Imagine hiking through narrow paths cutting into steep-sided ravines, suspension bridges, and wooden zigzag-shaped stairs bolted into cliff faces that are not for the faint-hearted. Imagine also kayaking in turquoise green waters, surrounded by immense rock walls, while you spot magnificent vultures flying around. Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the gorge of Mont-Rebei.
This beautiful gorge lies in the westernmost part of Catalonia, and it’s a natural border between Catalonia and its neighbour region Aragon.
Its location, only a 3-hour drive from Barcelona, makes it perfect for squeezing in two days of mountain time while visiting the Catalan capital.
Up for exploring the gorge of Mont-Rebei? Grab your hiking boots and swimsuit, and follow us to this natural paradise!
* Post written for the first time in September 2017 and updated in August 2023.
Due to the drought of the last year in Catalonia, the water levels in Mont-Rebei are much lower than the ones in the pictures of this post. This is how it looks now.
What is the gorge of Mont-Rebei?
The gorge of Mont-Rebei is created by the Noguera Ribagorçana river on its course through the Montsec mountains. The result is two incredible rock walls with a river of emerald blue water crossing them. The walls are as high as 500 metres!
The only way to cross the gorge is through a path of less than 3 m of width entirely excavated in the rock. No need to say that this allows enjoying the landscape in an imposing way!
The 600 hectares covering the canyon are one of Catalonia’s most unique natural areas, not only for the stunning landscape but also for its ecological value. The variety of wildlife ranges from vultures to foxes, allowing animal lovers to take pleasure in the beauty of nature.
What to do in Mont-Rebei
Due to its nature, the gorge of Mont-Rebei is a perfect spot for adventurers. If you go just for one day, hiking is what we recommend.
If you go for more days, especially from April to September, we recommend you also go kayaking. It’s a great way to see the gorge from an alternative and unique perspective.
Hiking the gorge of Mont-Rebei
🥾 Distance: 8.4 km (one way)
🟢 Level: Easy
⬆️ Elevation gain: 622 m
⬇️ Elevation loss: 377 m
⏱ Duration: Half day to a full day. It depends on the number of stops you make and the number of pictures you take!
Start at the parking “La Masieta” for a lovely hike through the gorge. The first part is an easy walk that gets you to a 40 m high suspension bridge located in the ravine of Sant Jaume. We realised how high we were when we finally were brave enough to look down!
⚠️ Important info
Parking in La Masieta costs 6 € per vehicle per day. The parking lot is closed at night, and camping or overnight stays are not authorized, so motorhome access is forbidden. During high season (July to September), booking your parking spot in advance is recommended. You can do it online here.
Breathe in the fresh air of the mountains and continue to the gorge’s entrance. Once there, the feeling of freedom and the views are indescribable.
We recommend you stop at one of the benches for a snack and get some energy while looking at an impressive landscape.
After passing the gorge, the fun hasn’t ended yet. The next part runs down a smooth slope until the second suspension bridge (Sigué bridge) and… surprise! You’re no longer in Catalonia but in the region of Aragon.
One of the most spectacular parts of the route comes after: the two zigzag-shaped staircase systems built against the rock’s face. We felt a bit dizzy with the panoramic views. But, at the same time, we couldn’t stop staring as we were astonished by the beauty of the landscape.
The end is close! Just a prolonged ascend, and you’ll be soon in the Montfalcó shelter.
There is a fountain in this section, which is great for refilling water bottles and keeping yourself hydrated.
When we arrived at Montfalcó’s shelter, we quickly grabbed a cold drink and enjoyed the flavour of satisfaction. Please do the same; you’ll totally deserve it!
Long story short, the whole route is 16.8 km, so it’s perfect for an all-day trip. As it’s not a circular route, you can return whenever you want. Turning around at the first staircase system is an excellent option if you don’t want to walk that much. You’ll still see the best parts of the gorge just by walking for 9.8 km.
🧭 Wikiloc track
Here’s the Wikiloc track of this hike so that you can use it as a guide.
