Bages Travel Guide, Central Counties, Catalonia, Spain

The Bages region is located in the center of Catalonia. Its capital is Manresa, has 30 municipalities, and includes a part of the natural region of Lluçanès, as well as a municipality of the Alta Segarra, or Segarra calafina. The Bages region is made up of 30 municipalities, some mainly characterized by mining, others by industry and others where agricultural activity is the main one. Manresa is the county capital and has a strong centrality and a very prominent service sector.

The region is located in the center of Catalonia, equidistant from the Pyrenees, the coast, the Girona and Lleida regions and occupies the southeast corner of the central Catalan depression. The vegetation is mainly Mediterranean in character, but has many sub-Mediterranean elements, mainly in shady areas and hollows. The forest of holm oaks and / or oaks (Quercus pubescens and Quercus x cerrioides) predominate in the natural vegetation of the region, although it only occupies large areas in the upper part of Montserrat and the Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac Natural Park. The most prominent tree is the white pine, very resistant to drought and adapted to living in nutrient-poor soils, which is often associated with dry meadows (meadows, lastonares) and thickets (thickets) of rosemary and other leafy shrubs little.

The agriculture of the Bages is essentially of dry land. The crops are Mediterranean, cereals, vine and olive. The traditional industry was textile and cotton. Subsequently, potassium salt mining, metallurgical and chemical industries were installed. Industries include the mining of potash at Súria and Sallent, and the manufacture of textiles along the rivers Llobregat and Cardener. Agriculture includes vineyards, cereals, and olive groves.

Until recently, the Bages industry revolved around cotton and textiles. Already in the twentieth century, various metallurgical, extractive and chemical industries were installed. The metallurgical industry was important in the field of textile machinery manufacturing. Currently, next to this is the manufacture of accessories for automobiles, trucks and electrical equipment. There are also several food industries (slaughterhouses, flour mills, pasta and feed factories).

Bages is the most important mining region in Catalonia. The presence of potash salts in its subsoil changed the lives of four towns: Cardona, Súria, Sallent and Balsareny. The mines gave life to these towns. Also in Bages we can find gas pipelines, since natural gas is also extracted in the north of the region, as well as in some of the neighboring ones (Osona, Anoia and Bajo Llobregat).

Bages is the Monastery of Montserrat, the mountain of Montserrat, the monastery of San Benito de Bages, in the municipality of San Fructuoso de Bages, and wineries among the vines, in the municipalities of Mura, Talamanca and Rocafort and Vilumara.

Main Attractions
The TOPs of Bages are tourist engines, attractive elements, spaces of interest with a minimum of 100,000 visitors. They have a complete and varied offer of activities, visits, museums, interpretation centers, etc. and in addition they have an important offer of complementary services like restaurants, lodgings, stores of local product.

Monistrol de Montserrat
The incomparable mountain of Montserrat, unique in the world for its peculiar silhouette and formation. Montserrat is home to the sanctuary of the Virgin and the Benedictine monastery, which, for almost a thousand years, has been at the service of all pilgrims who, from all over the world, come to venerate the image of the Moreneta.

Montserrat Mountain, an ancient coastal range, is the landscape and geological reference that best identifies the Geopark, of great aesthetic value and relevance at the international level. The Montserrat relief is made up of hundreds of meters of well-cemented and erosion-resistant conglomerates, together with a system of vertical fractures that individualize the needles, which geological processes have been shaping over millions of years.

Sant Fruitós de Bages
Món Sant Benet is a unique destination that offers a lot of proposals to enjoy a different day or a fantastic stay. Starting with the magnificent medieval monastery of Sant Benet de Bages, considered one of the jewels of the Romanesque of Catalonia, which allows a unique journey through history, accompanied by fascinating audiovisual montages that surprise in every corner. And inside the monastery itself, you should take the opportunity to enter the former summer residence of the family of the modernist painter Ramon Casas, a mansion that enchants with its history and the romantic character it has given to the monastery.

The area where the monastery is located is not accidental. This is a good example of a large meander, which describes the Llobregat at this point. Meanders are very common forms in the rivers and streams of the Geopark, and either because of the fertile land they generate or because of strategic issues have been areas widely used by the inhabitants of the territory over the centuries. Just a few meters from the monastery is the Alícia Foundation, a kitchen research center where you can learn how to eat better. All this, accompanied by a gastronomic offer of reference with 3 restaurants and the wonderful Hotel Món, all in an incomparable natural environment next to the river Llobregat.

