If, when you’re walking beside a river, you have an urge to plunge into the water, clamber over the rocks and feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins, then canyonning is the sport for you. You’ve probably heard of it, but if you haven’t, the best description is a combination of canyon descent, with hiking, climbing and water sports thrown in.
The aim is to advance along the watercourse of a gorge, covering the dry sections with vegetation, caves and grottoes. Where the river is carrying more water, you’ll also have to cross deep and shallow rock pools and waterfalls. You’ll find numerous options for this sport in Catalonia. Hiking, swimming, climbing descending… Here we tell you where.
Canyonning for everyone in Sort
If you’re thinking of canyonning with the children, then head for Sort. Start them out in this adventure sport with a specialised instructor in the Sant Pere canyon in Congost de Collegats. It takes around 20 minutes to reach the head of the canyon. The kids will be able to leap over water pools, slide down natural slides and even practice abseiling. And if you’re already an expert and you want to spend a little time without the kids, get ready to descend the Hell’s canyon, also in Congost de Collegats. The activity takes place against a backdrop of the spectacular scenery of La Noguera Pallaresa.
Berga, the destination for beginners
A good option for novice canyonners is the Forat Negre de Vallcebre near Berga. The Centre Excursionista de Catalunya (Catalan Hikers’ Centre) provides qualified guides to help you as you descend beneath a waterfall and leap into the void before plunging into a water pool. Other activities to enjoy in the spectacular natural setting of Vallcebre (at the foot of Rasos de Peguera) include hiking, vias ferratas, climbing, water activities and more. And that’s not all. If you like the Berga area, in the south you’ll find the Riera de Merlès, where you can also practice easy-level canyonning. And a night spent at the Camping Riera Merlès campsite will make the excursion really special.
Explore the depths of Garrotxa
If you want to marvel at the spectacular turquoise waters hidden within in the Alta Garrotxa, come to the Sant Aniol canyon in the municipality of Sadernes. Located within the Alta Garrotxa Area of Natural Interest, it is considered one of the best spaces for advance canyonning. There’s a three-hour walk to the start. Be daring and try abseiling down 40 metres in an experience that will take your breath away. If you’re travelling with the family, you can go canyonning in the Sant Aniol gorge: these spectacularly beautiful canyons are ideal for beginners and have leaps suitable for children.
Tarragona in a spirit of adventure
The Costa Dorada is not only one of the best summer destinations, it has great places for enjoying adventure tourism all year round. Three kilometres from the municipality of Alcover you’ll find the Glorieta river valley. Deep in its humid forests are pools of crystal clear water that are perfect for easy-level canyonning. And if you want to make the most of your getaway, you can restore your energy with a calçotada of chargrilled spring onions in the Restaurante K-L’ermità, before spending the afternoon in the Alcover Museum. There you’ll find fossils that are millions of years old, and a range of activities for the whole family.