Kayaking the gorge of Mont-Rebei
If you want to feel like Chris McCandless in the movie “Into the Wild”, rent a kayak and dip your paddles into the crystal-clear emerald waters of the gorge. Be prepared to discover Mont-Rebei in a completely different way.
Kayaking allows you to stop wherever you like, either for a swim (essential in the summertime) or to relax your arms and take a break.
There’s the possibility of renting individual or tandem kayaks. We chose a tandem kayak because we wanted to prove our synchrony. Even though you need some level of coordination, it’s so much fun!
You can also choose to paddle either for 9 km and return walking or by boat (Option 1) or paddle a total of 14 km across the gorge back and forth (Option 2). We did the whole 14 km, and we recommend it. It looks pretty long, but when you’re there, you don’t want it to end.
We rented kayaks from the company Montsec Activa, and they were excellent. They recommended several routes and briefly briefed the area and the kayaks.
Where to sleep near the gorge of Mont-Rebei
As we did both activities, we decided to spend a night in the area. Our choice was the Hotel Terradets.
The location is fantastic as there’s a lake just in front of the hotel, perfect for enjoying a glass of wine with lovely views. Also, you can relax your muscles in the swimming pool after an exhausting but gratifying day.
The hotel breakfast is ideal for trying typical Catalan products such as local fuet, bread with tomato or serrano ham. It was delicious!
If you’re looking for something different, you can browse more accommodation options here.
Where to eat nearby
For lunch, we recommend you bring your own food to the gorge, as the first place you’ll encounter for eating is Montflacó’s hostel (8 km from the start). You can eat there if you plan in advance and get to Montfalcó’s hostel between 1 pm and 3:30 pm. They served homemade and local food.
For dinner, Hotel Terradets offers a buffet menu with local products for 14 € (weekdays) or 17.50 € (weekends and all days of August).
Some other options are the restaurant Can Quel (serving traditional Catalan dishes), the Berraco (vegan bar), Trattoria dal Gianni (if you’re craving Italian food), the restaurant Cal Jou (delicious Catalan food), or the Restaurant de Gurp (serving typical Catalan dishes).
For the second day, you have several options:
- You can ask the hotel if they prepare picnics.
- You can go to the supermarket to buy something for lunch. There are local shops to buy groceries in Àger (Cal Negre and Servi Martí).
- If you do the kayak early and finish in time for lunch, you can head to one of the restaurants mentioned above.
Remember that on Sundays most supermarkets and shops are closed.
When is the best time to visit Mont-Rebei?
The weather in Catalonia varies a lot from one region to another. In the case of Mont-Rebei, the weather is pretty extreme, with scorching summers and cold winters.
During peak season, July and August, the accommodation prices are usually higher, the place is more crowded, and it’s sweltering to go hiking. On the other hand, as Mont-Rebei is located in the mountains, winter wouldn’t be an option for kayaking because it’s too cold.
We recommend visiting Mont-Rebei in spring (April, May and June) or autumn (September and October). The weather is usually lovely and warm, and it’s also an excellent time to avoid crowds.
If you can, it’s even better to go during the week than at the weekends as it’s quieter. However, Mont-Rebei is truly a beautiful place. So, if you only have a few days in summer to visit it, our best advice is to get there early to be as alone as possible.
How to get there
Mont-Rebei is quite an isolated place. Public transport can’t reach it, so the only option is to go by car. If you rent a car, remember we drive on the right side!
If you go from Barcelona, it’s approximately a 3-hour drive. The best option is to follow the A-2 until Lleida and then take the N-230 until Puente de Montaña. Then, you’ll have to turn right to the C-1311 road, which leads directly to the car park La Masieta.
We recommend you park at the car park, where you can start the hike we’ve mentioned before.
During the summer months, the car park can be full. Go there early to secure a spot!
We hope this guide helps you spend one or two days discovering the beautiful region of Mont-Rebei. If you do visit it, let us know your experience in the comments! 🙂