"Idleness is the enemy of the soul," said the forerunner of the Cistercian order. The Cistercian Route, a tour of the artistic, cultural and natural heritage of the three districts of Tarragona (Alt Camp, Conca de Barberà and Urgell) challenges - and in what way! - this monastic precept. You can do it on foot in 5 days or by bike in two and a half days.
WALKING OR ON WHEELS
Leisure and enjoyment are assured with this route that has as bait the two Cistercian monasteries of the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast), Poblet (Alt Camp) and Santes Creus (Conca de Barberà), and a monastery in Lleida, Vallbona de les Monges (Urgell). The Cistercian Route follows the GR175 Trail, a network of marked trails, along more than 105 kilometers of circular route.
Depending on whether you usually practice hiking or whether or not you go with children, the path can be adapted and done in more or less stages. In any case, it is essential to have good shoes,
water to quench thirst and some fruits to eat. With small children, it is best to do it by car. From 8-10 years and you can dare to do some stages of the route.
FIRST STAGE: FROM MONTSANT TO POBLET
On foot, the Cistercian Route can be completed in 5 days. In the first stage you will leave Montblanc heading towards the Monastery of Poblet, the largest inhabited Cistercian settlement in Europe. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1991.
These are 10 kilometers between holm oaks, oaks and pine trees forests. The reward: the landscape of the route and the entrance to the monastery. At dusk (at 20:30), if you participate in the prayer listening to the singing of the monks of Poblet, you will have the feeling of traveling to the 13th century. In the monastery, only men can stay to eat and sleep in the cells for visitors
SECOND STAGE: VALLBONA DE LES MONGES
On the second day the Route links Poblet with Vallbona de les Monges.These are 24 kilometers of hiking between fields, vineyards and forests to reach the only monastery of the Catalan Cister inhabited by women. It is beautiful, and here, as in Poblet, you can sleep in the inn - in this case only women.
THIRD STAGE: FROM VALLBONA TO MONTBRIÓ DE LA MARCA
The third day of route crosse Belltall and Rocafort de Queralt, until arriving at Montbrió de la Marca, a stage of natural pleasure of 24 kilometers between fields. Do not miss the modernist wine cellar of Rocafort, one of the great architectural exponents of its kind in the country. You can buy wines, cavas and local food products.
In this first part of the Cistercian Route there is a reduced option that you can do with children. It is the 5-kilometer walk from the Monastery of Poblet to Milmanda Castle, . It is a circular itinerary to know the agrarian and livestock activity that takes place in the monastery. Drac Actiu also organizes trips through the Poblet forest to learn about the fauna and flora, especially for schools and families.
If you want to continue the route with the fourth stage, you go to the second part of this TripIdea!
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