Getaway to Berguedà: A land of mushrooms and industrial colonies

A 48-hour trip through some of the charming parts of a pre-Pyrenees region

The path of the Llobregat River has marked the history of Berguedà, especially that of the last two centuries, as thanks to the efforts of the "worker river" many were able to earn a living here. The industrial colonies that are still standing are examples of this. On this trip we will find out about some colonies but we will also have time to buy mushrooms or discover medieval towns, such as Gironella. Let’s start here.

IN COLLABORATION WITH BARCELONA ÉS MOLT MÉS AND THE DIPUTACIÓ DE BARCELONA.

Afternoon day 1: A walk around Gironella

Afternoon day 1: A walk around Gironella

A slim bell tower and a considerable dome stand out in the profile of Gironella. If you look up, Alexandre Soler's neo-Gothic construction dominates, while the winding streets of medieval origin and the passage of the Llobregat River through the centre of the town are also charming. Some specific architectural elements you cannot miss are the tower of Cal Metre, the Teixidor Bassacs stately home, the old church of Santa Eulàlia or the 14th century Gothic bridge. You will see all this and more in Gironella.

Morning day 2: Torre del Amo

Morning day 2: Torre del Amo

This morning we are going to Viladomiu Nou, an industrial colony south of Gironella, and actually forming part of the same municipal area. We recommend that you go to Torre del Amo, where today the Tourist Office of the Llobregat River Park is located. Tomàs Viladomiu and his family lived in the tower. He was founder both of the Viladomiu Nou colony and the neighbouring Viladomiu Vell. Although not absolutely certain, the building is attributed to Valentí Canudas, and inside we can learn about how the owners of an industrial colony lived. In Viladomiu Nou we walk around to see many other elements common to all colonies: the workers’ dwellings (102 in this place, and today around 200 people still live here), the church, the nursery, the school, the factory and even a theatre-cinema.

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Afternoon day 2: Vidal Colony

Afternoon day 2: Vidal Colony

In the afternoon we want to delve a little further into the world of industrial colonies. Cal Vidal was the last one to be built. Ignasi Vidal, descendent of a family from Manresa distinguished in the manufacture of silk, bought what were practically the last pieces of land available in the region adjacent to the Llobregat River to build his factory and, around it, the colony. There is a very comprehensive museum to find out what it meant to live and work in a textile colony and, if you join a guided tour, you will also discover all the parts of Cal Vidal, from the factory to the shops, and you can go into one of the dwellings.

Day 3: Mushroom hunters

Day 3: Mushroom hunters

The trip we present in this report is designed to be done in autumn or winter. In these seasons – especially in autumn – you cannot miss the opportunity to explore the mycological world of Berguedà. As we do not know your skills in hunting mushroom in the woods, and also would not want to be responsible for you getting lost, it is best that we err on the side of caution and encourage you to go to some of the markets held in this area. You will find saffron milk caps, grey knights, chanterelles... Both the Mushroom Market of Cal Rosal and Guardiola de Berguedà open every day between September and November. So you can take home a good selection of mushrooms to make the most mouth-watering dishes. And if you have some time left over, you can also discover the villages of Olvan and Guardiola de Berguedà before making your way back home.

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Cal Majoral

What makes this small hotel original is its three distinct floors: the first floor has classical-style rooms with antique furniture, the second floor has rooms with bright colors and colonial style furniture, while the attic of the house is occupied by a suite. The establishment also has an apartment, where you can enjoy a private garden with a barbecue, as well as a restaurant serving dishes with original and personal touches based on local, seasonal produce.

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Ca l'Amagat

This long-established family hotel in Bagà is famous for its kitchen. Its name (amagat means hidden) is a reference to the fact that it used to be in a hard-to-find location outside town, but it now stands in a quiet narrow street inside the village. While not luxurious, its simple rooms are comfortable and have everything you need, and you can warm up downstairs in the lounge next to the fireplace.

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El Celler de ca la Quica

Rice, fresh fish, quality meat, as well as a selection of wines and cavas. These are the delights of El Celler de ca la Quica, a charming restaurant located on the ground floor of a 19th century house, with some rooms boasting vaulted ceilings and rustic decor.

