Grade 2: Moderate
Mar & Montaña
7 night self guided walking holiday
- 7 night guided walking holiday
- Grade 2: moderate walking
- Two centres exploring the mountains of ‘Puertos del Beceite’ and coast of the Ebro Delta.
- 2*/4* charming hotels – river and coastal views
Beceite and Ampolla
A two centre, 7 night itinerary exploring the mountains of ‘Puertos del Beceite’ and the coastline around the Ebro Delta. An excellent mix of both mountainous and coastal hiking along with great food and cultural activities. On the coast we’ll dine at the restaurants that surround the port each evening which needless to say serve fantastic seafood.
Puertos del Beceite
The sierra of Puertos del Beceite – the passes of Beceite – rises up to 1400 metres and lies just 30 kilometres from the coast. Despite its relatively low altitude the area is surprisingly mountainous with both limestone and conglomerate canyons and cliffs. The range passes through Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia with the sections in Catalonia and Valencia both Natural Parks. The area is surprisingly wild and uninhabited. It’s a real undiscovered gem and very few hikers visit the range. In addition to excellent hiking the inland side of the sierra has a lots to see and do including the Picasso museum in Horta de San Joan which is where he lived during the period he developed cubism. The area has lots of olive farms and vineyards and on the rest/transfer day we’ll take a visit to the superb Diezdedos olive oil farm as well as a guided tour of the castle in Valderobres.
The Ebro at 928 km, is the second longest river on the Iberian peninsula with its source in Cantabria just south of the Picos de Europa. Where it reached the Mediterranean it forms the huge Ebro Delta – a 320 km2 wetland with one of the largest natural bays in Europe. The delta is covered by rice paddies and the wetlands are one of Spain’s most important areas for birdlife. The shallow bay is perfect for mussel and oyster farms and also for salt pans. We’ll take a boat trip out to a mussel farm and have a glass of cava with fresh mussels out on the ocean – a fantastic trip. Along the coastline north of the delta there is excellent hiking along the GR-92, a long distance footpath that follows the Mediterranean.
The hikes will be judged to suit the group and will be between 9-14 km with 400-600 metres ascent. There are 3 hikes in the Beceite area and 2 from Ampolla.
Day 1 – Arrive Beceite
Arrive Beceite – pick up from L’Aldea – Amposta – Tortosa, with direct trains from both Barcelona and Valencia. We can arrange train tickets if required.
Day 2 – Parrissal Gorge
Hike the limestone gorge of Parrisal which has ‘pasarelas’ (a boardwalk along the gorge) enabling you to get deep into the canyon. The canyon section is there and back and we then return to Beceite by climbing up to the ermita of San Miguel.
Day 3 – Penyaglera
Hike to the summit of Penyaglera (1029m) a great table top peak just outside of Beceite with brilliant views across the plains. We take a dramatic descent through the cliffs to the river below where we cross beside beautiful rock pools. The brave can take a swim!
Day 4 – The Els Estrets Canyon
A hike through the conglomerate area of the range with the highlight being the section through the Els Estrets – a beautiful canyon with high cliffs above. There are several options for the route so we can decide how tough we’d like the day to be when we are there.
Day 5 – Cultural day
Cultural – transfer day. Today we’ll be accompanied by Onofre a local cultural guide. We’ll begin by a guided tour of the Valderrobres (a town just 10 minutes from Beceite) and it’s 12th-century castle, church and museum. At lunchtime, we’ll have a guided tour and tasting at the olive farm Diezdedos. These olive groves produce super high quality olive oil with very interesting varieties. We’ll have a tour of the groves followed by a tasting. A barbeque lunch will be taken among the olive groves. We’ll then head to the coast (approx 1 hour drive) to Ampolla and we’ll take a boat tour of the mussel farms, having an oyster and mussels tasting on a little restaurant on stilts in the middle of the oyster fields.
Day 6 – The coast on the GR-92
We’ll take a train from Ampolla in the morning one stop north and then hike back along the coast on the GR-92. It’s an undeveloped stretch of coastline and we’ll pass by lots of small bays where we can swim and a couple of larger beaches with ‘chiringuitos’ (beach bars/restaurants). The route is approx 13km with 400 metres of ascent so there is a bit of up and down during the day.
Day 7 – Foradada
Today we hike in the range called Montsía just behind the coast to the peak of Foradada which at 655 metres has magnificent views over the delta. It is famous for having a distinctive hole in the rock on the top which you can look through. Fantastic views and a fitting finale to the week.
Day 8 – Departure L’Ampolla
Morning departure and drop off at train station L’Aldea – Amposta – Tortossa for trains to Barcelona or Valencia.
Mar & Montaña
Sun 19 – 26 April – Fully booked
1349 € per person (based on two sharing a double or twin room). 180 € single supplement
7 nights accommodation: 4 x Hotel La Fábrica de Solfa (Beceite) 3 x Hotel Flamingo (L’Ampolla) Breakfast each morning Picnic lunches each walking day and barbeque lunch on rest/transfer day 3 course evening meals each night. Meals taken at the hotel in Beceite and at local restaurants while in L’Ampolla. Transfers to and from L’Aldea – Amposta – Tortosa, with direct trains from Barcelona and Valencia. Transport to the walks each day and between the two villages.
Flights, insurance, drinks with evening meal
Getting to the Montaña & Mar
From Barcelona-Sants to L’Aldea-Amposta-Tortosa (where you meet our transfer), there are trains each hour and with diferent durations (from 1hour 45mins to 2hours 15 mins) and prices. You can see the options in RENFE.
Hotel La Fabrica de Solfa
Our base in Beceite is an old paper mill that has been converted to the lovely Hotel La Fabrica de Solfa. It has 8 rooms and lies right on the Rio Matarrañas which used to power the mill. The views over the river from the bedroom windows are lovely. It’s run by 2 brothers and has a very friendly ambience. The food is great and they can cater for vegetarians with no problem (they have excellent fish too). The village of Beceite with around 500 inhabitants is an old walled town with winding streets and several ancient gates to the village still standing. Hotel website: www.fabricadesolfa.com
On the coast we’ll stay in Ampolla at the 4* Hotel Flamingo with an outdoor and indoor pool, sea views and a lovely bar on the terrace. The rooms have balconies overlooking the sea. We’ll take breakfast on the hotels lovely terrace looking to the sea. Evening meals will be taken out in Ampolla where there are several excellent restaurants – of course this close to the sea they specialise in fish and seafood. Ampolla is a small resort on the sea but while not a small fishing village isn’t over developed. The town is centred around the harbour although there is a small beach too. Hotel website: www.hotelflamingo.cat/en
Frequently asked questions
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Mar & Montaña
Guided walking holiday
19 – 26 April – Fully booked
1349 € per person
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Photos from our Montaña & Mar holiday:
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Hotel La Fábrica de Solfa
Hotel La Roca Plana
View from the bedroom balcony