If you are returning to Barcelona from Tarragona, it's possible to make a very pleasant detour into the wine country of Catalonia.To do this you will have to break your journey at St Vicens de Calders
and take another train inland. This train goes to Sants station in Barcelona but in a very roundabout way. It chugs inland in a large arc that goes through several of the main wine producing towns. This is a very interesting journey with lovely countryside views as well as cameos of picturesque towns and villages. I got out at Vilafranca del Penedes and had a look round. The photo shows the winery there which is just directly opposite the station. this detour costs around EUR 6.
the pont de les ferreres is a roman aqueduct built in the 1st century AD. it is located in a very nice park with walking trails. a worth while side trip from the town of tarragona. the aqueduct is about three miles west of tarragona on hwy N240 in the direction of valls.
On the road from Tarragona/Reus to Prades, you will climb up the mountains on a series of beautiful winding roads.
Check out your road map and make your path take you anywhere near the two large lakes. The lake is a result of damn, but as you can see, has a nice backdrop.
Many locals will come up here, rest in the sun, swim in the water and spend a leisurely afternoon.
The water level varies depending on rainfall and other conditions, therefore the shoreline can vary. But since it is a mountain/dam, there really is no beach, but instead a steep gravel shore line. Bring sandals or shoes that can go in the water.
When we decided to visit Tarragona I had my mind set on seeing El Pont del Diable. Seeing the pictures on the internet and reading about it in our travel guide just made me wonder -> This is something I have to see! And I must say, we haven't been disappointed.
But first of all, most people visiting Tarragona go by car to see El Pont del Diable, the famous section of the Roman aqueduct. But, it is also accessible by foot, allowing for some pastoral surprises along the way. We started this hike of 1 hour at the Tarragona Cathedral and rambling footpaths lead past farmhouses, alomond, hazelnut and olive groves, hermitages, abondoned mansions and other ancient aqueducts. Vestiges of ancient engineered waterways ring the northern fringes of Tarragona, and although El Pont del Diable is the most celebrated section, it is not the only one.
The route we hiked was rather easy to follow as it was well-marked with red and white stripes painted onto walls and rocks. When we arrived at the entrance of the parc that lead us to the aqueduct, our vains were pumped with excitement!
It's about 4 kilometers outside Tarragona, follow the A7 to Valencia and you can see a well-signposted rest area.
The photo of the Human Towers in the Ramble Nueva and the Festival of Santa Tecla could not happen with out people practicing, right?!
Its not off the beaten path physically, but its is small and most visitors walk right by without knowing it is there. If you stop in, you can walk up the stairs to have various views of the towers and their practices with the floor padding, safety nets and work out equipment. The walls are full of old photographs and information that documents the history of the Castellers.
Located on Biaxada de la Mistercordia, it is on the right, half way between the city square and the church on the top of the hill. (Very close to Placa del Rei and Carrer de Santa Anna)
Built on the site of an ancient Roman Village, it was then turned into a mausoleum in the 5th century.
It is an off-the-beaten-path tip for Tarragona, because it is actually 6km to the north in the small town of Constanti.
To get there from Tarragona -- take N-241 north and follow the signs to Constanti (do not get on the Autovia or Autopista). Once you enter Constanti from the south, follow the signs to Centcelles. Constanti is north of Autopista AP-7 and west of N-240.
Junio a Septiembre, de 10:00 h. a 13:30 h., y de 15.00 h. a 18:30 h.
Octubre a Mayo, de 10:00 h. a 13:30 h., y de 15:00 h. a 17:30 h.
Festivos, de 10:00 h. a 13:30 h.
Lunes cerrado (Closed on Mondays)
After you have made your short tour of the Mausoleum, if you continue on the small road for another ~300m, you will cross a small creek, then on your left hand side will be a still-functioning Roman aqueduct. It only takes a few minutes to park and walk around, but is an impressive sight to see.
