Park of El Montnegre i el Corredor
El Montnegre i el Corredor Park is located in the Catalan Coastal Mountain System, between the regions of El Maresme and El Vallès Oriental, and covers an approximate area of 15,000 hectares.
The Vallgorguina and Arenys brooks separate the massifs of El Corredor and Montnegre, the highest points of which are the Sanctuary of El Corredor, at 657 metres, and the Turó de Gros and Turó d´en Vives, at 766 metres.
The park is bounded to the east by the Mediterranean, to the west by the depression of El Vallès, and to the north and south by the Argentona and Tordera brooks.
The park is set in the Serralada de Marina, a mountain range that limits the green ring of natural parks around the Barcelona conurbation in the Northeast. Its landscape is defined by Mediterranean forest on mountainous, rugged terrain.
El Montnegre i el Corredor Park is legally safeguarded by a Special Physical Environment and Landscape Protection Plan that was approved on 20 July 1989.
The Department of Natural Areas of Barcelona Provincial Council manages this protected area in association with the councils that form the park and with the participation of various sectors.
The park is managed, on a participatory and consensual basis, principally to ensure the implementation of its special plan, while guaranteeing the preservation of its natural and cultural assets, the orderly public use of the mountains, the fulfilment of cultural, educational and scientific demands and providing for socio-economic development.
The physical environment
The geological substratum of the park's two mountain areas is basically the same: granite bedrock shot through with dike rock and more erosion-resistant slate, prominent on the upper part of Montnegre. Because of the impact of erosion, granite breaks up to form gravel. In some spots, weathering of the rock´s fracture planes has prompted large pieces of rock to form the characteristic boulder field landscape. The most recent tectonic movements and landscape erosion processes yielded a relief that features numerous ridges and valley bottoms, which are abrupt in Montnegre and gentle and rounded in El Corredor.
The Mediterranean climate of this region has some considerable variations. These depend on whether zones lie in the colder, moister inland areas, or on the sea-facing slopes, with milder temperatures, torrential rains and downpours that often cause floods in the lowland areas of El Maresme.
Geographical location determines the climate and the plant life that covers the mountains. The proximity of the sea provides extra humidity, particularly in summer, while the contrasting temperatures of the shady and sunny hillsides give rise to a wealth of flora, with species more typical of Atlantic and continental climates.
The cork oak, holm oak and stone pine, typical of the Mediterranean climate, predominate.
Because of the increased humidity of some zones, there is no lack of oaks, chestnuts, alders and even some beeches and birches in the higher, shady areas of the park.
The lower areas of the mountains feature Kermes oak, brushwood and grassland, plant communities that have gradually colonised abandoned former cropland.
The variety of mountain environments found in the park (Mediterranean and Central-European forest, riparian and pine forest,
and open and cropland areas) favours diverse and abundant fauna. There are Mediterranean woodland species such as the common genet, the dormouse, the squirrel, the goshawk, the green woodpecker, the jay and the ladder snake; and animals typical of Central European environments such as the beech marten, the bank vole, the woodcock and the midwife toad.
The open areas are particularly rich in fauna. Thousands of insects and other invertebrates, reptiles, birds of all kinds and small mammals live among the brushwood. These areas are important for predators such as the short-toed eagle, the buzzard, the fox, the Montpellier snake and the lizard, as they provide their basic food sources.
The special location of the coastal ranges, which run parallel to the sea and lie on the migration routes of birds, makes them excellent places from which to observe changes in season, particularly the start of spring and autumn.
People have settled in these mountain ranges since ancient times. The exceptional geographical location and wealth of natural resources were appreciated in the late Neolithic period, as is evident in the Pedra Gentil, Ca l'Arenes and Pedra Arca dolmens.
The Iberians, particularly the Laietans, customarily settled in areas of medium altitude, such as the Turó del Vent and Puig del Castell, where traces of their settlements are still visible. Occupation by the Romans forced them to come down onto the plains, upon which numerous agricultural towns appeared.
In medieval times, the population gathered in small nuclei, which were more common on lower than on higher ground. The importance of religion in the period is evident from the large number of religious buildings scattered throughout the park.
Subsequent agricultural colonisation is reflected in over two hundred farmsteads such as Can Pradell de la Serra, Can Bosc and Ca l'Oller de Fuirosos, and a landscape formed by the alternation of forests and crops in which human activity over the ages has been of key importance.
The process of agricultural decline, which started in the late nineteen-fifties, now means that practically no farmsteads are used for agriculture. Instead, they are gradually being converted and used for other purposes.
The gentle landscape, fair weather and great scenic contrasts of these regions provide some very appealing reasons for walking in the park. Public transport (railway and bus) provides access to the start and finish of a large number of walks. If you are travelling by car, the roads and main tracks that cross both massifs visit some very interesting spots.
The most striking walks are the three long-distance trails, generally known as GRs (gran recorregut in Catalan), which cross the park. The GR 5 makes its way crosswise through the park from the shady slopes of Montnegre to the Canet de Mar cross and passes through Sant Martí de Montnegre and Sant Iscle de Vallalta. The GR 92 runs lengthways from the town of Tordera to Sant Martí de Montnegre, descends to Vallgorguina and continues to the shrine of El Corredor and Can Bordoi. The GR 83, known as the Northern or Canigó Route, retraces the route into exile and crosses the park from south to north from Mataró to Breda. The three trails are clearly signposted with the distinctive red and white markings of the GR paths. Visitors who wish to take shorter hikes can take the signposted trails that leave from numerous facilities in the park.
