Together with the massif of Begur, the Gavarres massif is the northern end of the Catalan coastal range. Its curved arch-like shape widens toward the north between the counties of Baix Empordà and Gironès. It has an extension of 350 square kilometres, covering twenty municipalities: Calonge, Castell - Platja d’Aro, Corçà, Cruïlles-Monells-Sant Sadurní de l’Heura, Forallac, La Bisbal d’Empordà, Mont-ras, Palafrugell, Palamós, Santa Cristina d’Aro, Torrent and Vall-llobrega at the Baix Empordà county, and Cassà de la Selva, Celrà, Girona, Juià, Llagostera, Llambilles, Madremanya, Quart and Sant Martí Vell at the Gironès county.
To the north the massif limits with the Baix Empordà plain with a number of hills known as Pregavarres; to the north-west it meets the Transversal range and separates the plains of L’Empordà and La Selva; to the west limits with La Selva and to the south with the Vall d’Aro valley, a small depression where the Ridaura river separates the Gavarres and the Ardenya massifs. The Gavarres is a round shaped massif, the Catalan writer Josep Pla defined the shapes of the massif as being “elephantine”. The highest points are the twin peaks of La Gavarra (533 m) and Arques (527 m). There are other relevant peaks: Mare de Déu dels Àngels (485 m), Montigalar (467 m), Santa Pellaia (353 m), Puig Cargol (363 m) and Montnegre (285 m).
The Gavarres are situated between plains highly modified by human activity and close to a coast substantially altered. The massif offers an extensive forest landscape in all its extension.
The Gavarres territory is, as is always the case with any inhabited area, the reflection of the activities and living habits of the many human groups that have populated it. Houses point to the importance of the organization of society in families; the plot walls, irrigation, mills, ovens, etc. tell the tale of the means of subsistence of those families; the churches and paths are reminders of how the families got organised, and the names of the places and the legends reflect a way of thinking and perceiving the world.
The study of the landscape under a historical perspective allows discovering, under the thick carpet of vegetation covering the Gavarres, the remnants of the ways of life of those who have populated the successive stages of the history of the massif.
Places of interest:
● Panedes Neighbourhood. Nature area appropriate for hiking. Remnants of a Roman villa have been located here. Other places of interest in this area are the Panedes hermitage, Tower of the Moors, and fountain of Panedes.
● Well of Les Goges. Legendary and mysterious pond in the depth of the stream of Salenys.
● Wolf Waterfall. The waterfall is crossed by a hanging bridge that leads to the beginning of a via ferrata along the stream of Salenys.