La Garrotxa, volcanic and inclusive character
During a guided visit to the Croscat volcano, several participants with blindfolded eyes examine with their hands large volcanic rocks of different shapes and textures. Photograph by Diego Espada.
La Garrotxa is defined by its volcanic character. It is a top destination for lovers of geology, nature and hiking. The capital, Olot, is rich in history, architectural heritage and cultural dynamism. Museums, guides, institutions and tourist companies work hand in hand to turn the region into a destination open to everyone.
Part of this tourist supply can be discovered in Els sentits de la descoberta (The senses of discovery), the e-book of inclusive experiences in the Costa Brava and Girona Pyrenees, in which several local hosts with different abilities guide us through the experience. The publication includes audiovisual materials with the testimony of these hosts and also of tourism organisations and professionals from the sector who work for inclusive tourism. All audiovisual materials include English subtitles and Spanish sign language interpreting. Welcome to La Garrotxa!
Culture and tradition
We travel around La Garrotxa with Pere Ribas, a 15-year-old blind from birth boy who has become famous in the region thanks to his football broadcasts. We start in Olot and accompany him to the Museu dels Sants. It is a facility that shows religious sculpture, an industry with a long tradition in the city. The museum is accessible for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users. It has tactile objects in the permanent exhibition, a subtitled audiovisual with sign language interpretation and an easy-to-read guide that includes a selection of works from the permanent exhibition.
The Hospici Building houses the Museu de la Garrotxa, which specialises in the artistic and cultural history of the county. It houses works by such outstanding artists as Joaquim Vayreda, Miquel Blay and Josep Clarà. The museum facilities incorporate several accessibility measures. To highlight some of them, there are seats and wheelchair loan, information in Braille in the lift, additional information with QR codes in several works and tactile replicas of some paintings. Through touch, a visitor with blindness or low vision can appreciate the shape of the painting, the style of the frame or the stroke of the brush.
Out of the 40 volcanic cones in La Garrotxa, we visited Croscat with Natura & Màgia, a project that combines the discovery of nature with magic and which designs activities and guided tours for people with different abilities. In this case, blindfolded and holding on to a chain, we are invited to discover the Croscat.
In Les Preses, the Parc de Pedra Tosca is a labyrinth of paths, terraced fields and traditional crops. The guide with whom we enter this space prepares the visit with extensive descriptions and invites us to discover the space through touch and smell.
La Garrotxa is the starting point of the Ruta del Carrilet, a greenway that can be done on foot or by bicycle. The Centro Logístico de Bicicletas of Les Preses offers visitors all kinds of bicycles so that anyone who wishes to do so can enjoy a green ride through cornfields. In this case, we will make the visit in tandem, an opportunity for Pere to enjoy the birds, the smells that surround the landscape and the sensation of speed. A complete experience for the senses.