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The Catalan hinterland offers numerous possibilities for one or two-day trips for nature lovers. In fact, it has very beautiful preserved spaces, almost intact medieval villages, delta regions and volcanoes as well as amazing mountain scenery. Here are some suggestions.

Montserrat monastery

Montserrat mountain and Benedictine monastery, founded in the 12th century, are located in a natural park located around 60 km outside Barcelona. The amazing rocky bar that protects the site peaks off at 1,230 m and overlooks the monastery and its basilica, which are perched on a 700 m high plateau. This majestic site is noted for long, vertical, eroded monoliths, with human or animal shapes.
The religious life of the monastery is very active: it houses a community of 80 sisters as well as the escolans, the oldest children's choir in Europe, which performs everyday.
Within the building, there is also a museum: the old and modern sculpture and painting sections are among the best collections in the country, created by artists such as El Greco, Caravaggio, Picasso, Dalí, Monet and Degas among others.

la Garrotxa volcanoes

The region of la Garrotxa, comarca (canton) of Catalonia located around 150 km to the north of Barcelona, between Figueras and Girona, is a very interesting medieval, volcanic, mountainous region.
The villages of Besalú, Santa Pau and Castellfollit de la Roca will delight lovers of Roman art, sumptuous sites and the history-filled Catalan Pyrenees.
Although the volcanoes at la Garrotxa are not active - the last eruption of the volcano Croscat took place 11,500 years ago - it cannot be considered fully extinct.

Vall de Núria

To the east of the volcanic region, in the Ripollès, this Pyrenean valley offers scenery surrounded by spectacular beauty. A rack railway leaves the village of Ribes de Freser to access, after a 1-hour journey, the sanctuary of Nuria, one of the main places of worship in the region, as well as an alpine ski station that peaks at 2,268 m. Another ski station at 2,500 m, Vallter 2000, not far from the valley of the Ter, also has a dozen slopes and a good infrastructure.
Another must see in the same neighbouring valley, the monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses and the pretty village of Campodron, a holiday spot for the inhabitants of Barcelona and the starting point for beautiful hikes.





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