Serra de Montsant Natural Park

Nature area / Countryside / Open space, Natural parks, Natura 2000 network, Natura 2000 Network: Special Protection Area (SPA)
The Serra de Montsant Natural Park is located in the north of the Priorat region and has a surface area of 22,837 acres, creating a rich scenic, natural and intangible landscape.

The Montsant mountain range is an especially rocky territory in the western most part of the Catalan Pre-littoral range, within the Priorat region. It occupies a total of 9,242 hectares, corresponding to the municipalities of La Morera de Montsant, Ulldemolins, Margalef, Cabacés, Cornudella de Montsant, La Vilella Alta, La Vilella Baixa, La Bisbal de Falset and La Figuera.

The rounded abrupt relief is the main characteristic of the massif of calcareous origin which has been a Natural Park since 2002. The lie of the landscape and the proliferation of shelters, caves, chasms and ravines is due to the erosion that meteorological elements have caused over centuries on the calcareous materials and other softer materials that the soil is comprised of.

The most famous image of the park is the spectacular rocky walls of the Mayor cliff, on the southern face, which rise to meet the Major mountain range, where the highest peaks are: Cogulla (1,063 metres), the piló dels Senyalets (1,109 metres) and the Corbatera rock (1,163 metres), the highest point of Montsant.

To the far east, the Solans mountain range turns towards the north east like a branch of the Major mountain range, with the punta del Peret (1,106 metres) as its main elevation.

To the north of this range flows the Montsant river, with an excellently conserved course, which follows the northern and western perimeters of the massif. The river is one of the most spectacular spots in the park: the majestic Fraguerau gorge, in the district of Ulldemolins. It then opens into the Margalef reservoir before turning towards the south.

The Fraguerau gorge is also where the Sant Bartomeu shrine -or hermitage- (12th century) can be found, one of numerous buildings of this type that are in abundance throughout the massif, a privileged location for hermits' lives, who give rise to the name: Sant Antoni and Santa Magdalena (Ulldemolins), Sant Joan del Codolar and Sant Joan Petit (Cornudella de Montsant), Mare de Déu de Montsant (on the municipality limits between Cornudella and La Morera de Montsant), Sant Salvador (Margalef), Sant Roc and Mare de Déu de la Foia (Cabacés).

Similarly, the park has a wealth of fauna, with endemic and very rare species in Catalonia. Mammals such as greater horseshoe bats, wild cats or Spanish ibex; birds of prey such as Bonelli's eagle, golden eagles, peregrine falcons or kestrels, as well as other birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates or fish.

With regard to the vegetation, holm oak and shrubs dominate the majority of the landscape yielded by the rocks, although there are also many Aleppo and Scots pine forests, as well as common oak forests in certain areas. There are also monumental trees: the Teix de la Cova (Margalef) and the Sabuco de Fontalba (Ulldemolins).

In addition to the natural and architectural heritage, the park is an ideal place for activity holidays: hiking, along a large number of marked paths and trails; climbing, in the areas where this is possible under current legislation, and even caving.

The office and information centre of the Sierra del Montsant Natural Park is in carrer Major in La Morera de Montsant. There are also information points in Cornudella de Montsant and La Vilella Baixa, and a tourist office in Falset.

Virtual tour Congost de Fraguerau (Sant Antoni - Sant Bartomeu)

  • Year of declaration: 2002
  • Regulations: Act 131/2002, 30th April, declaration of Natural Park (DOGC 3636 15-05-2002).
  • Area: 11762
  • Ownership: Mixed or both
  • District: Bisbal de Falset, la; Cabacés; Cornudella de Montsant; Figuera, la; Margalef; Morera de Montsant, la; Ulldemolins; Morera de Montsant; Margalef; Ulldemolins; Cabacés; Cornudella de Montsant; Torroja del Priorat; Poboleda; Vilella Alta, la; Vilella Baixa, la; Bisbal de Falset, la; Juncosa.
  • Visitor centres: S
  • Annual closing: Open all year round
  • Opening hours - summer : Park headquarters (La Morera de Montsant): Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 15:00.
    Cornudella information point: Saturdays and public holidays from 9:00 to 14:00 and 16:30 to 18:30; Sundays from 9:00 to 14:00.
  • Opening hours - winter: Park headquarters (La Morera de Montsant): Monday to Friday from 8:00 to 15:00.
    Cornudella information point: Saturdays and public holidays from 9:00 to 14:00 and 16:30 to 18:30; Sundays from 9:00 to 14:00.
  • Languages: Catalan, Spanish

Facilities

Accommodation

Parking

Chapel

Signposted itineraries

Flora

In terms of vegetation, the holm oaks and bushes dominate a large part of the landscape where the rock gives way, although there is also a large number of white and red pine groves, as well as English oak in certain areas. Here, we mustn’t forget to mention the monumental trees: the Tejo de la Cueva yew tree (Margalef) and the Sabuco de Fontalba elder (Ulldemolins).

Fauna

The park boasts a wealth of wildlife, with endemic species that are very rare in Catalonia. Mammals include the greater horseshoe bat, the wildcat and the Spanish ibex; birds of prey like the Bonelli's eagle, the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon and the common kestrel, as well as other birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and fish.

Routes

Numerosos itinerarios recorren los caminos de la sierra de Montsant. El Parque Natural cuenta con ocho sencillos itinerarios de flora, once itinerarios municipales que se adentran en el espacio desde cada uno de los pueblos que lo rodean, cinco apasionantes itinerarios culturales que incluyen la tradicional Red de Caminos del Priorat, así como la vía ferrata de Montsant y una ruta en bicicleta para completar la Vuelta al Parque Natural de Montsant en BTT. Además, los senderos GR 65-5, GR 171 y GR 174 cruzan el espacio.

Bird-watching tourism

WHAT IS AROUND HERE?
Serra de Montsant Natural Park
  • Serra de Montsant Natural Park

  • Address:Square de la Bassa, 1

  • 43361 Morera de Montsant, la

  • Tarragona / Costa Daurada

  • Serra de Montsant Natural Park
  • Serra de Montsant Natural Park

  • Address: Square de la Bassa, 1

  • 43361 Morera de Montsant, la

  • Tarragona / Costa Daurada

  • Telephone:977 827 310

  • Fax:977 827 105

  • E-mail:pnmontsant@gencat.cat

  • Web:www.gencat.cat/parcs/serra_montsant

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