The Localist

Siurana – travelling to the edge of the world

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A haven for climbers and walkers alike, this dreamy village nestled under the gaze of Serra de Montsant, Gritella and Muntanyes de Prades is a unique way to spend a day, whether it be summer or winter. With many hiking options and a small artisan village, Siurana certainly provides some of the most spectacular views in Catalonia.

Conquered around 1153-54, legend states that the last Moorish queen chose to jump to her death from the cliffs rather than surrender to the enemy Christian insurgents. If you look closely enough at the area known as “Salt de la Reina Mora”, you may even see the marks of the hooves of the Queen’s horse engraved on these ancient cliffs, or so the legend goes, before it fell to its death with the Queen in tow into the chasm below.

The journey to Siurana

Clouds wrap around the rocky outcrop as we ascend the steep climb to Siurana, which is about a 50-minute drive away from Tarragona, Spain. Despite the largely vacant roads, we arrive in a car park full of cars, thick with fog, and overshadowed by the looming ruins of the last Moorish fort in Catalonia. Parking is free, and apart from the slight whispering of the wind, the surrounding silence gives the sense of a place trapped in time, perched on the edge of the world.

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Walking through the clouds

As we walk through the deserted village, the sun breaks through the thick fog. The wind suddenly heaves and sighs as small wisps of cloud begin to disperse, giving way to patches of bright blue sky and views of an apparently bottomless valley.

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Although Siurana is home to just a small hotel and a few restaurants, it’s by no means forgotten. Well-maintained tiny cottages and a church that provides services in English certainly signify this is a popular tourist site.

The views are breath-taking as I watch trails of walkers clamber along the timeworn cliffs, disappearing into the thinning but constant cloud. We head to a little café perched on the edge of a cliff as the setting sun casts long dark shadows and shapes over the deep valley below.

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A homage to history with stunning scenery to match, Siurana is certainly one of my favourite places to visit in Catalonia. A definite must-see for any lover of the outdoors.

SPAIN-Sophie-Standon-M

 

MEET THE LOCAL: SOPHIE STANDEN

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