Sierra de Cadi

The Natural park of the Sierra de Cadí-Moixeró is the largest in Catalonia, and straddles the provinces of Barcelona, Girona and Lerida. This range of limestone mountains and hills forms part of the Pre-Pyrenees. The crags of the north face area particularly impressive. The Pedraforca massif, with its characteristic fork shape is a symbol of hiking in Catalonia. An ideal base for exploring this wonderful area is Hostal Pedraforca. For a hiking guide to the Cadí try Trekking and Climbing in Northern Spain which has a chapter and some good routes. For a map Andorra/Sierra Del Cadi (Both from Amazon).

The wolf in the Serra de Cadí

On our random travels through Northern Spain and the Pyrenees in summer 2004 we found ourselves in the village of Gósol in the Sierra de Cadí in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees. Gósol’s main claim to fame is having accommodated a young Pablo Picasso in the summer of 1906, something it proudly exploits today with reproductions in the local museum of the few pieces he did while staying in the village, and a bronze sculpture of a woman which Picasso had painted in the village square. The village is also one of bases for climbing the myth-enshrouded twin-peaked mountain of Pedraforca , a bastion of the Catalan witching and mountaineering traditions. The landscape of black pine forests and limestone crags is rugged and spectacular. The day we arrived the headline in the local press was that a “starving” wolf had slaughtered several head of cattle in broad daylight. The wolf, a male, the first in Catalonia for more than 70 years, first hit the news in spring 2004.

Contrary to many reports, the individual has NOT made its way all the way from Italy. However, tests confirm that it is genetically Italian in origin, forming part of an expansion over a number generations out from the Apennines. The Apennine population began to expand in several directions from the early 1990’s. It moved north into the Italian and Swiss Alps; north-east into the French Alps and Lyon, and east towards the Pyrenees, reaching the Maritime Alps near Nice by 1996, Saboya by 1998. An individual was detected between Areja and French Cerdenya by August 1998 in the Madres Massif, just to the north of Canigó, and finally by 2004 into the Cadí range. Most locals appear to be ambivalent rather than hostile towards its presence. The last Catalan wolf was shot in Terra Alta in the south of the Principality in 1929 (1935?), though the animal is thought to have disappeared from the Sierra de Cadí more than 100 years ago.

There have been 11 recorded attacks on livestock. Since the detection of the first male in 2004, 13 trained mastiff dogs have given to local shepherds More on wolves in Spain here. See also Chamois in Spain (a sizable population exists in the range)

Where to stay in the Serra de Cadí

  • Hostal Pedraforca “Hostal Pedraforca is located in Maçaners-Saldes, in the Cadí Mountains, 1.5km from the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park. Its facilities, including a swimming pool and terrace, offer superb views of the landscape”
  • Hostal Cal Batista “Set in foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees, this charming, rustic-style hotel is surrounded by beautiful nature, located on the edge of Cadi-Moixeró National Park.”
  • Fonda Biayna “The Fonda Biayna is a 17th-century manor house in the historic centre of Bellver de Cerdanya, within the Catalan Pyrenees. It offers free Wi-Fi in public areas. One of the oldest inns in Spain, Fonda Biayna is just metres from the Plaça Major. Bellver is a short drive from the La Masella Ski Resort and the Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park. It is also well-known for its castle. The area is ideal for horse-riding and hiking.” (This place looks authentic!)

Books and Maps on La Serra de Cadi

      Around the web

      • Birds of the Serra de Cadí “one of the most significant birding areas of the high mountains in northeast Spain” (Birding Spain) Read
      • Official page (English) Read
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