In this eighteenth stage of the Transversal crossing, we discover a rugged, sparsely inhabited and well-preserved territory, largely because it is difficult to access by road. The area especially interesting to geologists, who come from all over the world to study the folds and curvatures of the Oliana anticline. Walking along the breathtaking ridgeline of the Serra Seca, we understand the sensational richness of the rocky surroundings. This stage also contains beautiful nooks, splendid landscapes and some remarkable historic buildings.
Average. Derived from the distance and ascent to overcome.
We recommend carrying a pair of binoculars for observing both small and large birds of prey.
Muntanya d'Alinyà - Serra d'Aubenç - Serra de Turp. 1:25.000. Editorial Alpina.
Begin the eighteenth stage of GR 1 in the small village of (1) Cambrils (0:00 - 1,081 m). Descend to the Fred River and begin the ascent on the south-facing side of the valley, passing by the church and rectory of Sant Martí. We recommend leaving the path a moment to visit the ruins of the Cambrils castle and the Mare de Déu del Remei. From the castle you can take in the immense panorama of the Port del Comte and the Ribera Salada. Return to the path indicated with the white and red markers of the GR 1 and ascend through a secondary valley (SW). Cross the road and continue the ascent until you reach the ridge of the serra Seca.
Walk toward the South, following the rolling crest of the range. The views are splendid, spanning from Montseny to Montsec, including Sant Llorenç de Munt i l'Obac and Montserrat. To the right (W), we can make out the folds and faults of the Roques de la Valldan, the Montserrat-like outline of the serra de les Anoves, the cliff faces of the Roca Alta, the Coscollet and the fantastic Roca de Sant Honorat. You will emerge onto the road that leads from Cambrils to Solsona. Follow it South. You can leave the path a moment to visit the Serra Seca overlook, which provides view of the beautiful and picturesque valley of la Móra Comdal just below. Along the road you will find the cyclist’s monument: in 2009, the 7th stage of the Tour de France came through this mountain pass. The itinerary of the stage connected Barcelona and Ordino-Arcalís over 224 km. A few meters further along, leave the road and descend to the right (SW) along the rasa del Sàlzer.
After approximately 1.2 km of trial across the shady flatland you will come to the road that descends toward Valldan from coll Pregon. Follow the road about 350 m and then turn off to the right onto a track. Before long, you will reach (2) Sàlzer mountain pass (1:50 - 1,014 m). From the pass, continue ascending (track) along the crest of the mountain toward the Southwest (SW). You will reach a fork, where you will turn of the track. Turn to the left (S) and begin the gorgeous stretch across the south-facing slope of the serra del Barré. Descend to Passiró – a small pass that connects with Valldan – and you will meet with a track. Further below, as the track turns to the right, you will break off and continue descending along the crest of the range until you reach the Romanesque hermitage of (3) Sant Just i Pastor (2:45 - 754 m), where you can take in great view of the surrounding area.
Continue descending along the crest (SW) until you arrive at an area of badlands – reliefs carved into soft material like clay, marlstone and silt which has eroded due to a lack of vegetation. Descend until you reach the coll del Vent and continue along the road that connects Oliana with Valldan. You will continue for some distance on the paved road. Break off the road to the left and cross the torrent de Reixar. Follow the old road to Valldan, crossing between farmhouses and fields. Soon you will see the first apartment buildings in the village of (4) Oliana (3:55 - 451 m), endpoint of this stage.
The views toward the depths of the Fred River from the Cambrils castle.
The stretch along the crest of the Serra Seca, which offers unforgettable panoramic views. You’ll even catch a glimpse of the Montseny massif!
The geological phenomenon known as the Oliana anticline: the Roc de Rumbau, the Roques de Sant Honorat, the serra d'Aubenç, Montserrat-like reliefs of the Móra Comdal, etc.
The views of the picturesque Valldan from the Romanesque hermitage of Sant Just i Pastor.
The striking and chaotic rocky region we see from the serra Seca or from the hermitage of Sant Just is known as the Oliana anticline and is studied all over the world? Observing it, we can get an idea of the complex system of faults and folds in the Pyrenees. More than 500 professional geologists from the world over have come to geological conferences held in the area, and a number of universities organize their practical sessions in geological cartography, geomorphology and tectonics and sedimentation in this zone.
The lovely mule trail that runs along the south-facing slope of the Serra del Barré. On the ground, you will see traces of the old paving, especially in the section that runs down toward el Passiró. Today this narrow path is very lightly traveled, but it is easy to imagine how, not so long ago, the residents of the village of Valldan and the farmhouses in the surrounding areas used it every day.
Pay close attention to your orientation in the section on the Rasa del Sàlzer.