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Montsant Escaladei & Clot del Cirer 15Km circular route

Spectacular mountain route from former grand monastery via Montsant cliffs & mountain plateau to Clot del Cirer natural spring & Roca de miso viewpoint

Updated: Nov 20, 2022 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks Views: 712

About Montsant Escaladei & Clot del Cirer

The Montsant mountain range is about 20Km inland behind Tarragona city and is part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. The main peaks are Roca Corbatera (1163 m), Pilo dels Senyalets (1109 m) and La Cogulla (1063 m). The Serra de Montsant, meaning Holy Mountain Range is named because there were many hermits living in the mountains in early Medieval times. Today Montsant mountains are a protected natural park.

This circular 15km route starts and ends at the Cartoixa d'Escaladei monastery museum located at the foot of the Montsant sierra.

Cartoixa d'Escaladei Monastery Museum

The Carthusian monks followed a model of life marked by silence and prayer, combining hermitistic loneliness with the auspices of community life. The monastery was founded in 1194 with a concession from King Alfonso I, for the purpose of forming a settlement on newly conquered lands. The donations and purchases that took place later turned the monastery into a feudal lord responsible for the county today known as Priorat and famous for grape growing and wine production.

Escaladei was a very wealthy and powerful monastery earning money from land rental of the very profitable grape fields and was known for its splendour between the 16th and 17th centuries. This wealth was used by the Carticans monks to undertake a profound architectural remodelling. From the first half of the 19th century onward, the confiscation of land owned by the Church and the looting produced during the popular uprisings caused the monastery to be abandoned.

Today, The monastery is being preserved with some sections undergoing extensive restoration works. The monastery is a museum that can be visited at the start of this hiking route. I would allow 30 to 60 minutes to explore the inside of the monastery.

The route starts from the Monastery museum and heads up into the mountains via abandoned monastic ruins of La Pietat and grape fields. At the foot of the cliffs the path is traversed in several sections by steep ravines with chains to aid the climb. The top of the mountain is a plateau with several summits such as Punta Alta del Boter (1007 m), La Guardiola (1014 m) and La Cogulla (1062 m). Between La Guardiola and La Cogulla is a large natural cave often used by mountain goats to take shelter from the wind and rain.

Further along the route we take a path going down into a natural basin with a spring called Clot de Cirer. From here we go back up to the plateau and follow a cliff top path at Roca de Miso that gives spectacular views of the Montsant cliffs and grape fields down below. From here the path descends down the side of the cliffs into a forest that emerges into the grape fields leading back to the monastery.