This geological monument marks the boundary between Santa Cristina d’Aro
and Sant Feliu de Guíxols
and is located in a spot that is traditionally regarded as magic, a place for pagan worship.
The route starts out from Colom street in the Casa Nova housing estate in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. When you get to the end of the street, follow the red-and-white markings of the GR (long-distance trail). Once past the housing estate, the tar-surfaced road ends. In Pardal street you will find a notice board giving information on the Paratge del Romaguer district. Carry on in the same direction along the rough track. A few yards on, to the right of the trail, there are signs to mark the spot where three paths cross.
Even though one of the three trails is sign-posted as leading directly to Pedralta, we suggest taking a different way, one that is more interesting on account of what you can see on the way: instead, take the path to Coll de l’Escorpí.
On the way:
That path will soon take you to the fountain Font de la Guilla, on the right, by a bend on the trail. The nozzle emerges out from a little stone wall, at ground level, but it is usually dry.
Carry on for another 100 metres and you will come to a cross giving you the choice of continuing on the long-distance trail (GR) or leaving it. Turn off it along a path that suddenly does a 180º turn to the right and then starts going straight up. You may come across the odd fallen tree as you go up – the aftermath of a forest fire a few years ago – but you should be able to get around or over them easily enough.
Follow the path until you come to another junction under an overhead power cable. Take the path on the left and follow along in the same direction as the overhead cable. Here is where the most difficult part of the route starts: a climb up the side of the hill towards the pylon standing on top of it. There is a steep climb of about 150 metres over sandy ground, with loose stones here and there.
Carry on up until you get to the pylon. That’s the highest point along the way. Here you can have a rest and enjoy the spectacular view over Les Gavarres. On a clear day, you can see a number of peaks (‘puig’) and other prominent features: Puig Gros, Puig de les Cols, Montclar, Carcaixells, Romanyà, El Masnou, Puig d’Arques and a long stretch of coast all the way to the Sant Sebastià lighthouse, as well as Pedralta itself.
Make your way down by the trail on the other side that continues on in the same direction as the one you took to come up. A few metres further on, on the right, you will see a wider trail: take that one. You will pass by a water tank used by the fire brigade to put out fires in the area. Carry on walking, and you will come to a broader surfaced path where a sign will tell you that you are already on the Coll de Pedralta pass. There on the left you will see a trail leading to Romanyà, but don’t take that one. Instead, take the surfaced path that also goes off on the left. The tar surface soon peters out, but just continue along the main sandy path and you will soon see the Pedralta hermitage on your right and, on your left, the rocking stone.
Extending the trip:
Just behind the hermitage there’s a path with an old iron signpost leading to the Pedralta look-out point. Take that path, which ends in some irregular stone steps taking you up to the look-out point – a structure with railings giving you another breathtaking view.
Another way down:
From that Coll del Pla de Pedralta, head towards the surfaced path. This time, instead of going back the way you came, take the surfaced path following the GR trail. Turn off it when you come to the first unsurfaced trail on the right, and walk on until you come to the picnic area – a clearing with brickwork barbecue facilities, tables and benches. Cross straight over the flattened area, walking in the same direction as before and going a little way into the woods, until you come to the overhead power line.
Carry on until you come to the electricity pole bearing the reference number 11373. Just below it a little path heads off into the woods at a right angle to the power cable. Follow it all the way along and you will come to the GR trail you took in the first section on the way up.
Follow the GR trail to the left and you will soon find yourself once more at the fountain Font de la Guilla. Then carry on to the cross where three paths meet, which was the starting point.
Pedralta has been known for centuries as the largest rocking stone in the Iberian Peninsula, and the second largest in Europe. One could make the upper stone rock with one’s bare hands just by pushing on that stone, which weights about 1,000 tons. However, this geological monument lost its natural balance in 1996 owing to a violent storm. It was put back in place in 1999, but without its rocking capability. In view of its peculiar nature, this spot was traditionally regarded as a magic place, for pagan worship. These days, a gathering is held here on the last Sunday in May each year.
The look-out point, as seen on the way up.
Observations and recommendations:
If you are walking with very small children, or if you wish to avoid the steep climb half way along the route, follow the GR trail that leads straight to Pedralta from the cross where the three paths meet. Wear hiking boots with a good tread on the sole to reduce the risk of slipping, and take a water canteen since the Font de la Guilla fountain rarely has water. If you would like to spend all day there, bring a packed lunch and take advantage of the picnic facilities you will find on the way down.