The Bishop's Store of Wine and Olive oil
This route is sponsored by the restaurant Celler de l'Aspic in Falset and the winery Celler Lo in la Vilella Baixa
(You can book your winery visit at: http://www.celler-lo.com and your meal at: http://www.cellerdelaspic.com)
From La Vilella Baixa to La Figuera, then on to Cabacés and returning to La Vilella Baixa via Cavaloca Bridge
Suggestions: Experienced walkers can do the full circular route in one day. However, it is also equally enjoyable over two days. We also recommend, for example, that walkers climb up from La Vilella Baixa to La Figuera and return the same way along the pack-horse trail. This lovely route takes around 3 hours and you climb 360m and cover 8.5km.
The Baron of Cabacés has always been well supplied with olive oil and wine. After the Christian conquest of these lands, the three villages which make up this trail came under the command of the Baron, who was none other than the powerful bishop of Tortosa. The title has continued to exist up until very recently. It was Bishop Ricard Maria Carles who was the first to renounce the title. We are not aware, however if the present bishop continues to receive the excellent produce from his former barony.
The climb from La Vilella Baixa up to La Figuera takes about one hour and forty five minutes, is 4 km long with an ascent of 360 m. As far as La Figuera, the route follows, for the most part, the old royal way which traditionally linked the two villages. It is indicated with yellow painted trail markers of the Priorat Hiking Paths Network. It starts just by the side of the Pont Gran (Great Bridge) of La Vilella Baixa which crosses the Montsant river (1). Without crossing the bridge, the path follows the riverbank below the houses of La Vilella. The path leaves the side of the river and, without reaching the main road, we continue below it for a while . We then descend downwards the river. We cross the river just below the whitewashed Mas de la Plantadeta farmhouse (3). From here it climbs the mountain steadily upwards until it reaches the Grau or pass in the rocks and then continues onwards towards the village of La Figuera (5).
The path from La Figuera to Cabacés coincides with the GR 171 (European Hiking Network Long Trail) which is indicated with red and white painted trail markers. It takes approximately two hours, is 7 km long and ascends 310 m. It leaves La Figuera along the main road and soon takes a surfaced track which drops down to the old village clothes-washing area and fountain (6). It continues along the Camí de Sant Pau (path) and soon breaks off to the right (7) and continues along the old path of El grauet de les Obagues and descends as far as the Montsant River opposite the former mill known as El Moliner (8). We climb up to a little dip in the mountain (9) and then descend to cross a dry river bed (10) and then up to the main road (11). Once we have passed Maset dels Xiprers (farmhouse) (12) we come to the old pack-horse trail which climbs up to the ridge and then follows along the foothills of the mountain range until it reaches Cabacés (13).
The way back to La Vilella Baixa starts just before we enter the village of Cabacés where we take a right (14). The itinerary follows the ancient royal way and is indicated by yellow painted way markers. It takes one hour and forty five minutes, is 5.2 km and ascends 320 m. Before we reach the old pack-horse trail we come to two marked crossroads (15). We take the first right at the first crossroads and then at the next crossroads, we turn left. We continue climbing towards Coll de Cantacorbs (mountain pass) (16) and once we have gone through the pass, we enter the Racó de les Pedregoses, where we find an impressive array of dry stone wall constructions. We cross the dry river bed using the surprisingly beautiful Cavaloca bridge (17) and continue along the foot of the mountain range until we reach La Vilella Baixa.