The Garrotxa's Volcanic Zone is the best example of volcanic terrain on the Iberian Peninsula. It has 40 volcanic cones and more than 20 lava flows.
La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park is composed by eleven municipalities.
The mountain landscape, the sun and climate provide a variety of vegetation, often exuberant, with holm oaks, common oaks and beech trees of exceptional value to the landscape.
At La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park there are several walking routes that pass through the Natural Park's most interesting places. The majority are signposted, except some of the longest that, if you are used to it, can be followed easily with the help of the guide map for the Natural Park. The Natural Park has an extensive range of publications available.
The Natural Park's routes often join with those of the Itinerànnia network of trails. So, from the routes of the Natural Park it is possible to gain access on foot to any other part of La Garrotxa, Ripollès or Alt Empordà through Itinerànnia.
Ninety-eight per cent of the Natural Park territory is private property. Try not to make annoying noises or disturb the people that live there or are visiting. The capturing of animals and the collecting of plants, rocks and minerals are not allowed in the area of the Natural Park.
Parking areas are signposted. Try to leave vehicles in the parking places prepared for this purpose. At the car parks you will find rest areas equipped with toilets, rubbish bins and drinking water, if you need to take a break. Avoid having picnics beyond these areas. It is prohibited in the natural reserves.
The Park's maintenance service has to work hard to keep the most popular places clean. Try to create the minimum of rubbish, avoid bringing tins, cartons, tinfoil, etc. Always pick up the rubbish that you make and take it away with you or put it in the rubbish bins in the car parks.
· Forecast of maximum influx of visitors: the following calendar shows, with a red box, the days with the highest number of visitors. It is recommended to visit the Natural Park before 10:00 am in the morning, or after 6:00 a.m.
• Parkings: between Olot and Santa Pau there are two large car parks enabled for the reception of visitors: "Can Serra", located just next to the Fageda d'en Jordà, and "Santa Margarita", located between Croscat and Santa Margarida volcanoes. There are many signposted paths that start at the car parks. These two car parks are payable.
Check in this pdf the information about the days of payment, the prices and the methods of payment admitted in the two public car parks managed by the Natural Park: Can Serra (Fageda d'en Jordà) and Àrea de Santa Margarida.
You can travel around the central area of the Natural Park with Rumbus, the bus line that connects Les Preses, Olot and Santa Pau with 13 stops and another frequency of passage on weekends and holidays throughout the year, and other designated dates.
· The Natural Park's regulation states that it's not allowed to leave or pick-up people from parking spaces, the round-about near the Santa Margarida's bar and the access road to the Croscat volcano, to avoid paying. The areas and their services are used by all members of such groups and therefore must be payed for to ensure a correct maintenance.
· Education centres and non-profit organisations from la Garrotxa may be exempted from paying depending on the activity they have planned. They must contact the Natural Park.
· The Natural Park considers it appropriate to make a positive discrimination to the companies of committed activities and that collaborate with the Natural Park for responsible, sustainable and quality tourism management. For this reason, these companies have the first 5 hours for free.
• Rules of access to the Croscat volcano: access to Croscat volcano is free, but the organized groups (ratio 1:20) must be accompanied by a person with the degree of "Bon Coneixedor de la Garrotxa", and prior reservation must be made at [email protected]. Most of the guiding companies mentioned on this website have personnel with this degree. Rules of operation - in Catalan - (pdf)
• Access for people with reduced mobility: La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park grants special permits to access places that usually have restricted access. In addition, a special chair (Joëlette) can be rented to enjoy hiking activities or access in areas with more inaccessible and irregular lands. More information: Tel. 972 19 50 94 - [email protected]