At the top of the high mountain, in a very scenic spot, lies a tiny, remote, and slightly forgotten Siurana village. This last Moorish stronghold in Catalonia was unconquered for hundreds of years and witnessed many battles. Nowadays, in Siurana you won’t find many things to do, but those that the village can offer will take you on a fascinating journey back in time to the Middle Ages. Breathtaking viewpoints, castle ruins, old stone town, and even climbing rocks are waiting for you. Ready? Let’s discover the best things to do in the medieval village of Siurana, Spain.
Interesting fact. In 2022 authorities of Siurana decided to refuse an invitation to enter the prestigious list of “Los pueblos más bonitos de España” (eng. Most beautiful villages in Spain) to avoid mass tourism and to preserve the environment and heritage.
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Siurana, Spain FAQ
Siurana is a picturesque mountaintop Spanish village located in Catalonia in the Province of Tarragona. It sits at an altitude of 730m a.s.l in the Prades Mountains, overlooking the Siurana Reservoir and surrounding valleys. Nowadays only about 30 people live in Siurana, and there are only 4 restaurants and a hotel.
Siurana is best known for being a quiet and delightful medieval village with awe-inspiring views at every step. Also, many associate it with being the last Moorish stronghold in Catalonia and a popular spot for rock-climbing lovers from all around the world.
The answer cannot be other than – of course! The road leading to Siurana is winding and quite steep, but what is waiting on the top definitely is worth the effort. The village is also a perfect escape destination from bustling streets on the coast.
History of Siurana
The origins of Siurana date back to prehistory but the most important part of its history starts with the arrival of Arabs who settled there in the 9th century, around the year 869. For almost 300 years the village was unconquered. During the Christian Reconquest, after the fall of Tortosa (1148) and Lleida (1149) bastions, it became the last Muslim stronghold in Catalonia. Eventually, Siurana was finally conquered in 1153.
Legend of Siurana
There is also a legend associated with the conquest of Siurana, the legend of the Moorish Queen Abd-el-azia. It’s said that when the Christian troops entered the village the queen preferred to jump from the cliff rather than be captured by the enemies. So she took her white horse, covered its eyes, and rode it towards the cliff.
When the animal realized what was happening he tried to stop and dug its legs into the ground. In the end, they fell. The only thing that left after his brave effort was an imprint of the horseshoe on the rock. Until today in Siurana you can see the horseshoe mark – on the path leading to the castle look for the “Salt de la Reina Mora” sign.
Things to do in a remote medieval village of Siurana, Spain
Siurana village streets
Not without a reason Siurana is considered by many as one of the prettiest villages in Catalonia. Take a slow stroll among its cobbled streets, admire quaint stone houses decorated with flowers and imagine you’ve traveled back in time to the Middle Ages. You can also stop for a moment of relaxation in one of a few cafes or restaurants. Believe us, it’s very easy to fall in love with Siurana at first sight.
Among Siurana streets you’ll find points of interest like 12th century Church of Santa Maria, remains of the 9th-century Moorish castle, a 20th-century memorial cross, a horseshoe mark from the Siurana legend (Salt de la Reina Mora), and of course many viewpoints. Siurana is very small and you’ll be able to see everything without rushing in an hour or two.
Travel tip. If you want to have a village for yourself, plan your visit for the early morning hours. It’s an amazing and very peaceful experience.
Another unmissable thing to do in Siurana is to visit its viewpoints. And oh wow, the views are just spectacular. Cliffs, valleys, forests, turquoise reservoir waters, village from afar… You won’t forget this sight for a long time, and for sure you’ll take dozens of photos.
So where will you find the best views? In the village head to Mirador de Siurana, the platform behind Refugi Siurana, and to El Balcó de Siurana at the very end of the village. We also liked Mirador de la Trona, just behind the P1 parking lot.
Note. Unfortunately, you won’t always be able to admire the beautiful turquoise waters of Siurana Reservoir. Looks like thanks to the high temperatures and droughts water level often drops down, sometimes even to zero. You can notice that in our photos, where only one tank still has some water. So be prepared for that possibility.
Siurana castle (es. Castell de Siurana) is located at the entrance to the village. It was built by the Moors in the 9th century and for many years it was impregnable. After the village was reconquered it was used as a prison for members of the aristocracy until the 13th century. In the 17th century, after the Catalan Revolt, its demolition was ordered.
There isn’t much left of it but some restoration works are taking place. Due to that fact, the ruins of the castle can’t be visited right now (September 2023), but you can walk to the gates and take a peek. The best place to take a good look at it is from Mirador de Siurana.
Almost at the very end of the village, you’ll find a well-preserved church – Church of Santa Maria (es. Església de Santa Maria). It was built in the 12th century after Siurana was conquered by the Christians, in order to bring Christianity back to the region. Behind the church, you’ll also find a small cemetery.
The church is open only during Sunday mass. Other than that there are no visiting hours. But if you wish to see the interior via the glass wall you can put €1 into the machine and it’ll lighten up.
Somewhere between the church and El Balcó de Siurana viewpoint, you’ll find a monument, a memorial cross, that commemorates the 800th anniversary of the reconquest of Siurana.
