TRAIL RUNNING IN URGELL
The comarca (local district) of L’Urgell has a total extension of 586 km2, more than 37,000 inhabitants and 20 municipalities plus 3 aggregated settlements. Three rivers cross the comarca: the Sió, Ondara and Corb. The dry lands of this comarca were transformed by the Canal d’Urgell, which has helped to make it one of the richest areas in Catalonia. L’Urgell has three important population centres that structure its territory and also house the majority of its economic activity: Agramunt, Bellpuig and Tàrrega (the capital of the comarca). The area’s economy is largely based on agriculture and livestock farming, which are complemented by its metal and food industries.
TRAIL SERRA DEL TALLAT
Total distance: 18 km
Elevation gain: 500 m.
Start point: Rocallaura
Finish point: Rocallaura
Min. elevation: 590 m.
Max. elevations: 790 m.
Description of the route
SERRA DEL TALLAT
Circular route through the highest area of the Urgell region, with ascent to the highest mountain, the Tossal Gros de Vallbona (804 m). We will pass by the Sanctuary of Tallat with a lot of tradition and the villages of Rocallaura and Montblanquet. The area is perhaps the most wooded in all of Urgell and has an excellent viewpoint of the region neighbor, the Conca de Barberà.
The indications that we will follow throughout the route are those of the PR-C58, of yellow color and that we will find in the beaconing of the route to practically each crossing. The route runs mainly along a wide track and with the exception of the 200 meters from the track to the top of Tossal Gros it can be done by mountain bike.
We go downhill in front of Rocallaura Town Hall and after crossing the road we will find the explanatory panel of the Serra del Tallat. We will continue along the Camí dels Hostalets which, on a constant climb, will take us through the Bosc de la Serra del Manantial to Pla del Bisbe and finally reaching the Santuari del Tallat km 4 from where we can enjoy spectacular views. We go back about 150 meters to recover the path and turn left to continue the route. We will skirt wheat fields and re-enter the forest. We will pass by Cap de Coll and we will have to be careful to take a narrow path that will lead us to the top of the region, the Tossal Gros de Vallbona (804 m). We will go back 500m to take the track that will take us to cross the line of wind turbines. It’s awesome to see up close how these wind turbines spin on windy days. We cross diagonally the runway of the wind turbines line and follow a path that comes out next to the wind turbine no. A2.3. We go up an embankment, skirt a field and continue between it and the forest and face north. We leave the forest, pass by the Fondo de Blancafort and arrive at the village of Montblanquet. On the left we will find some old laundries. We cross the beautiful and well-kept village and leave along the Carretera dels Omells. We continue to the right in the direction of the Sierra del Manantial and enter a forest. After about 500 meters we will find a dry stone path on the left. At approximately km 14 and about 200 meters to the left is the L2 Artillery Observatory, which we can optionally visit outside the route. At km 16 we will pass a crossroads and return to the left along the initial road to Rocallaura.
In Rocallaura we will find the Church of Sant Llorenç, from the s. XIII Romanesque-Gothic transition style, the Castle of the s. XII and the Sanctuary of the Carving of the s. XIII, an old flowery Gothic sanctuary and an impressive viewpoint of the counties that converge there, with a leisure and recreation area
In Montblanquet we will find the Romanesque Church of Sant Andreu, with Cistercian lines, s. XIII, and the rest area of the Font Vella.
Breakfasts can be booked at the Rocallaura Café bar by Whatsapp at 622160552 or 633322830 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HORITZONTES DE URGELL
Total distance: 17 km
Elevation gain: 200 m.
Start point: Agramunt
Finish point: Agramunt
Min. elevation: 317 m.
Max. elevation: 450 m.
Description of the route
This is a route that will allow us to enjoy the open space and far away horizons that will make us feel completely free. We will go the most of the time on a wide dirt track, largely following the GR-3. The route can be done entirely by mountain bike. We will always be surrounded by cereal fields, and pleasantly accompanied on a couple of sections for the Urgell Canal. We will visit small towns, Rocabertí de San Salvador, Donzell d’Urgell, Mafet, to finish where we started, on the outskirts of Agramunt, a town that we can visit slowly at the end, and perhaps enjoy the local products par excellence, nougat and Xocolata a la Pedra (a very special chocolate).
The route does not have any technical difficulties, it is suitable for all types of runners, and it will allow us to run at as high pace as we can. Clearly, it will have a first part with a gentle rise and a second part with a soft and flying descent. It will be very easy to follow and will help you get started both in the world of trail running and in the world of navigation with GPS devices.
We will leave from a small car park on the outskirts of Agramunt next to the C-14 that merges with Calle de los Segadores. We cross the road and head to the left and immediately to the right where we will immediately find the Urgell Canal sign. We will go parallel with the canal on the right-hand side for 600 meters and we will take a detour to the left-hand side to shorten the route of the canal a bit. 700 meters later we will find the canal again and we will go through the bridge to cross it. We will follow the GR-3 Donzell d’Urgell signs, always in a straight line and with the town of Donzell d’Urgell always in the horizon. At km 4 we will find a crossroads that we will take to the right and 300 meters later to the left. Now we will continue fully facing some buildings set on the horizon, Rocabertí de San Salvador, where we will arrive with 6.6 km traveled. Arrived at Rocabertí de San Salvador, it will be worth observing the ruins of the church and the panoramic views from this high point. We will leave Rocabertí behind us, we will find a dry-stone hut and a few meters later we will take a detour to the left that will take us towards Donzell d’Urgell where we will arrive 2 km later. First, we will find the well-kept Hermitage of San Roque and the Tossal de Sant Roc (460m), the highest point on the route and raised by a large black cross. We will continue a few meters on the left-hand side along the road and we will arrive at Donzell d’Urgell, km 9, which we will border leaving the town on the right-hand side and we will continue, passing in front of a solitary stone fountain, by the Gorga path in clear descent and following the indications of Agramunt. 500 meters further on we will take the crossroads on the right. The track will continue to descend and soon we will have in sight a distant hermitage, the next objective of our route, the Hermitage of the Virgen de la Gorga, already in the municipality of Preixens, which belongs to the La Noguera region, km 11.5. We will continue down the track and just past a small forest, we will take a path on the right that will lead us through the vegetation to a wider track that will take us after a small climb to Mafet, km 13.2, we will go up some stairs on the right and we will be in front of the Church of San Lorenzo. We will go straight down the stairs that will leave us on Calle Mayor where we will leave the town on the asphalt. 400 meters later we will find the Urgell Canal that we will not leave until we reach the C-14 again where on the left we will find the car park from where we left 17 km before.
