In Northern Spain you will find the spectacular, breathtaking canyon of Congost de Mont-rebei. This wildlife sanctuary and natural carved gorge, draws lovers of the outdoors and nature from all over. A place so special you will find there are no roads, power lines or railways invading this breathtaking canyon, but you will find a narrow winding goat track that has been etched out in the side of the dramatically steep limestone cliffs. Hikers, birdwatchers and even mountain bikers and kayakers come here to experience the beauty of this place.
This trail is well signposted and will start you off with a gentle rise for about a km and a half, then you will be greeted by a 30 metre metal suspension bridge. If you suffer from vertigo then maybe this is the place to turn around. As you cross over the river on this nerve-raking, slightly wobbly, bridge you start to feel the sense of how small you are.
If you survive the suspension bridge then you are now in for an incredible treat as you make your way around the narrow trail that is carved into the limestone cliffs, with some sections having handrails which give you a little sense of security. The trail you are walking on follows above the original trail, that at times is under water due to the reservoirs up stream, this new trail was carved out in 1984. The original route was used as a drover’s route for access to the higher mountain pastures, now with many nature enthusiasts as well as hikers and mountain bikers and outdoor adventurers its a place that is worth the visit.
As you make you way around the spectacular gorge you can’t help but dare to look down, with the cliffs several hundred feet above the shimmering waters of the river Noguera Ribagorcana which lay below. This river brings fresh water down from the Pyrenees and is said to have over time carved this great structure that is hundreds of metres high and some parts only as narrow as 20 metres!
You then gaze the eyes skyward to the towering cliffs above, leaving you in total awe. As this is a Wildlife Sancturary, since 2005, the 600 hectares has plenty of opportunity to observe the wildlife. A home to a variety of birds including, vultures, eagles, falcons all making the dramatic cliffs there home, with breeding season is usually between December and June, so plenty of great bird watching time. If you are lucky enough you may even get to see deer, wildcats, otters and in the caves quite a variety of bats! There are also moles and vipers to be found.
The walk itself is around 10kms return, it is pretty much a level walking trail with a few short, sharp climbs, well that is until the aerial walkway! If Vertigo is starting to become an issue then this is not for you. This is for the brave with the wooden walkways anchored into the side of the limestone cliffs zig-zagging all the way up to the top, but first you have one more suspension bridge to cross!
So if you are looking for a walk with a difference and you happen to be in northern Spain, then do add Congost de Mont-rebei to you list of must do.
Happy Hiking 👣👣👣