31 May

Costa Brava Things To Do

The remains of Saint James Apostle (Santiago) were discovered in Galicia in the 9th Century leading to the formation of a major pilgrimage for thousands of Europeans. This is in fact a secondary route that offers some magnificent views and takes you off the beaten track a little where you will discover churches hermitages and pilgrims’ hospitals.

The route starts at Puigcerdà, one of the main towns in the Pyranees. Make sure you check out the old convent of Sant Domènec and the bell tower of the church of Santa Maria.

Convent of Sant Domènec

Take the N-154 to Llívia next and be sure to check out the 15th-century pharmacy (Europe’s oldest), the church of Mare de Déu dels Àngels, the old Rectory and the tower of Bernat de So. You’ll find that the road often turns into track, but don’t worry they are completely suitable for cars – just watch out for the odd pot hole.

Continue along the N-260 to Ur, which is your next stop. At Ur you’ll discover the church of Sant Martím which is stunning. Take the track to Bolvir de Cerdanya (this is the original road to Santiago) and look out for the church of Sant Jaume de Rigolisa. You’ll arrive at Puigcerdà where you should check out the bridge of Sant Martí d’Aravó (an ancient Roman Bridge). At Bolvir there is the interesting little hermitage of El Remei, and also the church of Santa Cecília.

The Bridge of Sant Martí d’Aravó

Follow the River Segre from here, you’ll be tasked with crossing the water a few times but nothing to worry about. If you don’t fancy the water obstacles then you can always turn back and take the main read to the end of this stretch and do it backwards along the wider stretch of track leading out from Isòvol.

When you leave Bolvir, you will pass Saga – make sure you take a look at the church of Santa Eugènia. Head for Olopte and discover the church of Sant Pere, then head to Isòvol to the sanctuary of Mare de Déu de Quadres.

The Church of Santa Eugènia

You’ll find that the track comes to an end after the sanctuary and leads onto the main road near Isòvol. Either drive on and rejoin the track at Baltarga, or else go to Alp and take the GIV-4033 to Bellver de Cerdanya. You can also go straight on to Bellver, a large village with a lot to see and a dozen Romanesque churches dotted around its municipal district.

The main attraction along this stretch of the route is the large basilica of Santa Maria de Talló. it is also interesting to visit Santa Eugènia de Nerellà, the church has the only complete Lombard bell tower in the county, with an inclination of 1.25 metres that has earned it the nickname of the “Leaning Tower” of the Cerdanya county.

Santa Eugènia de Nerellà

Following the route, you’ll reach Martinet de Cerdanya. The name “martinet” comes from an old forge once driven by the waters of the River Segre.

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