We know that 3.5 million years ago, long before the arrival of humans in the area, Selva enjoyed a subtropical climate. Fossils of animals and plants have been found in a very good state of preservation at the palaeontological site of Camp dels Ninots (Caldes de Malavella). Meanwhile, the earliest traces of human occupation, in the form of stone tools discovered at several sites in the county, date as far back as 500,000 years ago. It was not until the end of the Prehistoric Period (between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age) that the first large-scale human constructions appeared in Selva: megalithic monuments concentrated almost entirely in the mountainous part of Tossa de Mar.
Iberian culture began to take shape in the 6th century BC. The Iberians were farmers and herders. They traded with the Greeks and Phoenicians, which led them to adopt important advances, such as the introduction of new crops, the manufacture of pottery using a potter’s wheel, writing and coins. The Iberians lived in fortified hill settlements, such as Montbarbat (Lloret de Mar – Maçanet de la Selva), Montsoriu (Arbúcies – Sant Feliu de Buixalleu), Argimon (Riudarenes) or Turó de Buixalleu (Sant Feliu de Buixalleu). There were also smaller settlements, such as Puig de Castellet (Lloret de Mar), which depended on the main ones.
The process of Romanisation got under way in 218 BC, with the arrival of the Romans in Empúries, and lasted until the 1st century BC. Iberian culture initially survived, as can be seen in Turó Rodó (Lloret de Mar). However, elements of the Roman world were gradually incorporated, the most important of which was the establishment of settlements on the plain or in valleys, such as Can Pons (Arbúcies).
Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, Selva was fully Romanised. It was crossed from north to south by the Via Augusta and two cities were established there: Aquae Calidae (Caldes de Malavella) and Blandae (Blanes), along with several villas (large farming and livestock estates), such as the Ametllers Villa in Tossa de Mar.
The end of the Roman period did not mark a point of rupture but rather an evolution of society towards the mediaeval structures that began to shape Selva as we know it today.
The route we propose includes the most important heritage elements of prehistory and antiquity in Selva.