For your first full day in Berguedà, you're going to explore the Vall de Lillet (Lillet Valley), where you'll find a range of attractions and a highly diverse natural environment, which are sometimes closely linked.
We recommend starting at La Pobla de Lillet railway station, where there's a train exhibition, before climbing aboard the Cement Train to take a journey into the industrial past. First stop: the Asland Cement Museum. This spectacular cement factory was founded by industrialist Eusebi Güell more than a century ago but has not been operational for around 40 years. Nowadays, its doors are open to visitors so you can discover this unusual construction with modernista touches, which was staggered to follow the slope of the mountain and take advantage of the force of gravity in the cement-making process. The visits include an outdoor itinerary around the industrial ruins and an indoor route to help you better understand how the factory worked.
Catch the train again to the Artigas Gardens, an early-20th-century token of gratitude from Antoni Gaudí for the Artigas family’s hospitality when Gaudí was staying in the village while he designed the Catllaràs chalet. It seems there was no limit to the Catalan architect’s imagination, as demonstrated by this enchanting space. Stones, water and vegetation play with one another in an elegant whole to create different ambiences and features ranging from bridges to sculptures and even artificial caves.
When your stomach starts to rumble, we suggest you enjoy the local artisan dishes prepared from recipes handed down over the generations. There are a few restaurants in La Pobla, so if you get off the train at La Pobla Centre station, you can head to the old quarter. Walking around the streets, you can relive the magic of the period in which the Mataplana family inhabited the castle (found on the road to Gombrèn, in the county of Ripollès). The parish church has another example of the Romanesque: a large colourful wooden image of Christ in Majesty, dating back to the 12th century.
After lunch, head to Guardiola de Berguedà and take the side road to the sanctuary known as Mare de Déu de Falgars, named after the patron saint of the village who is also featured in a 15th-century alabaster sculpture.
From the Joan Casanova lookout point, you can enjoy impressive views of the valley, with the Pedraforca mountain at the far end. An excellent way to end the day.