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tæt på la Selva de Mar, Catalunya (España)
The ruins can be entered without a fee, but the monastery requires a €4.50 entrance fee for adults (spring 2015). There is a bar-restaurant in the monastery, and apart from bars and restaurants in la Selva de Mar, this is the only place where you can buy something to eat or drink on the trail.
The hike starts at the large parking lot (free parking) at the entrance of la Selva de Mar (50 m). From here you walk through the village (see waypoint) with a church, a tower, and a few restaurants and bars, towards the stream flowing through the village. You pass the former washing place and continue upstream on the small asphalt road out of the village. You pass a small gorge and continue on the road until you get to a sign for Mas de l’Estella where you turn left on a path (see waypoint). You pass two gates and then come to a small winding path (see waypoint) which steeply ascends to a gravel road (see waypoint). You turn right and climb to the pass Coll de Sant Genís (see waypoint) at 360 m. While climbing, the views get better and better, but at this pass you get your first impressive panoramic view of Roses, Empuriabrava, the Parc Natural dels Aiguamolls de l’Emporada and the Costa Brava coast up to Begur. The gravel road ends here, and you follow the path climbing to the pass Coll del Cortalàs at 487 m. Here, the views extend towards Figueres and the (in May still snow-capped) Pyrenees. Again you climb further on the small path towards Pla d’Està at 620 m. Here, you have reached the ridge and your views are now almost unimpeded. There is a large cairn here. You now follow the ridge on a path indicated with yellow markings towards the Castell which can be seen in the distance. Here, the path can be a bit more difficult to follow, and a bit of scrambling may be in order. Also, the wind can be strong and with gusts here. You first descend to 560 m, climb a bit to 591 m and then descend to an electricity pylon at 571 m. You then climb to the Roda peak with a concrete column at 675 m, from which you have an excellent view of the castell some 140 meters away. After a small descent you climb to the castell ruins. I entered the ruins scrambling, but the easier access is via the waypoint ‘Castle walls’ at the north-east side of the ruins. The ruins consist of three parts, the towers and walls facing the Roda side at 686 m, a fat lookout tower on the north side, and the castle walls on the north-east side. You can have a look around including the magnificent view of the monastery Sant Pere de Rodes on the north-west side about 150 m lower. When finished looking around (and the views will not get better), you leave the castell on the nort side and follow the path with hairpins down to the monastery (see waypoint). You can visit this former monastery (no monks anymore) which is situated at an excellent spot with views of the sea and the mountains for a small fee. You will see the church, the cloister, the towers (no climbing them unfortunately) and various other buildings. After your visit and a possible coffee at the bar you walk around the monastery and take the concrete road (no cars) to the parking lot on the ridge (480 m). Here you take the small path down to la Selva de Mar. This path is quite steep and takes you down 400 meters to the village at the washing place in 2.1 km. You’ll pass a small forest and the Sant Sebastia church. From the washing place you walk back to the parking lot to finish your hike.
This walk was described in the German guide “Rother Wanderführer; Costa Brava” by Roger Büdeler, 2012 edition, walk 23.