The Sau Reservoir, with its belltower emerging from the water, is one of the best-known and most visited dams in the country. Just a few kilometres from the reservoir are many other places of interest, including Romanesque monasteries, Iberian settlements and charming villages. Join us as we discover the beauty of this part of the Osona comarca over the next couple of days.
WITH THE COLLABORATION OF BARCELONA ÉS MOLT MÉS AND THE DIPUTACIÓ DE BARCELONA.
Day 1, Afternoon: Tavèrnoles, At the Foot of the Guilleries
On the first afternoon, we head to Tavèrnoles, situated on the plain just where the Guilleries mountain range begins to make its presence felt. The town has many well-preserved old farmhouses and country cottages, some of which have been converted into rural accommodation for tourists. It also boasts four Romanesque churches of great historical and architectural value: Sant Esteve de Tavèrnoles, Sant Pere de Savassona, Sant Feliuet de Savassona and Santa Margarida d’Ardola. If you like walking, there are several possible routes to choose from, which will take you to some of the churches and lead you through the town’s glorious natural surroundings.
Day 2: From Iberians to the Middle Ages
Two of the most important heritage sites in this area are the Sant Pere de Casserres Monastery and the archaeological remains of L’Esquerda. So if you are game, we are going to spend the entire day discovering them, starting with the medieval monastery.
An example of the Catalan Romanesque, Sant Pere de Casserres sits on an impressive balcony overlooking a meander in the River Ter. It is a modest monastery but full of evocative details, such as its small cloister, the parlour, which was later used as a cellar, or the anthropomorphic tombs testifying to the fact that the building was constructed over a necropolis. Period furniture and tools dotted around the different rooms help the visitor to imagine what life used to be like here and enhance its attraction.
After lunch, we set off to explore the outskirts of Roda de Ter, where we find the remains of the archaeological site of L’Esquerda and an exceptional viewpoint offering magnificent views of the River Ter. The site has ruins which date from the 10 th century BC to the 14 th century AD. The settlement was abandoned in 1314, but holds 2,500 years of history which reveal secrets of the Bronze Age, the Iberians (absent in these latitudes), the Visigoths and the Early and High Middle Ages. At the Archaeological Museum of L’Esquerda, you will find many of the artefacts from the site on display.
Day 3: A Busy Body of Water
On our final day, we are going to exploit the various options on offer at the Sau Reservoir. First of all, though, we are going to make a stop in Vilanova de Sau to visit Herbolari, a company which produces aromatic and medicinal herbs to create a range of concoctions for the food, medicine and cosmetic sectors. Not only can you visit the shop, but they also organise workshops (for which places must be booked in advance).
Right, now it’s time for some exercise! The reservoir offers us a wide choice of water activities, including canoeing, water-skiing and pedalos. However, if you prefer to try an activity on dry land, not to worry: there are companies in the Sau and Collsacabra Valleys which organise treks on horseback and routes wit Segways or rent mountain bikes. And for the more daring among you, there is rock climbing, flying in an ultralight aircraft or even hot air balloon rides, a great way to have a bird’s eye view of the fantastic landscape. On the other hand, a less energetic alternative to all these activities is simply to take a dip in the freshwater Sau and relax under the sun before heading back home.