Complete itineraries information may be found at itineraries on foot
which may be consulted on the Internet.
Services for leisure
The park offers a network of public and private amenities for leisure activities. Visitors can take meals and meet in the open air in areas such the El Corredor or Hortsavinyà recreational areas, which are designated for this purpose.
Numerous restaurants in surrounding towns offer a varied menu of Catalan meat and fish cuisine. There are also establishments within the park that serve dishes that include the region´s typical chargrilled meat and diverse homemade meals.
Remember that it is strictly forbidden to make fires, including barbecues, anywhere in the park, except at the sites provided for cooking food. The park´s wardens and information centre staff can help you to find the best places for any type of pursuit.
This information may be found in greater detail and updated at Park Agenda
which may be consulted on the Internet.
Due to their relief, both El Maresme and El Vallès Oriental have been transit zones since ancient times. This has encouraged exchange, which has consolidated settlement and business and characterised the region's development. Although human settlement dates back to ancient times throughout the region, it developed in very different ways on the coastal plain, in the mountain ranges and in the inland valleys. The population initially settled in the valleys of the coastal range, on sites that very often formed the original nuclei of the coastal towns, the first docklands, which started gaining independence around the sixteenth century but were not consolidated until the eighteenth century because of the threat of piracy. Scattered settlement on the massif is also typical of the zone because water was relatively easy to come by.
The dolmens of Pedra Gentil (near Vallgorguina), of Ca l'Arenes (Dosrius) and of Pedra Arca (between Llinars del Vallès and Vilalba Sasserra), and remains of Iberian settlements at Turó del Vent and Puig del Castell (between Can Bordoi and El Far) are evidence that this settlement dates from far back in time. Near the main track that runs from Can Bordoi to near Vallgorguina there are some architecturally interesting buildings, such as the church of Sant Cristòfol beside Can Bordoi, records of which date from 1025 and which was reconstructed in the early twentieth century, and Can Bordoi itself, which was documented in the eighth century. The church of Sant Andreu del Far, which was given the name of Bonaconjunta in 1164, lies further along. The sanctuary of El Corredor, designated as a hermitage in 1544 and subsequently rebuilt in late Gothic style, is at the highest point of this sector.
Traces of religious architecture, such as the chapel of Llorita (sixteenth century) and the pre-Romanesque church of Sant Martí de Mata, which was restored in the sixteenth century, are also to be found on the slopes nearest the sea. In the Montnegre region, human settlements are more common on the lower slopes of the range, as the relief is considerably more rugged than around El Corredor.
It generally features old parishes, isolated due to the lack of good road links. The parishes of Fuirosos, Ramió, Vallmanya and Hortsavinyà are particularly significant. There are also chapels at relatively high locations such as Santa Maria, Sant Martí and L´Erola, and the ruins of the ancient monastery of Roca-rossa. Closer to the sea are some noteworthy buildings such as the castle of Montpalau, the church of Sant Pere de Riu and the Roman aqueduct on Passeig d'Hortsavinyà, near Pineda de Mar.
Park Office in Vallgorguina. Technical enquiries.
Església, 13, 2°
Tel. +34938 679 452
Fax +34938 679 092
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 9 am to 1 pm.
Facilities and services
- Respect agricultural and stockbreeding activities, as they provide the livelihood of many of the park's inhabitants.
- Use the network of signposted tracks and paths. Remember that the maximum speed is 30 km/h. Travel in vehicles and on bicycles and horseback off public roads and tracks is not allowed. Do not park in front of the chains preventing access to certain tracks.
- Enjoy the park while respecting the diversity of the natural and architectural heritage.
- Human presence and activity in Montnegre and El Corredor have left a host of architecture and art over the ages: churches, castles, farmsteads, paths, crop borders, etc. all of which represent a highly valuable cultural heritage that we must conserve.
- Rational use of the forest is one of the most traditional economic activities on the massif. Tree felling is regulated by the Forestry Act of Catalonia and the park regulations.
- El Montnegre i el Corredor Park is an ideal place for open-air activities and sport. For your safety, take the precautions appropriate for the activity you intend to undertake.
- Respect nature and the peacefulness of the park, particularly in nesting areas. Avoid making unnecessary noise.
- Holly (Ilex aquifolium) is a rare tree that provides food and shelter for many species of animals. It is protected and therefore collecting either the tree or its parts are punishable by law.
- Hunting on the massif is controlled to maintain the zone´s characteristic fauna.
- Abandoning pets and exotic species is cruel and punishable by law.
- Remember that burning branches and other materials, setting off fireworks, lighting fires on the ground and barbecues on forest land and in a radius of 500 metres are expressly forbidden (except at the time of year when permitted by law and upon prior authorisation from the competent body).
- Do not leave litter. Use the bins and containers in the park or in nearby villages.
- No wilderness camping, including camper vans, of any kind is permitted If you wish to camp, you must have a permit; The town councils will inform you of how to obtain one.
- If you collect wild mushrooms or medicinal herbs, do not damage the forest by using tools or digging in the earth.