A self-guided walking holiday in Priorat between two famous abbeys, from Poblet over monastery hill paths to Escaladei, and ending in wine country. Stay in medieval Montblanc, Prades, Cornudella, Poboleda and La Vilella Baixa.
Two monasteries and fine wine
This walk, only an hour from Barcelona, is a must for the cultured hedonist. Despite the relatively rain-free climate the streams flow all year, and coming across a remote bathing pool on a warm spring day, followed by chancing on some remotely-sited neolithic rock art, are delights truly to be savoured. The route crosses the hills between two fine abbeys - Poblet and Escaladei - the former thriving and active, the latter now being restored as an archaeological site of major significance. This is the abbey that put the "prior" in "Priorat" - as the abbey owned most of the land you walk through, including the fine-wine-growing land of the same name.
The footpaths through these glorious hills are well signed, and take you from Poblet abbey, via the medieval town of Prades, to the "Holy Mountain" - Montsant - from which you descend to Escaladei in its valley fastness, and are thus able to appreciate from above its extent and former majesty. The walk is not yet over though - the final day is really one for wine-buffs, through the major vineyards of the Priorat (Robert Parker made one vintage his wine of the century with 100/100 on his famous scale), to a final night by the old bridge in the beautifully positioned village of La Vilella Baixa.
Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie
Standard option (as per "Itinerary"): 7 nights, though extra winding down days at the end in Pilar's Art Deco home in La Vilella Baixa are recommended. Combine with a trip to Barcelona.
Suggested shorter alternatives: 6-night miss night 3 or 7; 5-night miss nights 3 and 7 (end in Poboleda)