The Salina Valley, the source of Cardona’s great wealth: salt, which has been mined there since the Neolithic, and the potash that was mined between 1929 and 1990, is Cardona’s raison d’être. Cardona is one of the places that best reflects the link between geological history and the history of its inhabitants. The presence of the salts, already exploited during the Neolithic, have made this geological singularity, the salt diapir, an object of desire, strategic and very valuable, closely guarded by the imposing castle. The old facilities of the Nieves mine are an important mining heritage.

Manresa is an ancient city that has preserved, in its streets and monuments, the imprint of a history with three high points, which coincide with the most representative periods in the history of Catalonia.

The situation of Manresa within the Geopark allows us to explain much of its geological history. The rocks on which the city rises refer us to the sea that bathed these lands during the Eocene (about 40 million years ago). The magnificent river terraces that have been preserved bear witness to how the territory has changed over the last 2 million years, leaving a river landscape closely linked to the history of Manresa itself.

In the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac is the Montcau (1,056 m) that rises between the Bages and the Vallès Occidental. On the northern slope, just next to the banks of the Llobregat, we find the Montcau Valleys which has a rugged surface geography in which there are mountain ridges separated by valleys crossed by torrents where we find abundant vegetation. innumerable springs, caves and chasms characteristic of a relief in which the water has caused a significant erosion and that have marked the human occupation of the zone. We also find Balmes Obrades which are cavities that have been used as a shelter.

Mura and Talamanca are two picturesque villages that combine all their rural charm with streets and squares around the church, in the Natural Park of Sant Llorenç del Munt and l’Obac, are surrounded by ridges, streams, gorges, caves, fountains and caves that you can discover following one of the many paths and trails.

Other municipalities

Avinyó is a municipality located in the north of Bages, in the Gavarresa valley, close to the lands of Lluçanès. The main population center is located on the right bank of the Relat stream, on relatively flat land. Other nuclei are Horta d’Avinyó and Santa Eugènia de Relat.

The city of Cardona dominated by its Castle (tourist hostel) and its mountain of Sal is a must stop when visiting the Bages. This tourist place with strong traditional roots has preserved its medieval legacy. That will allow us to discover the importance of this city in the history of the Catalan people. Cardona vista nit is one of the most romantic places in the region, ideal for spending the night and getting carried away by the sensations it will cause us.

The municipality of Fonollosa is made up of four different population entities: Fonollosa, Fals, Camps and Canet de Fals. The first news of one of the villages is found in a document from 950, in which Count Borrell gives Santa Cecília de Montserrat an allotment with the churches of Santa Maria and Sant Pere, together with the chapel of Sant Mamet de Bacardit on the site. called “Cancis”, the current Camps, within the term of “castro de Montedeon”, current Castelltallat, in the county of Manresa. Not much more should be expected for the second village, as the castle of Fals has been documented repeatedly since 995. The last to see the documentary light is precisely Fonollosa.

In 1029, the Viscount of Cardona donated to Santa Cecília de Montserrat some lands in the area of the castle of Montedon, and in the act it is specified that they are located in the places of “Cancis” and “Fenuculosa”, ie: Camps and Fonollosa. The lands of the term were repopulated in the ninth century, together with the others of the county of Manresa that had been disorganized and, to a large extent, deserted, and were placed under the jurisdiction of the castles of Castelltallat (Camps and Fonollosa) and Fals, which in turn were eminent dominion of Cardona; a situation that would last for almost a millennium.

Navàs preserves centuries of rurality, a past of vineyards, values and customs. We are open window in the pre-Pyrenees. We give way to Cardona and become the gateway to Berguedà. We have our eyes set on Montserrat. The old territory of the municipality of Castelladral, now Navàs, offers nature, history, gastronomy … and the tranquility you need to enjoy, take care of yourself and live genuine experiences with a partner, family or friends…

Discovering Navàs means discovering 80km2 of places, corners, moments and experiences to discover a past of vineyards and olive groves, of peasantry, farmhouses, lords and beliefs. Corners and moments of nature near Barcelona to disconnect, get healthy, relax, enjoy yourself and your people. You can get to know the area by mountain bike, on horseback or hiking along different routes, or simply discovering the archaeological remains of our past. The fruits of our land are products with personality and character: wine, oil, honey, sausage, bread, vegetables, cereals, medicinal herbs… We want to promote natural, organic and proximity. Becoming aware of these values must allow us to live in a more sustainable, balanced and just world.

