Spring and Summer Getaway to l'Hospitalet de l'Infant and la Vall de Llors

Enjoy the contrasts between the mountains and the sea

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The municipal area of Vandellòs and l'Hospitalet de l'Infant is the most extensive in the Baix Camp region, which it 'closes off' to the south. The two towns really have very little in common - in fact the contrast between them could hardly be more stark - in the first one you will find peace and quiet year round and it is encircled by mountains that lend themselves very well to hikes, while the second offers a good selection of restaurants, hotels and campsites, as well as blue-flag-quality Costa Daurada beaches. On this getaway, we will try to get to know both of them in depth.

Morning day 1: Trails in the valley

© Rafael López-Monné / Ajuntament de Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant


Let's start by heading inland. Vandellòs is an excellent starting point for a host of sign-posted trails that can be covered on foot or by bike, and which will allow you to explore the Vall de Llors and the Serra de Mestral. The routes are of varying difficulty and you can choose one that best suits your level of fitness and expertise. We have chosen (and especially recommend) the six-kilometre-long trail that takes you to Remullà, a village that was abandoned for a number of decades and which has recently shown signs of coming back to life thanks to the rebuilding being carried out by its newly settled inhabitants. The trail is easy and can be done in around two hours (on foot), setting out from the Centre Assistencial in Vandellòs. Take the road to the right and follow the signs to Remullà, on footpath PR-C 91. You'll see that the village basically consists of one street, with houses on one side and a wall on the other, while in the background is a hill named Mola de Remullà, which rises 593 metres above sea level. Take note in order to climb it another day, because today we're heading back down to the Font del Rentador spring and from there we'll take the Masets trail to the C-44, and then back to Vandellòs.

If you're not too fond of walking, or if you got up early and have plenty of time, you could make your way to the pitch and putt course at La Figuerola, very near to Vandellòs along highway C-44 towards Móra d'Ebre. The course lies in a beautiful setting, surrounded by mountains and will allow you to disconnect while trying out your golfing skills. When lunch time comes around, while it's true that you have more to choose from at the seafront, the villages that lie inland have good restaurants where you can try typical home-made dishes from the region.

Afternoon day 1: Vandellòs, Masboquera and Masriudoms

© Rafael López-Monné / Ajuntament de Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant


Strung along highway C-44, Vandellòs, Masboquera and Masriudoms are three towns that are very close together and that are all worth a visit. The biggest of the three, and the one in which you will be spending more time, is Vandellòs. There is a car park right next to the road where you can leave your car and make your way leisurely around the town on foot. Head for the Plaça de l'Ajuntament, where you'll find the town hall, a church with a sundial on its bell tower, and a building called Ca la Torre, which was declared a site of national cultural interest and which, together with the adjoining building (which is the ancestral home of the Gil-Vernet family), houses the town's historical archives and the department of culture and hosts cultural events. The robust, square shaped defence tower dates from the 16th century.

If you want to enjoy a panoramic view of the town and the Vall de Llors, look for the Lo Castell tower, following yellow coloured way marks along Carrer d'Amunt. It's easy to reach the top by way of a staircase carved into the rock and once there you'll find information tables on the mountains in the surrounding area. You can also do a guided tour of the Oil Interpretation Centre, housed in a restored olive oil press that has been converted into a museum complete with the original machinery and which offers audiovisual presentations and a taste of the oil produced in the Vall de Llors.

Masboquera is our next stop. The town has recently completely renovated its street paving and you may be surprised when you see its bell tower, known as the Torre de les Hores. It has been thoroughly remodelled and is crowned by a brick belfry. When you're leaving the town it makes for a great photo with the mountains in the background.

The third town on our itinerary is Masriudoms, which is a little bigger than Masboquera. Take a stroll down the Carrer Major, to Sant Jaume church, which is small but has a 18th century defence tower as its bell tower and which has been declared a site of national cultural interest. Carry on to the Plaça de la Font and the old communal laundry area, where, until recently, the villagers did their washing and stopped to chat.

Morning day 2: Leisure at the seaside

© Rafael López-Monné / Ajuntament de Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant


Those who can't wait to have a swim in the sea needn't worry; we're now heading for the beach. While winding down the Vall de Llors valley on the C-44, descending some 300 metres in a short space of time, you'll catch alluring glimpses of the sea in the distance. Our destination is Arenal beach in Hospitalet de l'Infant. Here you can either lie down to roast in the sun or, if you have made a booking, take part in one of the many nautical activities on offer, which range from windsurfing and diving to sailing, kite surfing and kayaking.

When it's time for lunch you have many nearby options based on Mediterranean cuisine and top quality fish dishes.

Afternoon day 2: Beyond the beach

© Rafael López-Monné / Ajuntament de Vandellòs i l'Hospitalet de l'Infant


When you're tired of the beach, it's time to explore Hospitalet de l'Infant. The curious may be interested in the origin of the town's name. It comes from the fact that in this place a hospital (in its original meaning a "place of hospitality") was built in 1344 on the command of the son of King James II of Anjou, Prince Peter of Aragon and Anjou, which attended and accommodated travellers going between Barcelona and Valencia. You can still see the remains of the original hospital, consisting of a tower and some of the walls, while the reconstructed part houses the Sala Infant Pere, which holds exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year. You shouldn't confuse it with the Centre Cultural Infant Pere, a large building which lies some 500 metres away and which has a theatre-concert hall, a library and a multipurpose hall, as well as offices.

Out time here is nearly over and we can take advantage of the last few hours of our getaway to do some shopping in town before ending our walk at the magnificent viewing area in Plaça de la Marina, which offers wonderful views at sunset. In summer it also holds a craft market and live music. If we still have a few minutes to spare, we can take a stroll around the marina and enjoy its atmosphere and some of the dishes in its restaurants.

 

WITH THE SUPPORT OF AJUNTAMENT DE VANDELLÒS I L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT

Where to stay and where to eat


Cultural venues

Ca la Torre

Located right next door to the church and the town hall in Vandellòs, Ca la Torre is a manor house that takes its name from its defence tower, which dates from the Middle Ages. Decaled a site of national cultural interest, today it is a cultural centre that provides the town with a variety of services.

  1. Plaça dels Drs. Gil-Vernet, s/n, 43891
More info

Olive Oil Museum

This old oil mill has been restored and converted into an interpretation center dedicated to the world of olive oil. Its modern museum exhibits invite visitors to discover and explore the world of olive oil through the mill’s original machinery and the testimony of some of the millers who once worked there.

  1. Carretera C-44 de Móra a l'Hospitalet de l'Infant, n. 2, 43891
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