The only via ferrata in Europe’s coast is found in Catalonia, more precisely in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Whether you’re a rock-climbing expert or a newbie wanting to give climbing a try, this is the perfect place for an exciting adventure with astonishing views over the Mediterranean Sea.
Know before you go!
What is a via ferrata?
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 term via ferrata comes from the Italian, and it means “iron path”. It’s thought that they were originated during the First World War in the mountain region of the Dolomites (Italy). They were mainly used to help the troops move at high altitudes. Nowadays, via ferrata has become a popular sport, enjoyed primarily in mountain regions, especially in the Alps.
To be considered a via ferrata, a route has to have a steel cable 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 types of aids along the route, such as bridges, iron rungs or carved steps. These allow the most inexperienced in climbing mountains and enjoying breathtaking views.
Technical details via ferrata Cala del Molí
- Length: 480 meters
- Height: At some points it can go as high as 20 metres
- Duration: From 2 h 30 min to 4 h
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 intense. Another piece of advice is not to do it just after it has rained because the route can be slippery and dangerous.
Basic gear you need to do a via ferrata
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.
The basic equipment you need for the via ferrata is:
- Helmet: it protects your head in case of a rockfall.
- Gloves: they protect your hands from the friction with the steel cable and also from the rocks. Moreover, they provide a better grip.
- Climbing harness
- Via ferrata set: it consists of two carabiners and a lanyard, which you use to attach the harness to the steel cable.
- Comfortable footwear
How to arrive at Cala del Molí
The only way to reach Cala del Molí is by car. It only takes 1 h and 20 min from Barcelona, making it an ideal day trip to the Costa Brava. Take the AP-7 highway to Sant Feliu de Guíxols and follow the navigator’s directions 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 40 min 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. Still, it takes more than 2 h (both 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 pretty complicated and there’re not many buses or trains going there.
Our experience in the via ferrata Cala del Molí
What makes the via ferrata Cala del Molí so unique is that it’s the only one in Europe by the sea. The route is 480 meters long in total. 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.
We dressed with all the equipment at the Mirador de les Triadores, which is only 50 m from the starting point of the via ferrata, at Cala del Molí. We did it in 3 hours, but the total duration of the activity can range from 2 h 30 min to 4 h. Time varies depending on how busy the via ferrata is and how experienced you are.
This via ferrata is divided into 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 remarkable memory of the second part. I even enjoyed it more than the first one!
This activity is suitable for beginners. 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 how everything works.
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!