Leave Besalú and drive towards Navata and Figueres. At the first new roundabout, take the GIV-5234 exit to Beuda.
You will soon see a panel indicating the Romanesque churches along the route. Follow the road and shortly afterwards on the left you will see the first place of interest of the itinerary, the Church of Sant Pere de Lligordà.
Carrying on along the way:
Continue straight on until you get to a narrower road on the left hand side leading up through some trees. Turn in here and continue until you reach a non-asphalted road to the left, which then forks again into two narrow tracks. Drive on, following the indications to Santa Maria de Palera, until you reach a house.
Leave the car here and go behind the building, where you will find the Church of Santa Maria de Palera. In the interior there is an old goblet-shaped baptismal font. An original polychrome alabaster sculpture of the Virgin and Infant Jesus is now conserved in Girona Art Museum.
Go back to the asphalted road and drive on up until you reach a shady esplanade on one side. The Church of Sant Sepulcre is located in this place of peace and quiet. Approach the enclosure, surrounded by a stone wall, and admire the impressive simplicity of the construction. The church, consecrated in 1085, was a centre where pilgrims could obtain indulgences similar to those granted for going to the Holy Land during the time of its occupation. Several relics are still conserved in the interior of the church.
Go back to the car, drive down to the main road and head towards Beuda. As you approach the village, you will see on the right the bell tower of the Church of Sant Feliu. Inside there is a valuable 12th-century baptismal font decorated with figures in relief and small blind arches.
Near the path leading from Beuda to Mont there are the remains of the former Castle of Beuda. Go through the village and continue on upwards, from where you can see a spectacular alabaster quarry dug out of the mountainside.
Follow the signposts to the Sanctuary of Mare de Déu del Mont. On the way you will notice a large manor house called El Noguer where Catalan poet Cinto Verdaguer stayed when he once visited the area. The road is narrow and twisty and you should look out for cars coming down in case you have to pull in to one side to let them pass. As you drive up you will glimpse spectacular views of the plain below, which can be properly enjoyed when you get to the roadside lookout point just before the summit.
Stop off about a mile before the sanctuary to visit the Benedictine Abbey of Sant Llorenç de Sous, which played a major role in the history of the County of Besalú but is now abandoned and in ruins.
When you reach the summit, leave your car in the first parking space you see, just a few yards from the sanctuary. Do not expect to find a large basilica and square; the sanctuary consists of a little church and visitors’ hostel perched high on the rock, with a small square commanding magnificent views.
The Hermitage of Mare de Déu del Mont is a Romanesque construction dominated by the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is accessed by a side staircase. Do not overlook the welcoming, completely refurbished visitors’ hostel, where you can regain your strength after the ascent. On the ground floor there is a restaurant with superb views, and the upper floor café has a terrace overlooking the surrounding countryside.
Drive back along the same road until you reach the turn-off to Segueró-Beuda and Palera, but then take the main road until you get to the N-260 Cabanelles-Lledó crossroad, from where you head back towards Besalú.
The poetic name for Mont
is "Gateway to the Pyrenees”. In 1884, Cinto Verdaguer
spent some time in El Noguer de Segueró
manor house, where he completed his famous poem Canigó. He also visited the Sanctuary of Mare de Déu del Mont
where he stayed in the hostel. In memory of Verdaguer’s visit, the room where he stayed has been preserved intact, beside the present day café.