Garraf: a blend of nature and Buddhism

Olivella could be considered the gateway to the Garraf Natural Park, and the town is surrounded by woodland and vineyards. The old part of town is located on top of a small hill and is crowned by the church of Sant Pere i Sant Feliu, which overlooks the surrounding groups of houses, with a privileged natural environment as a backdrop.

An excursion on foot, by bicycle or by car, along the path that goes from Olivella to Jafra, and passes through Plana Novella, reveals some of the Garraf area’s most impressive landscapes. The tarmacked path leading to Can Grau and on to the Garraf Natural Park is to be found just a few metres down Olivella’s main road. Can Grau is a large traditional farmhouse that has been restored and turned into a place where school groups can stay while learning more about the local natural environment in Garraf.

To the Buddhist temple

The path continues through the ruined former Piques convent, along the Corral Nou pathway, and finally reaches Palau Novella, a building from 1892 built by Pere Domènech i Grau with the aim of turning it into an agricultural colony after he returned from making his fortune in South America. The building shows a number of architectural styles, but the phylloxera grape plague at the start of the 20th century put an end to the family fortune, and in fact the entire local area was hit hard by the destruction the insects caused to the vineyards. Today, Palau Novella is the headquarters of the Sakya Tashi Ling buddhist community, which is open to visitors and offers guided tours.

After visiting Palau Novella, we continue by taking the path that heads out towards the sea until arriving at the old barony of Jafra, which is abandoned today. Returning in the direction of Olivella, the path goes through Fassina (where they make craft products related to the Natural Park), as well as Masets, Mas Bargalló, Can Liona and Can Camps.

This route through Garraf not only reveals an extraordinary natural landscape that reaches all the way to the sea, but also unique historical and traditional buildings well-worth seeing and visiting. It is the ideal itinerary for getting to know the Garraf area, which is so close to Barcelona and yet somewhere that provides a quiet refuge from the stresses of noisy urban life.

out & about

Vineyards and Buddhism

The Buddhist monastery of Sakya Tashi Ling offers peace and quiet, and a gateway to Budddhist culture. It was founded by Jamyang Tashi Dorje Rinpoche in 1996 as the first centre for the community of Sakya Tashi Ling Buddhist monks. The palace, built in 1905, has been fully restored and the beautiful natural surroundings make it the ideal place for a pilgrimage.

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