A Return to Parc del Garraf in February

Grape vines at Parc del Garraf in February

 

We’ve visited Parc del Garraf, Catalonia a few times so it has been interesting to see it in the supposed winter months. I say ‘supposed’ because the coastal areas of Catalonia only have three seasons and winter isn’t usually among them.

During the summer and autumn months the place is alive with a plethora or flowers, plants, fauna and grasses that create a magnificent playground for the profusion of birds, insects and lizards who make Parc del Garraf their home, not to mention a glorious promontory for the Cava vineyards.

Upon first impressions not much is different in February; the sky is still blue and bright with sunshine though the chill is evident in the shade. Perennial Pine trees maintain the lush greenness about the land and Rosemary still flourishes on hills and beside pathways.

The grapevines however are skeletal, spindly things which stand as a reminder of the previous harvest where workers would fill the fields picking the bounty in great numbers for wine lovers of the world to enjoy their cheap but respectable fare.

There is a stillness and beauty to Parc del Garraf in the early months that is lost come spring. Save for the periodic rumble of a plane engine there is little in the way of bird song or the chirp of insects and the quietness of it all is almost meditative. Sitting beneath a tree to soak up some free vitamin D and the atmosphere of a natural wilderness laden with promise is a lovely experience and a relaxing start to the day.

Dog walkers are the most frequent visitors but they are few and Parc del Garraf is largely untouched until spring. For a quiet retreat away from beaches and cities, it is one of the best places to escape and offers plenty of wild camping opportunities for the more adventurous.

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