Conca de Barberà offer a landscape and a very unknown cultural heritage. The Cistercian route will help us to discover places and monasteries of great beauty.
Conca de Barberà is a county where the wine and the cereals still a major influence on the economy of the area. These crops, along with the Mountains of Prades, many Cistercian monasteries and modernist buildings depict the typical image of the region.
Environmental tourism resources:
Natural Park of Muntanyes de Prades: A set of pre-coastal mountains saw with an extension of 30,000 hectares declared a Natural Site of National Interest. It is divided between 5 different regions: Alt Camp, Baix Camp, Conca de Barberà, Priorat, Garrigues. These latter regions also border the Montsant Natural Park.
They are a typical Mediterranean mountain range dominated bye tabular relief with high plains, deep ravines and caves. Several rivers are born here such as the Francolí Brugent, Siurana and Glorieta river. Its natural wealth is given by the expanses of red pine forests in the upper zones, and Aleppo pines in the lower zones and expanses of oak and Holm oak.
Poblet Forest: Located in the mountains of Prades, is a park declared Park of National Interest. It has a very varied and rich flora and fauna and has the largest reserves of Holm oak in Catalonia. Ideal area for excursions and one day trips.
Rural Life Museum: Located in Espluga de Francolí, this museum is intended to show the traditional values of rural life, such as effort, hard work, etc. We also found a large number of rural objects of the past.
Caves of la Font Major: These caves are spread over the basement of the town of l'Espluga de Francolí and are considered one of the seven largest conglomerated caves in Earth. We visit the geology of the cave and the lifestyle of primitive man.
The Cooperative Winery and Wine Museum: the production of wines and cava in this region favored the creation of large cooperative wineries, most of which are in modern buildings. Located in Espluga of Francolí, this is one of the most important modernist cellars with a beautiful exterior decoration, designed by Lluis Domenech i Muntaner. It houses the wine museum showing the history, development, etc.
Monastery de Santa Maria de Poblet: impressive architectural ensemble founded in 1150 by Cistercian monks. Can be counted among the most important monastic ensembles in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Monastery de Santa María de Vallbona: it is the most important female monastery in Catalonia. Founded in the twelfth century, with Cistercian architecture and with similar characteristics to one in Poblet. Still an active center.
Defense Walls of Montblanc: Montblanc's historic core is surrounded by a group of towers, gates and walls along about 1600 meters. These buildings were built during the XIII century.
Modernists Cellers: this region has a great tradition of producing wine and cava that promoted the creation of modernist cellars were intended to promote agricultural modernization and technical wine making.
Outstanding celebrations and activities:
Fair of Sant Vicenç de L'Espluga of Francolí: with moret han 445 editions, each weekend of January, we will find stalls at the fair, exhibitions of crafts and trades and all kinds of acts.
Medieval Week of Sant Jordi Legend of Montblanc: some days before April 23 this great medieval festival take place in the village. Lots of people take the streets and enjoy of all kinds of events connected with this time: markets, plays, concerts, performances, etc..
International Ceramics Festival, Montblanc: its celebrated by the end of September in Montblanc. This ceramic festival aims to bring artistic and decorative ceramics to the public through the exhibition of works, technical demonstrations and a spectacular experimental oven.
Cistercian route (by foot or bicycle): the historical route (GR 175) takes us through the Conca de Barberà, Alt Urgell and Alt Camp, joining the three most important Cistercian monasteries in Catalonia. We found a lot of cultural heritage and spectacular natural landscapes, all well marked and described. It can be done on foot or bicycle and is suitable for everyone.
Hiking and mountain biking: the region of Conca de Barberà offers a wealth of well-marked routes and upgraded for all lovers of hiking and biking.
Close to Conca de Barberà ...
Santes Creus: located in Alt Camp, this monumental jewel is one of the three Cistercian monasteries found in this region. Founded in the twelfth century.
Valls: the capital of Alt Camp retains the old narrow and crooked streets of the medieval period and the Jewish Quarter. Also noteworthy is the Gothic church of San Joan (S: XVI) and the Chapel of the Rosary, and the arcaded square of Blat. Both "castellers" as "calçotadas" originated in this town.
Tarragona: brings together a wide range, shopping, culture and entertainment, museums and themed routes (Route Roman, medieval and modern) not forgetting the nice beaches (Costa Dorada).