Olot is in the province of Girona in the Catalonia region of Spain.
Olut is a charming town in the heart of the volcanic Baixa Garrotxa region. It is an excellent base for exploring the Parc Natural de la Zona Volcanica de la Garrotxa.
The drive to Olot from Figueres or up from Girona is lovely as it leads you into the wonderful scenery of the Volcanic area of Garrotxa. The area has thirty volcanic cones however they are all now wooded and peaceful - the last eruptions were nearly 12,000 years ago. To see the craters you need to do one of the many pleasant walks in the area but it is very pleasant countryside for driving too.
It is just an hour or so from the coast and yet has a completely different countryside and style of towns.
Olot itself has a very pleasant centre with some fine mansions dotted around the town. The nicest streets are around the Placa Major and the Sant Esteve church. Many of the buildings are brightly coloured and beautiful to see.
On the main rambla, the Passeig d'en Blay, look out for the Casa Sola Moral - a beautiful building with statues and a long balcony which was built in Baroque style in 1781 but then given a Modernista-style restoration of its facade.
Also on the rambla is the 19th century theatre as well as a good selection of pavement cafes and bars as always seems to be the case on the ramblas in Spanish towns.
Olot is home to quite an important local artistic centre which developed partly as a result of its cotton industry and the designs used for the fabrics. A good collection of local art and sculpture is housed in the Museu Comarcal de la Garrotxa. This museum which is in a converted 18th century hospital also has an exhibition tracing the history of Olot.
Olot has a number of Art Nouveau buildings to admire. The main ones are the Casa Sola Morales with its wonderful facade; the Casa Gaieta Vila with lovely wrough iron balconies; the Casa Pujuador; the Casa Escubos and the Casa Gassiot. The Art Nouveau movement was introduced by Alfred Paluzie after studying in Barcelona and he designed a number of these houses.
On the edge of Olot is a botanic garden and also near here is the Casal des Volcans, a museum about the local volcanic region.
Whilst in Olot be sure to ask in the tourist office for maps of walks into the surrounding volcanic countryside. Olot sits on a plain formed between four volcanos; Montolivet, Montsacopa, Garrinada and Bisaroques. Walk to the top of the Montsacopa volcano and you get fabulous views over Olot and you can also walk in to the volcano's crater.
As well as the various volcanoes there is a beautiful beech forest in the Garrotxa Natural Park.
Where to visit nearby?
The fabulous medieval village of Besalu is nearby as is the charming small village of Santa Pau.
The impressive walled city of Girona is to the South East.