What better in the midst of autumn than to visit a centre dedicated to the world of chestnuts? The company Castanya de Viladrau, based in the Montseny Natural Park, was created with the objective of exploiting the chestnut trees in the area and offering a product rooted in the land for centuries. You can visit its premises, where you will see how the nut is selected and also some of the products made from it, such as chestnut wheat, chestnut honey, chestnut bread and even chestnut beer.
Moreover, this company can advise you on some of the surrounding paths. If you are not familiar with them, we warmly recommend the route leading to the Nine-arm Chestnut Tree, venerated in the area. To get there you'll walk through beautiful spots and past some large country houses boasting a long history.
The monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres, a building that should be included in the Catalan Romanesque art chapter of any architecture book, is also impressive because of its location, overlooking a meander of the Ter River. So on our first morning in Osona we'll head there. Inside and out, it is a humble monastery but full of charming details, such as the small cloister, the parlour that later became a cellar and the anthropomorphic tombs, which show that the monastery was built on a necropolis and that this exceptional viewpoint has been visited by people for centuries. Furniture and old household goods in the different rooms tell us more about the place and brighten up the visit.
After lunch we suggest that you make the most of the many activities on offer in the Sau Valley and Collsacabra. A landscape formed by brooks, cliffs, grottoes, waterfalls or the Sau reservoir itself allows you to put into practice your climbing and horse-riding skills, take a daring flight on an ultra-light aircraft, or go canoeing or water skiing. Many companies that organise these types of activities are based amidst these 8,000 hectares of nature and will supply you will all the equipment necessary to have a good time in complete safety.
On the final day we'll go to north of Osona, bordering the region of Ripollès. The towns and villages of Montesquiu, Sant Quirze de Besora, Santa Maria de Besora, Sora and Vidrà make up the area known as El Bisaura, a beautiful landscape, with forests of pine, beech and oak trees. We recommend an unhurried visit to these towns and villages that date back over a thousand years.
However, if there is one emblematic building in this area that you must see it is undoubtedly Montesquiu Castle, built in 1285 and located at the top of the Park of the same name. As you can imagine, since the 13th century the castle has experienced many changes through times of splendour and suffering but a visit is highly recommended. On the ground floor, there is an audiovisual presentation featuring the four ghosts of the most important characters that have lived in the castle who will tell you its story. You can visit the rooms but the upper floor houses the Barcelona Provincial Council Resources Centre. After leaving the castle ‒ or before going in, if you prefer ‒ you can explore the delightful path through the shady areas around it, a signposted route of around two and a half kilometres that will bring your time in Osona to a very pleasant end.
Ca la Teresona is a historic pork butcher's shop in Vic founded in 1837. Some time ago they opened a restaurant above it, Tresona XXI, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The star of the menu is of course the charcuterie they make and sell on the premises but you can also try other products. And don’t forget a nice glass of wine to wash it down!
For those who like simple traditional meals, go to Vidrà and visit the restaurant of the Hostal Serrasolsas. The grilled meats and stews head up its specialities but you can also order, with complete confidence, the rabbit or the filled potatoes.
A small restaurant serving dishes based on traditional Catalan cuisine and Mediterranean food with a modern presentation. The owners recommend trying the rabbit fried in batter, the duck magret, the pig trotter carpaccio and the cod in brine. All washed down with one of the many excellent wines from the cellar.
The restaurant forms part of an agro-food social cooperative with the same name and its owners say there are no secrets to its cuisine: they use excellent ingredients, which properly cooked ensure that tasty wholesome dishes are served at the table. In short, dishes made of fresh, quality, seasonal, local and organic products.
This is one of the charismatic bar-restaurants in the centre of the capital of Osona, where you can eat, drink or attend one of the cultural events it organises. If you go there to eat, you can enjoy some attractive tapas and also Japanese dishes.
A country house of great historical and architectural interest, listed as Cultural Asset of National Interest and set in enviable surroundings, Mas Vinyoles is today a rural hotel with five bedrooms with bath, and offers, among other services, pool, barbecue and lounges... Its location makes it an excellent base for different outings on foot and, as it is a stone’s throw from the C-17 road, is also an exceptional location for discovering the region.
A good choice if you want to be surrounded by nature and have a base to explore the area on foot or by bike with no need to take the car. El Teixell is five kilometres from the centre of Olost, and has a swimming pool, garden, fireplace, lounges, porch... It can accommodate up to ten people, with four bedrooms, two doubles and two triples.
An old country house built in the 17th century, today La Caseta is used as rural accommodation and has two independent areas, one for up to 14 people and the other for four. The house is surrounded by 200 square metres of grass, with swimming pool, swings, tables and chairs, and further off woods and fields. There is also a games room and a porch so the men can show of their barbecuing expertise.
This is a country house located in Brull, within Montseny Natural Park. It accommodates a maximum of 27 people and can be hired complete or by room. In either case, you can ask for half or full board, a good way to save yourself the chore of cooking, relax and use every moment of the day to explore the magnificent surroundings.
Hotel located in the region's capital, with simple but elegant bedrooms. It has a bar-cafeteria where in the morning you can enjoy a buffet breakfast, free Wi-Fi throughout the building or television via satellite in the rooms, among other services. The establishment is adapted for people with disabilities, and the reception, open 24 hours a day, provides all the tourist information you need about Vic and the region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.