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Sant Grau and Cadiretes near Tossa de Mar

Sant Grau Cadiretes view towards Girona Tossa de Mar is one of the most famous towns on the Costa Brava because of its walled village next to the sea and beautiful bays. However, it has a relatively isolated location as it and Sant Feliu de Guixols are separated by a very windy road along the coast and the hills of the Massis de les Cadiretes. For walkers, the GR92 coastal path between the towns goes inland over the hills, while the coastal route up and down a number of cliffy calas is all road with no natural walking route. However, the road is extremely popular with cyclists (amateurs and professionals) as it's extremely scenic and too slow and bendy to be a main route for cars.

The Cadiretes hills therefore form a relatively isolated and empty wilderness between Tossa and Sant Feliu with remains of chapels and fortifications and a few scattered houses but not much else. This is a walk on the GR92 from just about Sant Grau - marked as the castle at Montagut (though we somehow missed the castle). The first part of the walk has views inland towards Llagostera and Girona, and comes back to Sant Grau on the sea-view side. It's a fairly typical wooded walk with some interesting rock formations and some views because of the height, but would otherwise be relatively unremarkable except for the rave party we walked past.

Cadiretes Rock Formation We arrive by car from Llagostera on the road to Sant Grau winding into the hills with a valley to our right. The area marked as the castle for Montagut has a track with a wide-ish entrance and space to park, so we stopped at the track. We were however surprised at the number of cars around. Initially we thought it was for hunting, as we'd just passed a collection of hunters with what looked like four or five boar further down the hillside.

We start to walk along the broad gravel track and pass yet more cars and it becomes clear from the number of young people milling around and the slightly odd looks that we get that there we're passing some form of music gathering in one of the abandoned farmhouses. No doubt this was a one off, but it feels a little strange and incongruous for a Sunday afternoon stroll in the middle of nowhere and as we pass the last of the cars the music starts we find ourselves walking to the accompanyment of a bass-and-drum beat.

The track runs along the side of the hill with small mounds of rocks 10-20m high in places and from the top of the rocks, the view is spectacular out across towards Girona and Lagostera. The path is a fairly standard wooded path though without much in the way of other highlights.

As we get towards our turning point (where the GR92 meets a local yellow-white sender), we can see the remains of a chapel just around the next bend in the hill looking back at us. However, we reach the junction first and so don't explore further, instead turning back towards the right across a small col and walking on the other side of the hill. From this side we now have views to the sea and across to some of the more isolated housing estates that dot the route between Tossa and Sant Feliu.

Sant Grau village house The walk is then a steady path that curls beside more strange rock formations before we get the sight of the church of Sant Grau above us. We curl around the hillside and across a small stream before what is a relatively sharp incline upto the village of Sant Grau.

The village itself consists of the church with attached house, presumably as part of a monestary at one point and a scattering of old masias and a few isolated villas in the woods with views out towards the sea, quite a long way down below. The area looks like it was once ear-marked as a tourist development as there is an abandoned swimming pool overlooking the valley and a few unconnected roads abandoned before construction started.

We take the road back. The map marks a couple of points just off the road, but we just head back. The road is quiet with no traffic. Towards the top we reach the connection to the GR92 once more and follow the path towards the telecom masts at the top of the hill expecting to find the castle of Montagut, but we miss it again.

Back at the car we then take the hairpinned road down to the coast to get back via Sant Feliu de Guixols half giddy from the curves. In general, the walk was OK without being spectacular and lacked a little in terms of points of interest for the driving involved.

Walking route Sant Grau and Cadiretes between Tossa de Mar and Sant Feilu de Guixols

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