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Coves del Toll Moià

Moianès, from caves to viewpoints

On this getaway you’ll enjoy wonderful panoramic views and enter the depths of the earth

By Xavier Amat
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Spend a couple of days in the Moianès region, where you can’t miss the Toll Caves, on the outskirts of Moià, but also other sites of great interest such as the monastery of Santa Maria de l’Estany or the mine in the same village. From two viewpoints you can enjoy great vistas from Montserrat to the Pyrenees in an outstanding area of Catalonia.

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

Coves del Toll Moià
Coves del Toll Moià

Day 1: on the outskirts of Moià

Some people, when they arrive in a place, immediately look for high ground and this is what you’ll do: once in the region go up to the viewpoint known as Mirador de la Creu. It is so called because at the top there is an iron cross from 1900. To reach it, walk along the paths through gardens surrounded by native plants. The views of places such as the Moianès region and the Montseny, Montserrat, La Mola and Montcau mountains are spectacular. Nearby is the Jardí Botànic de Can Riera, a botanical garden with around 180 species including medicinal plants, fruit trees, bushes and crop vegetables. It was founded in 1999 for educational purposes.

You can now head to one of the most fantastic and visited places in the region, the Coves del Toll. All the explorations have shown that these caves were inhabited by people and wild animals from Prehistory. They are open to visitors, by guided tour only, and you’ll see over a kilometre of beautiful and unique galleries. The guide will explain, among other things, how they were discovered, the finds made, the excavations underway and how, in the distant past, they were under the sea. The visit will be completed with a visit to the Museu Arqueològic i Panteològic de Moià, located in the birth home of Rafael Casanova, and which displays many of the archaeological and paleontological finds made in the caves.

Monestir de l'Estany Moianès
Monestir de l'Estany Moianès

Day 2: L'Estany, mine and monastery

On the second day you’ll explore L'Estany in depth, one of the most interesting villages in the region for several reasons. It has a spectacular piece of 18th century engineering, which still performs the same function: draining the water from the village’s flat area (hence the name L'Estany, the lake). It was probably more beautiful when there was water on the landscape but it caused diseases and the monks of the Augustinian monastery who lived there needed it for farming. The solution was to build a dry stone mine of almost half a kilometre in length, which can be visited. First, go to the Visitor Centre and ask for information about the guided tours available. It’s located in a part of the old monastery of Santa Maria de l'Estany, a jewel of Romanesque art notable for the capitals of its cloister, 72 in total, with biblical sculpted scenes and vegetal and heraldic iconographic motifs. In the monastery, founded in 1080, you can also see a notable gothic sculpture of the Mother of God made from a single piece of alabaster.

Your getaway to Moianès will end as it began: by going up to a viewpoint. Sant Cugat de Gavadons is located in the municipal district of Collsuspina, and from there you can look out over the Plana de Vic, Montseny and the Eastern Pyrenees. Its name comes from the church there, to which there are references dating back over one thousand years, although the current building is from the 12th century and has undergone major modifications. Nevertheless, it is very photogenic, especially its big bell-gable tower and the landscape in the background. A beautiful, tranquil place to end your trip before returning home.

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