Things to do near Siurana, Spain
You’ve seen it from above, now you can see it from below. Siurana Reservoir, Pantano De Siurana, is a perfect place for relaxing, hiking, walking, having a picnic, or even practicing water sports like swimming, canoeing, or kayaking (unless there is a drought and the water will be gone).
Besides the picturesque village, Siurana is also renowned for being a very popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts. Hundreds of them, from all over the world, come there every year to climb. There are numerous routes of all levels to choose from, and some of them are even considered the most challenging in the world. So if you like rock climbing, you’ll enjoy Siurana even more.
We’re no experts in this topic so please explore it more thoroughly by yourself, for example with the help of thecrag.com website, where you can discover available climbing routes.
Visit Cornudella de Montsant
If you have more time and want to see more of the area, you can also visit Cornudella de Montsant town. It’s located at the foot of Siurana, only about 8km away. This small and charming historic town is surrounded by vineyards, hence its rich winemaking heritage. In Cornudella de Montsant you won’t find many things to do, but strolling among its old town’s winding streets is a pure pleasure. You can also enter one or two wine cellars to taste regional wines. Cornudella de Montsant is also a great starting point for various outdoor adventures in the area.
How to get to Siurana, Spain?
Where to park in Siurana?
There are two parking lots in Siurana, both paid €3 in cash and open only from 9AM-9PM (September 2023). Before the first parking, there will be a person waiting for you collecting money and directing you to a parking lot where there is a free space. P1 is located about 500m from the village entrance, and P2 a bit further.
There is no option to park in Siurana for free. However, we spotted some cars parked on the roadside about 2-3km from the village. Also, keep in mind that parking has a capacity for 200 vehicles, and after that, the road is closed and you’ll have to wait for a free spot. So the sooner you show up, the better.
Airports near Siurana
The closest airport to Siurana is located in Reus (45km away) but it looks like it’s used mostly by travelers from the UK, Ireland, and Netherlands. The next airports, the more popular ones, are located in Barcelona and Girona. Your best and fastest way to get to Siurana from them is by renting a car. You can also travel to Cornudella de Montsant by bus/train+bus and from there take a taxi or walk (~7km – not recommended option) to Siurana. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Siurana by bus
It isn’t possible to get to Siurana by bus. Your best option is to arrive by bus to Cornudella de Montsant and from there take a taxi or walk (~7km – not recommended option) to Siurana. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Siurana by train
The closest train station to Siurana is located in Reus. From there you’d need to take a bus to Cornudella de Montsant and from there take a taxi or walk (~7km – not recommended option) to Siurana.
It’s prohibited to stay overnight on Siurana P1 and P2 parking lots, but in very close proximity to them you’ll find paid camping – Càmping i Bungalow Siurana. We also saw some camper vans parked on the roadside of the road leading to Siurana from Cornudella de Montsant. Other campings, like Camping Montsant Park or Camping Prades Park, are located a little further, about 25km from Siurana.
Siurana, Spain – Remote medieval village and climbing paradise – Summing up
Now you know what Siurana and its surroundings are all about. It’s a truly stunning place in Catalonia, isn’t it? It’s totally different from all the towns on the coast, and that definitely makes it special and worth visiting. No matter if you’ll stay only for a few hours or if you’re planning on staying for a few days – we’re sure that you’ll fall in love with this remote medieval village. Enjoy your time in Siurana and let us know how you liked it in the comments section below.
Our opinion about Siurana
For us, a visit to Siurana was a one-day trip (combined with Cornudella de Montsant) from Salou where we lived for a few weeks. We visited it in late May, early in the morning, and during that time we were two of max 20 other people out there. What can we say… We really loved the village. Strolling among stone houses, admiring breathtaking views, and chilling on the edge of the cliffs were the things we enjoyed the most.
We also loved how quiet it was there. No city sounds, cars, or loud people. Nowadays such situations are rare and we really appreciate them whenever we can experience them. When we were leaving, around 11 AM, the village started to get busier so if you also want to experience some peaceful moments we advise you to arrive early.
Siurana became one of our favorite places in Catalonia and definitely will stay in our memories for longer.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Siurana?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Siurana:
Where to sleep in Siurana?
Hotel La Siuranella
Nestled in the breathtaking Siurana region of Spain, Hotel La Siuranella is a tranquil haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Surrounded by stunning cliffs and lush landscapes, this charming hotel offers comfortable and well-appointed rooms with picturesque views. Whether you're here to explore the nearby Siurana village or embark on outdoor adventures like rock climbing and hiking, this hotel provides a serene and welcoming retreat to return to after a day of exploration.
El Palauet del Priorat
El Palauet del Priorat is a charming accommodation near Siurana village, offering guests an authentic Catalan countryside experience. Nestled amidst vineyards and picturesque landscapes, this rustic yet elegant hotel provides comfortable rooms with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. With its tranquil setting and proximity to Siurana's historic attractions and outdoor activities, El Palauet del Priorat is an ideal choice for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat in the Priorat region.
Apartaments Chenin Blanc-Priorat
Apartments Chenin Blanc-Priorat is a delightful accommodation option located in the charming town of Cornudella, just a few steps from Siurana. Nestled in the heart of the Priorat wine region, this property offers well-appointed apartments with modern amenities and picturesque views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains. With its serene atmosphere and convenient access to local wineries and hiking trails it's an excellent choice for visitors looking to explore the beauty of the region.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com