Water, the source of life and development, has been intrinsically linked to the life and development of Sallent. Its paths transport us to different crucial moments in history such as the industrial revolution but also evoke ancient cultures such as the Iberian, which chose this environment to settle there. More than 2000 years of history have sprinkled its term with an extraordinary cultural heritage.

The town of Sallent was born around the shrine of the defunct Romanesque church of Santa Maria, suffragan of the church of the Castle, which dates back to the tenth century. The proximity to the river Llobregat and the good quality of the waterfalls ‘water favored the growth of the town that owes its name to the river itself as Sallent means waterfall. With its definitive configuration in the 19th century, its district became one of the largest in Bages, with a strong personality, Cornet, an old town with a scattered population added in 1840; Cabrianes, a small rural town near the confluence of the Llobregat and the Gavarresa, surrounded by sack fields in the middle of the plain of Bages and La Botjosa, a former mining colony linked to the exploitation of potash.

Sant Fruitós de Bages
Located in the heart of the Pla de Bages, visitors who stop in Sant Fruitós de Bages will find high-altitude proposals that combine history, nature and gastronomy. The Monastery of Sant Benet, the restored Cobert de la Màquina de Batre or La Sagrera will make the visitor discover the town’s past. The Parc del Bosquet will be the starting point to enjoy nature in the middle of vineyard huts and with Montcau and Montserrat as a backdrop. The gastronomy is not understood in the village without the historic Rice Festival or without the tasting of the wines made in the Mas de Sant Iscle. In Sant Fruitós de Bages, history, nature and gastronomy go hand in hand.

Located in the center of Catalonia, the town of Santpedor, with 7,500 inhabitants, preserves an important architectural and artistic heritage of its medieval splendor as a Royal Villa. Located at a crossroads, it keeps alive the tradition and the footprint of the Camino de Santiago. It was also the homeland of the Timbaler del Burc and a part of Bruc’s victory took place in its porticoed square. It also offers interesting samples of its industrial heritage and an environment of natural interest, especially the Bòbila wetlands.

Sant Vicenç de Castellet
Sant Vicenç de Castellet is the largest municipality in southern Bages in terms of population. Located in the heart of this subregion, it provides commercial, educational and health services to nearby municipalities. Two railway lines (FGC and RENFE), a road (C-55) and a motorway (C-16) connect Sant Vicenç with Manresa and Barcelona.

Sant Vicenç enjoys a privileged natural environment. Its term, crossed by the river Llobregat, is in the envistas of the natural parks of Sant Llorenç del Munt and l’Obac and of Montserrat. Several signposted paths allow you to travel all this nature, on foot or by bicycle.

Cultural heritage
The Bages is culture in its maximum expression and in all its extension. Among its landscapes of contrasts and a thousand textures, architectural jewels accumulated over more than a thousand years stand out, from small hermitages to dry stone huts.

Monistrol de Montserrat

A Taste of Botany and Culture: the Aromas of Montserrat
Discover how the Aromas de Montserrat, the popular liqueur linked to the sanctuary, is made. While tasting it, you will get to know its ingredients, the fruit of the botanical richness of the Montserrat massif, as well as its origins linked to the cultural richness and knowledge accumulated by the community of monks.

The New Sacristy and the Choir of Montserrat
Know the day-to-day life of the schoolchildren and the pedagogical and artistic functions of the school-residence that has become famous in music education. And you will access the New Sacristy, one of the most significant spaces of the basilica, with the extraordinary value of the mural paintings by Josep Obiols.

Montserrat Audiovisual Space
What is and what does Montserrat mean? You will solve this question in this space, in an incomparable visual and sound experience. Within the content, the presence of the Holy Image, the singularity of an almost millennial monastery and its spiritual, cultural and social relevance in Catalonia stand out. Montserrat is shown with all its complexity and richness, through an innovative exhibition itinerary.

