The GR 171 links the sanctuary of Pinós with the refuge of Caro, crossing the Catalonian provinces of Lleida and Tarragona. Setting off from the heart of Catalonia, the route unveils impressive natural and cultural landmarks as it leads 300 kilometres (124 mi) south.
This itinerary crosses impressive landscapes such as the Prades Mountains and the Montsant and Els Ports natural parks. The contrast between the rugged limestone massifs and the intense greenery of the pines that cover the hillsides is spectacular. Fertile plains of almond trees, olive groves and vineyards lie between the sierras, backdropped by sharp peaks in the distance.
The route also has many historical sites. The monastery of Poblet, the medieval enclave of Montblanc, the charterhouse of Escaladei and the walled complex of Montfalcó are just some of the architectural gems along the GR 171.
The route is suitable for any relatively fit walker. The stages cover an average of 20 kilometres (12 mi) per day, although they can easily be shortened. Most of the stages end in towns with tourist services, except for the last one which only has one mountain refuge.
You can do this route at any time of the year, although the temperatures are most pleasant in spring and autumn. In spring, the almond and other fruit trees bloom, making the route even more beautiful. On the other hand, the wooded areas present a beautiful festival of colours in autumn.
To get to Pinós sanctuary, the nearest bus station is in Ardèvol, a neighbouring village.
The ALSA bus company offers connections to Solsona, which has links to other Catalonian towns. To get from Ardèvol station to the sanctuary you have to walk about three kilometres (1.5 mi) or take a taxi. From the Caro refuge, the nearest town with a bus and train station is Tortosa. To get there, you’ll have to either take a taxi or walk 20 kilometres (12 mi).
I hope you enjoy this journey through the western and southern regions of Catalonia!
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Last updated: March 20, 2023
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Although long, the first stage of the GR 171 is an almost continuous descent from the Sierra de Pinós to the valley of the river Llobregós.
The route begins at the sanctuary of the Virgen de Pinós, dating from the fourteenth century, and located on top of a hill, from where there are beautiful views…
This second section of the GR 171 starts in Portell and runs between fields of crops until it resumes the official layout of the route.
Following the entire time through fairly flat terrain of agricultural land, the track takes you to Santa Fe de Segarra, where a castle and a church from the 12th century…
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The GR 171 leaves Cervera and continues south in a slight but continuous ascent through the lands of the Segarra region.
Through cereal fields, the route advances to the town of Talavera parallel to the course of the Ondara river. After visiting its beautiful Romanesque church, the path enters the Conca…
This short stage takes you into the Obagues del Riu Corb nature reserve, or in Spanish, the shadows of the Corb river. This landscape draws attention for housing a fairly humid forest in a dry area.
The section begins with a steep ascent through the Segura ravine, passing through the town of the same…
Despite being long, this section of the GR 171 accumulates more negative than positive slopes and, in addition, it takes you to the highest peak of Urgell, from where there are wonderful views.
The stage begins by going through the Sierra del Tallat from col to col, through a landscape that alternates…
Vineyards, mountains in the background and monumental medieval buildings… This section of the GR 171 has a bit of everything! And since it is not very long, it gives you time to savor each corner calmly.
Alternating forests, vineyards and cereal fields, the track takes you from Vimbodí to Poblet. Here…
After leaving Montblanc, the GR 171 enters the protected natural area of the Prades Mountains. This is a long and demanding stage, in which you will have to overcome a lot of unevenness, but it is also a stretch of great beauty.
The path begins by going through the ravine of La Vall. Shortly after starting…
This section of the GR 171 continues through the thick forests of the Prades Mountains, passes through the Albarca pass and then enters a new and fascinating natural space: the Sierra del Montsant.
After leaving Prades, the trail descends through various passes until it reaches Albarca, the natural pass…
The GR 171 continues at this stage through the forests and mountains of the Montsant Natural Park, revealing the beautiful landscapes of Priorat on its way.
From La Morera de Montsant, the path continues west through vineyards and pine forests. A few kilometers after starting out, a small detour takes…
This section of the GR 171 leaves La Figuera and leaves behind its beautiful viewpoints to descend to the Ebro river. Although the stage officially ends at the hermitage of San Jerónimo, since there are no overnight options nearby, I suggest you take a short detour to Mora d'Ebre. If you prefer to shorten…
This long and demanding stage starts from Móra d'Ebre, resumes the Ebro Nature Trail for a couple of kilometers and then follows a forest track to return to the GR 171 route.
Once back on the GR 171, the route ascends gently through woods through the Roianos ravine until it reaches the beautiful hermitage…
This section of the GR 171 enters the steep Pàndols mountain range, where you will have to face frequent ups and downs, but yes, enjoying wonderful views.
Four kilometers after leaving Gandesa along the GR 171.3 route, you will return to the main branch of the route. From this point begins a long ascent…
The penultimate stage of the GR 171 enters the spectacular Els Ports Natural Park, a beautiful space full of steep limestone mountains and green pine forests.
After leaving Prat de Comte, a long ascent of more than eight kilometers begins that ends at an altitude of more than 900 meters, at the foot of…
The last stage of the GR 171 is the hardest of the entire route since it involves a long ascent that accumulates more than 1,300 meters of positive elevation gain. However, the effort is worth it, as this last section takes you to the foot of Mount Caro, the highest peak in the entire natural park, and…
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