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"Parque Natural del Montsant"
Between canyons and gorges:
"Montsant" is part of a route linking the Iberic system and the Pre-Pyrenees.
The high biodiversity is help by a particular relief characterised by a serie of cliffs, canyons and gorges that make the access to the interior difficult and preserve their isolation.
The originality of the "Parque Natural del Montsant" lies in a rocky relief, that rises in an abrupt block.
"Montsant river", that crosses the mountain range in the north, makes de park one of the most remarkable places of Catalonia.
In 2.002 it has been declared Natural Park by the excepcional value of its place.
With a temparate and dry climate, the "Sierra del Montsant" is rich in its diversity in protected species, whose preservation mixes with a cultural heritage of great historical and archaeological interest.
Regarding architectural heritage, we should mention since medieval times the runes of the "Cartuja de Scala Dei", walking-style town of "La Morera de Montsant" and many other remains of constructions from XIII to XVIII centuries.
For more information go to www.parcsdecatalunya.net
The nine "Ermitas del Montsant" can be visited alternating car use, to go from village to village, and up to the ermitages walking or cycling.
It´s an excellent choice for discovering the artistic heritage while enjoying the "Parque Natural del Montsant"privileged scenery.
Route is accessible for all type of hikers and can be done at any time of year.
Other towns near to "Cornudella" worth visiting are: "Ulldemolins", "Prades", "La Febró", "La Morera de Montsant" and its aggregate "Scala Dei", "Poboleda" and "Arbolí", among others.
Predominant vegetation is tipycally mediterranean as "encinar" and the oak as well as the pine.
It hosts one of the most rich population of Catalonia as the wildcat and the golden eagle, among others.
Cornudella de Montsant
With a population of 1.016 people "Cornudella de Montsant" town is set at 533 m. high. Its 62,70 km², makes it the Priorat largest region in Tarragona province. Moreover of controlling the upper valley of Siurana's river, "Cornudella de Montsant" is of great natural interest thanks to the peaks that surround it, between Montsant massifs to west (that culminates here in the "Roca Corbatera", at 1.166m.) and the "Montañas de Prades" linked by "Albarca's" towship hill northern sector.
Located at a very little distance of the "Parque Natural de la Sierra de Montsant", its surroundings are the starting point of excursions. Visitors will discover beautiful and very well preserved spots, ideal to take a rest as well as for practising hiking and climbing.
Two km. from the town we find "Siurana's" river swamp. With a maximum capacity of 12,4 hm³, it collects waters of the river with the same name, together with the ones of the stream of "la Argentera" and other small tributaries. It offers the opportunity to practise different nautical sports and the adjacent zones allow the achievement of interesting walks.
The most emblematic buildings are the "Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María" Renaissance style which has been built on a project realised by the Architect "Pere Blai" around 1.599 and set in 1.615. As well the "Bodega Cooperativa", Art Nouveau style that began its construction around 1.919. Design was done by the architect "César Martinell" of Gaudí's school. On the coast, about 3 km. northwest of town, rises, surrounded by big boulders, the "Ermita de Sant Joan del Codolar", a beautiful an peaceful place to begin several hiking routes.
Siurana and Albarca
"Siurana": Formed by thirty houses, "Siurana" is one of the smallest towns of the "Priorato" as well as one of the most beautiful of the province.
It rises at 737 m. high, on a limestone crag from which you can see an amazing views of the "río Siurana" valley and its swamp.
You can visit the "Esglèsia de Santa Maria", romanesque building on one floor of the XII century, with a remarkable side portal. Large rock formations are highly frequented from climbing amateurs of around the world. "Siurana" is, nowadays, a peaceful place hardly surmountable. "Siurana" origins go back to prehistoric times.
It´s a place of beautiful natural spots and rich in legends. From 1.909 a silex workshop was discovered there with polished stone axes, arrowheads, cup fragments CAMPANIFORMES and bronze materials. Between its natural landscapes rock formations highlight as, the soul rock of "la Siuranella", "el Salto de la Reina Mora" or "la Trona".
"Albarca": Located at 815 m. high at "Montsant" foot, we find its romanesque Church of the XII century. It's an excellent starting point for hikers, as climb to "Montsant". This can be done by the old horseshoe road and go to "la Ermita de la Mare de Déu del Montsant" or to "la Sierra Mayor". We recommend climbing to "la Ermita", situaded under "la Roca Corbatera", the highest point of "la Sierra del Montsant".
"Albarca" offers an extraordinary views. From one side "el Valle de Ulldemolins", with "la Sierra de la Llena" in the background and on the other side "la Sierra de la Gritella" with "Siurana" at its end, besides sighting behind "el Puig de Gallicant".