Journey to the Biblical East
It enters fully into the cultures present in biblical geography. It follows in the footsteps of the people of Israel thanks to the exceptional objects and works collected by Father Ubach during his travels through biblical territories: Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Holy Land.


The Basilica of the See
Visit the most important monument in Manresa. Santa Maria de la Seu is a Gothic basilica considered the twin sister of Santa Maria del Mar (Barcelona), built by the same architect. Inside, it preserves a very important collection of Gothic altarpieces that highlights the economic boom of the so-called “great century” of Manresa, the XIV century.

Manresa Ignasiana
An exciting journey through the spaces reminiscent of the stay of Sant Ignasi de Loiola in Manresa, in 1522. You will get to know the cloister of the old school of Sant Ignasi, the Chapel of the Rapture, the Pou de la Gallina or the monumental cave sanctuary, among other interesting places. It will be an inspiring visit, just as St. Ignatius found inspiration in the city.

Manresa County Museum
A panoramic view of the history of Manresa and the region from prehistory to the present day. Highlights include the collection of medieval ceramics, one of the most important collections of Baroque sculpture in Catalonia and the Antoni Viladomat i Manalt room, which houses a deposit of works by this author donated by the National Art Museum of Catalonia.

Manresa Museum of Technology
Do you know how important water and the drain have been for the development of Manresa? Do you know the belt industry and the leadership that Manresa still has today? Without a doubt, this will be a good visit to continue with the whole family, either for free or in a guided way (Sundays at 11.30am).

Medieval Interpretation Center on Carrer del Balç
Discover what Manresa was like in the 14th century. A multimedia montage narrated in the time of King Peter III the Ceremonious, forger of the main Catalan institutions. Located in an old house, this center hosts theatrical tours, medieval dinners and other proposals worth consulting.

Manresa Heart of Catalonia
A complete proposal to get to know some of the most emblematic spaces in the city, in which you will also discover details of the surroundings, such as the Geopark of Central Catalonia, the Parc de la Sèquia or the wines of the DO Pla de Bages. A visit to a beating Manresa.

The Cave of Sant Ignasi
500 years ago, Saint Ignatius of Loyola formulated his Spiritual Exercises in one of the balms of this place. What was a small cave has become a great sanctuary and the universal Ignatian and Jesuit landmark, as well as a great example of Baroque art (the church) and neoclassical style (the center).. You can visit it on your own or accompanied by a guide.

Space 1522, the City of Ignatius
What was Manresa like that saw Sant Ignasi de Loiola? In this space, located in the Teatre Conservatori de Manresa (Convent of the Preachers in the time of Ignatius), you will move to the 16th century through the buildings and town planning that Manresa no longer preserves. An audiovisual and a model of the city of the time will help you.


The Old Town
The historic center of Mura retains all the medieval charm of narrow, winding streets, cozy squares, vaults and picturesque passages. You will discover the Romanesque church of Sant Martí, the hermitage of Sant Antoni, the Paseo Camil Antonietti and many other points of interest that will make this discovery a great time. Among amazing rock formations from the reddish of the conglomerates to the green of the forests, history of past time, beauty of integration around the Romanesque church on the threshold of the stream, human lace in the valley, trajectories attached to the stone.

The Dry Stone Route
We will take you to know Les Tines del torrent del Flequer and Les Tines de Bleda, wonderful dry stone constructions that were used to store grapes and make wine more than 150 years ago. You will also visit Vineyard Barracks, dry stone walls and a couple of mentioned vineyards around the village of Mura.


The Historic Center of Cardona
It breathes the social and economic effervescence of the late Middle Ages. At the foot of its imposing castle, the historic center of Cardona stretches with a network of narrow streets with majestic houses and unique works, both civil and religious. A guided tour from the Cardona Medieval Center, culminating in the cuisine with local recipes from the town’s restaurants, is a great option at any time of year.

The Mountain of Salt, Unique in the World
Visit the interior of a large mountain of pure salt unique in the world, exploited since the Neolithic and which made Cardona a rich and powerful place. The little ones in the house will be able to immerse themselves in an adventure thanks to a theatrical visit. Young and old will be able to get to know the facilities of the Nieves mine, closed in 1990, and the geological formation of central Catalonia, created about 40 million years ago.

