Perched high on a mountain summit, with views from every corner, lies the incredibly picturesque village of Siurana in Spain. Not only is this village located in arms reach of some of the best climbing and trekking grounds in Spain, it is also steeped in history and a mecca for the budding photographer.
A little history
In 1153 Siurana was the last Muslim community to be invaded and conquered by the Christians. You will see why it was so well protected from invasions when you visit. Surrounded by high cliffs and with rivers and reservoirs below, it seems that this village is almost unreachable. The fairytale place tells of the tragic story of Abdelazia, the Moorish Queen, who decided to jump from the cliff with her horse rather than be captured by the Christians. In the horse’s last attempt to hold onto life it’s footprint was imprinted into the rock, and this remains as a lasting memory of this tragic story.
Nowadays you can wonder the cobblestone streets, taking in the view around every turn and stopping at your choice of pretty little cafe for tapas and a glass of local wine. It can get busy here, being such a beautiful destination, but the crowds you will most likely be tourists rather than one of the 21 inhabitants actually living here. We spent a while pondering how long it takes them to get their post, or do a grocery shop, as the only road up to Siurana is long, steep and winding!
You will find several spots of historical interest, all within easy walking distance of each other. The most important building of Siurana is the church dedicated to Santa Maria, which is Romanesque in style, with a doorway which has a tympanum framed by three archivolts resting on columns with and decorated with various motifs. But the main attraction is of course the view.
Siurana’s surrounding sights
If you want something more active than wondering around this beautiful village then you will be spoilt for choice. Surrounded by the Monstant and Prades mountain ranges, there are several possibilities for a picturesque hike. One particularly scenic route starts from the village of Cornudella and climbs up by the old road, finally arriving in Siurana village. The area is a climbers mecca and there are some of the most challenging routes in the world here. Below the village of Siurana lies Siurana reservoir. In the summer months it is possible to try out many different types of water sport here, or simply relax in the sunshine. And if all this hard work makes you thirsty, you’ll be pleased to know that this region is a paradise for wine lovers, with countless vineyards to quench your thirst.