Itinerary 8 will begin in the coastal town of Ametlla de Mar in the Baix Ebre region. The capital of Baix Ebre is Tortosa, crossed by the river Ebre, which we will naturally visit during our tour.
Ametlla de Mar has a population of about 6,000 inhabitants that are called “calers” or “caleros” that town is also called La Cala (The Cove). Indeed, the population is located in a natural cove that like others in the vicinity, have been since ancient times very comfortable natural refuge of the coast for navigators and fishermen. It has an active fishing port and also a large marina. Today, the two economic engines of the municipality are tourism and fishing. As for fishing it is well-known for red tuna, fished, raised and commercialized in l’Ametlla nationally and internationally. And for tourism, the coast of l’Ametlla to Sant Jordi d’Alfama, has almost 15 km of captivating coastline in which the steep cliffs and abrupt profiles alternate with innumerable corners, coves, tiny coves and beaches of sand and pebbles where you can enjoy sun, sea and sky with the background of green and aromatic pines. Visit the Town Hall website: www.ametllamar.cat
From Ametlla de Mar you will drive to l’Ampolla taking the N 340. Ampolla is the north gate of the Ebre Delta and has the tip of the Delta “Fangar” ahead.
Ampolla is a luminous coastal village (2,200 inhabitants) that is dedicated mainly to fishing and tourism. It has a fishing port and fish market with a daily auction. It also has a marina.
In this village we recommend, if we want to stay in shape, to take a walking tour from the village to the Cala de l’Aguila following GR 92 coastal trail in a northerly direction (7 kms. one way). Little level difference and the seafront passing through rocky sections of reddish, ocher and gold colours and sandy coves or with pebbles. And always with the green pine forest on one side and the green-blue sea on the other. If besides this we have a clear blue sky, the tour can be rewarding, relaxing and picture perfect!!
To the south of the village, in the beach of l’Arenal, and already inside the Park of the Delta, you can see the Gola de la Bassa de les Olles which is the smallest lagoon of the Delta. Visit the Town Hall website: www.ampolla.cat
Hotels Cap Roig (L’Ampolla) ***
Hotel Flamingo (L’Ampolla) ****
Hotels les Oliveres (L’Ampolla) ****
You will continue your journey along the N 340 towards Amposta until you find the deviation towards Tortosa taking the C 42 to the capital of Baix Ebre.
Tortosa. With about 25,000 inhabitants it is the capital of the Baix Ebre region. The Ebre River is its axis and vital nerve. The river that is already in its final stretch flows immense, lazy and the colour of the mud that drags and that is what makes the Ebre Delta incessantly grow.
In Tortosa, a city full of history, you can visit the Castell de la Suda (10th Century) in the upper part of the city and which had already been the ancient Roman acropolis. It has a walled enclosure. Also, the Cathedral of Santa Maria (15th Century) in Gothic style and baroque façade. The Jewish quarter or the Call is one of the oldest in Catalonia. Visit the Town Hall website: www.tortosa.cat
If you go back a few kilometers up the river Ebre, you can see the Assut de Xerta, following the T 301. L’Assut is an impressive low waterfall constructed diagonally in the river with two locks, where the canals are born to the right and left of the Ebre in order to supply water to the villages and irrigate the extensive orchard crops, the fruit trees of the region and even the rice paddies of the Delta. To see the flow of the largest river in the Iberian Peninsula jumping with force by a long channel built diagonally is a beautiful sight.
A trip also worthy of consideration is the ascent to the Mirador del Mont Caro (1,442 m altitude, Baix Ebre county ceiling). From Tortosa you will go to Roquetes and from there you will take a paved path that, after crossing the olive groves of the Tortosa plain, will take you winding up to the top of Mont Caro. The viewpoint is a privileged balcony that presents the geography of the plain of Tortosa and the geometric plane of the immense Delta of the Ebre in its entirety. Around it you will have the mountain range of the Ports of Beseit (Natural Park).
Parador de Tortosa (Tortosa) ****
Hotel Berenguer IV (Tortosa) ***
Then we invite you to head for the heart of the Delta which is the city of Deltebre, passing through Amposta capital of the region of Montsià. From Tortosa take the C 12 in the direction of Amposta.
Amposta is a town of about 18,000 inhabitants at astride of the river Ebre, crossed by the famous Suspended Bridge with two stone towers in the shape of a triumphal arch that tighten the cables that support the metallic structure of the bridge. Also worthy of mention is the medieval castle of Amposta, built by the Arabs in the 10th Century, located in the old town near the river.
