Spain is an extraordinary beautiful country with around 50 provinces. Four provinces are being a part of an unique area called Catalonia. Catalonia is a semi-autonomous region located in north-east of Iberian Peninsula. Catalan rich history dates back to somewhere around 1,000 years ago which makes it a perfect place to dig into exploring and to wander around.
A region full of natural beauty and charm with about 7.5 million people, own language, parliament, flag and anthem.
I am a resident of Catalonia for about three months and I decided to explore as much natural beauty as my free time allows me. Besides, going to the nature is an excellent way to reset and rest your mind and soul. It’s always a plus if I can use a content of my own adventures for my business.
So, here it is. An article of first Catalan nature reserve I’ve explored since I’m a resident. Serra del Montisà mountain range and an amazing mountain top called La Foradada are today’s topic. In this post I will include some hiking tips and informations about the location as well some beautiful landscape photos that will eventually make you come to Catalonia, or at least to hike up to your closest mountain.
SERRA DEL MONTSIÀ
First, let me tell you a bit more about the Montsià mountain range. This visually incredible soft mountainous complex is located on the south of Terras de l’Ebre. It extends from the diverse Ebro river to north and Sénia river to the south.
Montsià has a length of 20 km and a width of 6 km. The highest point is the Pic del Montsià at (764 m). However, the most beautiful and charismatic point is La Foradada, more than 500 above sea level. This magnificent natural viewpoint looks wide over the Ebro Delta (the largest wetland in Spain). The towns which you can see from the top are: Alcanar, Ulldecona, Freginals, Amposta and Sant Carles de la Ràpita.
“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” – Greg Child
WHY DO WE HIKE OR CLIMB?
To be frank, I’ve always liked to climb. Whether were fig trees in question, high mountain tops or modern skyscrapers, I have always aimed for that rewarding but also overwhelmingly scary feeling when you reach the heights. Isn’t it the best perspective the one from above?
It’s the same with the last bench in school or the last seat in the bus. Somehow, you feel extremely pleased because your sight has a wide perspective of all the impulses from outside. In fact, there’s no danger, just an internal peace. Once you reach the mountain top, the sound of silence and the gentle voice of nature will fill your inner being with tranquility. All of the sudden, you totally surrender and imaginary, yet spiritually, start to fly as those birds you constantly see piloting around.
I was born right under the mountain called Kozjak and I’ve spent most of my childhood days exploring it. Probably my love towards mountains can relate to my early memories of the best days of my life but whatever the reason might be, I can honestly tell you that climbing to any mountain top once a month, can highly and positively affect on your well being. No to mention loads of inspiration you can get.
HIKING TO LA FORADADA
La Foradada is perhaps the most beautiful place, around 500 m above the sea level, from where you can enjoy some of the best panoramic views of the Ebro Delta and its surroundings. The route is one of the most interesting and diverse hikes that crosses: the Burgar Fountain, Mata-ronda and finally the top of La Foradada.
WHERE TO START?
The beginning of this route is at the car parking Cocó de Jordi. Apparently, there are two parking places, but we concluded that Jordi is the closest one since we didn’t have much time before the sun goes down. In fact, that day, we decided to go hiking spontaneously, thinking between the museum of Deltebre or La Foradada mountain top. Not even a bit surprisingly, our adventure spirits decided about our plan that day lot before we did.
WHAT KIND OF A HIKE IS IT?
I would say it’s a moderate kind of hike that goes to harder kind of hike in some areas. But don’t worry, we’ve seen many elderly people on their way back, so if they can do it, you can do it too.
Make sure to have a good hiking shoes if you don’t want to have a muscle pain few days after. I mean, you will have muscle pain for sure if you are not regularly active person, but at least with the good shoes you can easier take the trail as well the upcoming days.
Don’t forget to bring plenty of water (you will need it), some food (as healthier as you can and as much proteins as you can), navigation tool (mobile phone or something similar), a lamp (when it gets darker), first aid and repair tools (just in case), backpack and non sweaty clothing (don’t dress up fine like I did thinking we will go to the museum because you will smell like a skunk lol) and a signalling device (also just in case).
Before going hiking anywhere not just here, check the weather forecast and if you expect some rain, bring waterproof clothes and waterproof backpack too.
It’s absolutely important to mention that you must inform at least one person about your hiking destination and approx time of coming back. I’ve learned this from a good friend that was a member of a Mountain rescue service and this part can undoubtedly save your life if, in the worst case scenario, something goes wrong.
But, let’s get back to beautiful things like the nature you will be passing through. The trail to La Foradada is over a beautiful Mediterranean forest full of huge oaks and various bushes and trees. You will come across rockery, forest, meadow, straight paths and slightly more difficult rocky climbs.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen much animals only some cute singing birds and a fat black pheasant that was running from us like a maniac. I wish he was slower so I could record that moment of hilariousness. In Font del Burgar, you will encounter a fountain or a small creek with fresh water full of tadpoles.
Around half an hour before reaching La Foradada, we pass by the ruins of Mas de Mata-Redona (the Masía de Matarredona).
The Matarredona ruins are remains of a farmhouse. It was an old livestock and agricultural operation, inhabited and in full swing a few decades ago, of which today remained only the walls, half demolished. By some, it is the best known excursion in the Ebro region. Today, the place is under the project for recovery but unfortunately, still without a financial endowment.
FOLLOW THE MARKINGS ALONG THE WAY!
Okay, this was pretty much confusing for us and we weren’t able to find our answer yet. So the thing is: there are two kind of markings: white/yellow and white/red. We started following the yellow ones, and a bit before Matarredona ruins we ended up on the red ones. Since we saw two paths, and somehow switched from one path to another, we assumed that yellow markings are pointing to the shorter path on which we started and the red markings are pointing to the longer path. Nonetheless, Matarredona ruins are on the red marked path (longer one). But that’s something we have to explore and conclude on our next hiking adventure to La Foradada.
The most important thing is that you see any kind of marking which indicated you are on the right, and already well checked trail.
We (my boyfriend and I) even run in some parts like that terrified pheasant because we were bit scared of not making it to the top before the sun goes down and that additionally, we would need to go down in the night time which takes longer and it’s harder too.
BUT FINALLY after just one hour of hiking, we reached the top! The hike usually takes from an hour and half up to three hours (depending on your fit) but we, simply to say – nailed it! And we literally died a bit too haha.
However, it was all worth it. Our eyes were shining like the brightest stars of the night filled with pure and childish joy. As I said in the very beginning, the views from above are so impressive and they cover many kilometers around. It’s a perfect 360 degree view massive over the horizon. We weren’t so lucky with the clear sky, yet we still enjoyed in what nature on heights can give us.
Now, rest your brain from reading a bit and enjoy in photos.
BONUS TIP: We took the shorter path following the white/yellow markings on our way back (from La Foradada go down and stick to the right side). At that point, we literally started running because the night was falling rapidly. I don’t advise you to run because that path is full of rocks and it’s very dangerous. Leave the dangerous stuff to us lol.
Furthermore, in one point you will have option A (left crossing with white/yellow marking) and option B (right crossing with no marking at all). However, we’ve seen on Google Maps that if we go right, there was a shortcut, although it wasn’t marked. Later on our way, we realized it’s a very difficult way down but shorter for at least 10 minutes. So, if you are an experienced hiker, take that adventure and save some time.
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