From unknown author:
"In the I century there was an important Roman village in that place which was abandoned and it was in the V c. that it was reformed, later on, the mausoleum was built. This big mausoleum has a unique sepulchral chamber for must one person; this fact shows us that it was the tomb of an important Roman patriarch whose identity is unknown. The German archaeologist Schlunk thought that it was the tomb of the Emperor Constant I, Constanti's son, who died in the year 350 in Elna, near the Pyrenees... The imperial character of the mausoleum explains the beauty, magnitude and high quality of the mosaics (partially preserved). These mosaics, covering the dome of a Christian building, are the most ancient in the whole old Roman Empire."
During our small hike upwards to the Monestir de Montserrat we read something about its facinating history. The monastery was first mentioned in the 9th century, enlarged in the 11th century, and in 1409 became independent of Rome. In 1811, when the French attacked Catalonia in the War of Independence, the monastery was destroyed. Rebuilt and repopulated in 1844, it was a beacon of Catalan culture during the Franco years. Today Benedictine monks live here. Via Plaça de la Creu we ended up at the Plaça de Santa Maria. We were overwhelmed by the beauty and size of the Gothic Cloister, and other structures. We also took some time to have a look at the views of the amazing Catalonian countryside. The “Serrated Mountain” (Mont Serrat) is a superb setting for Catalonia’s holiest place.
We walked over the Plaça de Santa Maria and had a look at the focal points of the square -> The two wings of the Githic Cloister built in 1477 and the modern monastery façade built by Francesc Folguero. After a quick lunch we noticed that it was getting more and more crowded. The avarage age of the people we saw must have been around 65 years! Before we entered the Inner Courtyard and the Basilica itself we learned something about the Virgin of Montserrat. This small wooded statue of La Moreneta (the dark maiden) is the soul of Montserrat. It is said to have been made by St. Luke and brought here by St. Peter in AD 50. Centuries later, the statue is believed to have been hidden from the Moors in the nearby Santa Cova (Holy Cave). Carbon dating suggests, however, that the staue was carved around the 12th century. In 1881 Montserrat’s Black Virgin became patroness of Catalonia.
08100 Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain.
56 kilometers north western of Barcelona.
Originally built in 1864, this lighthouse signaled the coast line north of Tarragona. Originally using olive oil lamps for light, it was updated with more modern times of fuels and gases. Dismantled in 1975 when a new light house was constructed. It was restored and relocated to Tarragona in 1984, where it currently signals the end of the Llavant Breakwater.
To get here, you can drive, walk or ride a bike. Simply go to the end of the Breakwater Wall/road that protects the port. The road begins just across the tracks from the train station, to the right of the restaurants by the beach.
One of the most outstanding features of Tarragona city is its important monumental heritage which is currently being evalueted by UNESCO to see whether it can be awarded World Heritage status. In 218 BC the city was invaded by the Romans who established themselves there and converted it into the capital of 'Hispania Citeror' calling it Tarraconenses. In 45 BC Julio Caesar made it into a colony. Most of the monuments which form the city's cultural heritage were built during this Roman occupation: the ampitheatre, the aquaduct, the city wall and for example El Mèdol.
I was quite triggered to get there, but my patience was tested on trying to find it! I went by car and saw a clear sign coming from the A-7 motorway, but once I took the exit, there were no signs anymore. I drove around in the area for over 15 minutes, just trying to find a sign or any other clue where to go. Trying to figure out what to do, I stopped next to a service area close to the exit of the motorway. All of a sudden I saw a sign of El Mèdol. Quite bizarre to find my way this way. But anyway ... I parked the car and started to hike towards the sign. Time for some real action.
Coming from the A-7 motorway, stop at the service area. Follow the sign for over 1 kilometer and stay at the historical Via Augusta.
Barcelona is one of the main towns in Spain, one of the most important ports in Mediterranean sea region and Europe’s one of most touristy places.
Barcelona is probably the most known by modernistic Gaudi architecture, including main sight – Church of Holy Family (Sagrada Familia). Barcelona has nice old part with medieval Cathedral, active Rambla street, nice seaside port, Montjuic hill with parks and historical monuments.
Tarragona is about 85 kilometres from Barcelona.
For further information watch my Barcelona VirtualTourist page.