Woods of Witches and Bandits

Presentation of the ‘Woods of Witches and Bandits’ project and the audiovisual piece created for us by the Escola Universitària ERAM.

Spot “Woods of Witches and Bandits”

Woods of Witches and Bandits, various tourist information and visitor centres related to the project are being adapted and improved, such as: The La Gabella Montseny Ethnological Museum in Arbúcies, the Visitor Centres – Aqua: Sant Hilari Sacalm Visitor Centre, the Montseny Centre (Espai Montseny) in Viladrau, Rocaguinarda Visitor Centre in Olost, and the Witchcraft Vistor Centre (Centre d’Interpretació de la Bruixeria) in Sant Feliu Sasserra.

Another scheme put into action within the framework of the Woods of Witches and Bandits Tourism Development Initiative is the creation and restoration of rural tracks and paths in and around the towns for themed routes. This represents one of the most attractive aspects of the whole project as it will allow visitors to enjoy rich natural heritage and to get to know emblematic places historically linked to witches and bandits.

The third set of actions involves the promotion and marketing of the whole ‘Woods of Witches and Bandits’ product. This will consist of raising awareness of the scheme and bringing in visitors so that the project in its entirety will be completely self-sufficient once the Tourism Development Initiative comes to an end.

Key points and objectives of the project

Objectives, organisation and funding:

1. Woods of Witches and Bandits is a new tourism initiative undertaken by the towns of Arbúcies, Sant Hilari Sacalm, Viladrau, Olost and Sant Feliu Sasserra, within the framework of the Tourism Development Initiative. The aim of the initiative is to revitalise an area rich in heritage through quality and sustainable tourism.

2. Apart from the local authorities, Woods of Witches and Bandits receives support from the local tourism sector and has signed knowledge-sharing agreements in various fields with the Universities of Girona and Vic.

3. The Woods of Witches and Bandits tourism project has been financed in equal parts by the towns involved, Turespaña (Spanish tourism authority) and the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Government of Catalonia) and has a budget of €1,500,000. The project also has the support of the Diputacions (Provincial Councils) of Barcelona and of Girona, by way of their respective organisations for the promotion of tourism and culture as part of the Tourism Development Initiative.

Geographical and thematic scope:

1. The geographical scope of the project extends as far as the towns themselves, all of which are located in the regions of El Bages, Osona and La Selva in inland Catalonia. Here, nature offers an incomparable landscape of forests of the Montseny and Guilleries mountain ranges and the unspoilt county of Lluçanès.

2. The location of Woods of Witches and Bandits means that it is within easy reach of the cities of Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona.

3. Woods of Witches and Bandits is a tourism initiative based upon an aspect of history shared by the towns involved: the important role of outlaws and witches in inland Catalonia during the 16th and 17th centuries.