Itinerary 5 Montsant: Cornudella de Montsant
A trail on the southern slopes of Montsant, recommended for those who want to contemplate nature and take spectacular photographs.
The chapel of Sant Joan del Codolar is the departure and return point for a circuit which takes the walker on a route through the towering cliffs that surround it. The ascending stretch follows some of the traditional access routes to the Serra Major. After that, the walker can appreciate the powerful nature of the cliffs of Sant Joan from above and reach the highest point, the Roca Corbatera (1,163 m). The return journey takes in a good part of Camí (path) de la Llisera, one of the most spectacular, which, taking a route exactly like a contour line, follows the skirt of the mountain above the same rock stratum for several kilometres.
This excursion can be completed in a morning and is suitable for all types of walker, although on some parts of the trail those who are not accustomed to walking in the mountains could suffer.
The walk can be done at any time of year. If you choose to do it in summer, it is best to avoid the sunniest hours of the day. In summer, the walk can be started early in the morning, or from mid-afternoon onwards. Not to be done in case of fog.
To visit the Cova Santa (Holy Cave), a torch is required. Take care if the rocks are damp.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: HIGH
The departure point is the chapel of Sant Joan del Codolar |5.1|, which can be reached by car from Cornudella along a cement track.
A GR (long hike) trail (red and white marks) leaves from the bottom of the car park area. After a short while there is a fork in the track, at which point you should leave it and continue to the right in order to find the path, also a GR route (GR 174-1), of the Grau de Montsant |5.2|, where the easy-to-follow ascent begins. On entering the Clot del Moloner |5.3|, a path branches off to the left that climbs up to the Grau del Carabassal: leave this path behind. Walk further into the valley, always taking the most-trodden path. In sight of the Cova del Moloner, follow a path that goes off to the left. After a short while, around half way up, you will see in a very well-used space the half-hidden entrance to the Cova Santa |5.4|. To reach the Serra Major, climb a little further and then the path levels out to the right. Once at the top of the ridge, continue to the right as far as the first signpost. Continue along the spine of the hill. Before arriving at the Roca Corbatera |5.5| you will come to a signpost indicating the path to the Font del Manyano (spring) |5.6|. Take the path to the left in order to reach the topmost point. To descend, return to the scarp and follow the track that leads above the rock and then descends to the Pla del Grau plain. From here, follow to the right the indications for the Grau Gran |5.7| until you reach Collet de Miragüelos, where you can see an iron cross on the hill. There, a pile of stones on the right, on top of a small, bare slope, marks the beginning of the path that links up with La Llisera |5.8|. Care must be taken not to miss this last path, which is visible from some distance, but at the turnoff is almost hidden by vegetation. After a fair stretch, you will come to the end of the trail.