(Germany/Australia, October 2013)
(Germany/Australia, October 2013)
Here is the route, explained by the Generalitat, which is all very well, just don't expect to be finished in and hour and a half, as stated. It took us 2.5 hours, on a perfect day (not too hot but warm breezy, sunny, October day, very dry under foot). But not just an easy walk in the park 2.5 hours - straight up and vertiginously down. If you suffer from vertigo, as i do, the return path is 'bestial' as they say in these parts, but i think this word applies to Catalan walks generally.....or i'm just a wimp. To be fair, the path doesn't peter out completely or leave you actually hand climbing as on some walks i could mention, but you need to be reasonably used to walking and careful where you put your feet.
Having said all that, the views are magnificent over Roses bay and the mountains back towards Olot. The Dolmens don't disappoint either - plenty of them to keep you amused and there's a cave as well, though i was too busy wondering how i was going to get down the mountain to pay much attention. The route is quite well signposted. I would just say that the Vinya del rei dolmen you actually come across, last, not first, if you follow the signs. You can get to it AFTER the Garrollar dolmen by following that dolmen's little path round and then retracing your steps, alternatively. If you don't like the path coming down, just go back the way you came, after the Cau del Llop (Wolf's Cave) which is worth seeing. We didn't find the prehistoric engravings....
We finished our walk at 2.30pm and by 3pm were very nicely installed in Casa del Mar restaurant, Llança port, for a perfect paella and Rueda verdejo, well deserved and appreciated. I suggest you do the same.Get on with it!
Palau Robert Route Sheet
Counties: Alt Empordà || Difficulty: Easy || Media Locomotion: On Foot || Distance: 5.0 km ||
Ascent: 330.0 m || Gradient Descent: 330.0 m || Signaling: Yes || Duration: 1 h 33 min
The so-called Dolmens Route begins near Vilajuïga. Dolmens are primitive megalithic monuments which
were used as graves in prehistoric times. Some curious engravings sculpted on flat stones date from the
same period; they are ancient representations of the first settlers in the lowlands of L'Albera.
To reach the starting point of the excursion you leave Vilajuïga on GIP-6041 towards Sant Pere de Rodes.
(to get to Vilajuïga, take the N-260 from Figueres in the direction of Llançà and take a right turn along the
GI-604). A kilometre further on a signposted track on the right indicates the start of the Dolmens Route.
There is a place to park the car. Further on the track comes to an end and you continue along a path. Very
shortly, this divides into two; you should take the trail on the left which will take you across a small fast
running stream and upwards.
After walking for half an hour you come to the Vinya del Rei dolmen, the largest one on the excursion.
A chamber 2.2 metres wide, 2.8 metres long and 1.65 metres high has been preserved. The path goes off
to the left before turning suddenly to the right and climbing steeply up to the crest, at which point you come
at once to El Garrollar dolmen, in which you can only see a chamber and the flagstone of the passage.
After 45 minutes, and having negotiated a considerable change in altitude, you walk along a stone wall and
you find two more dolmens, La Talaia and Les Ruïnes, a rectangular tomb with a gallery that has six great
stones holding up the roof. Shortly afterwards, you come to La Carena dolmen, also rectangular, and 3
metres long by 1.6 metres wide.
Just over an hour later you come out onto the road to Sant Pere de Rodes (the GIP-6041), where you can
see some prehistoric engravings on stones representing crosses and bowls. You keep on along the road
and 35 metres further on you take a footpath which is rather less open than the previous ones. You go up
a little and then start to go down again by the track which crosses ground that is both stony and steep. You
should always follow the yellow markers. Take no notice of a small turn off to the right which would take you
to the track that you took on the way up and which you can easily identify to the west where the crest and
the dolmens are clearly visible. You pass by the side of the dolmen Caigut.
After one hour and 20 minutes, the route crosses the mountain; you change over to the other slope and, on
the way down, come to the cave of the Cau del Llop or wolf's den cave, where megalithic settlers lived. The
cave is 2 metres high and 3 metres long. Further on the road goes down steeply until it meets up with the
track of the ascent at the place where you crossed the fast running stream and at which point you have to
turn to the left. By this means, you will arrive, after 45 minutes, at the starting point.
When you open the page, close the rules and regulations window and press the 'cerca d'itineraris' search button. This will open up all 15 pages of pdfs for walking and cycling and it doesn't matter it's in Catalan because they're maps and google earth zoom-ins to show you where you are. I highly recommend the Cap de Creus National Park (focused on the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, not to be missed and the restaurant isn't bad either!) and of course the Garrotxa Volcanic National Park for the volcano spotters and the Aiguamolls del Empordà for bird-spotters.
Every child has to try these, obviously accompanied by a responsible adult who may need to test their authenticity several times during the xurro-eating session. With or without the chocolate.Divine! Go to Bescuit, Joan Maragall, 13, or c/Migdia. Perfect if you want to eat supper at the normal Catalan time, as they'll keep you going for quite a few hours' shopping.