Experience a little frequented part of the Way of St James and along the way visit a majestic World Heritage monastery, a beautifully preserved medieval walled town and quaint villages and hamlets, some historically associated with the Moors and Knights Templar, and others boasting modernist ‘wine cathedrals’ or traditional artisanal wine cooperatives, as befits the winemaking traditions of the region. These walks and associated activities are designed to support the local community and offer a unique opportunity to see life in rural Catalonia.
Accommodation in Catalonia
Guests will stay in one of three (or four) rural tourist apartments/houses in a hilltop village with sweeping views of the countryside.
Two of the apartments in particular have wonderful views of vineyards and hills. Lodgings do not have ensuite bathrooms. One has two bedrooms and one shared bathroom; one has three bedrooms and two bathrooms; and the other has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. All the apartments are very spacious and tastefully decorated.
Breakfast. Group breakfast on rooftop terrace on the first morning. On the other mornings, you can prepare your own breakfast in your apartment (basic supplies provided, special needs catered for) or pop down to the village café if you prefer.
Lunch. Two picnic lunches and one restaurant lunch are included in the price. The other lunch is on your own in the medieval town we are visiting (plenty of options available).
Dinner. Welcome drinks and dinner on arrival day. Dinner on your own on the next two days (group options will be available). On the other two nights, there is a vineyard dinner and a farewell dinner (included). Cuisine is Catalan/Spanish and based on local, seasonal produce.
Walking in Catalonia
Well off the beaten track to more traditional tourist destinations like Barcelona, Tarragona and the Costa Daurada, the village of Barberà de la Conca – where you will be staying — is located in the county of La Conca de Barberà, a region with much to offer for walkers seeking more intimate connections with nature and rural communities. Except for the hottest months of the year, weather conditions are generally ideal for walking in a gently undulating landscape of green hills and warm terracotta-red earth where, from early spring to late autumn, the different seasons of the year are marked by the changing colours of nature and age-old agricultural practices: blossoming almond trees, budding vines, fallow meadows of wild flowers (poppies, marigold, daisies, chamomile, cornflowers, lavender), banks of aromatic sage, thyme and rosemary, cornfields that gradually turn from green to gold, woody vines pruned back after leaf fall in readiness for winter…
While you are expected to be basically fit, the walks cater for all abilities. Transport back to base can be arranged for people who may feel they need it. Some walks are circular and transport is included in the price for walks that start further afield (max. distance to start point: 13 km).
Catalonia walking holiday itinerary
The first group activity scheduled for 2019 is “As I walked out” (12-17 May). See below for a summary. We also offer self-guided versions focused on walking combined with cultural and wine-related activities for individuals/couples, families and groups of friends. See below for a sample 7-day holiday designed for a couple.
“As I walked out” summary/highlights: three-quarters board (including al fresco dinner in vineyard), approx 50-60 kms of walking, visits to world heritage monastery, mediaeval town and 2 wine cellars.
Itinerary (items with asterisk not included in the price):
Day 1 Arrival – Pick-up from Montblanc train station (or from Reus Airport, Tarragona or Barcelona Airport by arrangement*). Welcome drinks and dinner.
Day 2 – Group breakfast, transport to medieval town of Montblanc, loop walk to hilltop chapel (7 km), explore Montblanc/lunch*, walk back to Barberà (8 km), optional group dinner.*
Day 3 – Transport to Poblet Monastery, visit to monastery and woods, picnic lunch, walk from Poblet to Montblanc (12 km), choose between walking (8km) or transport back to Barberà, optional group dinner.
Day 4 – Walk Barberà to Sarral to Pira (8 km), guided wine-cellar tour with wine and cava tasting, picnic lunch, walk back to Barberà (3 km), vineyard dinner (4 km there and back).
Day 5 – Loop walk Barberà-Cabra del Camp-Barberà (10 km), visit to modernist wine cooperative, group lunch, several optional activities (by prior arrangement), farewell dinner.
Day 6 Departure – Drop-off at Montblanc train station (or to Reus Airport, Tarragona or Barcelona Airport by arrangement*).
Tailor-made “As I walked out” for 2 people, 7 nights/6 days. Price: €540 (items with asterisk not included in price)
Summary/ highlights. 2 persons per room, half-board (catering options available), various combinations of walking (approx 40-70 kms) and cultural activities (world and national heritage sites, medieval towns and villages, wine cellars/cathedrals, etc) available.
Day 1 Arrival – Pick up from Montblanc train station (or from Reus Airport, Tarragona or Barcelona Airport by arrangement*), optional walking activity tailored to arrival time, welcome drinks on rooftop terrace.
Day 2 – Transport to medieval town of Montblanc, loop walk to hilltop chapel (7 km), explore Montblanc/lunch*, walk back to Barberà (8 km), dinner.*
Day 3 – Transport to Poblet Monastery, visit to monastery (optionally the woods), picnic lunch, walk from Poblet to Montblanc (12 km) or (optionally) to Barberà (20 km), dinner.*
Day 4 Reus or Tarragona – (drop-off/pick-up included): Reus (Gaudí’s city of birth, also excellent for shopping), Gaudí Interpretation Centre, Modernist architecture, vermouth museum and route OR Tarragona (world heritage coastal city renowned for its Roman ruins), with ticket to explore four historical sites.
Day 5 – Walk Barberà to Sarral to Pira (8 km), guided wine-cellar tour with wine and cava tasting, picnic lunch, walk back to Barberà (3 km), visit to medieval village or other site of interest (transport included), dinner.*
Day 6 – Loop walk Barberà-Cabra del Camp-Barberà (10 km), guided wine-cellar/wine-cathedral tour, visit to medieval village or other site of interest (transport included), dinner.*
Day 7 Departure – Drop-off at Montblanc train station (or to Reus Airport, Tarragona or Barcelona Airport by arrangement*), optional walking activity tailored to departure time.
Dates and Availability
The fixed date for “As I walked out” is 12-17 May (2019).
Minimum group size is 8, but as we are just starting, we will run the activity anyway, even if we do not reach minimum numbers. Individuals/couples, families and groups of friends can contact us for similar tailor-made holidays throughout the year.
Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form below, for more information.