Vic valley (La Plana de Vic)   


The Vic valley is a typical depression situated between Barcelona city and the Pyrenees mountains, in the central region of Catalonia called Osona. This valley is about 20 Km long and 8-10 Km wide and has the aspect of a large basin surrounded by mountains.



In ancient times this basin was a great lake…


In the past this area was occupied by a great lake from which protruded some islands. Nowadays these form the steep-sided mountains of grey-blue rock and flat peaks (see the example in the above photo of the village of Tona). This type of easily fragmented grey-blue rock is typical of the region.  It was formed over thousands of years as sediment deposited in the lake caused pressure, compacting deeper sediment.  The slopes of these mountains were once the shores of the islands, and on many of them grew a great quantity of molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates. Today we can still find the fossilized remains of their shells and bone structures which provide evidence of the region’s origins as a lake.







Its origin and shape determine its climate and vegetation …


The concave shape made up by the central plain with the surrounding mountains, shape due to its lacustrine origin, determine a very charisteristic phenomenon of the area, the reversed temperature gradient, which is very evident at the autumnal and winter stations. The cold air proceeding from the Pyrenees tends to descend and to remain suspended in the central zones of the valley due to the fact that it is denser than the hot one, which, in turn, ascends to higher areas. So, the temperature in the central artea tends to be lower than the higher surrounding areas. A good indicator of the climatic average conditions is the type of vegetation.  So, in the central part of Vic's Plain, due to the fact that temperature is colder and humidity is higher than in the surrounding mountains, the vegetation is the typical one of relatively high mountainous areas, and is plentiful of forests of oaks and other  deciduous trees together with scots pine. If we ascend for the surrounding mountains, we meet  Mediterranean plants, which are characteristic of lower and hot zones, forests of holm oaks and white pine.



The socio-economic development of the Vic Valley is conditioned by its geological and climatic characteristics


Its sedimentary origin made this area very fertile and suitable for cereal and potato harvest.  This gave rise to the development of pig farms and consequently the development of meat industry, mainly sausage production. Vic was converted then into an important  place of comercial exchange.



On the other hand, the sedimentary characteristics give rise to underground flow waters rich in singular salts (iodine, lithium, sulphur,…). The medicinal properties of these waters lead to the building of natural spa centers mainly in the village of Tona during the 20th century (here you can see the Codina Spa founded in 1913).












As a result, the village became an attractive place for summer stays and many people spend their holiday there. Now, some of the people that used to come from Barcelona and other cities to Tona and other places of the Vic Valley for holidays have decided to move permanently to this rural places.