Website accessibility
Show or hide the menu bar
Home
|
Content
Calendar
Links
|
Log in
|

Gavarres Montnegre and Montigalar

Montigalar summit in the Gavarres close to Montnegre Montnegre (black mountain) is a name that is found several times in Catalonia but for today refers to an area in the heart of the Gavarres above the town of Quart and not too distant from Girona. It's possible to cross the Gavarres north to south by one of four roads - over Els Angels from Girona to Madremanya, over the centre from Cassa de la Selva to La Bisbal, across from Calonge to La Bisbal, and the area we're exploring today which is the route from Quart to Monells - though this is only tarmac for the Quart side of the mountain.

The central part of the Gavarres is quite large, mostly wooded, but with masias, churches, the occasional modern villas and surprising hidden fields from time to time. We're visiting an area we haven't really explored before so rather than start at the base, we decided to bring the car up as it would add about 16km up and down to the walk if we were to start from Quart. The roads up and across the Gavarres though are famed as cycling training routes for professional cyclists, and it is possible to cycle up - the gradients aren't too bad, it's just the 8-10km of climb that makes it a challenge.

Sant Matteu de Montnegre church We decided to start at the church of Sant Matteu de Montnegre. This is a small church perched on a promentary with huge views across the Gavarres to the Empordan plain to the north and the Girona plane to the south. There are routes down into the valley to the left and right and but our goal though is to find the hamlet of Montnegre on the neighbouring promentary, and unfortunately that means following the tarmac road that links the two. There should be crossings through the valley, but even with a map there are no clear paths for crossing the valley.

From Sant Matteu we pass a number of houses - despite the relatively remoteness there are scattered modern houses in a sort of extended urbanisation with more infrequent older farmhouses around. The road is modern and done up and curls around the ridgeway that connects the two promentaries.

It's March, but warm and there are lots of hunters out who have driven up with dogs. It's always slighly unnerving to see someone cradling a rifle as you walk past and as we're dressed in green jackets (the hunters wear orange) it's slightly worrying for when we come off the path into the woods just in case they don't see us. The object of the hunters quest are wild boar - senglars in Catalan. The Gavarres teem with them and anywhere you walk you'll see signs of disturbed earth where the boar root around for food. To hunt, dogs are used to locate the boar - dogs with bells or wireless transmitters are let loose in the undergrowth to sniff out the animals - the bells acting so the hunters and locate the dogs later. When the dogs find the boar, they start barking so the hunters know where to go.

Views across the Gavarres from Montnegre We leave the road and head for the viewpoint at the top of Montigalar. The path cuts into the woods and from the voices and ringing bells we can hear, but not see, the hunters in the woods to the left and right. We can also see the hunters cars some of which must have driven up the narrowest paths to find somewhere to park.

Our route though takes us up the hill until we reach the top which is marked by a triangulation point and the Estrellada Catalan Flag. At the bottom of the flagpole is a small pessebre nativity scene to mark the spot. The views are glorious out across Monells and La Bisbal, or across the folds of the Gaverres in the other direction.

We take a moment to wait until the encroaching hunting noises including the sounds of several shots echoing through the hills, start to recede and continue down around the bottom of the hill beneath the viewpoint. At the bottom it joins with the path that we had taken from Monells up and then links to the tarmac road. We could turn right strat back to Sant Matteu, but since our objective was Montnegre we go left for the few hundred metres it takes to reach the small hamlet of houses. There's a small church/chapel here and we walk down the lane to find it, but it's not clear if there is public access.

Instead, we turn round and follow the road back, seeing a couple of road cyclists making their first ascent of the day. The sun is out. It's warm and we have the first butterflies in among the wild hyacinths so it's a shame we have to walk the same road back as we'd taken out.

Gavarres walks: Girona and Castell de St Miquel - Calonge into the Gavarres - St Pol de Bisbal and Santa Lucia - Monells and Mont-negre - Celra, Juia and the Castle of Palagret - Madremanya, Els Angels, Sant Marti Vell - Romanya de la Selva to Puig d'Arques

Walking route Gavarres Sant Matteu de Montnegre to Montnegra via Montigalar

Add comment
Your name
Your email (not shown)
Enter this word (letters only):



Previous entry: Romanya de la Selva Next entry: Ruta del Carrilet - Girona cyclepath to the coast

More details


Go to Notanant menuWebsite accessibility

Access level: public

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies: OK