Guided Hike – Prades Mountain Rock Art Hike and Picnic

Highlights

  • Head south of Barcelona for a private guided hike of the wooded hills on the summit of the Prades Mountains, and visit the remarkable UNESCO rock art sites along the cliffs/li>
  • Visit the charming medieval walled town of Montblanc at the foot of the Prades Mountains 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, Prades Mountain, de la Pena, UNESCO prehistoric rock art sites
Guided hike track outline, Prades Mountain, de la Pena and the UNESCO prehistoric rock art sites

Itinerary

Morning

Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up for your hike in the Prades Mountains 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.

The Prades Mountains are a mountain range south of Barcelona in the Province of Tarragona, with peaks up to 1,203 m (3,947 ft), and form one of the largest nature reserves in Catalonia. The mountains contain a mix of forest and farmland, with the forest dominated by oak and pine, and the forest floor by rosemary and lavender amongst many other flowers and shrubs.

Your guided hike will begin after driving up the mountain from Montblanc and passed the the mountain village of Rojals on the summit at about 964 m (3,162 ft). From there you'll hike across the relatively flat summit amongst the trees, crossing the mountainside to the west and then the north, you'll see the Mediterranean Sea to the south while passing through a variety of habitats as you make your way to the viewing point of Mirador de la Pena. There, you'll have magnificent views of Poblet Natural Park, the Poblet monastery, and the vineyards and rolling wheat fields of the Conca de Barberà.

UNESCO rock art sites

From there, you'll work your way south along a limestone ridge to explore the fantastic UNESCO prehistoric rock art sites found in the rock shelters along the cliffs. These rock art sites date back some 10,000 years, and you'll visit three sites that include drawings of cows, deer, bees, along with abstract symbols.

These rock art sites are an intriguing testament the prehistoric communities that lived in this mountain region for thousands of years. The mountains are now remote, and uninhabited for the most part, today. But actually, they were home to a large population up to the early twentieth century. As you walk across the mountain on the ancient mountain passes, you'll see many stone terraces that were once farmed, and are now overgrown by the woodland, and the occasional Mediterranean cypress tree is a sure sign that an abandoned farmhouse is nearby.

Prehistoric rock art, Mas d'en Llort rock shelter, Prades Mountains nature reserve
Prehistoric rock art, Mas d'en Llort rock shelter, Prades Mountains nature reserve

Lunch

After your guided hike you'll enjoy a specially prepared, gourmet picnic of typical Catalan food and wine at a scenic picnic spot. Alternatively, you can choose to have lunch at a restaurant of your choosing.

Gourmet picnic, Prades Mountain, Barcelona, Spain
Gourmet picnic, Prades Mountain, Tarragona, Spain

Afternoon

After lunch, you'll explore the medieval walled town of Montblanc at the foot of the Prades Mountains. While most of the medieval towns across Europe lost their medieval walls over time, Montblanc preserved theirs. You can walk around the town's walls and their series of towers, and then head in through one of the gates and wander through the medieval streetscape, with its Romanesque and Gothic churches, porticoed main plaças, medieval hospital and Romanesque bridge. After taking in the charming town, you'll have time to enjoy a coffee or afternoon wine in the main plaça amongst the locals as they go about their daily life.

Montblanc medieval walled town
Montblanc medieval walled town

Hike and Trail Details

  • Activity level: Easy-Medium
  • Walking Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Walking Length: 10.2 km (6.3 miles)
  • Elevation max: 1028 m (3373 ft)
  • Elevation min: 853 m (2799 ft)
  • Total Uphill: 375 m (1230 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 10.2 km (6.3 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 easy to medium. A Few of the stretches are steep. Comfortable footwear is recommended (hiking boots are not required, sneakers / trainers are fine).

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