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Weekend in Beautiful Mountains, Prades, Spa, Visits, Views

Starts in 4 days
Fri 25 Oct 20:15 - Sun 27 Oct 21:00

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A chance to see the colours of autumn amongst the chestnut trees of the Mountains of Prades, with some extraordinary views across the wooded slopes of the Sierra de Prades in Tarragona across to the mountains of Lleida.
We'll all meet after work on Friday in Protected content and set off in the comfortable (and very safe) VW 9-seat Transporter up the A2 the 80kms approx to stop for a bite of supper in the village square of Santa Coloma de Queralt, a historical market town. Then after supper, on the 10kms or so to a beautiful hilltop village where our really comfortable and pleasant Casa Rural guest house awaits us. There are a double and 3 twin bedrooms, one for a couple if one comes, and the others to share with the friend you just made. It's a nice place with a big lounge and several bathrooms.
The next morning after a good self-service breakfast, and maybe a stroll round the adjacent duck-pond to look at the amazing views from the village, we drive down into the valley of the Conca de Barberà below, to the ancient Templar town of Espluga de Francolí, where there are several famous attractions, and the best of them is the the Rural Life Museum, a really fascinating visit . There are some really amazing photos to be taken there - really extraordinary place, and visit finishes up in a really cute garden with a working well and some nice surprises.
There are things to admire in the village before having lunch in a beautiful country restaurant with a good reputation. After lunch we drive up a nice mountain road to the ancient village of Prades 16km away, where a local guide will take us round the village, tell us a lot about it, and open up the Ermita (country chapel) of La Avellana, which has some amazing views. We will have time to appreciate on of the most beautiful and little-known villages in Catalunya, where in the main square is the fountain which changes during the fiesta mayor from running with water to running with wine!
We'll go to Sarral, to another Ermita near to our village, which is a restaurant, to have a light supper and appreciate its beauty and history.
Next morning, after another good breakfast, we'll leave at 11.30 to drive the short distance to the famous Rocallaura thermal spa baths, where after 2 hours of jets, bubbles, plunges, steam, and sprays, we'll emerge floating, and then we can drive to a couple of local beauty spots, Montblanquet and the Sanctuari del Tallat, perched on the edge of the Sierra del Tallat, to admire the amazing views across the vast expanse of the Conca de Barberà. Then we'll have lunch at a well-priced good local restaurant, or alternatively in a village of neo-rurals who have great affection for nature, which would be a vegetarian paella in friendly atmosphere, in time to visit the Cistercian Monastery of Vallbona de les Monjes at 5pm, when the visit is in Spanish, not the usual strident Catalan they employ in that LLeida part of Catalunya.
After that we'll head back to our village, pick up our stuff, and head back towards Barcelona, which will seem centuries away by then.

The breakdown of the 65€ costs below: Rural Life Museum; 6€ (4.50€ with Racc MasterCard), lunch in country masia; 19€, historical tour and entry to Ermita at Prades; 8€, supper in Sarral; 12€, spa termal baths; 15€, Monastery of Vallbona; 5€.
Not inc: Friday night snack at cheap bar (or bring sándwich), Sunday lunch: good restaurant; 17€, or open-air vegetarian paella in mountain community; 7€, whichever we decide on: by then we will know each well enough to be able to take a communal decision