t miss …
·The Pescada de Llunes amb cova along the river Brugent in Sant Feliu de Pallerols.
·Reaping Day in Hostalets d’en Bas (May-June).
·Stretch: Les Planes d’Hostoles - L’Hostal del Grau
·Climb: 340 m – 880 m
·Total climb: 675 m
·Total descent: 142 m
·Length: approx. 22 km
·How?: on foot
·Signposted? Yes. Saint James’ Way, Carrilet bike lane and Itinerànnia.
·Itinerànnia map 1:50,000. Edicions Alpina.
·Information leaflet on the ‘Vies Verdes’ (cycle lanes) in Girona province.
·La Garrotxa tourist map
·Itinerary suitable for people with children (as far as Els Hostalets d’en Bas)
·Itinerary suitable for people with reduced mobility (as far as Els Hostalets d’en Bas)