In the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac, you'll find a lot of different walking routes. The one we suggest following will introduce you to the country house (masia) of the family that gave its name to the mountain range of l’Obac. It's about 3 km and will take you around two hours to complete. On this simple walk you’ll find an ice well and a copper-coloured hill.
To get to the start of the itinerary, take the B-122 road between Terrassa and Rellinars, and take a turning close to the 10 km mark. There you’ll find Casanova de l’Obac, a large house that the Ubach family had built at the start of the 19th century and is the work of Domenico Bagutti, who also designed the Labyrinth Park in Barcelona's Horta neighbourhood. The house was used by the Ubachs to expand their wine and spirits business, and next to it there was a glass furnace and a dwelling for the workers. Today, the main building is owned by the Diputació of Barcelona and is used as an information point and cultural centre, while a restaurant occupies the space where the glass furnace once stood.
Follow the path, which is well signposted and adapted for anyone with reduced mobility, and in just over half a kilometre you’ll reach Casa Vella dels Ubach (Old House of the Ubachs). The house is in ruins, but you can still see the rooms of a large building with more than a thousand years of life. One of the businesses carried out there was the sale of ice, and the space that generated this commerce is also part of this itinerary: an ice well in an excellent state of conservation. This is one of four that have been found in the Natural Park, and it was used to maintain the ice produced throughout the winter until well into summer, when it was taken to be sold. In addition, some of the Ubachs had other sources of income, such as the production of coal; if you look closely at the ground around the ice well, you’ll see that it's a dark colour. It was here that the coal – much more valuable than wood – was produced.
The walk has other surprises in store, such as the unusual morphology of the Turó Roig. Although it’s not a particularly special geological element, the hill is of interest thanks to its reddish tone, how it appears to crumble like a sugar lump, and because its highest point is 681 metres. You’ll also get to see the Portella spring, where you can take a drink of fresh water.
As this is the time of long summer days, finish your afternoon by visiting Gallifa
, a small village of some 200 inhabitants that's a magnet for cyclists, rock-climbers, and walkers and hikers. Gallifa is set among mountains in a deep valley, and it’s no surprise to learn that this area has inspired artists such as Josep Llorens Artigas, a ceramicist who worked with Joan Miró. Today the Artigas Foundation
occupies a privileged position in the village, the country house of Can Ros, just below the parish church. The Foundation came about following the efforts of the artist's son, Joan Gardy Artigas, and it hosts exhibitions, conferences, concerts and gatherings of art critics. Perhaps its most important role is as a place where ceramicists can stay and work, taking advantage of its facilities.
In Gallifa it’s also worth visiting the Ecological Sanctuary of the Castle of Gallifa
, especially for the magnificent panoramic views you get from its location. It’s about 3 km from the centre of the village and is located inside the old castle of Gallifa and its hermitage. The sanctuary is ideal for relaxing, leisure activities and meditation, and they organise activities such as reiki and remedies with Bach flowers. It’s also an ideal way to bring your first afternoon in Vallès Occidental to an end.