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The Surrounding Area of Vic

In addition to its wealth of artistic and cultural heritage, the city of Vic is set in beautiful natural surroundings.

The four routes are a great way to discover and enjoy these surroundings. Three of them follow the course of the Mèder and Gurri rivers, while the fourth takes us to the Chapel of Sant Sebastià. All of these areas have played in an important part in the history of Vic and are of great environmental interest as green corridors of the city.

The four routes start from different points of the city and are well signposted throughout.

Route 1: Area around the Mèder River and La Guixa

The Mèder is a small-sized river formed by the Muntanyola, Santa Eulàlia de Riuprimer and Sant Joan del Galí streams. After crossing the city of Vic it empties its waters into the Gurri, which in turn flows into the Ter. The route covers the last section of the river, just before it enters Vic and is a great way to discover the riverside flora and fauna. Certain elements of interest are indicated along the route. At times of heavy rains waterproof footwear is recommended in order to cross the river.

Type of route: Linear
Distance: 8 km
Departure point: Blanqueig Bridge

Elements of interest

The route offers a good representation of typical riverside vegetation, including poplars, black poplars, willows, reeds, etc. Some aquatic animals and bird species can also be observed, such as the mallard and common moorhen. Soon after leaving Vic, on the left-hand side of the path we can see an ice well. These wells served to preserve ice over much of the year thanks to their location in cool, shady areas. The fell into disuse with the arrival of fridges and freezers. Continuing along the route we pass by several farmhouses, along with the Talaia and Ferro springs, whose water is not currently fit for drinking. The route also takes in the town of Sentfores, popularly known as La Guixa. It grew around the Camí Ral (Royal Way) from Vic to Santa Eulàlia de Riuprimer in the 18th century and forms part of the municipal district of Vic, although it preserves its own traditions and character. The origins of the place can be traced back to the construction of Sentfores Castle, long demolished, which dates back to at least 911, and to that of the original Parish Church of Sant Martí, dating back to at least 930 and rebuilt in the 12th century. The ruins of this church can be seen on the western edge of the municipal district.


Route 2: Area around the Gurri River – Bruguer Bridge 

The Gurri River has its source at the foot of the Montseny Massif and flows into the Ter after receiving the waters of the Mèder River in the city of Vic. Although they are relatively small, the two rivers were a key element for the establishment of the tanning industry in the area, the Mèder being especially important since it crosses the city. Its waters became highly polluted but thanks to the waste water treatment plants in the area this situation has improved considerably.

Entorn del riu Gurri

 We can start the route on the right bank of the river and return along the left bank.

Type of route: circular
Distance: 5.1 km
Difficulty: easy
Departure point: Xavier Roca i Viñas Park 

Elements of interest

This route is ideal for those who enjoy a quiet stroll in a natural area that’s just a stone’s throw from the city. The route offers a good representation of typical riverside vegetation, including poplars, black poplars, willows, reeds, etc. Various bird species can be observed, such as the mallard and common moorhen, along with riverbank restoration and tree planting projects. The route begins at Xavier Roca i Viñas Park, just beyond the confluence of the Gurri and the Mèder. Here there is a sculpture by Joan Furriols, a native of Vic, dedicated to the Assembly of Catalonia. Following the course of the river we can observe the meander of the Gurri, a point where the river takes a sharp 90º turn and widens due to the migration of the meander caused by the erosion of the river. A little further on we come to the Ferro Bridge, built in 1930 by a famous Barcelona-based company, La Maquinista Terrestre i Marítima, and the Bruguer Bridge, a magnificent 14th-century Gothic construction listed as a national historical-artistic monument. Returning along the other side of the river, we can make a short detour to visit the Cantarell Oak Grove, a spot that was once very popular with locals. It boasts several downy oaks, some of which are 300 years old, along with ashes and black poplars. 


Route 3: Area around the Gurri River - Frares Spring

This is a very pleasant riverside stroll, alternating between the left and right banks of the Gurri. One of its many points of interest is the confluence of the Gurri and Mèder rivers, the point of connection between the ecosystems of two basins with different origins.

Type of route: linear
Distance: 2 km 
Difficulty: easy
Departure point: Xavier Roca i Viñas Park

Elements of interest

The Sant Jaume Stream, which receives the waters of the Malla area; the Mercé, a listed farmhouse with baroque elements that probably dates from 1672; and the Frares Spring in the municipal district of Santa Eugènia de Berga, a popular starting point for walks with children. 

As it flows through the plain the Gurri River forms meanders such as that of Benages.


Route 4: Vic - Sant Sebastià 

Esgésia de Sant SebastiàThe Sant Sebastià Plain (770 m), at the highest point of which stands a chapel, is a very well-known and much loved place among Vic’s citizens. It’s visible from most of the city and its location makes it a superb vantage point over the city and the plain. The route starts in the sports area of Vic and partially enters the municipal district of Gurb. Its final section coincides with the environmental route around the Mèder River.

 

 

Type of route: circular 
Distance: 15.4 km
Departure point: Canonge Collell Hostel (Municipal Sports Zone) 

Elements of interest 

The Sant Sebastià Plain is surrounded by a well-preserved grove of downy oaks and box trees, along with red pines in the shady area and kermes oaks on the sunny side. Of all the farmhouses we come across along the route, the one that stands out the most is the Galí farmhouse, with a defence tower probably dating back to the Romanesque period. It stands next to the 11th-century Parish Church of Sant Joan del Galí, which was fully refurbished in the 17th century. The route then climbs sharply up towards Sant Sebastià. There was already a chapel on this site in the 16th century but the present-day building with its distinctive bell tower was built in the 18th century following an outbreak of the plague. It’s an important site in Catalan history, since it was here where a group of Catalan patriots, who defended the right of Archduke Charles of Austria to succeed the Spanish throne, signed the Pacte dels Vigatans (Treaty of the Vic Gentry) in 1705. This event marked the start of the struggle against Philip V, Spain’s first Bourbon king, and the War of the Spanish Succession. On the way down from Sant Sebastià we pass close to the Soler Botei farmhouse, another important building on this route. Once we complete the descent we are soon following the course of the Mèder River again, heading from Santa Eulàlia de Riuprimer towards Vic.

- Track Vic - Sant Sebastià     

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