HIking Congost de Mont-rebei Gorge
I am not sure how the hell no one has ever mentioned the Congost de Mont-rebei Gorge to me while we have been living in Barcelona for the past three years! I mean, you would think someone in our community would have shared this gem with the rest of us by now. In fact, I have never been messaged so many times about one place I’ve shared on Facebook ever! Even locals and people that have lived here forever were asking me for details!! Well, the cat is out of the bag now.
I need to give all the credit to our good friend Ricardo for finding this Catalunya treasure. A while back he had shown me a photo of the area he wanted to go hiking and I was like, “WHOA!! I want to go!” and lucky for me he took me seriously, so our families set a date and he pretty much began making all the arrangements for us.
A Hikers Dream in Catalunya Spain
Congost de Mont-rebei is the name of the mountain that the Noguera Ribagorçana river has eroded and literally split in two. The river itself is also divided, one side is in the region of Aragon and one side is in the region of Catalunya. But ask a Catalan up here in these parts and it is a firm – one side is Spain and one side is Catalunya, and our friend Ricardo was not about to argue.
Where to stay near Mont-Rebei Gorge
Congost de Mont-rebei is 2.5 hours from Barcelona going mostly west and slightly north. The closest town to Congost de Mont-rebei Gorge is the tiny town of Corça, however, there is not much there so you will want to stay in or around the town of Ager. Ager is also a small town but has a few more hotel and restaurant options.
We drove from Barcelona to Ager Friday afternoon and stayed the night before, so we would only be about a 20-minute drive to where we needed to be to start our kayak and hike at 9:30am in the morning.
We stayed at Hotel Restaurante Port d’Ager
I would definitely recommend staying at this hotel because of its easy location, the convenience of a restaurant on site and the views of the countryside are absolutely breathtaking!
Hotel Port d’Ager has a nice fireplace in the bar/lobby area as well as an upstairs family lounge / game room. The rooms are nothing fancy but updated, very clean and well kept. We rented two doubles and one triple (for the kids) which had a very cool loft area for my son.
We pre-booked dinner for the night we arrived so we did not have to go out searching for a decent place to eat. I was impressed by the variety of options and they even accommodated my vegetarian daughter with a special pasta. A small breakfast was included in our stay and more importantly, they had an espresso machine.
A few more hotel options near Congost de Mont Rebei Gorge
Another cute family rental I found in the town of Ager is this Caseta de Magí. There is also Conjunt Rural Cal Soldat, and a little further away and a bit more fancy is Hotel Terradets in the town of Cellers, and sits right on lake Terradet.
kayaking the Congost de Mont-Rebei Gorge
There are many activities you can do in the Congost de Mont-rebei area including, hiking, kayaking, paragliding, stand up paddle boarding, biking and rock climbing. We booked the 7km kayak down the river and then the 3km hike back along the ridge, then we were picked up by a boat that took us back to where we had started.
The company we used for our kayak and hiking trip was Montsec Activa
When we arrived we checked in with Montsec Activa and were given our life jackets, helmets, and our kayak paddle. Luckily there was an English speaking instructor that was assigned to our group and he went over all the kayaking instructions and safety.
This was not a guided kayak trip, we were just sent down the river on our own, there is really only one way to go and you just follow all the other groups. Even though you are not with a guide, they have boats that cruise the river all day in case you need help or there is an emergency. We all rode in double kayaks except my son Hudson, he went in a single kayak.
Kayaking with the kids
The kayaking portion of this trip was actually longer than I expected, and I have to admit even my arms got a little tired! Hudson (age 12) loved it and was cruising ahead of all of us the whole time, but the two teen girls (age 14) who are not so athletic, got pretty tired and even a bit angry by the end. So, I would recommend young kids go with a parent for sure, but athletic tweens or teens should be fine going in a single. There is a dock about halfway where we actually stopped so I could go the bathroom, no there was not a bathroom, the bushes was the bathroom. 🙂
The only thing that was a bit frustrating was at the end when everyone was trying to get out of their kayaks. The kayak platform is pretty small and they can only assist one kayak at a time so all the kayaks start to form a big cluster and you end up getting pushed back or getting bumped out of line as other kayaks come in.
We waited for almost 30 minutes to get our kids out of the kayaks, which is not a huge deal (tranquillo!) except we had to watch our time for the hike back and make sure we made our 1:45 boat pick up, so it just cut a little into our hiking time.
We kayaked from about 10:30 – 12:15 then hiked about 12:45 to 1:45. We did not have much time to stop and picnic, which was fine because we forgot to pack a picnic lunch anyways! The hike is pretty tame, one section is a little steep but it’s not difficult at all. Make sure you have a backpack with water and snacks, the kids will be hungry after the kayaking.
There are plenty of places to rest along the hike and I’m not sure there is a better view for lunch then this!
the Congost de Mont-Rebei hiking trails
I should also tell you that there is a longer hike and an even more rigorous hike that has you climbing some very steep stairs that zigzag up the rock walls, but not everyone in our group was up for that kind of fun. Also, if you do not want to kayak you can just hike, but please note that the hike is not a loop, where you go in is where you need to come back to exit and apparently the full hike in and out will take about 4 hours, but of course you can turn around at any point.
For anyone that just wants to hike, the main parking area is called “Parking La Masieta” – just google map that and visit this page for more details about the hiking routes.
Another adventure company I saw was Zenith Aventura if you want to look at their activity options as well.
Food, water, Toilet
There are two food trucks where you begin and end your day, so if you need to buy anything before you go or if you didn’t pack a lunch you can grab something to eat at one of the food trucks after your hike. They had simple items like hotdogs, hamburgers, bikini sandwiches, chips, water, beer, soda, and ice cream. We never saw a bathroom, so if you want to pack a little toilet paper that might be a good idea.
I am still shocked that this little beauty was right under our noses and we had no idea! Definitely, one of Catalunya’s best kept secrets and will be one of the first things I recommend to families that move to Barcelona. If you are visiting Barcelona and can make time in your itinerary to visit Congost de Mont-Rebei I would highly recommend it. I am definitely a Costa Brava lover, but this was pretty special.