Spring-Summer Getaway to Osona
From the plain to the mountain peaks in a land of flavours, sensations... and bandits!
We've prepared a very special getaway to Osona for you. An active trip with a little of everything: sports, nature, history, heritage, legends, traditions, crafts, food... We'll explore Vic, the regional capital, and head for Montseny, the Guilleries and the Llucanes. After the trip you'll be able to say that you know the regions quite well, from its most iconic spots to its secret places.
Afternoon day 1: Take aim...
We'll begin our trip to Osona with a little bit of exercise, and we'll put your marksmanship to the test too! We'd like to take you to Mas Serra-Rica in Muntanyola, a house with a thousand years of history, to put to the test your archery skills.
They say it is good for one's emotional regulation, the elasticity of the muscles, and for mental relaxation. At it doesn't matter if this is your first time on the range. There are trained monitors and all the equipment you needed for your introductory course, as well as a number of trails with virtual animals. It's a great activity for families, but they do ask that groups be of at least four people.
But if you think that the bow and arrow is not your thing, or if there's a division of opinions in your family group, the centre offers other activities, including a signposted bike trail that runs from Muntanyola to Santa Eulalia de Riuprimer, or you can put on your walking shoes and follow the PR or GR footpaths that pass by the house. Whichever activity you choose, you'll enjoy the fresh air at the centre, which is situated 800 metres above sea level and surrounded by woods.
Day 2: A gastronomic gymkhana between Vic and Viladrau
© Gonzalo Sanguinetti / Diputació de Barcelona
The Four Seasons. Tastes and Sensations. That's the name of the unusual gymkhana that awaits you on your second day in the region. It's a fun way to explore the area and learn how to cook and do some handicrafts. Above all, it's a way of exploring the region's historical and cultural reality and discover the local products that are characteristic of each season of the year.
The activity is adaptable, in terms of both the number of participants and the place to do it. Our proposal starts at the famous Roman bridge in Vic, where the participants will make a wicker basket. When you've completed that task, you'll be given a map of the city and a digital camera and the test of photographic orientation will begin, during which the participants will photograph the specified landmarks in the city. The task ends at the market, where each team will have to buy the ingredients needed to make a seasonal dish following the recipes of Chef Salvador.
With their wicker baskets full, the teams will head for the village of Viladrau. Once there, the chef will check each team's purchases and then there are different options. You can do a cooking workshop followed by a tasting session or sit down for lunch, do a longer cooking workshop and then have dinner at the same place.
Day 3: The return of Serrallonga
© Josep Cano / Diputació de Barcelona
From the heart of the Guilleries
will come a loud crackbringing
the echoes of war
to the walls of Tavertet.
So goes the popular song Torna, torna Serrallonga, written by Joan Crosas and popularised by his group Esquirols, and it's the ideal musical companion for the route of the bandits on the last day of our trip to Osona.
It's a long route that takes in the major locations where outlaws like Joan Sala Serrallonga and Perot Rocaguinarda plied their bloody trade, consisting of a drive of more than a hundred kilometers, making as many stops as you like to explore the different options offered by every village and town on the way. It's certainly an excellent way to explore the region and see some of its most beautiful and iconic spots, and an important part of its history.
So let's get started - there's a long way to go. We could set off from Taradell, especially if today is August 24th or 25th, when the town hosts the Festa d'en Toca-sons. You'll see people firing ancient blunderbusses, smell the gunpowder, watch the bandits raiding the village, explore the medieval market ... it's an intense way to start our route, which takes us in the direction of Viladrau. But be sure to stop off at the Mansa mountain pass to see the magnificent rock formations known as the Cuines d'en Rocaguinarda (you'll have to do the last bit on foot), which were used by the bandits as hideouts. Once in Viladrau, a town known for the quality of its waters and the woods surrounding it, you can ask for a guided tour based on the figure of the bandit Serralonga that will take you, among other places, to the exterior of La Sala, his birthplace, which is a farmhouse with a defense tower dating from the 13th century.
Highway GI-520 will now take us through the green hills of the Guilleríes, a wilderness area that was best avoided by travellers during the centuries in which banditry was rife in the area. Our destination is Rupit, one of the most beautiful towns, not only in Osona, but in the whole of Catalonia. Here we can stroll around its charming streets, cross the hanging bridge over the stream or follow one of the paths around the town to explore the Collsacabra range. Legends says that there was once a tailor in Rupit called Boxoms who was responsible for making the clothes for Serralonga, who was evidently a rather vain outlaw!