Total distance: 26 km
Elevation gain: 400 m.
Start point: Vallbona de les Monges
Finish point: Vallbona de les Monges
Min. altitude: 354 m.
Max. altitude: 590 m.
Description of the route
This is a route that will take us from town to town, all of them full of history, and will make us feel the peace of the Urgell region and the splendour of the rainfed crops that will surround us all the time. Vines, olive trees, almond trees and cereals will be practically the only witnesses of our passage. It will be a different visual experience depending on the season of the year in which we do it, the silence, only disturbed by our footprints, will always be the same. The entire route can be done by mountain bike
We will run on well-known paths, either to be part of the Cistercian Route and the Camino de Santiago. We will also visit part of the Corb Valley and we will be able to visit the towns of Rocafort de Vallbona, El Vilet, Maldà, Belianes, Sant Martí de Maldà and we will finish the route where we started it, Vallbona de les Monges where we can take the opportunity to walk slowly through its streets and visit the Cistercian Monastery of Sta. Maria de Vallbona.
This route is very good for training sessions where we are looking for easy unpaved terrain and for running at high speeds on a smooth and constant incline. In this route the false plan will be the dominant trend. It is an excellent training to gain that much-needed speed in some sections of mountain races, but also for asphalt runners, both half marathon and marathon, and who want to improve or test their power in the race by training in an environment natural and away from the asphalt and crowds. The less gentle climbs are at the beginning and at the end (it will be necessary to have saved a little for this last climb since it can be long depending on how we get to it). The entire route is by dirt track except for some short paved sections. It is very easy to follow with a GPS watch, therefore it can be very good for anyone who wants to learn to navigate with these devices.
We will leave the parking lot in front of the municipal swimming pool of Vallbona de les Monges, we will cross the town passing in front of the Monastery and we will go up looking for the road to cross it and immediately find the GR-3 (red and white paint marks) and the signpost for Rocafort de Vallbona, the first destination on the route. We will progressively ascend for 2.5 km on a wide track to Coll de l’Olla, which, located at an altitude of 590 m, will be the highest point of the entire route. From there we will begin a descent through the Vedats, we will surround the Tossal del Tau, the Tossal del Roc and at km 7 we will be in Rocafort de Vallbona, where the Castle and the Church of the Transfiguration are (with good panoramic views of area). We will continue to the left along a 400 m section of road and immediately on the left we will take the track. We will follow indications of Vilet, which in slight but constant ascents and descents, which will break our rhythm, will leave us 2 km later at Vilet, km 9 of the route. In Vilet we will cross the town passing in front of the Church of Santa María del Vilet. We will start a loop here that will return us to this same point 11 km later, therefore, if we do not have the day, it will be a good time to return and do only 15 of the 26 km. We will skirt the town along the road for a few meters and then we will take the track that opens on the left. We will follow indications towards Maldà bordering by fields of cereals and olive trees. We will enter Maldà, km 12, through Calle de Jesús, and although the route continues along this street until we leave the town, we can optionally take a walk to see the Castle and the Romanesque Church of San Pedro. We will leave the town continuing straight on Calle de Jesús, we will cross the C-331 with caution and an extensive plain of cereal and olive crops will open before us with the town of Belianes in the background. We will follow the very flat track to Belianes, we will go around the town, km 14.5, and we will take the track to the right that will lead us to the Corb river that we will border on the left and cross a few meters later. Shortly after, we will find the Molí de la Torre (belonging to the Baronía de Maldà, 11th-12th centuries) where the millstones are still preserved. We will follow the track that will turn our course 180º widely and will take us to the Raft of the Tower, where we can easily observe ducks and other birds. Here we will start the long climb back, about 10 km that will gradually wear us down. Now we will continue along the track parallel to the Acequia de Montpàs, we will pass over the Segarra-Garrigues Canal and when we reach a small dam we will turn left to go decidedly up and straight to Sant Martí de Maldà, km 20, which we will cross, continuing along the Vilet path, but not before having passed through the Plaza de la Iglesia and having been able to observe rural life magnified in a large mural that occupies the side facade of two houses. We will go away from town passing by a bridge over the Corb river and we will go around El Vilet. The track will always lead us up and in practically the same direction, indications of Vallbona, first bordering La Collada, a very beautiful corner, and the Plan de Sileta, with the El Guixà estate. At km 25.7 we will finish the climb and descend quickly along the track that in 1 km will leave us again in the parking lot of the swimming pool, this time crossing Esportell street to shorten the route. Now we will have time to visit this interesting town, full of history, and its Royal Monastery of Santa María de Vallbona. If we like cinema, we will not miss visiting the Cinema Museum Space (Josep Maria de Queraltó collection).
Area with little mobile coverage, take the track already downloaded and this page preloaded if you want to consult during the route.