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Cister Route




  • Royal Monastery of Santes Creus. Aiguamúrcia

On this route you will discover three important buildings put up by the French Cistercian Order: The monasteries of Santes Creus, Santa María de Poblet and Vallbona de les Monges. All are displays of a sober and imposing architecture.


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Cister Route


Itinerary

  • Aigumúrcia. Its Santes Creus Monastery is the perfect place to start the route. Before starting on the route, you should know that there are three basic elements in the life of the Cistercian monks: the church, the cloister and the chapterhouse. Apart from these spaces, at Santes Creus you can also visit the monks' dormitory, the Abbatial Palace and the tombs of the kings of Aragón, Pedro III and Jaime II.
  • Villa de Vals. Worth a stop to see the Roser Chapel. Villa de Vals is also known for being the "capital of the calçots". If you go on this route at the end of January or beginning of February, you can go to a typical "calçotada". This is a typical food party in Catalonia based around the calçot, a type of spring onion cooked on an open grill and held in the hand to eat.
  • Conca de Barnerà. A good idea is to visit the two main towns in this area. First there is Montblanc, with the best preserved medieval town in Catalonia, surrounded by walls with 17 towers; and then there is L'Espluga de Francolí, with its old San Miguel Church and a Wine Museum.
  • Vimbodí. Just over 30 kilometres from Santes Creus Monastery. Here you will find the second, and largest, of the three monasteries on the route, namely Santa María de Poblet. While you are here you should also see the Glass Museum.
  • Vallbona de les Monges. Approximately a 25 kilometre journey. The last stage of the route and the last monastery, actually a nuns convent: Vallbona de Les Monges.

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Cister Route


Practical information

How to complete the route:
By car

Approximate time:
It can be done in a weekend.

Best time of year:
All year round

Tips and interesting facts:
This is one of the longest-standing tourist routes in Catalonia.