Walks in The Cadi-Moixero Natural Park

cadi moixeroThe Natural Park is located about 30 kilometers south of Andorra and is about 100 kilometers from Barcelona and 140 kilometers from the historic city of Girona. The gateway town for the Park is Baga and here the Natural Park Information centre is located, well signed within Baga and to be found on the northern outskirts of this charming and historic little town. The centre is packed with helpful information and manned by friendly and efficient staff most of whom speak some English.

The Park was formed by the Government of Catalonia’s decree in 1983 and covers some 41,000 hectares. It is made up, largely, of the two great mountain ranges Cadi and Moixero with the emblematic mountain of Pedraforca (pictured here) just to the south of the two ranges. The two ranges are separated by the Tancalaporta pass and are some 30 kilometers from west to east.

Access to the Park is either by the C16 road north from Barcelona traveling up the Llobregat valley or from the north (Puigcerda) via the recently opened 5 kilometre long Cadi tunnel. This is an expensive option at 11 Euros each way for a car (2011 prices).

The scenery is simply stunning – mountains, waterfalls, forests of both coniferous and deciduous trees. There is a wide range of bird life including many raptors and the black woodpecker, which is the emblem of the park. The crossbill is another bird likely to be seen. In fact if you take the little road north from Baga signed to the Coll de Pal ski area you will eventually pass a little car park on your left signed to the Mirador del Orris or President’s Mirador. This little 1.5 kilometre walk not only takes you to the breathtaking viewpoint but also has been designed to give the best chance of seeing these unusual birds. Animals include the chamois, red and roe deer, wild pig, pine marten and the marmot.

The hiking is excellent with a wide range and variety of well-signed routes. The walks we have catalogued have not followed existing marked ways except where they have met by coincidence. We have tried to put together a representation of what this wonderful area has to offer, keeping the altitude at around 1000 metres and the height gain and distance at enjoyable levels.

Being in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the region is subject to snow in the winter months. It would seem that the best hiking period would be between May and October. Many of the ways are through forests so that even in the height of summer walking is possible, though perhaps early or late starts would be better. It is a popular area for people escaping from Barcelona, so avoid weekends if at all possible.

The regions has a great deal to offer as well as hiking. Apart from Barcelona and Girona, the Llobregat valley has a great deal to learn about. One can visit the Colonias which were weaving centers powered by the river complete with houses and schools for the workers.

Or take the tourist train up from La Pobla de Lillet to visit some magnificent, quirky gardens designed by Gaudi and on to the fascinating former Portland cement factory now a wonderful museum. It is amazing what a massive industrial region the Llobregat river valley was until the mid 20th century. Not far away also is the volcanic region of Garrotxa, well worth a visit if you have time (see hike number 5745)

Probably the most convenient base for the Park would be Baga which has good accommodation options but is a very quiet little place. Slightly better perhaps would be Berga, further south. This has more to offer as a large and quite attractive town. It will take about 15 minutes to drive to the Park from here. We have put in a hike above Berga from the beautiful mountain top sanctuary of Queralt, an absolute must if you can make it.

In summary, this is a wonderful hiking area with an enormous amount to offer. We would strongly recommend it. A good general information website is www.altbergueda.com available in English. Hope you have as much enjoyment here as we did.

Parque Natural De Cadi-Moixero


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