We suggest that you lunch in this town, as there is a wide range of restaurants. And after lunch, head for Tavertet, which is a charming nearby town. It's considered to be a site of national cultural interest and the outlaw Joan Sala knew it very well and used it as a hideout. That's not surprising if you look at the cliffs and the surrounding countryside. The views are also amazing, and include a fantastic vision of the Sau reservoir. Tavertet can also be visited on a guided tour.
Finally we'll head for Oristà. It's true that it's located on the other side of the region, some fifty kilometres away. But the journey will be worth it. Firstly, because Oristà has a number of interesting Romanesque and Pre-Romanesque sites, but also to visit the cliff of Tres Còdols (the Three Pebbles), where rock bears the inscriptions of names, crosses and crossbows attributed to the bandit Perot Rocaguinarda. This character, who was the leader of the Nyerros gang, was born in the nearby Rocaguinarda farmhouse, which you can also go to see, though it's not in the best of conditions. If you want, you can also visit Oristà on a guided tour.
After this intensive tour, full of legends, picture-postcard villages and landscapes, you'll certainly have seen the essence of Osona.
Where to stay and where to eat
Cultural venues in Osona
Declared of national interest by the Generalitat Government the museum, especially for the magnificent collection of medieval art it contains, but also for the museum facilities themselves, located next to the Cathedral of Vic. Some 29,000 examples of Catalan Romanesque and Gothic painting and sculpture are on display, as well as pieces of industrial and decorative arts and an excellent collection of woven cloths and liturgical vestments. Among the masterpieces here are the Christ in Majesty from Santa Maria in Lluçà, the Baldachin from Ribes and the the Descent from the Cross from Erill la Vall, all from the twelfth century.
- Plaça del Bisbe Oliba, 3, 08500
First opened just a few years ago and completely equipped for the scenic arts, whether in the form of concerts, theatre or dance, in both large and small formats, The Atlantida gets the best shows from Barcelona but also promotes local talent, making for a programme that is both complete and varied. The governing foundation of the Atlantida aims to consolidate Vic and Osona as cultural references in Europe.
- Francesc Maria Masferrer, 4, 08500
The museum's main objective is to provide insights on the process of industrialization that took place around the River Ter. It occupies an ideal site, in the old Can Sanglas factory, near the river. The collections, however, are quite diverse, since there is enough space in its 1,500 square meters, to treat the river as a natural resource. The museum also hosts Centre of Studies of Mediterranean Rivers (CERM), dedicated to promoting education and environmental awareness, and the stewardship and research in Mediterranean rivers.
- Passeig del Ter, 2, 08650
A visit to this major example of Catalan Romanesque religious architecture is also worthwhile thanks to its magnificent setting, overlooking a meander of the River Ter. Inside you will find a monastery that is humble but that has numerous enchanting details, such as its small cloister and the parlour, which later became a cellar, as well as the anthropomorphic tombs, which make it clear that the building was raised above a necropolis. To make the visit more attractive, the rooms are decorated with antique furniture and furnishings.
- Carretera BV-5213
Montesquiu Castle has seen many modifications, both inside and outside, since it was first built in 1285, but a visit is always recommendable. On the ground floor, an audiovisual presentation starring the ghost of four famous inhabitants of the castle tell their story. The visit proceeds with a tour around the castle dependencies. The upper floor is currently the site of the resource centre run by the Diputació de Barcelona and hosts conventions, conferences and courses. If you have time, have a walk around the castle’s park.
- P. Emili Juncadella, 1-2, 08585
If you like Romanesque art and architecture, a visit to Santa Maria de Lluçà is sure to delight you. The monastery which, takes its name from the region of Llucanès, was consecrated in 905, though it reached its maximum splendour in the thirteenth century. Today the whole ensemble offers many items of interest, especially the cloister, dating from the twelfth century, which contains a variety of decorative elements, among which the capitals, in particular, stand out, although the ironwork decorating the door, the murals and the small museum, with pieces of jewellery and religious objects are also quite remarkable.
- Plaça de l'Església, s/n, 08514
Refurbished thoroughly in the early 1990s, Teatre Cirvianum now offers a full program of professional and amateur drama, music and dance performances. Its governing board also manages courses and workshops in the annexes of the theatre, and has promoted projects such as the FESTUS youth street arts festival, which takes place in the summer and has been through thirteen editions. The festival is committed to projects that propose a special, different and intimate relationship with the audience.
- Plaça Nova, 10, 08570
Jacint Verdaguer, a key figure in the Catalan literary renaissance, was born in Folgueroles in 1845. His family home has been transformed into a museum that we can visit. It is worth visiting since it’s a typical 17th century village house, as well as providing the opportunity to learn more about the priest-poet Verdaguer. In fact, the whole village of Folgueroles is like an open air museum dedicated to the writer and we recommend that you take a look around it either before or after calling in at the museum.
- Major, 7, 08519