Last week we enjoyed our first real planned-on-purpose foreign hiking trip. Our recent stay at Montseny Massif in Catalonia was so beautiful and relaxing that I couldn’t resist sharing a little writeup of our accommodation and area – of all the places I’ve visited, I’d 100% advocate that anyone/everyone makes an effort to visit here. It’s cheap, it’s close by (approx. 2 hour flight from Manchester) and it’s so tranquil.
We stayed in Montseny national park, which is near to Barcelona and Girona. 30 minutes winding drive up a dirt road from the nearest town (Arbucies) we crept across the dusty, beautiful threshold of Masia El Buxaus, a 18th century traditional Spanish house with sweeping, breath-taking mountain views. The first few words either of us uttered were “wow” and “wooow” – you could see Girona and even Lloret del Mar over the hills. Being at around 900m elevation meant the views were spectacular at any time of day, too – the sunrise creeping over the peaks draping the lazy landscape with golden light. The twilight sneaking in, hiding the sparse farm houses, waking up their twinkling window lights. The crisp midday, with the sun beaming down and illuminating everything. The deep night, where the full moon smiled its silvery grin on the treetops, making you wonder whether that was a wild boar or just a bush rustling in the breeze.
It’s the sort of place where it was impossible not to relax – no traffic noise (like…at all), the most disturbing noise was our own breathing (and the occasional bark of the resident dogs… but for a dog lover, that’s no biggy!)
The guest house we stayed in was absolutely perfect, very traditional, with ceiling beams, old wood and that *feel* of quaint oldness. The bed was easily the comfiest I’ve ever slept in (except for my own, but that’s a black magic we all know about). The hosts, Noemi and Jaume were the friendliest and most welcoming I’ve had the pleasure of meeting for a long time – and such good cooks! We were served foraged mushroom risotto, veal, pork fillet and all manner of delights during our short stay. Jaume even took the time to set up the telly so we could watch England play – which was great as since we were the only residents there for the weekend, we had the entire centuries-old lounge area to ourselves.
They were also really great about directing us around the area – lending out maps whilst we toured the local area. Over our 2 days we took long, picturesque walks, following tracks (like… wild pig tracks, and deer tracks) and enjoying some very interesting wildlife (wild snakes, anyone?).
For walkers, there are several long, gorgeous routes up and down the peaks, and they aren’t too strenuous – and for beginners, there are plenty of trails you can complete in an hour or two which won’t break too much of a sweat but are still very rewarding.
For those of you who aren’t into walks, but are seeking solitude and sanctuary, Masia El Buxaus is just that. With a room chock full of games and (Spanish) books, and comfy seats by the log burner for evenings, and a beautiful pool with staggering views for the daytime, there is plenty of R&R to be had too. If you’re a party animal, or like to tootle off to the local bar when tranquillity becomes tedious, this place is not for you – but as someone who has a tendency to get a little stir crazy, a few days unwinding here was just what the doctor ordered.
Find your own stay in Montseny Massif here.