The only via ferrata in Europe’s coast is found in Catalonia, more exactly in the city of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Even if you’re a rock climbing expert or you’ve ever wanted to try it but thought you didn’t have the skills for it, this is the perfect place for an exciting adventure with astonishing views over the Mediterranean Sea.
|Duration: Half day||Where: Sant Feliu de Guíxols|
|When: May to October||Driving time: 1 h 20 min from Barcelona / 40 min from Girona|
|Difficulty: Moderate||Show map|
All you need to know to spend 1 day in Cala del Molí
- What to do
- When is the best time to go to Cala del Molí
- How to arrive in Cala del Molí
- For the curious minds
Via ferrata Cala del Molí
What makes the via ferrata Cala del Molí so unique is that it’s the only in Europe by the sea. If you’re still wandering what a via ferrata is, let us explain it. In a nutshell, a via ferrata is a climbing route equipped with materials (such as steps, chains, steel cables and nails) that make the itinerary easier for people not used to climb. It’s an ideal sport to enjoy the mountain in a safe way.
The route is 480 meters long in total and at some points it can go as high as 20 metres, offering an impressive panoramic view of the Costa Brava. As you pause to take a break or just to wait for people to finish the tricky parts of the via, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent perspective of the Mediterranean sea.
From the Mirador de les Triadores -you dress yourself with all the equipment there- there is only 50m until the starting point of the via ferrata, which is at Cala del Molí (Molí’s cave). The total duration of the activity is from 2h 30min to 4h (starting from the parking). Time varies depending on how busy the via ferrata is and how experienced you are.
This via ferrata is divided in two parts, being the second one more difficult. If you’ve just finished the first part and decided that you’ve had enough, there’s an exit that brings you back to the start. That was the first time we did a via ferrata, and after the first part I (Marina) thought I’d had enough and that maybe it wasn’t made for me. However, after some insistence from Marc, I decided to continue and I can assure you I keep a great memory of the second part and I definitely enjoyed it more than the first part!
This activity is suitable for beginners and if you still have doubts, don’t let fear take the experience of climbing rocky cliffs over the waves away from you! Just hire a guide from a tour company that goes with you during the whole itinerary and explains you how everything works.
One of the cool things about this activity is that it’s completely free! Who doesn’t like that? Well, even though the access is free, you need to be equipped. We rented all the equipment to a company called Parc Aventura, which is managed by the guy who designed and equipped this via ferrata. You can contact them here for more info about the renting.
If you’re one of those that loves going to the beach but can’t stand laying on a towel for hours, this is definitely a great plan to move your body while enjoying the beach vibes!
When is the best time to go to Cala del Molí
To do a via ferrata requires good weather conditions, meaning no rain, ice or snow. Spring and autumn are the ideal months to practise this sport in Cala del Molí, because summer can be too hot. However, if you’re going to do it during the summer months, be sure to either start early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the sun is not so strong. Another advise is not to do it just after it has rained because the route can be slippery and dangerous.
How to arrive in Cala del Molí
The only way to reach Cala del Molí is by car. From Barcelona it only takes 1h and 20min, making it an ideal day trip to the Costa Brava. Take the AP-7 highway to Sant Feliu de Guíxols and follow the directions of the navigator to Cala del Molí. Be aware that this route has tolls. You can park the car opposite the Triadores lookout, where there are clear signs that indicate the start of the via ferrata.
If you’re coming from Girona, it’s even closer, only 40min by car. You don’t need to take a highway, you just need to follow the C-56 and then the GIV-6621.
There’s the option of going by public transport but it takes more than 2h (either you’re going from Barcelona or Girona) and also you need to take more than one bus or train. We don’t recommend this option as it’s quite complicated and also there’re not a lot of buses or trains going there.
For the curious minds
The term via ferrata comes from the Italian and it means “iron path”. It is thought that they were originated during the First World War, in the mountain region of the Dolomites (Italy). They were mainly use to help the troops move at high altitudes. Nowadays, via ferratas have become a popular sport and you can find them in most mountain regions, especially in the Alps.
To be a via ferrata, a route has to have a steel cable that is fixed to the rock periodically. The climbers secure themselves to the cable, avoiding any fall and reducing the danger. Moreover, you can usually find other type of aids along the route, such as bridges, iron rungs or carved steps. This allows the most inexperienced to climb mountains and enjoy breathtaking views.