GR 1: Transversal Path
The stretch from Besalú to Sant Llorenç de Morunys and from the Valley of Rialb to Lo Pont de Montanyana, where it connects with the Aragonese GR 1, is now signposted. The Empúries-Besalú stretch and the stretch between Sant Llorenç de Morunys and the Valley of Rialb is yet to be opened and signposted.
From Empúries, you will cross the cultivated plains of the Empordà to Banyoles and the prodigious medieval town of Besalú. From here it goes to Tortellà and, through the village of Oix, climbs the Valley of Bianya to Sant Pau de Segúries. It passes through Sant Joan de les Abadesses and Ripoll, both with Romanesque monasteries worth a visit for their architectural qualities and for the historic fact of having been the birthplace of the historic formation of Catalonia.
The path then crosses the area of El Lluçanès and over the river Llobregat at Gironella, an important textile town.It then climbs up El Capolat to drop down into the Valley of Ora where, at the foot of the spectacular crags of the Sierra od Busa, there is another magnificent Romanesque remain: Sant Pere de Graudescales. From this point, the path continues to the town of Sant Llorenç de Morunys, an important tourist centre near to the Port de Comte ski station.
The climb to the Coll de Jou and the descent to El Segre, which would cross through Oliana to reach the Valley of Rialb is being studied. From here, the GR 1 is now signposted and passes the Coll Roig, climbing to the top of the Sierra of the Montsec and along La Portella Blanca before dropping down to Àger after crossing the River Noguera Pallaresa. From Àger is crosses the southern slope of the Montsec to the banks of the river Noguera Ribagorzana and follows it upstream, through one of the most spectacular gorges in the Pyrenees foothills, El Paso de Mont-Rebei in Lo Pont de Montanyana, where it joins the Aragonese GR 1.
From the Coll Roig you can take a variant that follows the northern slop of the Montsec, passing through Matasolana, crossing the Reservoir of Terradets over the bridge close to the dam and climbing up through Cellers to Sant Esteve and Castellnou before dropping down to the farmhouse of Mont-Rebei and from there to Lo Pont de Montanyana.
Departure point: Empúries
Arrival point: Lo Pont de Montanyana
Distance (km): 355
No. of stages: 11
Empúries - Banyoles - El Torn - Castellfullit de la Roca - Oix - Sant Pau de Segúries - Sant Joan de les Abadesses - Ripoll - Alpens - Lluçà - Santa Maria de Merlés - Gironella - Àvia - Capolat - Sant Pere de Graudescales - Sant Llorenç de Morunys - Oden - Montpolt - Oliana - Peramola - Gavarra -Benevent de la Conca - Llimiana - Sant Esteve de la Sarga - Congost de Mont-Rebei - Lo Pont de Montanyana.
Variante GR 1-2:
Avià - Berga - Sanctuary of Queralt (GR 107), GR 1-4: Peramola - Pont de Montanyana.
Railway in Ripoll. Regular bus service in Besalú, Sant Pau de Segúries, Sant Joan de les Abadesses, Ripoll, Alpens, Olvan, Gironella, Avià, Espunyola and Sant Llorenç de Morunys. Hotel or inn in Besalú, Sant Pau de Segúries, Sant Joan de les Abadesses, Ripoll, Alpens, Gironella, Àvia, Can Jaques, Sant Llorenç de Morunys, Oliana, Àger and Lo Pont de Montanyana. Restaurants in all places with a hotel or inn and in Lluçà, Molí de Vilà, Olvan, Empunyola and Sant Lleir de Vall d’Ora.