Vilomara and Rocafort Bridge

The Vats of the Vall del Flequer
An excursion that follows some unique constructions in Catalonia, the dry stone vats, from where the wine was made in the middle of the mountain, at the foot of the vineyard. These are unique buildings in Catalonia, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, which testify to the importance of the vineyard and wine in the Bages region.

Sant Fruitós de Bages

Medieval Experience in the Monastery of Sant Benet de Bages
We offer you a journey through a thousand years of history, where we will discover the monumental rooms of the monastery of Sant Benet de Bages such as the church, the crypt, the cloister, the cellar and the cells of the monks. The past speaks to us through spectacular holograms, immersive projections, surprising effects… to know the history of the monastery, but also a thousand years of history of Catalonia. One of the most daring and spectacular proposals made on the historical heritage, which make the monument an emotional experience.

Modernist Experience in the Monastery of Sant Benet de Bages
A journey that transports us to the summer of 1924, crossing the rooms of the cloister of the Sant Benet de Bages monastery, which the painter Ramon Casas and his family turned into a summer residence. Music, light, images, smells… guide us through the living rooms and bedrooms to live an experience full of suggestion and sensitivity.

Natural heritage
Prehistoric caves, natural parks, a sacred and a salt mountain, vineyards where great wines come from, lush forests full of stories and legends, fertile crops of a thousand textures and countless magical corners make Bages a real one. land of contrasts.

The Bages is made up of an extensive erosion basin bordered by plateaus and high mountains, within the Central Depression. So, crossing the Bages you can both follow the rivers and streams and go more or less flat and not stop going up and down even at not very important heights. The vegetal landscape you will find is mainly through white pine groves, or pine and red pine. Under the pine groves there are scrublands, rosemary bushes and reed pastures. Dry cereal fields predominate in the agricultural landscape.

Wine tourism and gastronomy
The Pla de Bages Designation of Origin is the hallmark of fourteen hare wineries with a long winemaking tradition of what was, in the 19th century, the region with the most vineyards in Catalonia. Bages is a land of red and generous wines, with a local variety that, paradoxically, is a fresh and fruity white: the picapoll.

The Bagés is also a territory of olive trees with history as the cultivation of the olive tree dates back to ancient times and this is evidenced by certain vestiges that show the tradition of this crop and obtaining oil in the territory: presses of oil, stone cups, millstones, dry stone constructions, press stones, among others.

Wine Tourism and Wineries do Pla de Bages
The Bages wineries are mostly family farms, and all have their own vineyard. These characteristics imply a traditional and highly personalized care of the vineyard that translates into the quality of its wines. There are currently 14 wineries attached to the DO.

The relationship between geology and wine has existed since man became a viticulturist, and is a valuable heritage of the Geopark. Geological history has determined the rocks, orography and microclimate that make up the landscape. Today, here, the vineyards follow the river valleys, although in the past they occupied many mountain slopes based on countless beams. The soils derived from clayey and marly soils in the Pla de Bages, and marly and calcareous in the most rugged areas of the limits of the central basin, are the predominant soils with viticulture in the Geopark.

Gastronomic experiences
Gastronomic experiences do not only focus on attending restaurants where traditional dishes are served, but also include aspects such as market visits, local food shops, visits to villagers ’houses, visits to local producers, participation in local festivals, etc. The aim is also to visit, discover new flavors, culinary preparations and new products.

Native products
The companies of the Xarxa Productes de la Terra (Barcelona Provincial Council) produce and elaborate a wide variety of local and quality food products. Among the great diversity of existing products, it has been considered worth highlighting and highlighting some of these products.

By autochthonous and singular product we mean one that, in a territory of reference, stands out for its differentiated and unique characteristics that distinguish it from the rest. These particularities may be due to various factors such as tradition, innovation and quality. In any case, a singular product must have the associated factor of territorial rooting where it is produced or elaborated.

When we talk about identity the first thing that comes to mind is language, culture or traditions. But in fact there is also a more intimate and intense identity that is shaped by the senses. The flavors are made up of those products that we have seen grow on the land or the foods that have accompanied us all our lives and that are typical of our home and characterize us. Local, quality products with unique tastes that speak of our identity, our territory and our culture.