The stage: the only large-scale canyon in Catalonia that is still unspoiled, uninterrupted by roads, railways or electricity cables. The set: a river, some impressive rocks, and breathtaking views. The background music: a silence broken only by bearded vultures and other birds of prey beating their wings. The cast: anybody ready for an adventure trail, not suitable for people suffering from vertigo but otherwise well laid out and safe for hikers of all ages. The show is about to begin!
Before arriving at the canyon, stop off at some of the interesting villages and towns along the way, such as Alsamora with its castle defence tower located on the former border of medieval Catalonia. The route begins at the metal suspension bridge over La Maçana Ravine, the start of the canyon, and leads gradually onto the track carved into the cliff face, offering spectacular views of the canyon. Hold on to the handrail to feel safe, and keep walking as you listen to the silence, stopping from time to time to see falcons, golden eagles, bearded vultures, Egyptian vultures, and other birds of prey circling around overhead. The canyon is their home; it is listed as a wildlife refuge.
Continue along the track, admiring the gigantic canyon walls, with vertical drops of over 500 metres, and minimum widths of a mere 20 metres. It is hard not to stop every few steps to take a photograph or observe the various points of interest, such as Colomera Cave, the lookout point over Canelles Reservoir and, right at the end of the route, La Pertusa hermitage perched on a cliff top at an altitude of 685 metres, serenely overlooking the landscape for eight hundred years. La Pertusa is one of the “hanging hermitages” of Àger, twelve small chapels built in the most unlikely places, possibly for strategic reasons. The result is a series of impressive images that invite visitors to stand still and wonder for a moment.
The particular nature of Montsec Mountains, the site of Mont-rebei Canyon, makes it a paradise for hikers, but also for lovers of hang-gliding and paragliding. The south-facing aspect generates the thermals required for practising both these sports. After a four-day training course, you will be qualified to take a solo paragliding flight; no experience is needed, however, to enjoy a flight in a two-seater paraglider and see the Mont-rebei landscape from another perspective.