Montseny Natural Park is a UNESCO designated biosphere located in Catalonia, Spain, approximately 100km north of Barcelona.
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What is Montseny Natural Park
I had not heard of a “natural park” before going to Montseny. According to Wikipedia a natural park “is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns.” I suppose you could call it a wilder version of the parks you would usually visit in a city or town.
The biggest difference is that there are hundreds of different plant species here that grow in the most diverse climates you can imagine. In this park, you will find both Mediterranean climates and cold mountain climates both offering panoramic views of beautiful mountains and accessible routes to get around.
If nature and the variety of climates aren’t enough to lure you to this amazing wonder you may be interested to know there are quite a few historical buildings in the park too. Not to mention the slow, happy lifestyle of the residents which is such a breath of fresh air compared to city living. (Excuse the pun)
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Life in Montseny Natural Park
Life in Montseny Natural Park has a different rhythm. One where it might take all morning to go the bank because you run into people you know who stop for a chat.
Or two years to artfully restore a centuries-old Catalonian farmhouse. Perhaps you toast bread over an open fire for breakfast. What’s the hurry?
Or you step outside your front door and pick fruit right from the trees. In my case, I spent 7 hours a day eating delicious and local cuisine. Okay, the locals don’t do that much eating EVERY day, but we did!
If that wasn’t enough to make me fall in love with Montseny the scenery would have done it.
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What Can You Do in Montseny?
Locals are committed to finding a balance between sustainability and supporting the population that lives there. Much of the food served in restaurants in Montseny Natural Park is grown locally and served in a traditional Catalonian style.
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Visit Monsoriu castle which is located in the Montseny natural park. Monsoriu Castle is currently being restored to resemble its former glory days when it played an important role in medieval times.
The park is a perfect haven to enjoy nature. With such a diverse range of wildlife and plants. The species of trees here astounded me. From Ancient trees, Beech Trees, to stunning chestnut tree groves and other native trees, this park has it all.
It’s no wonder that Montseny Nature Park is such a popular place to hike for forest lovers, mountain biking too is popular here. If you’re walking the Via Augusta and Via Austa paths you will pass by several remnants of ancient Roman buildings.
If you’re near the town of La Garriga in Montseny you should take a stroll through and take in the beautiful modernist mansions, most of which were constructed during the 19th century. The town was once a relaxation retreat and a popular destination for many residents from Barcelona.
Montseny Biosphere Reserves
Montseny massif is a mountainous mass with special landscapes and scenic crest lines dominating many parts of Catalonia. It is known for its stunning views and various species of plants and animals.
The contour of Montseny starts with elevations of fewer than 200 meters on the eastern side that rise to just over 1,700 m. The massif is divided into three large areas.
— Pla De La Calma
This part of the massif has distinctive farms you can visit such as Beliver, El Bellit, and La Figuera.
With a height of 1.697 m, Matagalls is the third-highest mountain of El Montseny and the most emblematic one. Home to a wide range of Mediterranean fauna and vegetation, it’s no wonder hikers love it here.
— Turó de l’Home
Santa Fe – Turó de l’Home is a popular climb in the region Catalonia. The trail is 9.1km long and bridges 581 vertical meters with an average gradient of 6.4%, resulting in a difficulty score of 502. The top of the ascent is located at 1654 meters above sea level.
My Favourite Part of Visiting Montseny
I admire the people of Montseny and their way of life. It’s so different from my life in Munich, Germany. Or even in Barcelona which is much closer.
I could learn a lot about slowing down from them. In fact, I was so inspired by the fragrant smells of herbs and plants and the use of fresh produce that I decided to bring a little of Montseny to Munich by starting my own herb garden!
It’s my little piece of Montseny on my balcony. It reminds me to slow down. I rub the leaves of the peppermint or lavender plant and breathe it in! It’s not the same as being in Montseny, but it does make me feel instantly more relaxed.
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Know Before You Go To Montseny Natural Park
- You can reach any of the towns in Montseny natural park from Barcelona.
- The weather in the park Montseny can change quite quickly so keep a jacket with you just in case.
- If you’re planning on hiking through the beautiful forests make sure you have the right footwear and be prepared for narrow paths and no sign-posted paths.
- Basic maps are free at the local information centers.
- You can purchase a complete map from the information centers if you wish to do other routes.
- Accommodation near Montseny Natural Park
Apartaments Turistics Cal Ferrer is located in the park and overlooks the Montseny mountains. The apartments are set in an 18th-century cottage that has a surrounding garden. The rooms all have TV’s and fully equipped kitchens and free Wifi is available which has been rated excellent.
Can Llobet is located outside of the town on Montseny and is a quaint little country cottage run by a couple. They offer a perfect opportunity to take in the beautiful views as well as the tranquility of nature. It’s perfect if you need some time out of your busy life. Enjoy a Catalan or vegetarian breakfast each morning before taking a walk in the gardens.
Enjoy a guided hiking tour with organic lunch that leaves from Barcelona. The tour takes you on a 8.5 hour hike through the Montseny natural park. The tour will take you past rural country homes and you will stop for a meal that is made out of locally sourced organic foods.
Take a private hiking tour from Barcelona. The tour guides are happy to change the itinerary to suit your fitness levels. You’ll enjoy a day of hiking that suits you. The tour includes transport from your hotel in Barcelona and a drop off after the days hiking.
Montseny National Park reminds you to take it easy and enjoy every moment of life rather than rushing through.