48 Kms / 34,5Kms
In February 1523 Ignacio de Loyola decided to leave the city of Manresa and set out for Barcelona, passing by the Pont de Vilomara, a place where he would say goodbye to the Manresa families who had accompanied him so well for 11 months. We are going to follow his route until we reach the city of Barcelona. Ignatius feels in his soul to leave those good people, but his call to live with Jesus leads him to attempt his pilgrimage to Jerusalem at this moment.
Two options are presented to the pilgrim for this stage: the mountain and the valley. The option that goes up the mountain and enters the Sant Llorenç del Munt i l’Obac Park, is very beautiful, but with some difficulty due to the extension without intermediate towns (34.5 km) and because you have to go up and down trails through forest, and sometimes trails are not very well marked. The option of the valley is not so beautiful, since we are in populated areas, and we have to go through towns, roads and urbanized areas. The advantage is that the stages are shorter, the path is clearer and completely marked, and that the path can be stopped as desired, since there are places to stay or take the public transport that connects the towns. Going through the mountains, you have to go directly from Manresa to Terrassa, without the possibility of staying in the middle, because we are inside the natural park and there are no accommodations or possible transport. If the valley option is taken, the route is longer (48 km) but the advantage is that the pilgrim can divide this Manresa – Terrassa section into two stages, as they please.
Itinerary of the Llobregat River Valley.
We take as starting point the Plaça de Sant Ignasi, next to the Chapel of the Rapture. Going up the street of Escodines, we pass behind the Casa de Espiritualidad de La Cova and continue straight along street of Santa Clara, and street San Juan de Dios. We look at the Cruz de Termino de las Escodinas, where Ignacio used to stop to pray on his way to Viladordis. On the road to Pont de Vilomara, we turn left and go to a roundabout. There we take the first street on the right and continue going up street of Alvar Alto. We reached a roundabout and went down to pass in front of the police station. We turn right at the first street and, after the gas station, we turn right again to go directly to the C-55 road, which we pass below. We continue straight on and take a path that descends to our left, with remains of a very old cobblestone. Saint Ignatius went down this path many times, approaching Viladordis. We come to a wide dirt road and we take it to the right. We follow the same path, in the direction of the Viladordis church that can be seen on top of a hill. When we arrive in front of the farmhouse of les Marcetes, we deviate a few meters from the Camino to approach the church of Viladordis and visit the Virgen de la Salud.
We resume the Camino at the point where we left it and we go down the paved road until we reach the road. We cross the road and take a dirt road that keeps us parallel to the C-16 motorway. We crossed the bridge. The dirt road descends towards the valley of the Llobregat river. Already near the town of El Pont de Vilomara, we find the road and head towards the 11th century stone bridge. After crossing, we find the GR-270, red and white paint signs, which will also serve as a guide. We take the BV-1225 road to our right until a point where a dirt road appears on our right and brings us closer to the Llobregat river. We will walk along the river always on our right.
We reach a point where the dirt road no longer allows us to continue and we are forced to climb onto the BV-1225 road and walk cautiously along the hard shoulder for 1.5 km. After passing under the highway, a road starts on our right, in the direction of the Devesa Hermanos factory and Railtech Sufetra. We take that road that first maintains the level and then descends. When we reach the Colector de Salmorres del Riu Llobregat, we turn left and continue straight along the same asphalt road, which brings us closer to the train tracks, which we cross under the bridge next to the river. We always follow the same path, seeking to get closer to the Llobregat river. We once again pass the train tracks under a bridge and continue straight on Via Augusta street. The street ends up closed, so we have to turn left and go down Calle del Llobregat. We go straight on towards the houses from Sant Vicenç de Castellet. The path runs parallel to the Llobregat river, until it reaches the town. We cross the town and go to look for the first bridge over the river to cross it and take a path along the river that begins under the bridge, going down from the roundabout close to the C-55 road.
The path runs alongside the river, which is now on our left, and we follow it for a few kilometers until the same path leads us back to the C-55 road. When we reach the road and the train track, we take the path to our left and walk in parallel until we find the river again and pass under the highway bridge. We will continue along the same path, always next to the Llobregat river, for 3 km. We pass under the train tracks. The path approaches the road bridge, next to a ruined farmhouse, Cal Fassina, and we take the asphalt path to our left, to go back to the train tracks. We cross the Llobregat by the Old Bridge and, when we reach the road, we turn right. We continue straight on the road, which has no traffic, and we enter the town of Castellbell i el Vilar. When passing in front of the town hall, do not forget to put the stamp on the pilgrim’s credential. We have already done 22.5 km, so this is a good place to cut this stage in two, if the pilgrim does not want to do the 48 km in a single day.
