Beating heart of wine
Distance: 18.5km Time: 6hrs Difficulty: Demanding
The region’s wine revolution of the 1990s turned Priorat into one of the world’s top wine-making areas. The Priorat County Paths Network is a network of footpaths that has restored many old and historical routes, enabling visitors to discover the landscape, gastronomy and, especially, its wines. This roughly circular trail from Falset via Gratallops, and Bellmunt, unlocks many of the region’s secrets, and while do-able in one day, is best savoured over two.
Best for: wine lovers.
El Cinquè Llac
Distance: 105km Time: 5 days Difficulty: Modest
Just 200km from Barcelona, El Cinquè Llac is a five-stage, mid-mountain, circular route that explores the sights and tastes of the Catalan Pyrenees. The route, at the foot of the Aigüestortes i Sant Maurici Natural Park, climaxes at the reservoir of Montcortès, known as the ‘fifth lake’. You get to stay in guesthouses that pride themselves on their local cuisine. Try girella (a type of haggis stuffed with rice), palpís (grilled and stuffed leg of lamb), and caramelised almonds.
Best for: foodies.
Viewpoints of el Cadí
Distance: 7-8km Time: 1 day Difficulty: Easy
The Cadí-Moixeró Natural Park was created in July 1983 to protect the Serra del Cadí and the surrounding area. This walk is a chance to enjoy an eco-themed family hike, in the heart of the Cerdanya, the great valley of the Pyrenees. The route – rich in leafy forests, magnificent views, lakes, ponds, rivers, waterfalls and meadows – runs around the village of Prullans until it reaches the viewpoints of the el Cadí range, stopping off at an organic vegetable garden.
Best for: ecotourism.
La Vall Fosca
Distance: various Time: various Difficulty: Easy
The valley’s climate and privileged location at the foot of the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park mean la Vall Fosca is home to a wide variety of aromatic and medicinal herbs, as well as flowers and fruits for making soaps and liqueurs. Hiking is used by many rural communities to boost economic development. The rural house Casa Leonardo, together with the company Naturalwalks, organises a series of themed walks that combine hiking with ecotourism.
Best for: paths, plants and natural recipes
Distance: 151km Time: 8 days Difficulty: Medium
Penedès is a wine area full of contrasts, known especially for making cavas. Its landscape offers attractive trails through vineyards that highlight the significance of the region. With its privileged location, close to both Barcelona and Tarragona, the hiking route takes you deep into the area’s culture. You’ll enjoy charming towns, the warmth of local people, winegrowing in the vineyards and have opportunities to sample good wines and enjoy culinary treats.
Best for: great food and sparkling wines!
Visit catalunya.com for more information.