Leading self-guided, walking tour operator, On Foot Holidays, is offering a seven-night tour to the scenic Spanish region of Priorat, giving hikers a chance to explore monasteries, taste fine wine and journey through the Muntanyes de Prades – limestone rock formations that inspired Spain’s greatest architect, Antoni Gaudí.
On Foot Holidays is offering Australians the Spanish walk in 2016 for five per cent less than the 2015 price if booked by October 31, 2015.
Best known for designing the spectacular Sagrada Família Catholic church in Barcelona, which began construction in 1882 and is not expected to be completed until 2030, Gaudi was born in Reus, the main town of the Priorat region around 100km west of Barcelona. His passion for nature and design was born as he hiked in the Muntanyes de Prades in his youth as a remedy for poor health. The influence of the limestone rock formations is evident in much of his architecture, including World Heritage-listed Casa Milà, the extensive Park Güell and Sagrada Família, which is the most visited monument in Spain.
The seven-night, inn-to-inn walking tour begins in the medieval town of Montblanc, less than 90 minutes from Barcelona. Walkers will visit Poblet Monastery, a working Cistercian community founded in 1151, before journeying up into the hills of the Muntanyes de Prades. The route will then descend to rock pools, where walkers can have a swim and visit ancient paper and grain mills. After walking along the ridge top with its spectacular views, hikers will visit the hilltop citadel of Siurana before journeying into Priorat wine country, where they will enjoy Catalan cuisine and fine wine at a local restaurant.
An ancient monastery path will take walkers to the holy mountain of Montsant before they visit the former Carthusian monastery of Escaladei and journey through vineyards made famous by being the first to achieve 100/100 on Robert Parker’s wine score. The walk will conclude at La Vilella Baixa, but On Foot Holidays recommends staying a few days in Barcelona, where guests can see Gaudi’s great architectural works for themselves.
The hike is of medium-hard difficulty, with five to six walking hours each day, and is available from April to October. The package includes seven nights’ accommodation in comfortable B&Bs, all breakfasts, two lunches, four evening meals and luggage transfers – meaning hikers simply carry a day pack. It costs from £642 (642 British pounds or approx A$1370, depending on exchange rates), twin-share, which is a five per cent reduction on the 2015 price, thanks to decreased costs following a weakness in the Euro. Quote code ‘PMR 16’ when booking to access the discount. Extra nights in Barcelona can be booked through On Foot Holidays.
Based in the UK and specialising in the ‘art of slow travel’, On Foot Holidays offers international walkers 24 self-guided tours across unspoilt areas of Europe for independent travellers who prefer intimate encounters with destinations. Walkers can select their own departure dates and all routes are designed by locals and tested by staff from On Foot Holidays.
Visit www.onfootholidays.co.uk or call +44 (0)1722 322 652.