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Monells spring walk in the woods

Monells terraced street with climbing roses Monells is a delightful village of stone built houses with a hidden centre full of vaulted arcades that almost feels like a film set for the three musketeers. We're in spring and the fields and hedgerows are bursting with flowers, cuckoos are in full voice, and the strange whooop whooopp that sounds like a car alarm are actually small Scope's owls calling to each other during the day time. In Girona, the Temps de Flors flower festival has just finished and temperatures are climbing into the 20s with just the last odd day of rain before summer.

This walk is just a simple walk through the fields and woods. It was unplanned in that we didn't have a map, but just wanted a walk in the countryside.

View to Monells from the walk with Gavarres behind We start by coming into Monells from the Sant Sadurni road and park just above the village in a marked car park. We could go into the centre, but the aim is to do that later, so instead we skirt the outskirts of the village, across the low crossing over the river and then along the river by the row of houses on the far side. Almost immediately we get the scent of roses drifting towards us, their deep perfume coming from the flowers climbing the walls of the houses. Unlike England where roses are a summer flower, here in Catalonia they are at their best at the height of Spring.

We take a cutting between the houses and up and across the main road to Madremanya. If you're driving from Corca don't assume that what you see of Monells from this road is the village. As with many empordan villages, the old heart is tucked away from the much more recent modern roads.

Monells street with dog Ahead of us is a lane into towards fields and woods and gentle rolling countryside and arrows to the IRTA campus - a farming college. We follow the road past IRTA along a track that is lined with rangey two-metre (6ft) high thistles with purple heads. In amongst the thistles are red poppies and yellow wild flowers. The road is just below the fields to the left with wheat in the transition from green to gold.

Our route is very simple - a few fields nearby and some woods on the far side of the closest field, with no particular features, just a good country walk. Behind us we can see Monells and the Gavarres behind the village, a picture of a country idyll.

We walk into the woods a little way and turn to the right past a ruined farm enjoying the warmth of the May sun. At the next junction we turn right and start to head back. We pass a large well just outside an older farmhouse. There is honeysuckle in amongst the trees and a natural variety of snapdragon.

We get to the road and turn towards Monells. The pomegranate trees are in full bloom with bright orange flowers in amongst the dark green foliage. Turning to the left we return to Monells village itself just by the Arcs de Monells Hotel.

Monells arches Monells itself is a village famous for its vaulted arcades - it's almost impossible not to be charmed by the number of arches and walk ways into the centre. Right in the middle of the village are an number of restaurants and while we were there, two or three children playing football in the main central placa. We turn and head out up the long terrace street that is almost like a Hovis advert and return to the car.

Neighbouring walks: Madremanya and Millars - Monells and Mont-negre -  Cruilles, Monells and Sant Sadurni de l'Heura - La Bisbal, Vulpellac, Castell d'Emporda, Fonteta - St Pol de Bisbal and Santa Lucia - Corça, Casavells, Matajudaica

Walking route for Monells in to the woods

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