3+1 adventure in Caldes de Malavella
After I fell in love with Caldes de Malavella during my first visit back in September 2012, I knew right away there was much more to explore and love about than just the main 6 things to do in Caldes.
My second time in the town I also stayed at Balneari Prats, one of my favorite hotels ever, and tried to do as much off the beaten path activities in Caldes de Malavella as possible.
As I am trying to prove that almost every single destination can be good for relaxing both your mind and body (hence the reason for doing Adventure and Spa project), I decided to do adventure in Caldes de Malavella. I even did 3 different adventure activities. Of course, after them I relaxed myself with all the different thermal spa treatments and massages :)
Adventure activities in Caldes de Malavella:
1. Via Ferrata
I was picked up at the hotel and we drove some 20 minutes to Riera de Salenys where we packed and started walking. The animal footprints and some plants we saw on the way were explained to me pretty well. Wish I remembered all the names too!
I have to say it was my first via ferrata ever and I had no expectations. I just knew I didn’t want to do rappel after being bad at it back in Mexico when I tried rappeling down a volcano next to Rincon de Parangueo with strong wind. I was ”lucky” because my shoes were not good enough to abseil the wet rocks :D
Carlos, my guide from Aventura Girona was the best guide ever and had a lot of patience with me. Also lots of laughs as I was so not in shape after winter. The initial fear left me soon and there were many moments when I truly loved via ferrata and I felt at home when doing it. Overcoming both horizontal and vertical parts, different types of bridges and finally moving my body was a liberating feeling. And indeed, the first part of via ferrata was the most difficult and the easiest to sweat.
Carlos, also a vegetarian and a yoga teacher who quit his ”great” job before to dedicate to nature and feel alive again, was very interesting to talk to. We had so many topics in common that at times I had goose bumps. Via ferrata and our chatting gave me so much energy I could fly. Finally another person with the same opinions!
In between, we made a few stops to eat healthy and drink enough water. Obviously, Carlos was carrying it all. It doesn’t happen very often that I am not the only person eating nuts and fruit in the mountains. I could only pray via ferrata with Aventura Girona.
2. Horse-back riding in Centre Equestre Malavella
Right in Caldes de Malavella you can go horse-back riding through the green fields or the forest. There’s many different routes to choose from.
The first afternoon I wanted to relax my mind on a horse back but it was not possible because it started raining right after we arrived. The following day my luck was better and we could finally do it.
Rafael and Isabella, the owners of the centre prepared our horses carefully and even combed and cleaned them while I was getting more and more nervous. Horses are one of my biggest loves but I feel a huge amount of respect to them and something also like fear (even though fear is not the right word, maybe adrenaline feeling in my belly?)
I sat on a horse after a long time but after a short while I felt comfortable again and was able to avoid all the branches without hurting myself. We rode through the forest to a quiet lake with the sun shining above our heads and just pure nature around us.
3. Aiguamolls de l’Empordà adventure in the nature with birds
Again with Carlos from Aventura Girona, we decided to take it easy and do something different yet a little bit adventurous. This time it was bird watching in Aiguamolls which I visited for just 10 minutes a few days ago so I knew I would love it. Aiguamolls, created in 1983, offers maps, leaflets, consultation and you can even rent binoculars here.
Quiet and very peaceful walk with so many different birds singing around you is definitely worth a visit. We only spent 2 hours silently wondering around the natural park with our cameras and even spotted deer, cows, turtles and horses. The only minus of Aiguamolls are the annoying mosquitoes who for some reason still think they can eat me alive!
+ 1 adventure Vias verdes – greenways
Vias verdes is a project for 2 years. In 2013 the aim is to get the signs out, build roads and technical services and then in 2014 new technologies, such as mobile apps with routes. Two main greenway parts are planned – one from the train station to golf course; and the second one to Casa de la Selva connected with the interior and the beach.
Now there’s 8 routes, one of them being along the old Via Augusta that passes around the so called La Cruz de la mano – the hand cross. With my friend we went to see the cross. The legend says the hand on the cross means the following: ”Stop, I am here.” one group of bandits telling the other ones it’s their territory; or the hand on the cross could also show what would happen to other bandits if they tried to pass behind the cross.
All the adventure in Caldes de Malavella was part of the Adventure and spa project and press trip I did thanks to Balneari Prats – many thanks to Cristina and Araceli. I loved doing them all and cannot wait to go back to Caldes de Malavella and do vias verdes too in the future.
***It took me 2 days to go through all the photos, pick the best ones, sort them out, name them and write this post.