Fageda d’en Jordà, a volcanic beech forest in Garrotxa

There are many charming spots in Catalonia, especially if visitors immerse themselves into its rural side. La Fageda d’en Jordà is one of them and, moreover, it is not too well known. Most of the time it leaves all its visitors speechless. The thickness of its trees, the natural environment and the magical surroundings make this small forest in Girona a fabulous tourist attraction. Both adults and children can enjoy a day full of entertainment and culture.

What is the Fageda d’en Jordà?

fageda d'en jordà

The green of the leaves in summer offers a refreshing aspect. | Shutterstock

La Fageda d’en Jordà, translated as Hayedo de Jordà (Jordà’s beech forest), is a beech forest located in the heart of the volcanic area of the Garrotxa. It is surrounded by 21 volcanoes, obviously inactive, which shape the landscape in an amazing way.

It is one of the most curious Spanish forests because of two characteristics. The first is that it is located at 550 meters above sea level, a low altitude rare in the beech forests of the peninsula. Generally, beech trees grow in generous climates, above 900 meters, circumstances that do not occur in La Fageda d’en Jordà.

Second: it has grown on a lava flow from one of the nearby volcanoes, the Croscat. This particularity has caused that along its extension, of about 4.8 square kilometers, there are some prominences of solidified lava. These are capable of reaching 20 meters high and are called tossols.

History of the Fageda d’en Jordà Natural Reserve

fageda d'en jordà

Autumn is the best time to visit due to the deciduous leaves of the beech trees. | Shutterstock

This beech forest with such a magical touch has been for many years a source of wood, being some farms and logging operations that marked the paths that can currently be traversed. Being a nature reserve, these activities are no longer possible, so La Fageda d’en Jordà has been converted into a space that offers entertainment, culture and nature in a very varied way.

The Cal Jordà farmhouse, which gives its name to the place, is a Center for the Conservation of Cultivated Plants located on the edge of the beech forest. Its aim is to protect endangered fruit species and plants in regression, preventing their complete disappearance. There is also La Fageda, a cooperative dedicated to the production of all kinds of dairy products. It is very interesting for children, especially if they go on a tour with the school.

Finally, La Fageda d’en Jordà has been the protagonist of some works of literature, being a magnificent inspiration. The Catalan poet Joan Maragall dedicated one of his poems to this enchanting forest, titling it with his name.

Hiking through the Fageda d’en Jordà

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Several trails run under a grove of trees with the Pyrenees in the background. | Shutterstock

Although this wonderful beech forest in northern Catalonia can be visited in all seasons of the year, it is recommended to go in autumn. As the beech is a deciduous tree, the leaves begin to fall and offer an amazing picture of reddish, brown and ocher colors. On the other hand, in winter the aura it transmits is more magical, mystical and silent, with the trees without leaves and the mist that is formed by the low temperatures. If you visit in spring or summer, you can enjoy the Fageda d’en Jordà in a spectacular green, with the treetops so thick that you can barely see the sky.

There are several walking routes around the entire natural park. These form a circuit that leads through different landmarks, such as the tossols formed by the lava flow. It is possible to obtain maps at the information office of the natural park itself. Another alternative is to take a horse-drawn carriage tour, especially if accompanied by children or the elderly. This route takes you through the lushest parts of the beech forest, with a stop halfway to enjoy the area even more. In addition, the guide will also explain many curiosities of the beech forest.

Places of interest close to the Fageda d’en Jordà


Volcanoes are one of the tourist attractions for a day trip. | Shutterstock

In addition to visiting the Fageda d’en Jordà, in the surrounding area there are different places of interest to make the day much more complete. And in this area of the Garrotxa there is much to explore.

La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park

The Jordà beech forest is located in the center of this natural park, with a special orography due to the number of volcanoes of the Garrotxa that populate the area. In combination with the flora, it offers a very enjoyable landscape at all times of the year. There are different routes to explore the entire natural park, taking you to the cone of some spectacular volcanoes. Such as the Santa Margarida volcano, a magnificent example. Inside there is a hermitage.

City of Olot

Not far from the Fageda d’en Jordà is the city of Olot, the capital of the Garrotxa. This city has a great location for those looking for where to sleep in a rural getaway in northern Catalonia. In addition, of course, to enjoy tasty dishes from Olot with the volcanic touch of the area. In Olot you can visit some very interesting places, such as the Museum of the Volcano, the Museum of the Garrotxa or the Museum of the Saints. It also has different luxury homes in modernist style, for lovers of this architectural aspect.

Farm activities for children

In the cooperative of La Fageda you can make different events focused for children. They will learn all about the production of dairy products and the care of farm animals, especially cows. There are different types of visits or routes, which combine a tour of the fageda itself or where the little ones become farmers for a couple of hours.

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