An extraordinary history sculpted by water

The history of El Ripollès is closely linked to water. Since time immemorial, this region had taken shape with agriculture as its main activity, but in the last century, taking advantage of flowing rivers such as the Ter and the Freser, hydroelectric power stations, industrial colonies and factories mainly for the textile industry began to appear. It was a radical change, and the old mills were replaced by factories that harnessed the power of water to operate the machinery. The factories grew until they became colonies, new industrial areas that attracted thousands of workers and families from all over, who found an extraordinary opportunity in El Ripollès. Municipalities such as Camprodon, Sant Pau de Segúries, Sant Joan de les Abadeses, Ogassa, Ripoll, Campdevànol, Ribes de Freser and Les Llosses saw their towns grow, and still owe their layout to the revolution brought about by water.

These waters fill the territory with life of great ecological diversity, with the Capçaleres del Ter i del Freser Natural Park as the hallmark of a protected area. Located around the enclaves of Núria and Ulldeter, encircled by mountains of almost 3,000 metres such as Bastiments, Puigmal, Costabona and Balandrau, there are almost 15,000 hectares with a kaleidoscope of spaces and multiple ecosystems, habitats, plant communities and species characteristic of Pyrenean high mountain landscapes.

Water is present in every corner of El Ripollès in the form of springs, streams and rivers. In the region we find unique river areas, such as that of the Beget and Vallfogona streams or the privileged surroundings of the Merlès and Cabana streams. There are also other tributaries of the Ter and the Freser, such as the Rigard, the Segadell and the Riutort, which provide the area with an endless catalogue of routes and walks along the banks of the river, to be enjoyed in peace and quiet with family or friends.

For centuries, the Ter and Freser river basins have sculpted the landscape and irrigated farmland in the region, giving way to industrialisation and the arrival of tourism. The first visitors were pioneers in enjoying the area’s skiing, to thrill in this precious natural resource that today means the county gives you access to the best ski resorts in the Girona Pyrenees.

It is, therefore, a history full of life, of water linked to progress and well-being. A natural evolution that has coexisted with the day-to-day life of the people of El Ripollès and their identity. That is why it is so important to preserve it, and the models of sustainable tourism that are being developed in the county are based on this natural treasure that must be protected.

In this sense, be respectful of the environment and the regulations governing access to these natural spaces brimming with hidden pools and waterfalls and home to a great diversity of species. Discover them in peace and harmony with the Vorater routes, a health and wellness proposal that will introduce you to the immense wealth of these natural spaces.

The rivers of El Ripollès will offer you an utterly refreshing and unique natural experience that will make you feel part of this precious landscape. All you need to do is respect them and know how to enjoy them.

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