As temperatures soar and the city empties, the cool mist of a fast-flowing waterfall may seem like a distant dream to those left holding the fort this month. But it’s closer than you think…these places are all within a couple of hours drive and make an ideal weekend away, where you can escape both the heat of the city and the crowds along the coast.
SALT DE SALLENT
Located about an hour’s walk from the picturesque village of Rupit in the comarca of Osona, you can find the Salt de Sallent, also known as la Cua de Cavall (horse’s tail). Before you set off for the waterfall, take some time to explore the village, which sits upon a rocky hill. Dominated by a huge grey stone wall where the castle of Rupit stood some 1,000 years ago, a stroll through the narrow, winding streets of Rupit is a journey back to the 16th and 17th centuries, when most of the stone houses here were built. There are several bars and restaurants where you can fill up on some nourishing local cuisine before you set off. To leave the town, cross the hanging wooden bridge, built by local craftsmen in 1945, then follow a grassy trail that takes you into a shady forest of tall fir and beech trees. Walk alongside a crystalline mountain stream, sometimes obscured by the lush vegetation, but perfect for dipping hot feet into. Eventually you’ll reach a plateau from where you can admire the spectacular waterfall, which plummets 100 metres down a steep smooth drop. There’s a viewpoint further up which allows you to look down on the waterfall and to take in the stunning views.
How to get there: Rupit is 105km from Barcelona, located between Vic and Olot. The journey takes just under two hours by car. Trains run from Barcelona to Vic (renfe.es) and there is a bus service between Vic and Rupit (sagales.com).
Eating and drinking: Try Fonda Marsal (Carrer Manyà 3) for simple home cooking or Hostal Estrella (Pl. Bisbe Font 1) for its terrace with spectacular views.
LA ROCA DE FORADADA
It’s the beautiful rocky setting that makes the Foradada waterfall, which falls just 15 metres, so special. Foradada means hole, and the cascade is named after this unexpected canyon-like hole in the mountain, which is surrounded by thick forest. It is located in the Collsacabra, in Osona, near the small town of Cantonigrós. From the town it’s about a 20-minute walk, on a path of natural stone surrounded by intense vegetation. Thick tree roots protrude and in some sections the path looks like it may once have been a river bed. As you get closer to the Foradada, the slope becomes steeper, the vegetation thickens and a railing leads the way towards the sound of falling water. The clearing, surrounded by rock walls and trees, opens in front of you, the great pool formed by the waterfall enticing you to strip down to your bathers and jump in.
How to get there: Cantonigrós is 97km (80-minute drive) from Barcelona, just a few kilometres before Rupit (there is no bus service from Vic to Cantonigros).
Eating and drinking: Enjoy tasty local fare at reasonable prices on the terrace of Braseria Cal Carreter (Carretera de Vic a Olot 12) or the friendly Ca l’Ignasi, which offers a seasonal menu with local ingredients (C/ Major 4).
ROUTE OF THE SEVEN WATERFALLS
This lovely route in Campdevànol near Ripoll is one of the area’s most popular hikes. It covers 10 kilometres and takes in seven small waterfalls. Also known as the Itinerari dels Gorgs Cabana, the waterfalls aren’t big, but the surroundings are beautiful and each is different from the previous one. It takes a total of about three hours to do the whole circular route. Park at the Pirinenc Camping Campdevànol and from there take the path that runs alongside the campsite by the stream. From here it takes about an hour to get to the first cascade, the Gorg de la Cabana, then it’s a ten-minute walk from waterfall to waterfall. The first is the busiest as it’s the best known, but access to the water pool is tricky, so if you want to dive in, head on to the next waterfall, the Gorg de la Tosca, one of the prettiest of the seven. Each one of the gorgs is different, from the magnificent views of the Gorg del Forat to the Gorg Petit del Colomer, which is the nearest you’ll get to a deserted beach in the mountains. The biggest waterfall is the last, the Gorg del Colomer, which has a drop of 10 metres.
How to get there: Campdevànol is 105km from Barcelona, beyond Vic and Ripoll and takes about 90 minutes by car. You can reach Ripoll by train (renfe.es), then take a bus to Campdevànol (elripolles.com/autocarsmir).
Eating and drinking: Try Ca La Paquita (Carretera de Gombrèn 39) for simple, well-made food and friendly service.