The Montsec and the Congost de Mont-Rebei, sleeping from a bird's eye view.02/05/2019
How to visit the Montsec in Camper
The Montsec is, among many other things, a land of contrasts, When you just arrive there, it is a pleasure at this season, as we cross through the fruit trees in the area of Balaguer.
We arrive with our campervan from Cargoling to the village of Àger, which welcomes the Montsec mountain range, which rises majestically right behind. Land of flights, both raptors and fans of paragliding, make it strange to look up and not see experts from these disciplines planning from the summits where we intend to arrive.
To climb precisely towards these shoulders, we will take the winding and narrow road that passes through the observatory, in the direction of Coll de Ares. We get altitude very quickly, and in a very short time we leave behind the wooded area and we go to the steepest part. After a short time the itinerary takes us to Coll de Ares. Once there, the road continues to go down towards the North slope of the mountain range, but we will take the detour of land that goes to the right.
It is a road in very good condition, and with an acceptable width, which leads us through natural balconies hung with views as beautiful as vertiginous. It is worth stopping at any of these points to take a breath. We have had a good time driving since we left the Cargoling base in Barcelona.
Sant Alís on camper
We leave these cuttings behind and follow the path along the road. After skirting what seems to us one of the most important hills of the ridge, we reach the summit of Sant Alís. It is in this place that whole Catalonia is showing to us. We have arrived in the middle of the afternoon, so we decided to take the table and the chairs out of the Cargoling campervan, and we started to have a snack without even thinking that we had visited one of the best viewpoints in Catalonia until now.
It is a peak that is characterized by being a bit windy, however, it has not been our case, and allows us to prepare to live one of the best sunsets we have seen in years. Sheltered, with our feet off the cliff and thinking about how and where the sun will go down; little by little the shades change. They begin to dye a deep red as the sun begins to bathe them, and for a moment, the whole sky contrasts with the intense snow that is falling in the mountains of Tavascan, in the north of where we are, and where we were sleeping 15 days ago.
The shadows of Sant Alís are projected and step by step, everything is turning into this typical violet tone of the afternoons,. Bu do not feel bad. As you know, we are in one of the best places in Europe to observe the stars. So, let’s climb the roof of the campervan, get warm, take out a blanket, and while we cook dinner in the kitchen, the first lights will begin to appear, in a sky that will soon be all sparked from horizon to horizon.
Something sure is that you will resist enter the campervan and will not give up a twilight like the one we have on top, and that surrounds us 360 degrees.
Visit in camper the Congost de Mont-rebei
Of course, we wake up the alarm 30 minutes before sunrise, and I know that it is precisely 15 minutes before the sun rises, when the sky presents the best tonalities. So in 5 minutes we have already dressed, and in 5 more minutes we have prepared a coffee, which fills the Cargoling with an aroma that makes us feel at home. Believe me that a place like this is priceless.
Get your coffee together with a warm blanket and breathe deeply the fresh air of the morning. We are carried away by the sight that is appearing from the first rays and finally, we can see the whole mountain range bathed by the earlier lights**. Down in the valley, we can see the lights of the streetlights and the houses of the early-risers, together with the columns of smoke from the chimneys that have heated the houses during the night.
Now loaded with energy, and with a good breakfast in our body, we undo the path of the previous day by the dirt road, and when we get back to the neck, we follow the road that we left, and that goes out on the right. It is a road that goes down smoothly by the northern slope of the Montsec mountain range, now with soft and more closed curves, and is characterized by trees that grow flush with the asphalt. The branches of the trees sometimes enter halfway, and they give a special feeling, between abandoned and bucolic, which at night has a phantasmagorical and intense tone. However, the vegetation of the shoulders does not present any difficulty to drive, and in a short time we reach the main road, which looks more like a dirt road in good condition, which brings us to the entrance ticket office of Mont-Rebei gorge car park.
On weekends you have to pay 5€. It can not be avoided since it is forbidden to park on the road, and the nearest town is far away.
You may have seen pictures of the Mont-rebei gorge and I admit that, any of the mental photos of the gorge that I had, is eclipsed by reality. It is a very busy place, so I advise you to do this route during the week, or at least, undertake that trip at the very first time of the morning, not for the duration matter, but for the croud matter.
This excursion is not suitable for people with vertigo, as it is, literally, an excavated path with completely vertical rock walls, and that often reach 500m high! In order to admire this great geographical feature, we must do it enjoying every step and without any hurry. We only have admire its suspension bridges, the turquoise tone of the water, and a path similar to the Lord of the rings!
Back to car park, we decide to prepare lunch. As I have told you, it is worth stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery, so we take out the table and chairs again, and we start to cook a more than deserved meal.
In my case, I have not done a second night for timing matters, but I’m pretty sure this will not be your situation. This land is full of endless options to get to know it, and for the most daring ones, you should try the double paragliding flight, and jump off the peaks where we have stayed for the night and land in the surroundings of Àger.
As always, it is recommended to live the experience of traveling in a campervan, and we encourage you to try it and rent one. You can do it in the following link cargoling.com
From Cargoling, we recommend PARK4NIGHT app. It is a mobile app where you can check the nearest camping areas (areas adapted for overnight campervans and motorhomes). This application geolocates you and the users recommend you the areas that they liked the most to “park for night”.