Montblanc, the village of the Saint George legend's birth
Montblanc is a small town in Catalonia (Spain) dating from XI century. It is famous because of the legend of Saint George (San Jordi in catalan) but before to tell you, I would like to add that we came here to do a hiking weekend.
Near to it, there are some beautiful natural parks, perfect for hiking lovers and we didn't book a room in one of the hotels of this town but at Prenafeta, a very small village close to it. Prenafeta has nothing to see and to do except that there is a winery that you can visit and since it is located at the feet of the Tossal Gros mountain, there are many hiking itineraries, the most famous one is called "Cister Route (Ruta del Cister)".
Mas La Planella (firstname.lastname@example.org - barri prenafeta) is an old chalet converted into a nice rural hotel with a garden that includes a swimming pool and a barbecue. One section is dedicated for the family totally separated to the guest section which has 4 rooms and a salon with a chimney. All rooms have a mini kitchen and a bathroom. The place is very quiet and to be wake up by the birds without any car noises, it is quite a luxe, particularly for us living in Barcelona.
The bad point is that your neighbour can make some noise in the morning preparing the breakfast, it was what happened for us having a room in the second floor. I think that if we booked the only room in the down floor, we may not have this issue !!!
The owner owns also the restaurant Cal Gaya (the only one) in the village, the place has a quite particular decoration with games and dolls, it is like a kind of children's souvenir. The food is OK, not good, not bad.
In this village, we did a hike. We did the itinerary to its castle dating from 1072 (well, what it remains) situated at the top of a mountain. Leaving the hotel, we walked few meters to see a sign post, we took the indication "Figuerola del Camp" and we just kept following it.
Although this part is very easy, the climb starts at the beginning so we get tired quite quick. Then we reached an area where on the left side, there is a small building, we spot the white-red mark doing an x making us understand that this track is not the good one. Well, not the good one towards Figuerola del Camp but the right one towards the castle so we took it by following the green sign. It is a way up with a tiny track, not very difficult but just taking care where to put our feet, after few minutes, we got a nice view of the area and the village.
Back to Montblanc, the town was celebrating its medieval festival week (21/04 - 01/05) because 23 is the day of Saint George (diada de San Jordi). According to the legend, a dragon demanded food once a week, after having run through cows, sheep, etc, the king had no choice than to sacrifice one person per week by drawing lots. This draw also included his family and as you may guess, one day was the princess and fortunately, George arrived to save her, after killing the dragon, a rose came out from its blood and as a knight, he gave it to the princess.
The festival is located in the old district in which main streets are decorated as in this period. Different events (some frees and some paid) occurred during the day and locals are dressed as in the past. People can buy local products like ham, sausages, cheeses, honey, shirts, souvenirs, etc.
For us, it was quite the same as the others, indeed, in Spain, from spring to fall, different cities celebrate their own medieval festival. If you never live this kind of festival, it is worth to do it. If not, I can't highlight something worth to spend your time. Our next day was to go to Siurana, a charming medieval village at the top of Prades Mountains.