Do you know his story?
The presence of cave paintings in the Cova de Margalef demonstrates human presence since prehistoric times . The Priorat was occupied by Muslims until the 12th century. Later, during the Reconquest, churches and monasteries such as Scala Dei began to be built.
Its economic activity was based on an agricultural model with a clear presence of vines or olive trees . Numerous mills were also built to produce oil. With the arrival of the industrial age in the 19th century, mining began and the first wine cooperatives appeared.
What can you do in the Priorat and its Holiday cottages?
The Priorat offers you numerous proposals that adapt to all tastes and needs. On the one hand, you can visit its most emblematic cultural monuments such as the mines de Bellmunt or Cartoixa d'Escaladei. If you like wine, don't miss one of the wine routes where you can taste some of the best wines from the DOQ Priorat or DO Montsant. Oil is another of the protagonists, take advantage of and see some of the cooperatives and their mills, where you can see the production processes of their virgin oils.
Nature also plays a role. The paths of the Priorat are perfect for walking or mountain biking . Take advantage and visit natural spaces such as the Serra del Montsant natural park where you can practice activities such as climbing.
10 ideas you can do in the Priorat
- Cartoixa de Scala Dei.
- Oil route.
- Wine tourism
- Historical set of Siurana.
- Museu de les mines de Bellmunt del Priorat.
- Parc Natural de la Serra del Montsant.
- Visit its monuments and museums.
- Family activities.
- Practice climbing.
- Taste its gastronomy.
Cartoixa de Scala Dei
Protected by the Montsant mountain range, you can find the cartoixa d'Escala Dei. It is a must visit if you want to learn more about the history of the Priorat. Founded in 1194, it was a quiet space in which the monks lived a community life marked by silence and prayer. Over time, he received numerous donations of land, which led him to accumulate a large territory.
Thanks to its great heritage, it lived a period of maximum splendor between the 16th and 17th centuries. Unfortunately, in the middle of the 19th century and due to the confiscation of Mendizábal, it began to suffer looting and a deep degradation. Currently, it has been subjected to various restoration works , which has allowed it to recover part of its former splendor. You can visit the exterior of its three cloisters or its church. There is also a cell that has been reconstructed in its entirety.
Oil is one of the star ingredients of the Mediterranean diet . If you want to learn about its manufacturing process in a completely artisanal way, we recommend that you do the Oil Mills Route. You will be able to see the entire process of making oils of exceptional flavor and quality that are protected by the DOP Siurana.
There are many cooperatives you can visit. Some of the most important are the Cabacés Cooperative with an annual production of 220,000 liters of oil. Its olive trees are centuries old and it is committed to respectful cultivation. Its oils are organic and it has won numerous awards both nationally and internationally.
In the Miró Cubells Mill you will see thousand-year-old olive trees and a farm full of particularities. Although it uses modern technology in its processes, the oil is extracted cold, which guarantees its properties. During the visit you will also be able to taste oils and local products.
Wine is another star product of the Priorat. On the wine route you can get to know two of the most famous appellations of origin in Catalunya. Specifically, they are DO Montsant and DO Priorat. The wineries you can visit offer you the opportunity to enjoy unique experiences such as stepping on the vines or watching the harvest. You can also taste some of the wines they make.
One of the best known wineries is that of Falset Marcà. It was built by Cèsar Martinelli, Gaudí's disciple. This winery has the particularity of combining wineries with buildings of high historical value. If you pass through Capçanes, try the kosher wine. It is a wine made according to traditional Jewish methods and is certified by a rabbi. It is exported worldwide.
Historical set of Siurana
Siurana is a village located at an altitude of 730 meters, which means that it has very good views of the whole region. Remains of flint have been found, which shows that it was inhabited since prehistoric times. Its castle was the last stronghold of Saracen resistance. Indeed, history says that before falling into the hands of the Christians, Princess Abdelàzia preferred to jump down a ravine. His horse in a desperate attempt to stop his fall stamped his horseshoe on a rock that is now known as Salt de la Reina Mora.
In Siurana you will find the remains of the old Arab castle. A military building dating from the 9th century. Near the castle is the església de Santa Maria, a Romanesque-style building that dates from the 12th century and is in a good state of conservation.
Museu de les mines de Bellmunt del Priorat
Located in the old industrial complex of the Eugènia Mine, at the Museu de les Mines de Bellmunt del Priorat you will find a space dedicated to lead mining. This mineral was mainly used for the construction of pipes, due to the fact that it is very resistant to corrosion. It has also been used in the automotive industry to make batteries. Another widespread use is as armor in nuclear reactors.
The Eugènia mine was one of the most important mines in Catalunya. Around the year 1920 was when it lived its moments of maximum splendor. Accommodations were even built for workers who came with their families from other parts of the peninsula to work. However, its activity stopped in 1972. This museum is close to the urban center and was inaugurated in 2002. Its mission is to protect and disseminate the different elements that are part of the mining activity , for fact that they are part of the cultural and economic heritage of the region.
Parc natural de la Serra del Montsant
Located in the north of the region, the park stands out for its extensive landscape and natural heritage . In addition, you can practice numerous activities such as hiking or climbing. The parc natural de la Serra del Montsant has a peculiar morphology due to the erosion caused by the various meteorological elements, which means that there are numerous caves and ravines.
In the park you will find numerous routes to visit the most emblematic places and get to know its flora and fauna. One of the monuments of the park that you cannot fail to see is l'ermita de Sant Bartomeu. A 12th century building that served as home to numerous hermits throughout its history. Other hermitages that you can see are that of Sant Antoni i Santa Magdalena or Sant Salvador.
Visit its monuments and museums
The historical and cultural heritage of the Priorat is very important, as evidenced by the large number of museums and monuments that you will find throughout the region. Castell de Falset has a museum where you will find pieces from different moments in history. It also organizes numerous cultural exhibitions.
The Museu Lula Pérez-Marçaginé exhibits the work of the sculptor Marçel-lí Giné and his wife Lula Pérez. On the third floor of the museum there is an exhibition in which you can see archaeological remains found in the region.
If you travel with the rogue, you can do numerous activities in the Priorat. The Museu de les Mines de Bellmunt offers guided tours where you can see replicas of miners at work. In the Donkeys del Montsant space , children can be in contact with nature and get to know the rural world in more detail with the help of three donkeys.
We also recommend the jaciment prehistòric del Puig Roig del Roget. A village more than three thousand years old with views of the Siurana river and the Montant mountain range. The network of paths that cross the Priorat offers itineraries that are short and have a low gradient, which makes them perfect for children.
Climbing is one of the most popular activities in the Priorat. The composition of the rocks of the Serra del Montsant or Muntanyes de Prades with a multitude of holes facilitate its practice. Siurana is considered a paradise for climbers. Its orientation allows the practice of climbing at any time of the year.
In the Serra del Montsant you will find more than 90 sectors and 1,500 routes with different levels of difficulty. If you want to get started in sport climbing in Margalef, there are several ways to get started. However, there are also grade nine routes for the most demanding climbers.
Taste its gastronomy
The Priorat has a gastronomy where the use of nuts abounds. One of its best-known dishes is hare with chocolate . A dish made with red wine, pine nuts and chocolate. Crestes are also very well known, these are fried empanadas that are stuffed with meat. They are delicious! If you like snails, don't miss the spicy sweet snails, a real treat for the palate. Sweet lovers can try some of the typical desserts such as ensaginada, Sant Blai or borainas.