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.
As we drove the winding roads to reach this fairy tale village, it was clear that we were heading somewhere pretty special. Not only were the views getting ever more dramatic as we made our way up the mountain, but there was also barely another car in sight. Siurana is one of the best places in Spain to really get away from it all.
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.
Where Is Siurana?
Siurana is a village in Catalonia, Spain. It is only a few hours from Barcelona, just outside the Montsant region. Siurana sits at the top of an escarpment in the Prades Mountains overlooking the Siurana Reservoir, of which you can find excellent views from lookout points in the village. If you’re looking for the perfect place to escape Barcelona’s busy streets then this is the village for you.
The best thing to do in Siurana is to 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. We were told it can get busy here, being such a beautiful destination, but the ‘crowds’ were nothing compared to some of Spain’s well known attractions, and we found our visit to be peaceful.
There are only 21 inhabitants actually living here, and we could see why. I can’t imagine how long it takes to get an Amazon order delivered to this tiny village in the middle of no where! We spent a while pondering how long it takes them to 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.
How To Get To Siurana
Siurana is perfectly situated, and is easily reached from many of the main cities in Catalonia. The two nearest airports with regular flights are Barcelona and Reus. You might be wanting a little escape from the busy capital, or perhaps you flew into Reus and are staying somewhere a little more rural. Siurana is easily reached from both directions.
By Car: The fastest route is via the C-32 road along the coast, but check google maps before you leave for the latest traffic information. Be aware that this route has tolls. The drive is relatively easy, but the road up to Siurana is steep and winding. There is a decent sized car park at the top, next to the village, but no cars are allowed in the village itself.
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.
Where To Next?
If you enjoyed the wild beauty of Siurana then you should head over to Sant Carles de la Rapita on the coast. There you can enjoy more mountain treks, take a fishing trip, relax on the beach or explore the rugged landscape of the Ebro delta. It really does have it all.