At the foot of the Montsant, surrounded by a breathtaking landscape, you’ll find it easy to cast your worldly cares aside. The Carthusian monks of Escaladei had to obey one fundamental precept: to search for God in total solitude, withdrawn from the world. We invite you to take a fascinating journey into the past in a mountain landscape of peace and quiet… and wine.
When you enter the domain of the Cartuja de Escaladei, you’ll find your heart beats more slowly. As you evoke the Carthusian lifestyle, you’re overcome by the spirit of contemplation. You’re in a privileged corner of El Priorat. According to legend, on this site a shepherd dreamt he saw angels climbing to heaven on a ladder placed on a pine stump, which is how it received its name (“escaladei” is the Catalan word for ladder). Would you like to find out what life was like in this corner of El Priorat?
The visit to the building is fascinating. You’ll be guided around the ruins of the three cloisters, the church and a reconstructed monk’s cell. It’s thrilling to imagine this place when it was fully functioning. You’ll need to use your powers of imagination to conjure up this majestic Carthusian monastery when it was totally self-sufficient back in the 12th century.
A group of visionary winegrowers
Wine culture is part of the daily life of El Priorat, particularly since a group of visionary wine producers decided to restore the Carthusian heritage in the 1980s and revived the tradition of producing and ageing wine in this area. If you take any of the hiking routes that criss-cross the Sierra de Montsant National Park you can see the imprint of this revolution: the vines scramble up the mountain on numerous terraces, and the wineries blend in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. Cycle routes are another very popular activity with wine lovers. On foot, by bike or on horseback, all routes end with a wine-tasting session in some of the wineries in the DOC Priorat or the DO Montsant.
Are you ready?