From there, after crossing the majestic Ebre River, you will take the TV 3454 in the direction of Deltebre, following the canal to the left of the river Ebre. In Deltebre we highly recommend going to one of the Information points of the Delta Natural Park where they will provide you with all the information about this vast sea of flat land won by the Ebro River to the sea over the last centuries that we call the Ebre Delta.
To encourage you, we can already tell you that the Natural Park was established in 1983 and has an absolutely flat surface of 320 km2, formed by the continuous contribution of mud and alluvium of the river Ebre at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. The river is the axis that, over the centuries, has created bays, beaches, dunes, salt flats, riverside forests, lagoons, fluvial islands and a mass of soft earth, half mud silt half composting very suitable for the intense cultivation of rice. It is also the habitat of great diversity of aquatic, resident or migratory species (birds, reptiles and amphibians).
A good option is to get lost along the narrow roads of the Delta and observe, appreciate and take in the smell of the surroundings. On the left side of the river we can reach Riumar beach and Fangar beach to the tip of the Fangar which is an immense desert of sand and mud. Then you will cross the Ebre by the brand new modern bridge of Deltebre to accede to the right bank of the river, Sant Jaume d’Enveja, from where you can arrive to the Poble Nou del Delta and the lagoons of the Encanyissada and the Clot. The Island of Buda. And drive along the Barra del Trabucador to the Punta de la Banya. Finally, why not, get inside the river by boat and take a small cruise at the water’s edge to the mouth of the river and climb to a wooden watchtower point of observation of the immense plain of the Delta. Frequently one can enjoy the presence of a flock of red-legged flamingos splashing in one of the lagoons. It is absolutely unique landscape in Catalonia. Visit the Town Hall website: www.amposta.cat and www.deltebre.cat
You will leave behind the immense rice fields of the Delta and you will go to the southern gate of the Delta which is the city of Sant Carles de la Ràpita in the Montsià region. You will take the road back to Amposta and there you will take the N 340 towards Sant Carles de la Ràpita.
Sant Carles de la Ràpita is a beautiful and sunny coastal town of 12,500 inhabitants which is well sheltered by the Montsià mountain range behind and facing the sea by the bay or port of the Alfacs formed by the southern horn of the Ebre Delta. It has also one of the most important fishing ports of Catalonia with a fish auction market and also a great marina. The main attractive points are sunny beaches and an exquisite seafood cuisine (mussels, oysters and red prawns) of high and well-deserved reputation. Within the bay of the Alfacs there are important nurseries of mussels and oysters that generate a product of great quality.
To get a panoramic view of the bay and the city, it is easy to climb Lo Mirador La Guardiola. Visit the Town Hall website: www.larapita.cat
Hotel del Port (St. Carles de la Ràpita)***
Hotel Can Batiste (St. Carles de la Ràpita)***
The last destination that we propose in your current Itinerary is the village of Ulldecona in the southern end of Catalunya. For this we suggest returning to Amposta by the N 340 and there to take the road of Ulldecona (T 331).
You will pass through the wide Foia valley between the Montsià mountain range and the Godall mountain range. Beautiful valley, with gentle slopes and large extensions of olive groves. About 4 km before Ulldecona you will turn right to go up to the Hermitage of La Pietat, which rises majestically on the south-eastern slope of the Godall mountain range. From there we will get spectacular views of the Foia valley of Ulldecona and the Montsià mountain range that gives the region its name. It is a cultural and spiritual space consisting of church and a hostel. It is worth visiting and appreciating without haste.
Ulldecona. There is the Castle of Ulldecona (12th Century) unquestionable identity symbol of the village, with an imposing skyline and character. In the historical center of Ulldecona we can highlight the Church of Sant Lluc, of Catalan Gothic style that rises imposing in the center of the village and numerous manor houses. Also worthy of mention is a series of nineteenth-century and modernist houses highlighting the Casa de la feligresia, a work of the famous architect Cèsar Martinell (disciple of Gaudí).
And above all, do not forget to go for a walk in the Natural Museum of the Millenary Olive Trees of Fondo de l’Arion, a few kilometers from Ulldecona, created in 2011 where you can enjoy the appreciation of 35 authentic millenary olive trees, living sculptures of huge roots and twisted forms, immense canopies, giant trunks and plentiful fruit. When their leaves of bluish palm revolve under the force of the north wind, they become a true sea of silver. This valley has always been very fertile and the oil has always been an appreciated crop of great quality, flavor and produce. Visit the Town Hall website: www.ulldecona.cat