Do you know his story?
The numerous caves with prehistoric remains that have been found in the Conca de Barberà certify human presence since the Neolithic era
. However, no Roman remains have been found, but some toponyms from the Muslim era are still preserved.
In the twelfth century, Cistercian monks built the monestir de Poblet and later Montblanc
, precisely two of the main economic engines of the region. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, the successive wars that took place in its territory caused a process of decline that culminated in the closure of the Poblet monastery in 1822. Currently, agricultural activity and especially winemaking is one of the main attractions of the region.
What can you do in the Conca de Barberà and its Holiday cottages?
The range of activities you can do in the Conca de Barberà is very wide. You can admire its natural landscape by taking a mountain bike route. Throughout its territory you will find many signposted paths. You can also take advantage and visit one of its wine cooperatives
. In fact, the Conca de Barberà has its own DO of great prestige.
mountains are another place you can visit for outdoor activities
. It has numerous hiking trails that cross lush forests. If you like climbing, you will also find areas equipped for its practice.
For lovers of the medieval era , it is essential to visit the capital of the Conca de Barberà, Montblanc
and one of the towns that surround it such as L'Espluga de Francolí
, Rocafort de Queralt
or Poblet. On the other hand, its gastronomy is based on traditional dishes such as honey cod accompanied by some of its wines.
10 ideas to enjoy the Conca de Barberà
- Monestir de Poblet.
- Cova de la Font Major.
- Montblanc, a medieval space.
- Hiking routes.
- Mountains of Prades.
- Discover its architectural heritage.
- Taste its gastronomy.
- Enjoy its popular festivals.
- The glass museum.
- Wine route.
Monestir de Poblet
One of the most representative monasteries of the Cistercian route is undoubtedly the monestir de Poblet. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1992, a community of monks still lives there today. The monastery was founded in 1129 by order of Berenguer IV. Catalan kings such as Jaume I, Pere el Cerimoniós or Martí l'Humà can be found buried inside.
Its cloister is of Gothic style and stands out for its simplicity. In the east wing of the cloister you can find the chapter house. A space where monks meet to discuss matters related to the organization of the monastery. In its library you can find period codices as well as documents from the personal archive of Josep Tarradellas. In the museum of the monastery there are also numerous works of art such as altarpieces and other religious elements. We recommend that you visit the outbuildings that are open such as the cellar or the bedrooms.
Cova de la Font Major
Located in the urban center of Espluga de Francolí, it is one of the longest caves in the world, with a corridor that is more than 3.5 kilometers long. It was discovered in 1822, but it wasn't until 1992 that reconstruction works were carried out to preserve its heritage. Inside you can access different geological conglomerates that have great value. You will also be able to see numerous tools and work methodologies typical of prehistory. To provide more detailed information, inside the cave you will find an audiovisual montage recreating the environment where all the activities took place.
Montblanc, a medieval space
Montblanc is located in the Francolí river valley. Its main activity is agriculture as can be seen in its landscape surrounded by olive trees, almond trees and vineyards. Its medieval center is one of its main tourist attractions. Its walls were built in the 14th century and the towers and portals are still preserved.
Some of its most important historical monuments are the esglèsia de Santa Maria la Major, l'antiga església de Sant Francesc or el Palau Castlà. Montblanc Medieval Week is one of its main cultural events. You will be able to see everything from a medieval nocturnal tournament to the representation of the legend of Saint George. You will also find a medieval market where you can buy numerous local handicraft items.
In the Conca de Barberà you will find numerous hiking routes. One of the best known is the GR 175 which follows the route of the Cistercian Route. During its route you will be able to pass through fields of cereals or vineyards as well as ancestral paths that pass through such emblematic spaces as the Monastery of Poblet. The whole route is perfectly signposted and is divided into several sections that you can do on foot or by bike. Another very interesting route is the one that starts from Prenafeta Castle and goes to Tossal Gros . Although it has a certain level of difficulty, the views you will see make it worth it.
Mountains of Prades
One of the most important natural spaces in the Conca de Barberà are the Prades mountains. Its biological diversity and landscapes make it a perfect area to practice numerous outdoor activities such as hiking or climbing
. If you want to do water activities such as kayaking, you can approach the pantà de Siurana
Walking through the mountains of Prades you can enjoy much of its cultural heritage such as its hermitages, farmhouses or old rural settlements. Paleontological settlements have also been found that were declared World Heritage by Unesco in 1992.
Discover its architectural heritage
The Conca de Barberà still preserves a large part of its medieval heritage. There are numerous castles that you can see distributed throughout its territory and that formed a line of defense. Some of the municipalities that still preserve their castles are Montblanc, Santa Coloma de Queralt, L'Espluga de Francolí or Solivella
. Modernism has also left its mark in the region as can be seen in some of the constructions by Cèsar Martinell and Pere Domènech i Roura.
Taste its gastronomy
The cuisine of the Conca de Barberà combines products from the land with the most traditional gastronomy. Each municipality stands out for having typical dishes of great flavor that are sure to satisfy the most demanding palates. We recommend that you try the cocs with herring or the tenderloin with roasted pepper from Santa Coloma de Queralt. Albion cheeses are also very well known. Another of the region's most famous dishes is cod with honey. It has a unique flavor that you will surely love.
If you like sweets, you can try the Montblanc Merlets. Confits that are filled with almonds and a sweet paste. The carquinyolis of l'Espluga de Francolí have been made since 1888 and are a great success. Don't forget to accompany your meals with some of the DO Conca de Barberà wines.
Enjoy its popular festivals
Popular culture is deeply rooted in the municipalities of the Conca de Barberà. Throughout the year, major festivals are celebrated where there is a great participation by its inhabitants. One of the best known is the Vitrum or Artisan Glass Festival of Vimbodí i Poblet
. You will be able to see numerous outdoor activities as well as workshops and children's games. In Santa Coloma de Queralt, Som terra de saffrà is celebrated, a gastronomic festival in which saffron is the protagonist.
In Vilanova de Prades
you can enjoy the chestnut market
. A fair where you will only find chestnuts, but you can also buy other typical products of the Conca de Barberà such as sausages, cheeses or honey.
The glass museum
Glass manufacturing was of great importance in Vimbodí. The Museu i Forn del Vidre is a recognition of blown glass and its entire industry. The museum is divided into two floors. On the ground floor you will find an exhibition of traditional pieces, a shop where some of the manufactured pieces are sold and the glass furnace, where the master glassmaker gives live demonstrations of the blown glass technique.
On the upper floor you will find a permanent exhibition of glass pieces that were manufactured at the beginning of the 20th century as well as the tools used to make them. You will also be able to learn about the origins of the history of glass and its evolution up to the present day.
The Conca de Barberà DO preserves a variety of indigenous grapes, specifically trepat. The wines made with this grape have a touch of freshness and a fruity taste. This grape has been promoted by the winegrowers of the area and gives its name to a route known as the Ruta del Trepat . On this route you will be able to get to know some of the thematic museums dedicated to wine culture. You can take advantage and do some of the wine tastings organized by their cooperatives.