The Sant Antoni hermitage
, located at 1,345 metres above sea level, offers a spectacular view of the Camprodon valley. To get there, you follow a local path that ascends through the woods until it reaches a large plateau. You then descend an easy trail back down to Camprodon. Getting There:
From Ripoll, take the C-26 road towards Olot until you reach the Camprodon turnoff, which is the C-38 road. Take it to Camprodon, where you will find a roundabout with the tourist office in the middle. Continue to the right as if you were going to Molló, and you will soon come to a car park in the Mare de Déu de la Font leisure area.
A few metres farther up the road you have just come down, you will see a sign that reads “Sant Antoni” on the right. This is the local trail that you must take; it’s marked with red signs.
Following the Route:
This route begins between fields and takes you into the forest. The path rises steadily, with fairly steep yet relatively easy sections. It has a dense vegetation, with pretty shady and damp spots. Back behind you, you will be able to enjoy nice views of Camprodon. After about 1.7 km you will reach the Pla de Bonaire. There is a fence before you, which you can open (but be sure to re-close it, so the cattle that often graze here don’t escape). You will see the post markers; continue to the right from here. You can climb up to Sant Antoni on the path on the right or by using the steps (about fifty in all). The site has become a recreational area that provides spectacular 360º views. On the way back, return to the Pla de Bonaire and take the cement road to Camprodon, marked by a post. The road descends past meadows and a farm here and there, until it reaches the monument to Cèsar A. Torras, one of Catalonia’s hiking pioneers. Here you can enter the pretty Can Pascal oak grove which takes you to the Font del Boix spring, in a pleasant setting with a stone wall and large beech trees. Here you’re right in front of the Camprodon golf course. Continue descending until the road becomes a street that runs through a residential estate. You will end up by the C-38 roundabout where you left your vehicle.
From the Pla de Bonaire, you have several options. Oix, for instance, is 19.8 km away, following a route that will take you about 4 hours. You can also try a tougher trail, which takes you to the Remei shrine, one of the region’s most symbolic historical references, in about two hours.
The present Sant Antoni hermitage dates from 1702. It has a house attachment for hermits. It was restored a few years ago by an association called “Amics de Sant Antoni” (Friends of St. Antoni). There are grills for making a barbecue, as well as tables and sinks for cleaning up, but the picnic area is generally closed (like the hermitage itself). You will find signs describing the magnificent views, which encompass the entire valley. Beneath the Canigó massif you can see Sant Pau de Segúries, La Ral, Cavallera, Camprodon, Llanars, La Roca, Abella, Vilallonga, Tregurà and Molló. The Can Pascal oak grove is an ecological, forest and scenic treasure. The oaks there, some of them over two hundred years old, are the large-leaf type, a species that is uncommon in Catalonia. Many animal species live here, including the European nuthatch, the woodpecker, the squirrel, the wild boar, and many others.
Observations and Recommendations:
Open meadows in Camprodon valley.
If you go with small children or prefer to avoid the steep climb through the woods, you can reach the Pla de Bonaire easily by car, taking the road that is used to descend in the described route.
Camprodon is a large town, a classic summer destination for the Barcelona bourgeoisie and major commercial hub. It has many attractions, like the famous Pont Nou
or New Bridge over the Ter River, which was built in the 12th century, or the Isaac Albéniz Museum
, where documents and objects owned by this Camprodon-born composer are on display. It’s also worth your while to pay a visit to Sant Cristòfol in Beget
(taking the C-38 road towards Molló), one of Girona’s prettiest, best-preserved Romanesque churches.