With two forecasts in my hand of "sunny and calm" and the other "cloudy and windy" for the weekend (depending on the website I visited), I decided to wait until the morning and stick my head out of the window before making a final decision on wether I should do the walk to the top of Puig Sacalm or not. The morning arrived and in Calonge it was pretty dire. Cold, grey and decidedly un-Catalan. Disappointed, I busied myself with laundry and cleaning, but by 11.00, the sky opened up to our usual deep azure blue, and albeit a little later than usual, I decided to make a dash for the mountains and hike to the top Puig Sacalm. It's been on my bucket list for a few years and I was a little impatient to hike it, so ignoring my apprehension with the dodgy weather forecasts, I jumped in the car and scrambled to the Vall d'en Bas.
As I got closer to the Vall d'en Bas the weather closed in again and when I arrived at the start point, the Coll de Bracons (route here) there were dozens of people coming down the mountain saying that it was very cold and windy at the top. Equipped with clothes for pretty much anything, I decided to continue.... call me stubborn. At the end of the day, It's an hour and a half from Cal Domino and I was already here.
In the end though, both forecasts were right ! To one side of the mountain is was horrible. Cold, cloudy and windy and on the other side, blue skies and although not calm a little less windy. In the meantime, the coast was being battered by the first Tramontana of the winter.... Really, I couldn't have picked a worse day to attempt this walk.
The hike itself is rated as easy and I would agree with that. At only 5km each way, it's a lovely walk though the woods and suitable for kids, but at the top of the ridge, it is very exposed and there is a pretty dramatic, vertiginous drop on one side. For energetic kids and pets that don't listen to you, it's not the best of walks.....
At the top though, the views are outstanding. To one side, you have views over La Garroxta, the Vall d'en Bas and the volcanic national park and to the other, views of the high Pyrenees with the first dusting of winter snow. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.
If you don't suffer from Vertigo and like short easy walks, then this is the perfect day for you. I'll need to do this walk a few times more, especially when it is less windy, to be comfortable so close to the cliff edge. At 1515 Mts high, there's quite a drop on the east side.
For the hike, you'll need suncream and water even in the winter months, although on this walk, there is natural font / spring along the way and at the top of the hill.
Once back at Casa Cal Domino, plop the kids into bed, annoy your friends with gorgeous photos of your day out on Instagram and don't forget to have a bottle of Cava cooling in the fridge for a wallow in the Jacuzzi.
Prices (2023) based on a family of 6 are from just €2550 (€60pppd) for full private use of the Villa and its amenities (heated infinity pool*, heated Jacuzzi, sauna), all utility bills (gas, water, electricity), pool and house towels, bed linen, natural gas central heating with log fireplace for the winter months, CCTV entry, alarm and large safe for your valuables, our huge welcome pack (local meats, Cava, white and red wine, beers, cakes, croissants, bread, eggs, milk, tea and coffees, all cleaning materials and a large fruit basket), all taxes and final cleaning. A visit to Puig Sacalm is free.....
*heated from May to mid October to 26-28ºC.
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