La Fageda: Catalonia’s Hidden Gem
If you are considering a green wonderland near Barcelona to spend time with your little explorer. La Fageda is located in the Garrotxa region, one of the less touristy hidden gem of Catalonia, with around two hours’ driving distance from Barcelona city center. The forest region is well-reserved and extraordinary with an extensive collection of natural treasures; La Fageda d’en Jordà and La Fageda Fundació stand out among these.
La Fageda d’en Jordà is one of the 26 nature reserve areas forming part of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. There are approximately 30 routes that run through the area with great scenic beauty. It is an excellent place to hike, bike, or on horseback riding. While inside the La Fageda Fundació, you can learn how yogurt and ice cream are produced, as well as understand the social sustainability effort that the non-profit organization has pledged to improve the community. If you are traveling with children, this is a wonderful trip to showcase sustainability to the little ones.
La Fageda d’en Jordà
The Fageda d’en Jordà is a stunning beech tree forest growing on a lava flow from the Volcán Croscat, which is at a much lower elevation than usual for this type of tree. The landscape of this forest has been a source of inspiration to many artists, such as the poet Joan Maragall.
The experience in La Fageda d’en Jorda was cool and refreshing, this magical place is absolutely remarkable in autumn when the leaves fall, and the forest color is painted red, orange, yellow, and gold. Try one of the most popular routes through the forests to the Santa Maria chapel. There are several hiking trails are available in Santa Pau. Most of the tracks are listed on the Garrotxa Tourism website.
Trails are free and suitable for all ages. Even though most people recommend visiting in autumn, you will find this place as beautiful as it should be during other seasons. Apart from the horse carriage ride, I do not recommend it due to animal rights, don’t miss the chance to explore this fantastic place.
La Fageda Fundació: Social Project in La Garrotxa
If you have visited any supermarket in Barcelona, there’s a chance you have come across these delicious dairy products from La Fageda Fundació.
While dairy production is the primary driver to keep the organization operating, it is not the only activity performed by the organization. In fact, the mission of “La Fageda” is to socially integrate underprivileged people by employing them a proper jobs to ensure their future. People in La Fageda do not perceive handicapped workers as “disabilities” but instead as people with different capacities and competencies who need a unique learning program. They believe that everyone has the ability to match the right job.
La Fageda Fundació’s social sustainability project aims to take mentally ill individuals out of the psychiatric hospital, provide them a normal environment to grow and work, helping them to restore balance and self-esteem through the process. The organization is run by a group that is not only good at business but also brings social awareness to society.
La Fageda Fundació offers guided tours for families and individuals every weekend and on holiday, including explaining the social aspect of the company, visiting cow farms, pet calves in the calving room, dairy productions, and tasting products, such as jams, yogurt, and ice cream. It lasts approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The factory is in the middle of the beautiful Natural Park, and it is pleasant to spend time there. The facility has a clean toilet, a cafeteria, picnic benches, playground, and tables— a highly recommended tour for children.
Mas Els Casals, s/n, 17811 Santa Pau, La Garrotxa (Girona) Spain
Where to stay?
La Badia is located in a secluded area of Sant Feliu de Pallerols, making it a great getaway from any city center. It takes about 20 minutes driving distance to La Fageda d’en Jordà. Attentive hosts, the location is quiet and designed to relax. This area requires a car and there’s a patio area right in front where you can leave your vehicles. The property also offers shared areas to hang out, such as swing, and BBQ equipment. The spacious apartment is equipped with everything you need, suitable for a family with young children.