Guided Hike – Poblet, Prades Mountain Hike and Picnic

Highlights

  • Travel south of Barcelona for a private guided hike in the wooded mountain trails of the Poblet Natural Park on the north side of the Prades Mountains
  • Visit Poblet monastery, a UNESCO world heritage site, and discover the delights of Catalonia's medieval heritage
  • Experience the tranquil, magnificent countryside of Catalonia “away from the madding crowd”
  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of this Mediterranean region’s nature and heritage in a guided hike
  • Have a traditional Catalan lunch in a local restaurant or have a gourmet Catalan picnic
Guided hike track outline, Poblet, de la Pena
Guided hike track outline, Poblet to de la Pena

Itinerary

Morning

Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up for your Poblet Prades Mountain hike from your chosen location, and you’ll start your tour driving out of the city with Killian introducing the day ahead, and answering any questions you may have. Throughout the day, Killian will share with you his knowledge of the region, and the places you visit.

You'll drive south of Barcelona into the comarca (county) of Conca de Barberà, passed the lush wheat fields and vineyards, to the foot of the Prades Mountains. From there, close to the Poblet monastery you'll start your hike up the north face of the mountain, through the oak and pine forests. The walk today is secluded and tranquil, but the hike takes in some marvellous heritage of when this mountainside was the focus of thriving communities. Along the hike you'll come across old stone quarries, mounds where they collected wood and made charcoal, an ice house for storing ice for sale in the pre-refrigerator days, and a stunning early 20th century forestry house built in the Gaudi-style of Catalan modernism (modernisme).

At the summit at the viewing point of mirador de la Pena you'll look back down at the trail you walked up, taking in the spectacular views of the vineyards and farmland of the Conca de Barberà landscape. In the foreground will be the modernista forestry house, with the medieval monastery of Poblet in the middle ground. From the summit you'll meander back down the mountainside along a parallel valley, walking by small streams and springs as you descend to the valley floor.

Poblet to de la Pena, Prades Mountains Hike. View from summit looking down to medieval Poblet Monastery UNSECO site in the valley below
Poblet to de la Pena, Prades Mountains Hike. View from summit looking down to medieval Poblet Monastery UNSECO site in the valley below

Lunch

After your guided hike you'll enjoy a specially prepared, gourmet picnic of typical Catalan food and wine at a wooded picnic spot in the Poblet Natural Park at the foot of the mountain. Alternatively, you can choose to have lunch at a restaurant of your choosing.

Gourmet picnic, local food and wines, Barcelona, Spain
Gourmet picnic, local food and wines, Barcelona, Spain

Afternoon

After lunch, you will have a tour of the medieval monastery of Poblet. Poblet is a UNESCO world heritage site, rightly famed for its impressive architecture and beautiful setting. Poblet is one of the largest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in the world. Dating originally from the 13th century, it became one of the most important monasteries in Catalonia, and the burial place of the medieval kings and queens of Catalonia and Aragon. You can visit their pantheon in the 13th century Gothic church, set in the massive fortified walls.

The monastery was eventually abandoned in the nineteenth century, and fell to ruins. However, some restoration work began in the nineteenth century (the young Gaudí was involved in the restoration while studying to become an architect). In 1940 Cistercian monks returned and refounded the monastery and the restoration continued.

Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet, Cistercian monastery (Poblet Monastery). Gothic cloister. UNESCO site, Catalonia, Spain
Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet, Cistercian monastery (Poblet Monastery). Gothic cloister. UNESCO site, Catalonia, Spain

Hike and Trail Details

  • Activity level: Medium
  • Walking Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Walking Length: 9.2 km (5.7 miles)
  • Elevation max: 969 m (3179 ft)
  • Elevation min: 516 m (1693 ft)
  • Total Uphill: 463 m (1519 ft)

Below is a map of the guided hike trail, with an interactive map that you can view the elevation along the trail. Overall, the hike is 9.2 km (5.7 miles) and takes about 2.5 hrs of walking, with plenty of time for taking in the scenery and photo stops.

The activity level is medium. A number of stretches are steep. Comfortable footwear is recommended (hiking boots are not required, sneakers / trainers are fine).

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