Walk while savouring the territory along the Itinerànnia network of trails

25 Jul

Itinerànnia has innovated the signage of paths based on its network system, bringing this model – implemented in Switzerland and Italy - to Catalonia. Not a single itinerary or route is newly marked, as it re-uses the historical paths that interconnected towns, creating a web similar nowadays to a road network but to be followed on foot. The follow-marks are yellow.

An ancient Roman road called Annia that crossed El Ripollès, La Garrotxa and Alt Empordà regions gives name to this network of paths, and crosses the Area of Natural Interest of the Alta Garrotxa, declared Area of Natural Interest and Designated as a Special Protection Area for Birds within the Natura 2000 Network.

The extremely steep terrain of l’Alta Garrotxa has shaped the landscape, vegetation, fauna and human settlements throughout its history and has allowed the maintenance of a relatively isolated natural space that retains a significant biological richness.

The geographic characteristics of the l’Alta Garrotxa, marked by deep valleys surrounded by rocky cliffs and walls, gives this area its name: “the garrotxes are rough and difficult lands”. The landscape of l’Alta Garrotxa is truly spectacular, not only for the magnificence of its geography but also for its forest cover, dominated by holm oaks and oak groves.

The territory has an important wealth of cultural heritage: In addition to the numerous hermitages - there are more than 40 -; we can find farmhouses and manor houses (small holdings), small Romanesque bridges and military constructions of past eras, archaeological sites, charcoal squares, caves....

Most of the hermitages, built between the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, are of great simplicity, framed within the popular Romanesque style, with semicircular apses, little decoration and bell towers.

There are more than 2500 kilometers of trails signposted and maintained by the Itinerànnia network of paths these allow you to move around the landscape and connect with the villages of El Ripollès, La Garrotxa and l'Alt Empordà counties.

The paths include sections of long-distance trails of more than 50 km.

The GR11 (the Pyrenees Trail) and the GR1 (the historical trail), 6 pedestrian itineraries, signposted by l’Alta Garrotxa Consortium and 7 itineraries signposted as specific itineraries of the network of paths that takes us near old neighbours.

This set of paths allows you to develop hiking products to discover the hidden corners of the area, its wealth of natural and cultural heritage, during a variable number of days.

An example of a possible route encompassing different stages, is a 110 kilometers circuit on the network of paths. Once a year it is followed by what’s known as an ultratrail which goes round the entire area (Trepitja Garrotxa).

This or other examples can be used as a basis to create an attractive product appealing to hikers and countryside lovers.