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  • Writer's pictureNigel Perrin

Hiking Catalunya - Top 8 waterfall walks

Spring and Autumn are the best times to be Hiking Catalunya either along the via verde, cami de ronda or plethora of National Parks dotted around Casa Cal Domino. Here is our pick of the top eight short walks to do with the kids that end in a waterfall. Sometimes it can be a struggle... My 7 year old, on our last walk to St Aniol started with, "Are we nearly there yet" when we had only just left the car park , then, "why are we doing this ?" when the snacks ran out, and finally, "I hate walking !". It all was worth the whining when it turns into "This is the best day of my life !!!" when we got to the waterfall and went swimming. Well, not me as it was a tad chilly, but Clara and her hiking buddy braved it. I'm a total wimp with cold water, if it ain't 28ºC I don't even put a toe in. This was one of the longer hikes at 9 km each way. Pretty good for a 7 year old; I couldn't have been prouder of my daughter.

Large waterfall with water cascading down the cliff face.
The Salt de Sallent

No. 1 - The Salt de Sallent

This is Catalunya's largest waterfall at 115 mts situated in the Collsacabra mountains in between Tavertet and El Far and near to the town of Vic with its medieval centre. Directions from Cal Domino are here. You'll find a signposted 20 minute short walk through the forest from Rupit following the small river to get to the top of the waterfall and there you'll find a fenced viewing platform. From near the platform, there is a narrow path that leads straight down the cliff face to the base of the falls. Not for the faint hearted, especially if you have vertigo, but well worth the effort to find it. Alternatively, just enjoy the circular path along the cliff edge and back through the forest for tea and medals in the lovely medieval Village of Rupit.

green - blue water with waterfall
Gorg Blau de Sant Aniol

No. 2 - The Gorg Blau de Sant Aniol.

St Aniol is synonymous in Spain with the bottled mineral water of the same name. Drive north past Banyoles and Besalú and follow the signs towards Sadernes. It is a very popular walk and during the summer months, you'll need to book a slot to park as the rural police limit the numbers to avoid overcrowding. The hike is about 9km each way and follows the river up to the source.

At the bottom, you may see a pile of sacks full of sand and some signs in Catalan. They are asking you to grab a sack and carry it up the trail to the old Bottling plant which is being converted into a refuge. The sacks weigh about 10kg or so, so it's not a great hardship to help out with the renovations. You won't get paid for it, or even get thanked for it, but it'll make you feel good and Karma will reward you in the future....

The source of the river is just a few kms further up. I've been here a few times and just can't be motivated enough to leave the lagoon and go and find it. Let me know if you do and send me a photo please 😏.

a green / blue lagoon and waterfall
The Salt de Margarida

No.3 - The salt de Margarida.

This lovely lagoon and waterfall is situated just off the via verde near to the village of Les Planes d'Hostoles where you can park. Follow the via verde (disused railway line) to the south and after 2 or 3 km you'll see a sign to the waterfall on the left. It's another 2 km to the waterfall from there. A great place to cool down and have a picnic. As you are in the area, there is another little gorge a few kms to the south called the Gorg del Murris. It's well worth 20 minutes having a look at it.

lagoon and waterfall at Malatosca
Salt de Malatosca

No. 4 - The Salt de Malatosca.

This is another waterfall situated near to the via verde, this time near to the village of Sant Joan de les Abadesses in the low Pyrenees.

a romanesque medieval arches bridge over the river Terrace
St Joan de les Abadesses

St Joan was founded by Wilfred the Hairy (you can't make this stuff up) in 887 when he had a monastery built there.

The old bridge which spans the river Ter alongside the "new" bridge is actually newer than the new bridge, if that makes sense. The New bridge was built in the 1950's and the old bridge was rebuilt in the late 1980's.

It's a small town / big village and one or two bars dotted around the monastery to have a cold one after the short walk to the waterfall.

spectacular waterfall with natural cave at the base.
Salt de Mir.

No. 5 - The Salt de Mir.

This is one of our favourites as it has a natural cave at the base of the falls and is a popular place to swim and cool down in the summer months. To get there, drive to Vic and continue north to the Puigsacalm mountains. There is a short walk from the parking to the waterfall of about 3km

Whilst you are there, it's well worth also visiting the Santuari de Belmunt and some stunning views over the mountains and Vidrá Valley.

Panoramic view of a sanctuary on a mountaintop with views of the valleys below
Santuary de Bellmunt

Waterfall and crystal clear lagoon
One of the 7 waterfalls near to Campdevanol

Waterfall over a small rock formation and lagoon.
One of the waterfalls of the seven gorges

No. 6 - The 7 gorges of Campdevanol.

This is a great place to visit all year round. You can wander along the path that skirts the river to the waterfalls and stop to have a picnic along the way and in the winter, you'll find all of the waterfalls frozen solid. Not a particularly great time to have a picnic, but well worth the trip and the hike is lovely whether it's -10ºC or 25ºC. During the summer months there is a picnic site and chirringuito serving drinks and snacks at waterfall no 7.

Campdevanol is situated at the base of the high Pyrenees and is the last town before the ski resorts. Lovely and cool in the summer months and crisp and dry in the winter months.

A waterfall in the low Pyrenees
Salt de Vidrá

No. 7 - The Salt de Vidrá.

Located very close to the Salt de Mir, is the Salt de Vidrá. Again, it's well worth visiting the Santuari de Mellmunt whilst you are here. There is a hike of about 10km which will take in the Salt de Vidrá, the Santuario de Bellmunt and the Salt de Mir. Directions from Casa Cal Domino to the waterfalls are here

A waterfall next to a natural opening in the rock and sunlights streaming through it
La foradada de Cantonigrós

No. 8 - La foradada de Cantonigrós

The Foradada de Cantonigors is another great waterfall and hike in the Collsacabra mountains. Directions from Casa Cal Domino can be found here .

This list is by no means exhaustive. Catalaunya has hundreds of rivers and waterfalls dotted around between the coast and the high Pyrenees, but these are the trails that we enjoy most and come back to every year. All of these can be done with a 7 year old.... we recommend a bag full of pistachios or chocolates...whatever motivates your child and the whining will suddenly stop and turn into pure astonishment and pleasure when they reach the lagoons..... Of course it will all start again when you go back down the path to the car park. At the end there is a refuge that serves ice creams (good for leverage with the kids) and beer (good for motivation with the adults).

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