Waterfalls and big climbs In the Collsacabra Mountains.
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.
One of our favourite short walks of about 15km is from the little village of Els Hostalets d'en Bas. This walk takes you climbing up to the top of the Cingles (cliffs in Catalan) through shady beech forests. To start with, you follow a river imaginatively called the Torrent del Puig (stream of the hill) and later you join up with one of the best preserved medieval trails in Catalunya called the Cami Ral (Royal road).
The whole trail can be seen here with Strava.
Some of this walk is classed as "moderate" with some scrambling required, some fairly steep parts and some narrow trails with vertical drops. It's not suitable for young children or those with vertigo. The Cami Ral section is suitable for all ages although is is a bit of a climb and has some loose stones in parts so adequate footwear to protect your ankles is recommended.
The first waterfall that we come to after an easy walk along flat forest trails is the Salt (waterfall) de Fogoses. From here, there is a steep climb with some scrambling required following the course of the river until we get to the Salt de la Olla.
From here, the trail gets decidedly sketchy in parts and the usual trail markers cease to exist. You'll be following the faintest of paths in the forest until the last waterfall almost at the top of the cingles.
From here, there is a short hike up to the Font de Les Marrades where we join the Cami Ral and continue climbing to the top of the hill to the Masia "Hostal de Grau".
This part of the Royal Road was the main line of communication and trade for centuries and was widened and made safe in the 17th century with some fairly major stone works for the time, the majority of which is still in place today.
Just before you get to the top, you'll see a small pile of stones to the side of the trail indicating that there is another path and something of interest. In this case, the Mina dels Bandolers, a deep, damp, crack or crevice for want of a better description :) Millions of years of water erosion has eaten away at the limestone bedrock to produce this long narrow corridor and some nice views at the end.
From here, we retrace our steps for part of the way before continuing along the Cami Ral to the parking area.
You can easily do this in a day. We left at 0930, parked up and set off at 11.00 and were back at the car by 15.00. A short drive home and you'll be back at the beach and sipping a nice cold beer in a chirringuito by 16.30. Perfect :)