You need to take it easy along this section. Despite taking us along a greenway, at Amer the route becomes a bit steeper as we climb up towards the Coll d’en Bas. As far as Les Planes d’Hostoles (10 km), there are long straight stretches, which, due to the gradient, seem to go on forever, making this one of the hardest sections of the greenways. We are now entering the region of La Garrotxa.

The route follows the Vall del Brugent up to the Coll d’en Bas, mainly along its right hand side (our left hand side). We now go along the shady side of the mountain, through dense, extensive pedunculate oak, holm oak and Scots pine forests. It feels like we are passing through a tunnel within the woods, especially in those parts of the route where the railways cuttings reach a considerable height. 

Between Les Planes d’Hostoles and Sant Feliu de Pallerols we follow the left bank of the River Brugent, on the sunny side, from where we can observe its asymmetry. The right bank of the river, crowned by the El Far cliffs, which are clearly visible on leaving Les Planes d’Hostoles, is higher and steeper than the left bank, which is lower, more broken up and has a less defined relief. This effect is due to the Amer fault, which runs in the same direction as the valley, and which caused the right bank of the river (on the NE side) to sink over 1,000 metres in comparison with the left bank (situated on the SW). This fault is also responsible for the volcanoes in the area. In fact, if you look carefully, 1 km before arriving in Sant Feliu de Pallerols, you will see numerous fragments of very dark rock next to and in the middle of the path. These are volcanic rocks that came from the eruption of the Sant Marc volcano, which is located just on the opposite side of the River Brugent. From Sant Feliu to Les Planes, this river runs over the stream of lava that was expelled by these and other volcanoes and then flowed towards the lowest parts of the valley, creating the riverbed. If you want to visit these volcanoes, or for more information about them, go to the visitors centre in La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, which is located in the former Sant Feliu de Pallerols station.

Leaving Les Planes d’Hostoles, one of the Secrets of the Greenways routes accompanies us to these two areas. The Castle, which we see after leaving Les Planes, was built in the 9th century and took on particular importance during the Rebellion of the Remences (remença was a Catalan form of serfdom). Worthy of note at Els Gorgs are the tuff stone and travertine formations, rocks formed through the precipitation of dissolved calcium carbonate onto vegetation, resulting in the plants becoming petrified. This is an especially good place to visit in summer, since it is possible to bathe in the natural pool here.

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