Leave Santa Cristina d’Aro by the road leading to Costa Brava Golf Club and go through a housing estate towards the practice golf course along a track indicated with a yellow-and-white sign to Montclar Mountain (PR-C 102). Leaving the golf course behind you, continue on until you reach a wooded zone, where a trail going off to the right links up with the Solius road. At this point you will see two tracks leading to the left. Take the one marked with the yellow arrow.
Follow this track until you get to a new bridge. Go over the bridge and walk up to the entrance to Can Dalmau estate on the left. At this point, take the track to the right that borders on some crop fields. You will soon reach the back entrance to the fenced-off Casa d’Espiritualitat Santa Helena run by the Sisters of St Joseph.
Carrying on along the way:
When you reach the doorway, take the left-hand track that leads up through pine trees and goes past two houses on your right. The track gets narrower now but is not hard to follow. Go on until you reach a pine grove overshadowed by large rock formations facing each other. If you look up towards the crag on the right hand side you will see a cavity carved into the rock known as the Cova dels Moros (Moors’ cave). This small cave was used as a crematorium and later as a rock shelter in prehistoric times. Climb up for a closer look and enjoy the superb view over the valley, with the Church of Santa Agnès in the middle. Nowturn your gaze to the rock opposite and you will see, nearer than you imagined, the remains of Solius Castle nestling in the vegetation beneath the ruined walls of the hilltop fortress.
Go back down to the pine grove and walk round the base of the crag until you find a boundary stone marking the half-hidden path that leads up to the castle. Clamber up the badly eroded steps carved into the rock. A fortified wall frames the original entrance to the castle, now reduced to ruins by the passing of time and the inclemency of the elements. The view from the fortress at the top extends all the way to the sea on a clear day, thus confirming its original strategic position.
Go back down to the pine grove. Walk round the base of the crag with the prehistoric rock cavity and head down into the valley along a track to the left of the one you came up on. Follow the yellow-and-white signs as you go. Just before reaching a house, turn in to the left and then turn to the right, heading towards the bell tower of the Church of Santa Agnès. Continue on along the track through a wooded area until you come out onto a narrow tarred road.
Turn to the left towards the bell tower until you reach a wider road. Cross over and walk up the path leading to a small square in front of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Solius. The Church of Santa Agnès is hidden behind a small cypress grove. This neo-classical building was demolished and reconstructed between 1773 and 1782, although the base of a former Romanesque bell tower is still conserved. A community of Cistercian monks lives in the nearby monastery. If you have time, drop in to see the collection of Nativity cribs in one of the monastery annexes, open to the public all year round.
Go back down along the main road for a while until you reach Mas Pla farmhouse on your left, then take the track opposite the entrance. This will bring you to a clearing from where you will be able to make your way back to the golf course.
The wall best preserved of the castle.
Solius Castle may have existed as a fortress in the 12th and 13th centuries. In times of upheaval, local farmers were obliged to defend the castle, formerly known as Castell de la Roca (Rock Castle)
and owned by the Bishopric of Girona. The castle eventually declined in importance due to maintenance difficulties.