Guided Hike – Priorat Wine Country, Cartoixa D'Escaladei Hike and Picnic

Highlights

  • Travel south of Barcelona for a private guided hike amongst the vivneyards of the Priorat wine country and visit the ruins of the medieval Cartoixa d'Escaladei monastery
  • Have a wine tasting in one of the Priorat's wineries
  • 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, Escaladei
Guided hike track outline, Escaladei

Itinerary

Morning

Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up for your hike in the Priorat wine country 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 out of Barcelona and drive deep into the interior of Catalonia into the Priorat wine region with its stunning mountains and steep valleys. Your hike will begin by the ruins of the Cartoixa d'Escaladei monastery. The Carthusian monks founded the monastery here in the 12th century, and eventually controlled most of the region - hence the name Priorat which means 'priory' - and were the landlords of this region, with the farmers producing mainly olive oil and grapes for wine.

Your hike will go through the vineyards an woodlands at the foot of Montsant Mountain, and you'll ascend the mountain, eventually getting to la Cova Roja - 'the Red Cave' - at 796 m (2612 ft) with stunning views over the Priorat's vineyards in the mountainside and valleys below. From there you'll make your way down, exploring various ruins of ancient farmhouses and other structures, and then have a private tour of the Cartoixa d'Escaladei monastery.

Priorat vineyards on Montsant, Cartoixa d'Escaladei Hike
Priorat vineyards on Montsant, Cartoixa d'Escaladei Hike

Lunch

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

Gourmet Picnic, with local foods and Priorat wine, Catalonia
Gourmet Picnic, with local foods and Priorat wine, Catalonia

Afternoon

After lunch, you'll enjoy a drive through the stunning wine country, and visit a Priorat winery where you can enjoy a wine tasting. The Priorat is the premier wine region in Catalonia, and is only one of two (the other being Rioja) wine regions in Spain with the denomination of DOQ, the highest mark of quality. The region is especially known for its red wines, but a tasting of Priorat's whites should not be missed.

Terroir al Límit winery terrace overlooking vineyards, Priorat. Image by Terroir al Límit
Terroir al Límit winery terrace overlooking vineyards, Priorat. Image by Terroir al Límit

Hike and Trail Details

  • Activity level: Medium
  • Walking Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours
  • Walking Length: 8.1 km (5 miles)
  • Elevation max: 796 m (2612 ft)
  • Elevation min: 443 m (1453 ft)
  • Total Uphill: 443 m (1453 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 8.1 km (5 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 number of stretches are steep. Comfortable footwear is recommended (hiking boots are not required, sneakers / trainers are fine).

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