Hermitage of grace – Turó de la guàrdia
Easy-to-follow circuit that allows us to enjoy stunning panoramic views of the towns of Pineda de Mar and Santa Susanna.
This itinerary goes through a wide variety of areas. We will cross urban sections well-domesticated by man. And we will also find forests in very good condition, as well as some specimens of the carob tree, which have remained as an example of the plantations that until the middle of the 1950s populated the nearest mountains, and that disappeared after the terrible frost of the year 1956.
We will go through scrubland areas and finally reach well-cultivated fields, where we can see the potato, artichokes, celery, tomatoes, leeks and other products that have given fame to the Maresme orchard.
Elevation gain uphill: 200m.
We depart from Can Jalpí, a 14th-century farmhouse full of history. It is located at the foot of the N-II Highway, next to a petrol station and in front of the parish church. We will begin the route in the direction of Santa Susanna. We will continue along the road, pass a first roundabout and continue in the same direction until we reach a second roundabout, in front of the Mas Pi restaurant.
At this point, we will leave the road and we will take the ditch that goes alongside the restaurant to the north. Soon the ditch becomes Valldemaniu street, built up only on the left side and that marks the boundary of the residential area of Pinemar. On the right-hand side, we find fields of cultivation and later, a gardening nursery that will follow until the end.
After passing the nursery, we will find a path on the right where we will turn into the mountain. The path is flanked by a reed bed on the right and a metal wire on the left, but soon it enters a fairly clear forest where we will find a track.
We will turn to the right off this track, which initially goes down, but then goes back up towards Gràcia. Then it opens up to a wider track that we will continue along to the left, and we soon arrive at the chapel.
Here we will enjoy the first panoramic view, with an excellent viewpoint, which will allow us to contemplate the bird’s eye view of the magnificent gardens of the Balasc plain, in Santa Susanna, and the town of Pineda, and further on, we will see Calella, even the tip of the lighthouse. We recommend stopping for a few minutes and enjoying the landscape. Next, we will go back to where we came, and we will follow the trail to the north, which begins to climb until reaching the Pins del Poeta, a place that owes its name to the poet from Pineda, Pep Brugada.
We continue along a flat path, always to the north, which will take us through a beautiful pine forest, where we will divert a little to the left, until we find a narrow path that will leave us at the foot of a paved track.
We will keep going up the paved track, until we find a telecommunications antenna in the middle of two shackles.
At the foot of a cork oak we will turn to the right along a narrow path that climbs steeply towards the top. From here you will find several forks, all of which take you to the same place. The path continues to ascend between hills and pines, and further up it leaves the forest and continues climbing to the left, with great panoramic views over the town of Pineda and the Valley of La Riera.
We reach the top of La Guàrdia, the highest point of the route. Let us assume that this place name has its foundation, in which formerly it would have had a checkpoint installed, which allowed to watch the entire coast line from the lighthouse of Calella to the Tordera River. Something that was very necessary during the time of pirates. Here too, it is advisable to stop for a moment and enjoy the view. We will be able to contemplate the most important farmhouses on the right bank of the stream: Can Olivé de Sitjà, Can Cànoves, Can Palau del Sot, El Mas Castellà (Nowadays the residence of the dressmaker Manuel Pertegaz, who has restored it with taste and elegance). We will also see the Horitzó school and the Centre Marpí, specialized in the teaching of boys and girls with disabilities. We will also see Can Olivé del Turó and the remains of the Roman aqueduct. If we make a 180º turn we will see the Montpalau, and the Montnegre Mountains and the Serra de Miralles, and further away, if the day is clear, we will see the peak of the Agudes del Montseny. We must also say that, in the middle of the summit, lovers of paragliding have installed a take off track. After we enjoy the landscape, we will follow a narrow path that we find after the launch track, always to the north.
We reach a wide track that will continue in the same direction, leaving aside the secondary forks that we find. Shortly after a bend we will reach a small hill from where you can see the parish of Sant Pere de Riu, and the farmhouses of Can Bibi, Cal Bec, Can Cassussa and in the background on the right the old manor house of Can Jordà, documented from the 13th century.
We leave the fork to the right and we continue straight on, going down a very steep and slippery slope, which will lead us to another track in better condition, which we follow to the left, which then descends more gently to reach the top of the tunnel of the freeway and crossroads. Here we find a pole with directions and an electric transformer. This place is called la Creu (Cross) de Mas Mata.
We take the track that goes to the left and descends gently parallel to the freeway. We will walk behind Cal Bec and later we will find an oratory chapel dedicated to the Mare de Déu del Roser (Our Lady of the Rosary). In a short while we will find ourselves in front of the Romanesque church of Sant Pere de Riu from the 12th century, which, together with the rectory and the communal, forms an architectural complex that is worth visiting.
We continue down the paved track. Before coming to the end, pay attention to a descent that we find on the left and that we will take, and after a small S bend we will go over an arch of the Roman aqueduct that will help us to cross the canal.
We follow a narrow path that will take us down below the highway viaduct. Shortly after, the path goes past a dry-stone wall and continues climbing in the middle of oaks and carob trees, heading towards the sea and parallel to the Pineda stream. The stretch of the narrow path comes out of the forest, we have good views of the valley of the stream, the same as we see from the top and now we are contemplating it close by.
The narrow path that winds through the mountainside ends up leading to a wider track, where we will climb gently until we reach a high-voltage tower.
Here we will leave the track and we will walk along a steep narrow path to the tower. The road continues bordering the mountain and passes through a sandy area, through an abundant colony of prickly pears that during the flowering season and when they have ripe fruit are spectacular, just as if we were in the deserts of Mexico. The path continues at different levels, we will pass over Can Palau de la Guitarra. The corsair Dragut arrived at this farmhouse, when on August 1, 1545 with his squad of Turks swept the town of Pineda. We continue along the narrow path until we reach a canal that will continue along the left until it leaves the forest. Here we find a track that goes up to the left.
We will keep going up until we join a paved track, where we will descend in the beautifully cultivated fields of Can Costa and Mas Florit towards the stream, where we will arrive just next to the textile factory Indesmalla, which we go past in front of the façade and then turn left to take the path of La Rectoria Vella (the Old Rectory).
From here, the path climbs again and then turns to the left, heading towards the sea. We will pass along the fields of cultivation that extend down gently in terraces to the stream. They are the orchards of the most emblematic farmhouses of Pineda, located on the left bank of the valley, which has always been the richest agricultural area of the town. After a pig farm, we will find Can Serra, Can Tapiola and Can Roig on the right, and on the left, La Rectoria Vella (the Old Rectory). Finally, the road, which in the last section is paved, runs into the Jaume I school and on Carrer Eugeni d’Ors enters the urban plot of Pineda, and then down the Carrer Lluís Vives we reach the point where we departed from, the historic Masia de Can Jalpí.
End of the route