Recently, we enjoyed some Easter holiday time here in Spain. In the past, we would have planned a week-long trip in advance to some other European country or maybe the Spanish Islands. However, with only our newfound freedom to travel out of our area and anywhere in the Catalonia region, we decided to go on a few day trip adventures.
I discovered Olot by accident as I was looking for a vegan restaurant near some medieval villages. What I found was a place filled with wonderful sites new and old, great shops, restaurants and a huge volcanic national park.
It seems Olot is quite popular as a tourist destination as even during a pandemic there were many tourists visiting the National park with rented cars or small group tours.
Olot is located in the Girona region of Catalonia 112 km or 1.5 hours from Placa Catalunya.
Like most Spanish cities there is an old town, commercial areas, and newer residential areas. The old town is beautiful, full of historic sites, shops (including book and children’s) cafes, parks, artworks and plazas.
We will definitely go regularly to Olot as there is so much to see. On our first visit we managed to see some interesting art installations, take a short walk in the old town, picnic in the beautiful forest area of Paratge de la Moixina, and then take a long walk in the Volcanica de la Garrotxa national park. Quite a bit for our first trip to this lovely city but enough that we knew we would like to return and stay at a hotel or airbnb for a weekend.
As the pandemic wears on, we are becoming increasingly excited about discovering the Catalan region with all its beaches, national parks, and hiking trails. Catalonia is a diverse region that offers snowy wonderlands in winter as much as tapas and sangria by the beach in summer. Until it’s safe to travel long distances again, we hope to visit and blog about as much of this area as possible.
Paratge de la Moixina
Although there are plenty of places to sit nearby, on recommendation from the owner of La Nomada vegan takeaway we ended up eating in a forest area called paratge de la Moixina. A site with a few grand restaurants (think weddings, and special events) lots of parking, and little trails leading along streams and marsh lands.
Perfect spot to sit, eat and enjoy finding sticks and rocks to throw in the little streams. This area is great and whether you treat yourself to one of the nearby restaurants or bring a picnic, it’s definitely worth a stop.
Parque Natural de la Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa
The Natural park is just a short drive from Olot city center. The park entrance has plenty of parking, washrooms, vending machines, and picnic areas. Past the washrooms, there are framed park maps and a few trail starting points going in three different directions. The trails are steep and narrow in some places and wide in others passing through forests, along dirt roads, homes, and even a hot air balloon rental business.
Although most people were walking, we did see some cyclists and for a fee, a vintage-looking tour shuttle taking people up towards the volcano location.
Olot is a beautiful place and we only really scratched the surface. We will definitely be back to walk the hiking trails and to be honest, would be perfectly happy to eat takeout from La Nomada for the entire trip.
If you’re looking for a nice day trip from Barcelona, consider a trip to Olot. Whether you are happy browsing the streets of the old town with its magnificent cathedrals and charming shops, or getting some exercise and enjoying nature on the many trails; Olot is the perfect option.