Santa Margarida Volcano

The Santa Margarida volcano is one of the most visited volcanic formations in the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone.

The volcano has an altitude of 766 meters. From the car park, we have to climb about 140 meters to get to the volcano’s summit. The perimeter of the volcano is 2000 m. and we can walk around it completely. At one point we find a small path that allows us to go down to the center of the crater where we find a meadow and a hermitage in the middle. This building of Romanesque origin is the hermitage of Santa Margarida de Sacot, which curiously is the one that gave it its name.

In order to discover how it was formed, we have to go back to about 11,000 years ago. Although it appears to be a very old volcano, we can say that it is a relatively young formation. It is said that the creation of the Garrotxa volcanic area took place between 10,000 and 700,000 years ago. So, seeing the long period of volcanic activity, we can say that it is one of the young volcanoes of the region.

The formation of the Santa Margarida volcano was caused by different phreatomagmatic eruptions of greater and lesser force. These phenomena were produced by the contact between the magma and the water of the aquifers that it was in the area.

Each of these eruptions was different. By studying the layers of the volcano, it has been possible to see that there was a stronger explosion that brought to the surface, not only volcanic materials. Materials from the sandstone layer of the Eocene period also came to the surface. In the southern part of the crater we found sandstones that demonstrate this fact.

In other eruptions of less virulence the lava rushed towards the eastern side of the crater. By having a weaker explosion, it did not cause many volcanic rock falls in the area. Interestingly, the ones we can find in the center of the Santa Margarida volcano come from the Croscat volcano and not from the eruptions of Santa Margarida itself.

For about 10,000 years, all this volcanic activity has been stopped, which has allowed it to be covered with vegetation. The Garrotxa region is a very humid region and makes nature grow strongly. So walking inside we can see an example of all those trees and plants that we have in the region.

In addition to enjoying from the ground, it is also very interesting to see the volcanic cone from the sky. From the balloon we can see perfectly the circular shape and the hermitage of Santa Margarida de Sacot, quite a landscape wonder.

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More information about the volcanic area here!