Itinerary 2 Montsant: Ulldemolins
From the valley floor to the highest ridges, this trail invites you to enjoy the contrasts of the landscape on the north side of Montsant. Good hiking training is a must for this walk, which in some stretches can seem like high mountain trekking due to the difficulty. The long, sustained ascent and the downhill stretch, which is very steep at the beginning, require experience in the mountains to be able to meet the challenge of this excursion without the odd shock.
The trail, which follows a path almost all the time, is easy to follow. The signs help us to keep to the route when in doubt, and real care is only needed on climbing the ridges of Els Ventadors in order to advance safely.
This excursion can be completed in a morning if enough time is allowed. It is highly recommended that the most be made of the facilities with barbecues and tables at the chapel of Sant Antoni to get your strength back with a good lunch. The hermit can provide some extras to accompany your sandwiches and everything you need to light a fire, if you wish.
This route is suitable for any time of year. When doing it in summer, be aware that the final stretch of the ascent, which crosses the sunny slope, is extremely hot. The trip should not be made in fog. Great care should be taken if the rocks are damp.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: HIGH (not suitable for children or people with vertigo)
Follow the asphalt track to the chapel of Sant Antoni |2.1|, where vehicles can be left in the car park. The walk starts on the track which leads down to Montsant river. To the left is a pond, and here you should turn as though heading back. Take a short cut, following the GR (long hike) signposted trail (red and white markers) to avoid the twists in the track. On reaching Cadolles Fondes take the route to Margalef. You will now come to the gorge Congost de Fraguerau |2.2|, leaving to the left a path leading to the Austrian pinewoods and then on the right the path leading to the Racó de la Pastera. To the right you will see the bridge of Sant Bartomeu. You will come to a crossroads, where you should take the path going left, which is marked with yellow paint. From here onwards the path is easy to follow, although occasionally the vegetation can make it difficult to pass. Following a steep ascent, you will reach an area where the vegetation thins out noticeably, a result of the forest fire of 1994. Climb up the ridge of Els Ventadors |2.3|. To pass the first rocks safely, keep to the left of the ridge. The burned trunk of a tree marks the spot where you will find the path leading to the ledge between the two sloping upper layers that we have to follow for quite a while. The ascent up the rocky slope is long and continuous. To the left you will see the Cova de l'Àliga (Eagle's Cave). On reaching the crest of the Serra de Solans, the path becomes easier. There you will see a signpost, and you should continue towards the Punta dels Pins Carrassers. From the hill downwards there is a spectacular view on both sides. Continue in the same direction and after a short while you will come to the sign for the Grau del Llop|2.4|. Go between the two rocks and the path begins a steep downward slope. You will pass a small pool and the remains of a couple of coal mines. The path continues downwards, leading to the pool and then the hermitage of Sant Antoni.