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Cal Blasi

Ideal for anyone interested in enjoying a macrobiotic meal, but also for those who fancy a good piece of grilled meat. They excell at local cooking, both from Berguedà and across Catalonia, and seasonal dishes – if you can, go there during wild mushroom (bolet) season in the pre-Pyrenees woodlands. This restaurant, which has been open since 1932, stands out for its friendly service as well as the wide range of dishes on offer, which include tapas, sandwiches and hearty breakfasts (esmorzar de forquilla).

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Estel

Don’t expect luxuries at Hotel Estel, located just five minutes away from the centre of Berga, but you will have a pleasant stray at a family-style two star establishment with 37 rooms and a number of apartments. Its restaurant is also worth a mention since it serves a good value set lunch menu (€10.50) and, in autumn, a special wild mushroom menu. Going back to the hotel, among the service on offer are free internet access and discounts on admission to the town’s swimming pools, which are only three minutes away.

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Cal Mianet

There are many rural tourism properties to choose from in Catalonia, but close to the iconic mountain of Pedraforca, there are actually very few. Cal Mianet is in an idyllic spot, two kilometres from Saldes, and with space for ten people. With 150 years of history within its stonework, it’s ideal as a base for enjoying excursions around Berguedà.  

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Cal Raler

On the outskirts of Montclar, remote and in the middle of an agricultural and cattle farming area, you’ll find this country house with capacity for 10 people. If you’re looking for tranquility and a complete break, Cal Raler is the ideal place. In addition, it has a swimming pool and barbecue, for water fun and delicious meals. 

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Càmping Berga Resort

This is a campsite with all the facilities and services guests need to enjoy a pleasant and enjoyable stay. Though designed with families in mind, adults staying here alone or with a partner will also find a thousand things to keep boredom at bay, starting with a wellness centre with a spa circuit, swimming pools and tennis and paddle tennis courts. And if you don’t like the idea of sharing a bathroom, we should point out that Berga Resort has recently introduced luxury plots with private bathroom facilities.

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La Sala de Biure

The origins of this house date back to the 12th century, and the refurbishment carried out to convert it into rural accommodation took care to retain its charm. It is located on an estate that maintains its farming and livestock activity, and where exceptional meals are prepared that, of course, guests can try. The house has six rooms and five bathrooms, as well as a fireplace, a swimming pool, barbecue and children’s park. And you can enjoy some excellent views of the area!

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Berga Park

The three-star hotel is located at the foot of Queralt Mountain and in a noucentista building from 1932 listed as Cultural Asset of Local Interest. It has spacious rooms, free parking and 49 bedrooms elegantly designed and with all the services and comforts you need. Ideal for relaxing or as a base for exploring the area.  

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Museu del Ciment Asland

The spectacular cement factory built on the orders of Eusebi Güell on the outskirts of Castellar de n'Hug started production some 100 years ago before closing down 40 years ago. Fortunately, today we can continue visiting this unique modernista-style building which is built in a staggered layout down the slope of the hillside in order to take advantage of gravity in the cement manufacturing process. The visits include a tour outside among the industrial remains; while, on the inside, the interpretive centre will help you get a better understand of how the factory was run.

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Museu de les Mines de Cercs

One of the most unique and attractive tourist sites in the region, and one that will be fun for both adults and kids, since you’ll enter into a real coal mine aboard a mine train to go on a 450 metre trip through the Sant Romà gallery, gaining an understanding of what it was like to work in these mines. But first you can learn a little about the uses of coal and the lives of the miners in the permanent exhibition rooms located inside a building that was originally a convent. This is definitely a must-do visit in Berguedá.

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Casa de la Patum

The spirit of La Patum, the local summer festival, is always present in the town of Berga, even though the fiesta itself takes place only once a year, on the feast of Corpus Christi. If you’re unable to go to the town for the main fiesta, you can always call in at the Casa de la Patum and get a taste of what it’s like to experience the real deal. On display are the costumes and figures that take part in the processions, while the interpretation centre will give you all the information you need on what the fiesta is all about. 

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Centre Medieval i dels Càtars

The Cathars played an important role in the history of the Berguedà region, where many Cathars fled to escape persecution. That is why the Palau de Pinós in Bagà hosts a permanent exhibition in which different historical characters, such as William of Berguedà and the Mataplana family, will tell you all about the Cathars and their links to the Alt Berguedà, and especially with the village of Bagà. You can also find out what life was like here in the 7th and 8th centuries.

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