Garraf Natural Park
A change of colours and clean air, the Garraf Natural Park is located between the regions of Baix Llobregat, el Alt Penedès, and El Garraf, in the southwestern area of the Catalan Coastal Range. It occupies an area of 12,820 hectares. The natural park is made up of two large units which are, geologically speaking, very different: one of chalky rocks or dolomites, and a smaller part of reddish sandstone, at the eastern end of the park.
The Park offers an endless range of options for nature lovers, trails that can be hiked on foot or by bike, or simply enjoy the views of this southern Mediterranean paradise. We find the Centre of Environmental Activities, Cal Ganxo, at the entrance to the Garraf Natural Park, where educational and environmental awareness activities are held, as well as the Astronomy Observatory.
At the heart of the Park we find the Plana Novella, a modernist mansion built in 1890, currently converted to a Buddhist Temple and residence for monks.
HOW TO FIND US
Access is via Castelldefels (by car): following the C-31 motorway towards the Garraf and Sitges coasts, upon arriving at the roundabout which gives entry to the coasts and to Port Ginesta, turn right taking the first exit off the roundabout (Urb. Rat Penat). This will bring you to the Garraf Park, which is signed.
There is no public transport which takes visitors into the park. However, we can get quite close by using the following means of transport.
If you wish to access the park by train, this can be done via the RENFE stations in the towns of Castelldefels, Garraf, Gavà, Sitges, and Vilanova i la Geltrú. It is best to get off at Garran, a small population centre in Sitges situated on the coast. To get to La Pleta from here, you have to go back to the motorway heading towards Barcelona until you find the initial turning point of the GR-92 Coast Road on the side of the mountain. By following this trail for around 3.5 kilometres, you will find the information centre and the park office.
Telephone: 902 240 202
The following bus routes will take passengers even closer:
- Cintoi Bus, S.L. (Mon Bus): Telephone: 938 937 511. Route: Barcelona- Sitges- Sant Pere de Ribes- Vilanova.
- La Hispano Igualadina, S.A.: Telephone: 902 29 29 00, www.igualadina.com. Route: Vilafranca Penedès- Olesa de Bonesvalls.
Mohn, S.L. (Baixbus): Telephone 902 02 33 93, baixbus.cat. Route: Barcelona- Gavà- Begues- Olesa de Bonesvalls and/or Barcelona- Castelldefels.
- Autocars Plana S.A. Telephone: 93 814 58 48, www.empresaplana.es. Route: Vilanova- Sitges- Sant Pere de Ribes, Vilanova- Sitges- Sant Pere- Olivella, and Vilanova- Canyelles- Olèrdola- Vilafranca Penedès.
- TCC (Sitges Bus). Telephone: 93 415 60 20 sarfa.com. Route 4: Sitges- Castelldefels (via C31 and Garraf town).
BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN GARRAF
The Palau Novella, in the heart of the Garraf Natural Park, shelters the first Buddhist monastery in Catalonia.
The compound, situated fully in the Natural Park, has been home to a Buddhist community since 1996 and is open to visitors.
Various cultural activities are held in the Buddhist monastery in Garraf. Among these, it is worth highlighting the guided tour around the Palau Novella, where visitors can observe both the architectural features of this building’s eclectic style as well as an exhibition of Tibetan art and culture which will bring them closer to a spiritual tradition thousands of years old and to the Buddhist philosophy.
As well as the visit itself, visitors will be offered an array of experiences such as relaxation and meditation workshops and a peaceful retreat centre.
The routes are properly marked and are generally loops. They pass through various areas of the natural park, designed to show off the richness of its natural and/or cultural heritage. Some of them come with an explanatory leaflet which allows visitors to guide themselves along the route. It is necessary to request this from the information points.
A large part of the Garraf massif is cut through with hollows, chasms, and canals formed by the chalky rock dissolving with the air and water. Some of these chasms can be several hundred metres in depth. In spite of being one of the most precious and specially protected natural features, we recommend that you take extreme care if departing from the marked trails and routes.
Leisure trips to the Garraf Natural Park.
- Coastal Path (marked route).
- Medieval Way and Sierra de Can Perers (marked route).
- Country houses of Garraf (marked route, suitable for mountain bikes).
Furthermore, guided trails:
- To Fons de la Vallgrassa.
- To La Morella.
For more information and to make bookings:
OFFICE OF THE NATURAL PARK AND LA PLETA INFORMATION CENTRE
Opening hours: Working days and holidays, from 10:00 to 15:00, except Monday.
Ctra. del Rat Penat to the Plana Novella, Km 3.5