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The Collsacabra mountains - Panta de Sau


About an hour to the north of Cal Domino, you'll find the Collsacabra mountain range, located between the Pre-littoral and Transversal Catalan mountains. Basically, part of the low Pyrenees and with an average altitude of about 1100 Mts (3600ft), it rarely gets snow in the winter and makes for comfortable hiking (and great mountain biking) for most of the year with stunning views.

This area is protected under the 1992 Catalan legislation "protection plan for spaces of natural interest" and forms an area of about 142km2. It is our preferred are for hiking from October to April but a little too warm in mid-summer when we prefer to hike the cooler high Pyrenees up at 2000 Mts and above.

Todays hike takes us from the reservoir, up the cliff face to the plateau on top next to the chocolate-box village of Tavertet and back. There are three clear paths up the "cingles" (cliffs in Catalan). One is accessible by most, even if it does get a little daunting in places, the other two are quite vertical and I would class them as moderate to extreme with some climbing equipment required.

Todays trail takes you through oak forests and woodland paths. It is pretty vertical in places and not suitable for anyone with severe vertigo, and although it can look a little scary sometimes, you're never really close to the edge.

Once you get to the top, the views are breathtaking. The lake below is a man-made reservoir which has flooded the old village Sant Romà de Sau. You can just about see the top of the church spire in this picture and during severe draughts, when the water level drops significantly, you can walk around what is left if the village. The village was fist mentioned in the 9th century and prospered for over a thousand years until the Sau valley was flooded in the 1960's. The residents were forced to leave and relocated in the new village of Sau.

This is a great spot to have a rest and a bite to eat and drink. There is a bench here and you really can't beat the view.

At the waters edge and a panoramic view of the "Cingles de Tavertet." You can easily do this hike in a day from Cal Domino and once back home, take a swim in the heated pool, have a sauna or simply relax in the Jacuzzi. A perfect end to a perfect day....