Coast to Coast

Sendero del Ebro


24 April 2019

We really wanted to see Miravet with its 12th century Templar Castle high above the Ebro but it looked “too hard”. Then we found we could get a bus from Reus to Móra d’Ebre and walk from there along the GR99 Sendero del Ebro. It was only 10 km, a bit over 2 hours. Click here for a map.

The local wine is Cami de Sirga (Towpath) named for the original path used to pull boats along the Ebro, now the GR99. It’s a very nice blend of Merlot, Grenache and Cinsaut.

We started walking from Móra d’Ebre
A delightful walk through fields of flowers
Majestic walls of the 12th century Templar Castle rise up from the Enro
Built on an Moorish fortress, it is the finest example of Romanesque military architecture remaining
The “Old Church”, 16th century Renaissance
Aljama portal – the remains of the old mosque that existed here before the church was built
We took a ride across the Ebro on the unique 2 car ferry which uses the river current as its only driving force
The ferry is made of two pontoons with a wooden deck between and has been operating since 1946
Miravet has a centuries old tradition of pottery; there are 8 workshops remaining

Old Benifallet Train Station

25 April 2019

From Miravet the GR99 follows the Ebro closely before turning away to become the Camino (de Santiago) del Ebro. It’s 16.5 km to the Old Benifallet Train Station which took us 4 hours 20 minutes. A spectacular day despite intermittent drizzle.

The Sendero del Ebro (GR99) follows the River downstream
The path beside the Ebro
Citrus and other fruits are the main crops in the alluvial flats along the River
These boats used to carry 16 tons upstream and 30 tons downstream from Benifallet
The Old Benifallet Train Station has been converted into a hotel. We stayed in the former pointsman’s house
The Old Station is about 5km from the town of Benifallet across the Ebro


26 April 2019

From the Old Benifallet Station we walked 10km along the Rail Trail to Fontcalda then on to Gandesa utilizing the Camino del Ebro.

The “official” distance is 17.6 km but my GPS recorded 22.2 km in 5½ hours. Whatever, it was a wonderful walk, one of the best, and the weather was perfect.

The first half through 13 tunnels and across 3 bridges on the old rail easy going; the second half, a 300 meter climb up the gorge from Fontcalda Monastery not so easy.

The Via Vedra (Greenway aka Rail Trail) runs along the route of the old Zafan Valley railway line. The line was built to link La Puebla de Híjar to Tortosa 130km away. Work began in 1882 but the line was not opened until 1942 and was never fully implemented. The train ran for thirty-one years until finally ceasing in 1973. The Greenway created in 1996.

We’ve already walked from Xerta to Tortosa on the Via Vedra – click here.

The Via Vedra (Rail Trail) …
… goes through 13 tunnels, the longest nearly a kilometer …
Selfie in a tunnel – the tunnels are lit by movement activated solar powered lights
… over 3 bridges …
… past the old Pinell de Bray Station …
… and the water tower for the steam trains …
… amid spectacular scenery
… through a tunnel and across a bridge …
… to arrive at the Sanctuary od Fontcalda, originally 14th century rebuilt in Baroque style in the 18 th century
The climb up the gorge to Gandesa starts at the hot springs near the Monastery
Lizard and wildflowers
Celler Coperatiu Gandesa is a ‘Wine Cathedral” .
Modernista 1919 – architect César Martinell, a disciple of the great Gaudí
… is one of the the “Seven Wonders of Catalunya” (and they make some very good wine in there)
Moorish inspired ornamentation on the 12 century Church of the Assumption
Santiago Peregrino on the Gandesa church | Pilgrim Sculpture on the Camino | Camino shell over the Ebro River


27 April 2019

Still on the Camino, we walked the 12.5 km from Gandesa to Batea in 2 hours 40 minutes. Easy walking on a quiet country road although strong cold winds slowed us.

Todays walk was through the vineyards of the Tera Alta
Sant Miguel church dominates Batea
14th century arches in Batea

We stayed in an apartment at the Celler Piñol. Walking along we decided on a bottle of Rosé with dinner. Imagine our surprise to find Señor Piñol had left a bottle of his Portal Rosé on the table as a gift! Fabulous wine too.

We also had the opportunity to visit the cellar and taste the Piñol wines direct from the barrel