Espai Natural Sant Miquel del Fai
Sant Miquel del Fai is a natural area that provides the perfect combination of nature and culture in a magnificent setting
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The Espai Natural Sant Miquel del Fai, just 30 kilometres from Granollers, is one these places close to the city that combines nature and culture in a magnificent setting. This is one of Catalonia’s hidden treasures and provides one of the most attractive excursions in the surrounding area of Granollers.
The river courses of the Rossinyol and Tenes and the effect of rain and frost have shaped the area’s limestone formations, creating a remarkable landscape of caves with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, rock formations, small lakes and impressive waterfalls more than 100 metres in height.
The Monastery of Sant Miquel del Fai
In the midst of this wonderful nature is the old Monastery, a legacy of great architectural beauty. The Monastery was built up around the Church of Sant Miquel (Saint Michael), suspended among the rocks and defying gravity, providing a unique, hypnotic landscape with a dizzying effect.
The Monastery of Sant Miquel del Fai was founded in the 10th century by Gombau de Besora, lord of Montbui Castle. The exact date is not known but a community of monks was already living there early in the 10th century. The community was always small: between five and six monks.
The Monastery went into decline from the 14th century onwards, when its community shrank to just three monks. Religious life at the monastery ended in 1567 when it was put under the auspices of the Girona diocese, which was responsible for maintaining its religious activity under the benefice system.
The Monastery became a sanctuary used by the people from nearby villages to pray. After the ecclesiastical confiscations, the sanctuary went into private hands although religious activities continued up to 1936.
Sant Miquel del Fai is an old Benedictine monastery It is located inside a cave with its roof made out of the rock. Its arched entrance is Romanesque in style.
It’s located in a magnificent natural setting, in the midst of spectacular cliffs. The waters of the River Tenes have played a key part in shaping the area’s rock formations, creating incredible waterfalls and a number of caves.
River Tenes Waterfall
The River Tenes Waterfall is located in the municipality of Bigues i Riells. It is one of the most spectacular falls and one of the greatest attractions in the Espai Natural Sant Miquel del Fai.
Inside there is an easy passageway that allows visitors to pass right under the falls. This also offers spectacular views of the abbey of the Monastery of Sant Miquel del Fai and a magnificent panorama of the River Tenes valley. The thundering of the water as it falls from several metres in height and hits the pool also ensures an unforgettable experience.
The waterfall looks impressive from anywhere in the area but the “mirador” at the Abbey offers the best view. From here, waterfall and its different sections is a sight not to be missed.
Other places of interest
Sant Miquel Cave
Nature is the very best sculptor, a fact that can be clearly seen at Sant Miquel del Fai Cave. Discovered in 1874, after going down its 90 steps you can admire its magnificent stalagmite, rocky columns and small wells.
Cingles de Bertí
The Cingles de Bertí are a group of crags and outcrops that make up a mountainous area of rocky paths and steep climbs, tinged with the reds and greys of the local rock and stone. There are several places of interest in this area, such as the Church of Montmany and the Hermitage of Sant Pere de Bertí, a small hermitage but in a very good state of conservation.
The Cim d’Àligues is a centre whose aim is to raise awareness of the birds of prey in the area, as well as encourage respect for the environment, providing a refuge for birds and promoting the conservation of the cinereous vulture. Through its guided tours you can get to know the world of eagles and see these magnificent birds in flight.