Siurana is a world-class sport climbing crag. It is known for its excellent rock quality, diversity of route types, and hard grades climbs. But don’t worry, it’s accessible to anyone as it has more than 1400 routes. I planned this trip to try climbing at my limit while travelling by bike. It’s a wonderful place to find a hard project!
How to get there
I started my trip in Brussels and took three trains in total: Thalys from Brussels to Paris (1h 15), OuiGo train from Paris to Barcelona (6h 30), and finally a regional train from Barcelona to Tarragona (1h 15). From there, I cycled to the Siurana campsite. It’s not that long (53 km) but quite steep (1100 m elevation gain), especially the last 10 km are strenuous for the legs. Count at least four hours cycling and a load of energy!
The full journey can be done in one day but it’s challenging. I recommend not taking the first train connection from Paris after arriving there, in order to have more time to change trains. Having 1 hour to go from Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare the Lyon with a dismantle bike and all your bags can be tense. The second train change in Barcelona is less stressful since you don’t need reservation for the regional train. Personally, I split the journey in half and stayed in Paris for a weekend before taking the train to Barcelona.
About the bike transport in the train, you need to dismantle you bike in the two first trains (high-speed trains) and put it in a cover bag. In the regional trains, room for bikes are provided so you can just leave your bike like that, even with all the bikepacking gear on it.
After spending all this time seated in a train, cycling feels good. The cycling itinerary is quite pleasant: small roads (not really busy) in the mountain (you don’t need a mountain bike though, even with a racing bike it’s okay). Here’s a suggestion for the bike route:
Where to stay
The closest to the crags is the campsite of Siurana. You can either camp, rent a bungalow, or just park your van there. It’s calm, comfy and there is a small restaurant. Next to the camping, there is absolutely nothing in Siurana village (not even a bakery/shop). Note that bivouacking outside the camping is complicated because no flat areas. Rumour also says that people steal in the neighbourhood, which is not cool for leaving your gear in the wild.
The other option is to stay in Cordunella de Montsant, the small (but still bigger) village near Siurana. You can find rbnb’s, and some shops. From there, you can cycle 6km (super steep) to the crag.
How to reach the crag(s)
From Siurana’s campsite, you can easily access all the sectors. From 10 to 40 min walking (with own path leaving from the camping), or eventually cycling 5 min downhill to the crag parking and walk 5 to 15 min. There are many sectors in Siurana. I recommend having a look at the map in the guidebook to understand. It’s free of access on the App Climb Around that includes all crags of Catalonia. You can download it here.
For groceries, you’ll need to go to Cordunella. You’ll find a bakery, several small shops with local food (amazing veggies, meat and cheese), some bars for tapas, a gas station (in case you need it for your bike) and even a climbing shop. You access the village either by bike (8km downhill) or by hitchhiking which is really easy since there is only one road).
It is not possible to buy groceries in Siurana village. However, you can find bread, honey and eggs at the camping’s restaurant.
If you’re bored of Siurana, there are many other amazing crags close to there. Such as for example Montsant and Margalef. It’s worth having a look, even during a rest day. The region is amazing for hiking or having a small bike tour.
And if you’re bored of sport climbing, there are also some bouldering in Siurana. You can ask Tony, the owner of the campsite, that equipped a lot of the area. He’s does not seem super friendly but he’s good advice.
How to book the trip
For booking train tickets, I always recommend doing it from the local train company App. In this case, SNCF connect for France, and Renfe for Spain. Any train leaving from or arriving in France can be booked on SNCF connect. If you want to have an overall view of the journey, you can check the App Trainline (it’s more expensive to book your tickets there, but it’s a good way to have a first idea of the travel options). For regional trains (Barcelona-Tarragona), you can directly buy your tickets at the train station. For the high-speed trains, you need to book in advance (the earlier the cheaper!).
On those trains, you may need to take an extra option for the bike. It is generally proposed on the Apps when booking a train ticket. In France, you don’t need to pay an extra fee as long as your bike is dismantled. In Spain, you have to pay 5 € extra and your bike has to be dismantled.