Priorat cottages are ideal for those who want a holiday with variety. The landscapes in Priorat are unforgettable, with mountains, steep cliffs, vineyards, olive groves and the winding Ebro and Siurana rivers. Most rentals here are restored historic farmhouses and mills, with traditional stonework and rustic furniture. Priorat holiday homes would appeal to anyone who wants to take invigorating walks in sumptuous scenery, but there's more to the area than active tourism. If you're an oenophile then there are a host of wineries found close to cottages in Priorat, while the Mediterranean coast and its resorts are a simple drive.
-Rural tourism. Priorat is an area of tall hills, and much of this upland terrain is protected as part of the Serra del Montsant, Muntanyes de Prades natural parks. An excellent walking route in Montsant will take you past tall limestone cliffs to the Monastery of Santa Maria Scala. There are lots of paths that will allow you to admire the beautiful vineyards that cover much of the landscape here - Porrera is a great starting point in this respect.
-Local culture. Priorat boasts a number of very attractive old stone villages, nestled in valleys or perched on hilltops. Siurana is especially beautiful, standing on a cliff high above a lake. An important monument can be found just to the southwest of Priorat - Miravet Castle was built by the Moors, but became a fortified monastery in the centuries that followed. It's in a good state of preservation and has great views of the Ebro River.
-Viticulture. Priorat has a winemaking heritage that goes back to the 1100s, and has a reputation for its strong reds. The vineyards here tend to be small, with terraced hillsides making the scenery especially picturesque. There are forty different wineries and cellars in the Priorat and Montsant area, and most are open to visitors, conducting tours around the vineyards and holding tasting sessions.
-Family attractions. The Costa Dorada is a simple drive away, and one of the closest resorts is Salou, which is home to a lovely Blue Flag bay. Also easy to get to is the theme park, Port Aventura, which is possibly the best in Spain, with a wealth of roller coasters, amusements and stunt shows. Also part of this vast complex are golf courses and a world-class water park.
-Tarragona. This was a city of immense importance during Roman times, and there are signs of this status across Tarragona today in the form of walls, a magnificent theatre, an aqueduct and a forum. You can find out more about the city's fascinating Roman heritage at the National Archaeological Museum, where mosaics, frescoes and busts are all on display.
As holiday rentals in Priorat are situated away from the coast on relatively high ground, the weather here is Mediterranean with continental influences. Summers are typically long, dry and hot, lasting from May to October. The hottest and driest months are July and August, when temperatures peak in the high-20s or low-30s. Winters though are a little fresher in Priorat than in coastal areas. It's a feature of the climate that helps in the winemaking process. Temperatures in December can drop below freezing at night, reaching highs of around ten degrees by day.
The closest international airport to the Priorat area is Reus (REU). This airport is relatively small, receiving mostly seasonal flights from the UK, via low-cost carriers and charters. You can get to your holiday home in Priorat from Reus by taking the N-420 west on the way to the town of Falset, which is about half an hour from the airport. As this is quite a remote rural region, with only small towns and villages, public transport is limited and use of a car is recommended.