While many head to Girona and its surroundings for world-class cycling, our group of six opted for hiking in Rupit when the weather turned too wet for a bike trip.
Options for hiking near Barcelona and Girona are plentiful and Rupit is no exception. This little-known town 1.5 hours west of Girona offers spectacular views of limestone cliffs, a 328 foot (99 meters) waterfall, hiking trails, and silence that is only punctuated by distant cowbells or chatty friends. A hike followed by lunch is an easy day trip option—provided you stay on the trail.
The trails around Rupit are well-marked and meander through forest and pastures, past stone farmhouses, the occasional herd of grazing cows, and to the edge of the powerful Salt de Sallent waterfall that plummets to the valley below.
There is one rule to hiking in Rupit: do not attempt to cross the waterfall.
Even if you can see the trail on the other side and it will get you back to Rupit in half the time. Even if building a makeshift bridge with rocks and branches seems doable (at least according to the architect in the group). Even if it makes sense to go off-trail, hike upstream, and then cross the river.
After you reach the waterfall, turn around and go back up the trail.
Provided you listened to our advice and stayed on the trail, you will return to Rupit alive and hungry. Make lunch reservations. Rupit has only a few options. The affable owner at Restaurant Albert held our reservation until nearly 4:00pm after we became lost trying to cross the river upstream from the waterfall. Frankly, we would have eaten anything at that point, which is not to discount the restaurant’s filling Catalan lunch, including butifarra, canelones, and homemade desserts.
We worked off our impending food coma by walking around the center of Rupit, which is accessible by crossing a wooden suspension bridge over the river. The other side checked all of the “quaint town” requirements—delicious bakery, pottery store, and clothing boutiques—without feeling like a tourist trap. Instead, we found local shop owners eager to chat and patient with slow browsers.
The Town of Rupit
Hiking days deserve double desserts. We indulged (again) at El Neuler with a variety of cookies, chocolates, and fresh neules (rolled Catalan biscuits). It’s difficult to miss this tiny bakery—the town’s too small and the smell too delicious.
No trip to a quaint town can end without a pottery purchase. Silbando Bajito fit the requirement. The adorable pottery store offers hand-painted ceramics decorated with whimsical motifs of animals, flowers, and other fairytale-like scenes and characters.
Our stroll through town ended with a treasure hunt at Ca L’Ample de Rupit. This mini bazaar is packed floor-to-ceiling with toys, gifts, homemade honey and jams, and other local crafts and foods. Watch your head at the low entrance.
Food coma worked off, purchases in hand, we headed back home, grateful for an unexpectedly adventurous day.
If you enjoyed our article on hiking near Barcelona and want more, check out these 9 Costa Brava towns for a weekend escape.