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  • Writer's pictureNigel Perrin

Hiking in Catalunya - The Collsacabra mountains and the Panta de Sau

Updated: Sep 29, 2023


View of the Sau reservoir  and the cliffs of Tavertet
The Panta de Sau near to Vic

About an hour to the north of Cal Domino, you'll find the Collsacabra mountain range, located between the Pre-littoral and Transversal Catalan mountains. Hiking in Catalunya doesn't get any better than this. Basically, part of the low Pyrenees and with an average altitude of about 1100 Mts (3600ft), it rarely gets snow in the winter and makes for comfortable hiking (and great mountain biking) for most of the year with stunning views.

View from the cliff walk with cloud below
Climbing the Cingles de Tavertet

This area is protected under the 1992 Catalan legislation "protection plan for spaces of natural interest" and forms an area of about 142km2. It is our preferred are for hiking from October to April but a little too warm in mid-summer when we prefer to hike the cooler high Pyrenees up at 2000 Mts and above.

A view of the path to the top of the Tavertet cliffs
Hiking the Cingles
A mountain walk along cliffs with different coloured stone layers
Bands of colour

Todays hike takes us from the reservoir, up the cliff face to the plateau on top next to the chocolate-box village of Tavertet and back. There are three clear paths up the "cingles" (cliffs in Catalan). One is accessible by most, even if it does get a little daunting in places, the other two are quite vertical and I would class them as moderate to extreme with some climbing equipment required.

A weather eroded path up the Tavertet Cliffs
Some of the paths are quite narrow

Todays trail takes you through oak forests and woodland paths. It is pretty vertical in places and not suitable for anyone with severe vertigo, and although it can look a little scary sometimes, you're never really close to the edge.

View from the top of the Tavertet cliffs overlooking the Sau reservoir
The fantastic view from the top of the cliffs

Once you get to the top, the views are breathtaking. The lake below is a man-made reservoir which has flooded the old village Sant Romà de Sau. You can just about see the top of the church spire in this picture and during severe draughts, when the water level drops significantly, you can walk around what is left if the village. The village was fist mentioned in the 9th century and prospered for over a thousand years until the Sau valley was flooded in the 1960's. The residents were forced to leave and relocated in the new village of Sau.

The view from the top of the cliffs of Tavertet over the Sau reservoir and a panoramic legend
What a view

This is a great spot to have a rest and a bite to eat and drink. There is a bench here and you really can't beat the view.

View from the top of the Tavertet cliffs towards the Susqueda reservoir
The view towards the Susqueda reservoir
The trail up to the top of the Tavertet cliffs
Mountain paths
A panoramic view of the Cliffs of Tavertet
The Cingles de Tavertet

At the waters edge and a panoramic view of the "Cingles de Tavertet." You can easily do this hike in a day from Cal Domino and once back home, take a swim in the heated pool, have a sauna or simply relax in the Jacuzzi. A perfect end to a perfect day....


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