Vistes a Bellcaire des del rec del Molí
Vistes al Montgrí
El Molí Nou

Back to the old Bellcaire lake

Index card


In search of the lost lake

This flat circular route goes around the old lake of Bellcaire, which was drained in the eighteenth century and where you can now enjoy a rural landscape typical of the Empordà with channels, rice fields, fruit trees, fields of cereal crops, Mediterranean woods, fortified farmhouses and villages high up on small hills.

At the feet of the emblematic Montgrí Massif, practically next to the sea and midway between the Baix Ter and the marshes of the Empordà, these lands are home to a rich and distinctive flora and fauna that will amaze you.

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  • Typology
    Time Circular
  • Difficulty
  • Duration
    1 hour 20 minutes
  • Slope
    25.00 meters
  • Distance
    11.30 km
  • Theme
    Flora and fauna
    Architecture and environment
  • Activity
    By foot
    By bike
  • Rating

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In search of the lost lake


This circular route starts in the centre of Bellcaire d’Empordà, which has the castle of Bellcaire at its highest point, built on the orders of the Count of Empúries Ponç V, and where the last counts in this dynasty lived. As you descend from this higher area while leaving the village, you will encounter a great Romanesque work, Sant Joan de Bedenga, on the outskirts of the village.

Soon afterwards, and now outside the village, you come to the Rec del Molí which you will follow for a good distance alongside its reed beds accompanied by the singing of birds and under the shadow of lush alders, banana trees and white willows.

From here on, the route delves into in the varied agricultural landscape of the Empordà: you will see orchards of fruit trees and fields of fodder, rice, other cereals and so on. Leaving the Rec del Molí, the route passes in front of the fortified Torre Forçosa tower before crossing the road which leads to l’Escala.

Having crossed the road, the route you follow is on the boundary between the old lake of Bellcaire and old sand dunes, nowadays fixed and covered with woods which the route goes through towards the Muntanya Gran del Montgrí. Further on you head for the delightful village of Sobrestany, first passing by the impressive Torre Ferrana and the old Animal Park of Sobrestany, now closed.

After Sobrestany you return towards Bellcaire, saying goodbye to the vanished lake and the fields that now occupy it and make a last stop at the old mill of Bellcaire, which in days gone by used the power of the water of the Rec del Molí as it passed through the village.



  • Take care crossing the roads as they are quite busy.


  • Take plenty of water as there is little shade and no fountains.


  • Avoid doing this route in hot weather, especially in the middle of the day.
  • Wear a hat and sun cream.


  • Taking binoculars and a nature guidebook is highly recommended.

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What is there

What to see in: Back to the old Bellcaire lake

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Bellcaire Castle-Palace


Before you is the castle-palace of Bellcaire. Located at the highest point of the village, this is a true historical medieval monument, which has been declared a cultural asset of national interest....

Sant Joan de Bedenga

Point of interest

Sant Joan de Bedenga or Sant Joan de Bellcaire is another fine example of the village’s great historical heritage.

Its two possible names are because the town of Bellcaire used to be called “Bedenga”...

Great reed warbler

Point of interest

The Rec del Molí, which you have been following for a while is an ideal habitat for many species of bird. Among them, the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) might be one of the best...


Point of interest

El cultiu de l'olivera ha tingut i té una importància cabdal a casa nostra i no podem fer el lleig de no dir-ne res.

L'olivera (Olea europaea) és una espècie d'arbre autòctona del Mediterrani molt...

The old lake of Bellcaire

Point of interest

You have spent almost all of this outing going around a lake you will not see at any time, the old lake of Bellcaire. Bellcaire lake was a marsh which occupied the fields and irrigation channels that...


Point of interest

This is one of the few woods you will see close to today’s route. Specifically, it is an open holm oak grove with a wide range of shrubs.

One of the most notable shrubs in this area is the cistus,...

Torre Ferrana

Point of interest

You are now next to the Torre Ferrana tower, declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest.

One especially noteworthy thing about it is its fortified elements, like the tower itself with...


Point of interest

This is the charming village of Sobrestany which has more sights than it might seem. This small village is part of the immense municipality of Torroella de Montgrí, something which is surprising...

Walnut tree

Point of interest

To your right is a walnut tree (Juglans regia). In many parts of Catalonia, it is common to find walnut trees planted at the sides of roads or around farmhouses, although around Lleida fields of them...

The mill of Bellcaire

Point of interest

To finish off, stop to enjoy one last architectural element, the old mill of Bellcaire.

This old grain mill used the power of the water to grind grain, mainly wheat but also other grains. The water...

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