We leave Castellbell through Avenida de Catalunya and we will walk along the road towards the town of Monistrol for 4 km. There is not much traffic, so the walk is quiet. At the entrance of Monistrol, at the roundabout in front of the bridge over the river, we turn left to start the climb towards the town of Vacarisses. We make a Z, first to the left and then to the right, to be able to pass the train tracks over it. We continue along the asphalt road and after passing a farm, we enter a path in the mountain, which we are going to follow and which connects roads. We are on the path of the pilgrims who go up to Montserrat from Terrassa. We approach Vacarisses, a town of scattered houses. On Calle de los Torrents we reach the C-58 road and cross it to go up the path to the Station. Always straight ahead until we find a pedestrian path with reddish soil, which we take to our right, always in the direction of the train station. We go up the Camino del Palà and then the Tulipans. When the Calle de los Tulipans ends, we turn left towards the train tracks and cross them. We turn left onto Calle de las Petunias and cross the highway through the tunnel. After the tunnel, we turn left onto the first street and turn left again onto the first path. We are going up towards the urban center of Vacarisses, with its town hall. We have been 39 km from Manresa and we have only 5 km to climb. Behind the town hall we take the main street and come to the first intersection, where we turn 90 degrees to our left, to go up the Camí de l’Obac.
Always on the same path, we come to a fork and we take the path to the left, which goes up Avinguda Vacarisses. We will always continue along the same Avinguda until it ends at the Camí de la Pineda roundabout. When we get there, we turn right and continue towards La Carena de la Pineda, always straight on the same path, without taking any other that may arise to the right or left. We stay at the top of the mountain, heading towards Terrassa. Always on the same road, we descend towards the city and cross the B-40 road. We leave the fields and step onto the first street in Terrassa that leads us to a bridge over the Palau stream.
We continue straight on Joan d’Austria street until we reach Passeig del Vint i dos de Juliol, which we turn left to pass the train tracks under the Rambla d’Ègara bridge. We follow this Rambla descending until we reach Carrer Mayor, which we take to the left and which takes us directly to the Cathedral of Terrassa. End of stage.
Itinerary of the Sant Llorenç Park.
Before starting, we must very seriously recommend that the pilgrim download the GPS track on his Smartphone or use Google Maps on the website to follow the stage well. This route is not as well signposted as that of the Valley, so you have to be well equipped with the GPS guide, just in case. Now, the itinerary. This route is not as well signposted as that of the Valley, so you have to be well equipped with the GPS guide, just in case. Now, the itinerary.
The exit from Manresa is the same as in the valley option, following the same path until reaching the Pont de Vilomara. Once we have crossed the bridge, we also cross the road and head towards the center of the town, passing through Carrer de Sant Jaume. We turn left to pass in front of the town hall and we continue along Avenida de la Constitución until we reach Calle de Jacint Verdaguer, which we turn right. Then left along Lleida street and right onto Girona Street. In 50 meters we take a path to our left, which goes up towards the mountain. Attention because in 300 m we have to take the path to the right, which becomes a path between pine trees, and go up until we find a wide dirt road, which we will continue straight on. Along this road we come to a circular concrete deposit. From here, everything will be mountain trails and at some point dirt roads. If the pilgrim pays attention, he will see the signs of the Camino Real Manresa – Barcelona, signposted in 1797. It seems incredible that the Camino passed through here, seeing the wild state in which it is now, right? But it was certainly the shortest.
We are going to find different GRs that cross within the Sant Llorenç del Munt i de l’Obac Park. We continue along the trails and arrive at Sant Jaume de Vallhonesta ruins. We continue straight on along the path to the right, which does not go down to the valley. The dirt road becomes a narrow path and we continue straight ahead, always staying on the crest of the mountain. We come to a wide road, but soon we return to the trails, and again to other paths that keep us high on the mountain. We crossed some high voltage power lines. We continue along the dirt road and pass a demolished house: Hostalets d’en Daví. The path becomes a trail again and we reach the rocks. At this point the view of the park is impressive and we walk along narrow paths marked in the sedimentary rock, the same type as that of Montserrat. We go around the great rock and climb to stay at the top of the rocky mountain. Between pine trees and sometimes walking on the bare rock, we go up and contemplate the magnificent silhouette of the mountain of Montserrat behind us.
Attention: we come to a fairly wide piece of bare rock, and we have to turn 90 degrees to our right, going down a little to go around the summit that rises in front of us. We continue along the trails that keep us on the crest of the mountain. We enter a dirt road that will guide us towards Terrassa, passing through the Serra de Pedritxes. We pass by some circular water tanks. We see some houses to our left in a residential area that descends towards the valley, but we continue straight along the ridge of the mountain, without losing height, and at some point even going up. The path takes us to the Serra del Troncó and we take the Les Quatre Cadenes path straight ahead, which soon begins to descend towards the city of Terrassa. The mountain road ends, entering the fields. We cross the B-40 motorway under the bridge, which takes us to a roundabout and we continue straight on along this street until we reach Terque street, which we take to our left. We continue along Avenida de les Arts and then Avenida de Bejar. Going straight down Avenida de Bejar until after the Terrassa Nacions Unides train station, when we turn right to go down Calle del Dr. Cistaré. Going straight ahead along the street of Dr. Cistaré, we arrive at the street d’Emili Badiella and we continue straight, until the park and the square of the Terrassa Nord train station. Just behind the station is Calle del Nord and we take it towards the center of Terrassa. When we reach a square, we take Camí Fondo street that is on the right and that goes down to meet Sant Pere street. We continue along Sant Pere and turn left onto Carrer dels Gavatxons. In a few meters we reach the Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral of Terrassa. End of stage.