Park of La Serralada Litoral
Serralada Litoral Park covers La Conreria-Sant Mateu-Céllecs, an area of natural interest included in the PEIN (Plan for Areas of Natural Interest, approved in 1992 by the Government of Catalonia). Following on from this, in 2004, the Special Protection Plan was approved, establishing the regulations governing the park. The park is located in the central part of the Serralada Litoral or Marina mountain range, between the River Besòs and the Argentona gully, straddling the regions of El Maresme and El Vallès Oriental and covering an area of 4,715 hectares.
La Conreria and the massifs of Sant Mateu and Céllecs, running southwest to the northeast, are the three mountain ranges that make up this protected area. With gently rolling contours, the park is notable for its Mediterranean holm oak and pine forests, rising between the sea and the coastal plain of El Maresme and the coastal lowlands of El Vallès Oriental. The peaks of Céllecs (534 m) and Sant Mateu (499 m) are the park's highest points. Its location, surrounded by the densely populated Barcelona metropolitan area and an extensive rail network, means it is a popular destination and receives a growing number of visitors and users.
The Serralada Litoral Park Consortium, the park´s management body, is made up of the municipalities of Alella, Argentona, Cabrera de Mar, Cabrils, La Roca del Vallès, Martorelles, Montornès del Vallès, Premià de Dalt, Santa Maria de Martorelles, Teià, Tiana, Vallromanes, Vilanova del Vallès and Vilassar de Dalt, the regional councils of El Maresme and El Vallès Oriental, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Government of Catalonia.
The physical Environment
The characteristic geological substrate of the area is granite, which has formed the range´s typical sandy regolith, and produced its spectacular "rocky chaos', consisting of caves and rocky outcrops and towers, making it one of the most significant granite landscapes in Catalonia.
It has a Mediterranean climate, with dry summers, mild winters and rains mainly in the spring and autumn, when the notorious, and sometimes ferocious, flash floods of El Maresme occur, a wellknown local natural phenomenon.
Serralada Litoral Park is mainly covered with woodland, although there are also sections of farmland and more open areas, especially in the middle of the park, which help increase its biodiversity.
Pine and holm oak woods are the two most predominant forms of vegetation. Its bright pine forests of umbrella and Aleppo pine, on the Maresme side, contrast with the better conserved forest of holm oak, mixed with white oak, on the greener, wetter slopes of the Vallès side.
Brush and scrubland are mainly found on the Maresme slopes, spreading over old vineyards and areas affected by forest fires. The few water courses in the park, fragile arteries running through the landscape contrasting with the dryness of the Mediterranean forest, are home to European alder, white poplar and hazel, mixed with reeds and plantations of black poplars and plane trees. These are vulnerable habitats, strongholds for the threatened species that find refuge in the park.
The variety of scenery means the park is home to over 270 species of vertebrates, most of which are birds. The fauna is typical of Mediterranean landscapes, while including a number of species more common to central European environments, such as the bank vole.
The squirrel, genet, wood mouse, badger and fox are some of the most common mammals to be found in these woods. In recent years, with its increasing numbers, there have been occasional sightings of roe deer. Among the birds that can be spotted all year round are the jay, the green woodpecker, the robin and the restless tits. In the summer, raptors, such as the goshawk, the sparrowhawk, the eagle owl, the boreal owl, the short-toed eagle and the honey buzzard, hunt their prey in the woods or clearings, making the conservation of open areas essential. The marble newt, salamander and Montpellier snake complete the variety of fauna for which the park provides the ideal habitat.
In the autumn, the hills in the park provide the perfect viewpoint for watching birds on their migration route to Africa.
Human occupation and heritage
Ever since prehistoric times, the park's landscape has been shaped by Man´s activity. In modern times, the abandonment of agricultural land has led to the spread of the woodland, heavily exploited in earlier periods. Today, agriculture activity, with the use of farms, is developing new practices, most commonly associated with leisure.
The first traces of human presence in the area go back to prehistoric times. Dating from the Neolithic period are the Castellruf, La Roca d'en Toni and Céllecs dolmens. Caves or shelters from the same era can also be found, such as the Les Bones Dones and Granota caves.
During the Iberian period, the Laietani built settlements on the hilltops, as seen in the villages of Céllecs or La Cadira del Bisbe and the sites of the castles of Sant Miquel and Burriac.
The arrival or the Romans forced the Laietani towards the plains and the coast. The sites at Cabrera de Mar, Vilassar de Dalt and Teià are remains from this period.
During Medieval times, the valleys that run down to the plains were the sites of the small settlements, which have grown into the towns that now surround the park. The hills saw the construction of farmhouses, such as Can Boquet, Pre-Romanesque chapels, such as Sant Salvador and Sant Cristòfor, and the Romanesque chapels of Sant Mateu, Sant Bartomeu de Cabanyes and Sant Pere de Clarà. The most impressive monument existing today is Burriac Castle, on the peak of the same name, which saw heavy use as a defence against the Barbary pirates in the 16th century and later conflicts.
