The suspension bridge over the creek, medieval streets, an old smithy… Rupit and its beautiful surroundings are well worth a close visit so that you can appreciate its countless fascinating details
Who said you can’t travel back in time? To go back a few centuries, all you have to do is visit Rupit, a medieval village in Catalonia where it feels as if time has stood still. Perched in a unique, picturesque location in the Collsacabra area of the Osona region, just over an hour from Barcelona, the town’s stately stone houses, medieval history and natural surroundings make it unsurprising that it’s been declared a Historic-Artistic Site and is now also competing for the title of Best Tourism Village 2022, an award to be given out by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) at the end of the year. So you can see for yourself why it deserves these honours and then some, here are the activities and sights you can’t miss in Rupit.
The entrace to the village: a suspension bridge!
Rupit has charm everywhere you look. To discover it, you have to cross the 28-metre suspension bridge built over the creek in 1945 and restored in 1994. You’ll be eager to discover this medieval world, but careful! Don’t let that get in the way of being safe. No more than 10 people should cross the bridge at the same time, as it can be too wobbly. That doesn’t mean you can’t stop halfway to enjoy the beautiful views. It’ll be a great adventure, especially if you go with children.
Houses with medieval touches
Rupit is also considered one of the most beautiful villages of Catalonia, and rightly so. Though its population is less than 300, the town’s architecture has been well restored and preserved, and the medieval era is very much alive in its cobblestone and stepped streets. The houses we now see were built between the 16th and 17th centuries, and are known for features such as wooden balconies, large windows and doorways, and heraldic coats of arms. Look closely and you’ll see that the stones bear hand-engraved inscriptions marking the year the house was built and identifying the family that owned it or the trade they practised. The oldest one dates from 1597 and you can see it on Can Camps, in Plaça Manyà.
Another way to discover the spirit of Rupit is to lose yourself on Carrer Església, on the steep, stepped alleyway of Carrer Fossar, in Plaça Major or in Plaça Cavallers. Other buildings with a storied history are the Soler Notary’s Office, formerly the town hall, with a voussoir door bearing the family coat of arms and which houses records from the14th century. You can also find Ca l’Apotecari (the Apothecary’s House, now Cal Mestre), la Ferreria (Blacksmith’s) and Can Sallent, the latter two of which were the inspiration for the re-creation of a Rupit building at the Poble Espanyol in Barcelona.
Don’t miss the highest waterfall in Catalonia
Rupit is a good starting point if you want to enjoy the forests that make up Collsacabra. It would be a crime not to visit the Salt de Sallent, the highest waterfall in Catalonia. The views from this waterfall, where the Rupit Creek plunges some 100 metres downwards, are a gift of nature. You can reach the base by taking a short hike of about an hour from the village of Rupit. Along the route, you’ll find old abandoned mills (such as the Patrones and Tornall mills), ponds, waterfalls and springs, such as the Pedretes cave and the Molí Rodó waterfall, 25 metres high. It’s best to go to see the Salt de Sallent after a rainy day because of the power of the water and how it crashes against the rocky bottom.
Take a walk through the woods in autumn or discover the mountain bike route
The exceptional landscapes surrounding the village are also worth mentioning. The Collsacabra massif, a Protected Natural Area with vertiginous cliffs, deserves to be explored in depth. The path runs through oak and beech woods, which in autumn light up with the ochre hues of the season. Sunsets in Collsacabra are also amazing. For mountain bike lovers, Rupit is the starting point for routes 4 and 5 of the signposted circuits of the Vall de Sau-Collsacabra Mountain Bike Centre. There are a total of 17 routes with over 250 signposted kilometres.
- How can you get there? By private car or public transport. You can take the bus from the Vic bus station, and if you’re coming from Barcelona, the Sagalés company has a Barcelona-Vic-Rupit bus line.
- In December: you can take in the living nativity scene.
- You are not allowed to: access the village by car. But there is a municipal car park at the entrance.
- In summer: you can enjoy the municipal swimming pools.