Landscapes on canvas
Just a stone’s throw from Barcelona, the Vallès Occidental region is a treasure trove of surprising natural and cultural heritage. In addition to two natural parks, it boasts a restored river and hugely valuable elements of Catalan modernist and industrial heritage. If you find that hard to believe, come and find out for yourself! Here are some key tips to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible.
The Serra de Collserola Natural Park and the Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac Natural Park are two green areas of great ecological and scenic value. That's why they're protected! Incomparable settings you can discover on foot or by mountain bike. What’s more, walks with an expert guide are often organised. The climb up to the Monastery of Sant Llorenç del Munt is fascinating: built on the highest peak of the massif, it affords a commanding panoramic view taking in the Pyrenees and the Garraf Massif.
Close by, you can visit the source of the Ripoll River, at 640 metres above sea level within the municipal district of Sant Llorenç Savall. Flowing south, before joining the Besòs River it forms landscapes of great beauty, such as the Colobrers Mountain Stream. This area was polluted until recently but has now been restored, boasting clean water and banks. The Monar Irrigation Canal is another pretty feature. This 10th-century construction still brings water and life to the ancient market gardens along the riverbank.
The Ripoll River itself is one of the keys to the rich heritage of Sabadell. From the end of the 19th century, several textile factories were built along the river, contributing to the enrichment of the industrial bourgeoisie of the time. Strolling through the city centre, you can discover Catalan modernist jewels as the Swiss Hotel, the Lluch Office, the Enric Casassas School, the Font Nova wash-houses or the Antiga Caixa Sabadell 1859 Foundation. If you're a fan of architecture, this is the place for you!
Textile production was also an important economic activity in Catalan modernist Terrassa, so it will come as no surprise that the city is home to the Textile Museum, which houses an impressive collection of clothing from all over the world, made using various fabrics and techniques. The Vapor Aymerich, Amat i Jover weaving house, now home to the National Museum of Science and Industry of Catalonia, should be another stop on your stay here. The steam engine that powered the looms is still there, and in surprisingly good nick!
- The Terrassa Catalan Modernist Fair is a good chance to explore the region. Details and dates can be found on the Barcelona is much more website.
Map of Top Tourist Attractions in Vallès Occidental
Tourist Board of Vallès Occidental
Serra de Collserola Natural Park
Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac Natural Park
Ripoll River Park
Tourist Board of Sabadell
Antiga Caixa Sabadell 1859 Foundation
Tourist Board of Terrassa
Terrassa Documentation Centre and Textile Museum
National Museum of Science and Industry of Catalonia