Nothing compares to a day spent in the mountains. The air scented with fires burning slowly in the village, fresh air filling your lungs, fauna and flora waiting to be explored.
A holiday in Costa Barcelona is no exception. The area isn’t just made up of golden stretches of sand and warm Mediterranean waters. It’s also home to Montseny Natural Reserve, a UNESCO designated area that covers a staggering 50,000 hectares, encompassing the Montseny Massif with its three main mountains Turó de l’Home, Matagalls and Pla de la Calma.
The area is both incredibly beautiful and also very unique. Here you’ll be able to find a wide range of eco-systems: start your day exploring Mediterranean forests at lower altitudes, have a picnic in Central European forests, and reach the sub-alpine fauna at the very top. This incredible variety makes Montseny an exceptional spot for environmental education.
We were lucky to visit Montseny, and even luckier to have a family-friendly guided visit to one of the trails – something I’ve never done, and will no longer do without. I love hiking with my kid, but my knowledge of fauna is very limited so instead of being to teach my child about the nature surrounding us, we usually end up making up stories and adventures. But as soon as Helena, our super friendly guide for the day, started to lead us towards the Tordera river trail I knew this was going to be special.
The Treasure Hunt + Making Botanical Perfume + Local Tales
The trails in Montseny are the perfect backdrop to a treasure hunt – there is so much to keep an eye out for, so much to see, touch and smell.
Our walk began with a treasure hunt. We were each given two cards containing different things to look out for. Me? I had (what ended up being elusive) badger poo and a leaf that grew near the water… Off on our walk we went. As we were exploring the park on our way to the Tordera river, Helena was always pointing interesting and curious things out to us: for example, did you know velcro was inspired by tiny spikes of the cockle-burs (image below)?
We used wild herbs and flowers to make our own perfume (which was amazing!), and at the end of our walk, our guide Helena surprised us with tiny easels and a new challenge: we were to create a piece of art. We got busy exploring the banks of the pristine river, collecting leaves and sticks to make a true natural painting – no crayons or colouring pencils allowed! I think we did rather well, all things considered!
Our introduction to Montseny wouldn’t have been complete without listening to the sad tale of the Water Maiden of Gualba – Helene told us the story as we sat by the river, fully engrossed in this beautiful, sad legend.
Soon after our walk we returned to the charming village of Montseny for a spot of lunch: a delicious and comforting meal at the Restaurant Fonda Montseny.
Unfortunately we didn’t stay over in Montseny, but if you’re looking for accommodation in Montseny, the local tourist office has lots of recommendations for all types of accommodation in the area.
I can’t wait to bring my son here, and contact Helena for another guided visit to Montseny – my kid would LOVE it!
How to book a guided visit to Montseny, of find out more:
nb: I was invited to Montseny by the Costa Barcelona Tourist Board, but as always all experiences, memories, and fun are my own.