Through the extensive woods of the ancient viscounty of Castellbò.
Extensive conifer woods dominate the site of the old sanctuary of Sant Joan de l’Erm Vell, today in ruins. You feel you could almost be in the taiga. It is a place inhabited by numerous species of forest fauna, such as the capercaillie, and is perfect for all kinds of activities that bring you in contact with nature. The refuges of La Basseta and Abadia de Montenartró are the starting point for summer itineraries on foot, by mountain bike, by Nordic walking and on horseback. And in winter, the pistes of the pioneering cross-country ski resort of Sant Joan de l’Erm is a firm favourite with enthusiasts of that winter sport.
Sant Joan de l’Erm is at the head of the beautiful Castellbò Valley, which has a rich heritage just waiting for you to discover. Castellbò itself is the main exponent of that heritage with its collegiate church, mediaeval bridge, castle ruins and pigeon lofts, and all its past linked to the Cathars and the viscounty of Castellbò.
BEAR IN MIND
· Camping outside controlled areas is not allowed. You can only overnight between 8 pm and 8 am; no tents can remain set up outside these times.
There is a controlled camping zone in Sant Joan de l’Erm; please ask the staff at La Basseta Refuge.
• Sant Joan de l’Erm Vell is home to the ruins of what was once a hostelry and a sanctuary on the mediaeval road that linked the regions of Alt Urgell and Pallars Sobirà. It is surrounded by magnificent conifer woods and was once of great spiritual importance and the site of many pilgrimages.
• The Castellbò Valley has a strong historical and geographical personality. It is dotted with small mountain villages and its focal point, Castellbò, has been declared a “village with charm”.
• The woods of Sant Joan, Montenartró and Pallerols constitute an extensive forest that is home to emblematic species of subalpine fauna such as the capercaillie and the boreal owl, as well as different species of woodpecker. In addition to an interesting flora and fauna, these forests offer rich pickings in mushrooms for a good part of the year.
• Sant Joan de l’Erm Nou, a Modernist-style church surrounded by huge Scots pines.
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