The Secret of CALDES DE MALAVELLA
Caldes’ hot springs are certainly a remarkable feature and have shaped the fabric of the town since ancient times. Its streets, squares and gardens are full of heritage that reflects the historical legacy forged through the close link between these springs and the towns’ inhabitants including the Roman thermal baths, the spas, the Art Nouveau houses, and areas for wandering around.
At present, in Caldes de Malavella there are three places where thermal water emerges at an average temperature of 56°C:
- Puig de les Ànimes, on the property of Vichy Catalán, where you can find the spa and the bottling plant.
- Puig de Sant Grau where you can find the Sant Narcís and Bullidors water fountains, the Roman thermal baths and the San Narciso and Imperial bottling plants.
- Puig de les Moleres where you can see the La Mina water fountain, also known as Raig d’en Mel, and the Malavella bottling plant.
In the municipality of Caldes de Malavella there are unique nature trails providing over 140 km of signposted path. Caldes’ location on the Selva plain allows for the coexistence of Mediterranean and Central European features that have bestowed it with unusual biodiversity. Both the Route to Sant Maurici and the Thermal Route greenways pay special attention to their roots in Caldes.
Click on this link for more information: https://www.visitcaldes.cat/que-fer/
Kilometers 6 km (linear) or 8 km (circular MTB)
Pavement Nature route
Transport peu o bicicleta
Tipus de secret termalisme
SECRET: SANT MAURICI
It would make no sense for a place like Caldes de Malavella not to have at least one legend attached to its history. A place as fantastic as Caldes, the origins of which are lost in time, where miraculous water springs out of the earth, perhaps from some fantastical origin, offers – it could not have been any other way – one of the most famous popular legends, which, according to some, could have given the town part of its name: the legend of Malavella.
The legend of Malavella is situated in the magical location of the castle of Malavella and the chapel of Sant Maurici. There, a feudal lady, who was both evil (‘mala’) and old (‘vella’), was vanquished so as to free the population of Caldes from the abusive taxes she had imposed on them, and to put a stop to the constant disappearance of the children of Caldes. (For more information about the legend of Malavella see: www.festadelamalavella.com.)
To get to the top of Puig de Sant Maurici you have to follow the mountain bike route to Sant Maurici: it is a 8.6 km long circular route (route number 15 at the Selva Mountain Bike Centre). This can be made into a linear route if you go back the same way you came once you reach the top, which is about 2 km from the town centre.
The secrets of the Sant Maurici Route:
1. Malavella castle
The first known documentary evidence of the Malavella castle dates from 1054, from a deed for the transfer of land signed by Countess Ermessenda. Here, the castle is referred to as “castro vetulo”. Three years later, in 1057, it is referred to as “castro quod dicunt Malavella” in an oath made to Countess Almodis, wife of Count Ramon Berenguer the First, the son of Ermessenda.
The castle was built on high land with good views of the territory. Its origin stems from the repopulation of these lands after feudal custom. Its remains, which date from the 12th century, are black. The colour comes from the basalt stones that form the hill itself, the remains of an ancient volcanic vent.
2. The Puig de Sant Maurici’s basalt outcrops
In Caldes de Malavella there are several striking volcanic outcrops. The most important of these according to size is located at Puig de Sant Maurici, where you can see a volcanic vent forged by the eruption of magma, gas and projected material. This vent is made up of hundreds of 4.4-million-year-old basaltic prisms.
You can see how the walls of the castle were built using these basaltic prisms, making the most of resources that were close-to-hand and, probably, reducing quarry worker costs.
3. The chapel of Sant Maurici
This chapel was built in different stages during the medieval period, due to the need to increase the capacity of the old chapel attached to Malavella castle. During the 18th century, the façade and the steps leading up to the church were built, giving it a stately appearance it did not have before. It was, and still is, used as a centre for gathering together the inhabitants of the surrounding area and is much appreciated by Caldes residents. Every year, on the 22nd of September (a local holiday, Saint Maurice day), there is a well-attended gathering involving religious celebrations, a village lunch and sardana concerts.
How to get there
Línia Barcelona Sants-Portbou (Estació de Caldes de Malavella)
Línia L’Hospitalet de Llobregat-Figueres/Portbou (Estació de Caldes de Malavella)
Av. Doctor Furest, s/n – 17455 Girona
Reserva de bitllets: tel. 900 41 00 41
Autopista AP-7 (A-7)
N-II / A-2, GI-673
AEROPUERTO GIRONA-COSTA BRAVA
Oficina de Turisme: Tel. 972 186708
Informació sobre vols: Tel. 972 186600
Tel. 972 20 48 68
The Diputació de Girona contributes more than half a million euros to the European «BiciTransCat» project
Presentation of the website for the bikeable border intermodal projectwww.bicitranscat.cat