Places of interest
Can Gol II dolmen, the rock of Les Orenetes, the Foradada rock and the rock of Les Creus (La Roca del Vallès), the dolmens of Roca d'en Toni (Vilassar de Dalt), Castellruf (Santa Maria de Martorelles), and La Cabana del Moro (La Roca del Vallès), the caves of Les Bones Dones (Cabrils), La Granota and En Pau (Vilassar de Dalt).
The village of Castellruf (Santa Maria de Martorelles), the site of Sant Miquel Castle (Vallromanes), the village of Céllecs (Òrrius), the Burriac Castle site (Cabrera de Mar) and the village of La Cadira del Bisbe (Premià de Dalt).
Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque Sites
Pre-Romanesque chapels of Sant Romà (Tiana), Sant Salvador (Vilassar de Dalt) and Sant Cristòfor (Cabrils). Romanesque chapels of Sant Mateu (Premià de Dalt), Sant Bartomeu de Cabanyes (Òrrius) and Sant Pere de Clarà (Argentona). The Parpers Roman road (Argentona).
Burriac Castle (Cabrera de Mar).
The springs of Sant Mateu (Premià de Dalt), La Mercè and Can Gurri (Santa Maria de Martorelles), La Mansa and Sant Bartomeu (La Roca del Vallès), Can Gurguí (Vallromanes), L'Esquerda (Alella), En Mamet (Vilassar de Dalt) and more than 100 other springs in the municipality of Argentona, such as Picant, L'Esquirol and Ferro.
There are beautiful views of El Maresme, El Vallès and El Barcelonès from the peaks of: Massis de Céllecs (535 m), Turó de Sant Mateu (499 m), Turó de Galzeran (485 m), Turó de Castellruf (459 m), Turó del castell de Burriac (401 m) and the Turó de Montcabrer (325 m).
All information may be found in greater detail and updated at Park Agenda which may be consulted on the Internet.
Trails and paths
The park has ten signposted walking trails: 'La roca d´en Toni', 'The Squirrel Route', 'The Montcabrer Cross', 'Burriac Castle from Cabrera de Mar', 'Burriac Castle from Argentona', 'The El Vedat Route', 'Riudemeia Birdwatching Trail', 'Prehistoric Route I Can Gol-Céllecs', 'Prehistoric Route II Can Planes-Sant Bartomeu' and 'The Green Meridian' (from La Roca del Vallès to Ocata beach). The longdistance GR 92 hike trail crosses the park lengthways and the GR 97.3 runs from El Vallès Oriental to El Maresme. Finally, there are a number of trails marked out by the local municipalities, such as 'El Torrent del Fonoll' in Alella.
Complete itineraries information may be found at itineraries on foot
which may be consulted on the Internet.
Office of Park of Cabrera de Mar
Av. Onze de Setembre, 53
08349 Cabrera de Mar
Tel. +34937 540 024
Fax +34937 540 022
Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm.
C-32 from Barcelona to Mataró
AP-7 from Barcelona to la Jonquera
B-20 from Barcelona to Montgat
C-60 from Mataró to Granollers
C-1415c from Granollers to Mataró
BV-5106 from La Roca del Vallès to Òrrius and Argentona
BP-5002 from El Masnou to Granollers
B-500 from Badalona to Mollet (La Conreria)
Equipment and services
- Respect agriculture and livestock as they are the livelihood of many inhabitants of this park.
- The forest is a natural resource and is used rationally in this area. Uses are regulated by the Catalan Forestry Act and by the regulations of the Special Plan.
- Use the network of signposted tracks and paths. Vehicles, bicycles and horses must not be driven or ridden off roads and tracks for public use. Remember that the maximum permitted speed is 30 km/h. Do not block the way when stopping your car.
- Enjoy the park and preserve the natural and architectural wealth.
- Respect the peace and quiet, especially of bird nesting places. Do not make unnecessary noise.
- Hunting is regulated in order to ensure the maintenance of local species.
- Abandoning pets is cruel and punishable by law.
- Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is a rare tree that provides shelter and food for many species of animals. It is protected by law and collection of both the tree and parts thereof is penalised.
- Remember that burning branches and other materials, throwing fireworks, lighting fires and barbecues in the forest areas and in a radius of 500 metres are expressly prohibited (except in the period of the year in which the law so allows and with prior authorisation from the competent body).
- Do not throw away rubbish. Use the bins or containers provided or those of nearby villages.
- Camping in non-designated areas is not allowed. If you wish to camp, a permit is required. Councils will advise on how to obtain one.
- If you gather wild mushrooms or medicinal herbs, do not damage the forest by using tools or by digging in the earth.