The Massís del Montseny Natural Park is located in between Casa Cal Domino and Barcelona and is a great destination for some local walks for all levels of fitness and all ages during the autumn months.
The Montseny massif is both a natural park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is formed by the peaks of Turó de l'Home (1,706 metres), Les Agudes (1,703 metres), El Matagalls (1,697 metres) and the plain Pla de la Calma (Mount Drau, 1,344 metres). The Congost, Tordera and Riera Major rivers pass through this area giving it an extremely lush and varied vegetation and it is home to an abundance of wildlife.
There are a number of ways to get to the park which is open all year and free for all to access. The most common are via the BV-5114 to Santa Fé de Montseny to walk the circular routes around the reservoir or to climb the peaks of Turó de l'Home and Les Agudes. The other is from the little village of Viladrau via the GIV-5201 to the Col de Bordoriol for access to Matagalls and the beach forests of Viladrau and Arbucies.
The terrain is incredibly diverse, with mountains set against valleys furrowed by streams and the lush woodlands that make this Biosphere Reserve a spectacular landscape of singular beauty. Climate differences in Montseny give rise to very varied scenery: holm oak groves (on the lower slopes), cork oak forests (in the granitic areas), pine forests, sub-Mediterranean oak, beech and fir woods, as well as riverside vegetation and rock formations. Mediterranean and Central European fauna communities congregate in the Nature Reserve. Highlights include the shrew, badger, gray dormouse, bullfinch, woodcock, Pyrenean newt, grass frog, Aesculapian snake and wild boar.
During the autumn months from mid-September to mid-November, the beach forests start to shed their leaves and the whole mountainside lights up with rustic shades of yellow and orange. For those wishing to escape to the country for some peace and quiet, this area is highly recommended and one of our favourites locations to take the children.
From the Arbucies side of the park, it is well worth passing by the 10th century medieval castle at Montsoriu. Situated in a 600mt hill is with an unbeatable vantage point from Barcelona to the Pyrenees, Montsoriu was one of the most impressive Gothic castles in Catalonia and one of the most important medieval fortified enclosures in the country. It became the military headquarters of the Viscounts of Cabrera during the 13th and 14th centuries and due to its strategic location made them one of the most powerful dynasties in the Mediterranean theatre.
There are many restaurants dotted around the area to enjoy classic Catalan cuisine or pack a picnic and soak in the incredible views from the top of Turó de l'Home or Les Agudes. Once back at Cal Domino, the Jacuzzi and Sauna are the perfect place for finishing off the day with a glass of Cava and some Fuet (Catalan cured sausage). We can heat the pool until Mid October too !
Over the winter months, as well as the heated exterior Jacuzzi and Sauna, Cal Domino has natural gas central heating, double glazing and winter duvets and a log fireplace in the lounge. If you're staying over the winter months and you're lucky enough to get some snow at these lower levels, then a day out in Montseny is well worth the effort.