Valley of the vultures

Ruta de la Vall dels Voltors recommended route:

This route was is designed for motor vehicles, but it can also be followed by mountain bike or on foot.
From Pont d’Orrit the route leads up to the village of La Torre de Tamúrcia, which houses the Casal dels Voltors. As well as an information point, this is also a centre for watching and studying birds of prey as they build their nests.
The next place of interest is the Mirador de la Collada at Torogó, which offers visitors a fantastic view of the Serra de Sant Gervàs and the village of Torogó.


The route then goes on to Espluga de Serra. Along the way you will come to the Font dels Capellans (priest’s spring) before heading on towards Castellet. At this point the trail leaves behind this shrub-dominated landscape and visitors will begin to see a few oak trees, and also holm-oaks and white beams. The local geology also changes at this point. The limestone cliffs are left behind and hikers will come across large conglomerate rock formations, amongst which are the “montserratina” formations, which are reminiscent of the rock formations found at Montserrat.

The trail then passes the village of Castellet and the spring of the same name and continues on to the crossing at Aulàs. Visitors will now find themselves in the Roureda d’Aulàs (a mixed forest of small-leaved and Martinenc oaks – Quercus humilis), which is the most extensive oak forest in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees.
The last place of special note along the route is the village of Sapeira, where it is recommended to visit the church of Santa Maria, with its triple archivolt door and square tower. From the church square and the Mirador of the Roca del Castell, it is possible to see the cliff of Turmeda and its large vulture colony. The route then returns to Pont d’Orrit.
Fauna: Birds are the best represented group and birds of prey constitute the most interesting sub-group amongst the bird population. The most representative species are the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) and Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Other birds of prey that merit particular mention include the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus).
Geology: The Serra de Sant Gervàs is formed from rock of sedimentary and particularly calcareous origin. As a result, the surrounding landscapes are typically karstic, with impressive rocky walls and stony ravines. In the area around Castellet, the dominant rock type changes to conglomerate, with the most significant formation being that of the “montserratine”, which is reminiscent of the rock forms associated with Montserrat.