A winding road crosses the Sierra de la Argentera mounrains; it seems as if the road does not have an end. In one of the summits of these mountains it is
surprising to find an unjustly little admired attraction. We start this TripIdea at an authentic jewel of the Costa Daurada (Costa Daurada), in the Castell Monestir of Sant Miquel d’Escornalbou.
It is not strange to imagine why its first founders located the construction in this place. The elevated position of the Castle Monastery of Escornalbou - at about 600 meters of altitude - makes it a unique vantage point to admire the Camp de Tarragona. On clear days you can see the entire gulf of San Jordi and beyond (from Cape Salou to Punta del Fangar del Delta del Ebro), and even if you are very lucky, the Puig Major de Mallorca!
In the 12th century, a group of Augustinian friars were commissioned to erect the building on the ruins of ancient fortifications. The current restoration is the responsibility of Eduard Toda, a diplomat and philanthropist from Reus who established the residence here at the beginning of the 20th century. The stately rooms or the exceptional library will give you an idea of the bourgeois life Toda lived until it was ruined during the Civil War.
ROUTE OF THE `CAMINOS DE LA BARONÍA´ TRAILS
The Escornalbou Castle-Monatery is for many the origin or end of a mountain bike excursion through the area. Trails that take you to see rural villages like Riudecanyes, Duesaigües, Argentera, Vilanova d'Escornalbou or Mont-roig.
If you focus on the monastery, you can also walk! Entering one of the side doors of the fortification, you accede to the `Paseo dels Frares´, circular path of a quarter of an hour, during which you will change from the landscape of the plain to the mountain forest. And to have a privileged view of the monastery with its reddish stones you must go up to the Santa Bárbara Hermitage, on top of the hill. With the excuse of its location, it was dedicated to the virgin to protect the region against lightning and storms. Without a doubt it is a complete excursion with ingredients of hiking, visit of historical patrimony and contact with the fauna and flora. With a little bit of luck you can even spot some Bonelli's eagles!
TASTA VERD, THE LAND FAIR OF THE COSTA DAURADA
To begin the spring season, in the nearby town of Riudecanyes they celebrate a meeting to reclaim the fruits of the earth and to honor the men and women who work the land to give us all quality products. It is the Tasta Verd, the fair of the senses, a festival with displays of trades, exhibition of agricultural products of traditional and ecological cultivation, and oils and wines tastings. Habaneras, street shows, and castells (human towers) performances contribute the color notes
It is usually celebrated the last Saturday in March from 10am to 8pm. If you arrive early you can even see the arrival of the fish cart to the square and participate in the hilarious auction of the day's fishing from Cambrils. Who gives more? Awarded!
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