Congost de Mont Rebei is one of the greatest destinations in Catalunya for hiking lovers, kayakers, rock climbers and Instagrammers! It’s a location that you will never forget. We promise you that.
The Mont Rebei Gorge is a natural cut that the Noguera Ribagorzana River has made in its passage through the pre-Pyrenean mountain range of Montsec. It is the border between the communities of Aragon and Catalonia and it was declared as a Wildlife Refuge in 2015.
Walking through the gorge, we can observe the history of the formation of the Montsec mountain range written on its rocks, which goes back more than 100 million years. You can visit millions of years ago just meters away from you.
What is a gorge?
A gorge is a narrow valley between steep mountains, excavated in calcareous rocks by the passage of the waters of a river. The hardness of the limestone causes the river to have been eroding and dissolving it until it reaches the Strait of Mont Rebei, probably taking advantage of a set of fractures of the Montsec. The passage of the river through softer rocks, and therefore easier to wear, makes the valley widen as it passes through Corçà.
How to get there?
Congost de Mont Rebei is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) far from the city of Barcelona and it’s accessible only by car/bus. There are no trains or public buses going there.
Studentfy frequently runs trips to Mont Rebei. Check out our Trips page to book your trip.
How was Mont Rebei formed?
A “PIRENAICO” SEA – 100 million years ago
The gorge is excavated in calcareous rocks that formed at the bottom of a warm sea between the European and Iberian tactonic plates.
THE PRE-PYRENEES – 85 million years ago
The clash and friction between these two tectonic plates folded and fractured the rocks, beginning to lift the Pyrenees, the Pre-Pyrenees and later on, also the Montsec.
THE LAST DINOSAURS WALK IN THE BASIN – 66 million years ago
The sea gradually retreated, while the mountains rose, giving rise to a basin where there were rivers and lakes where some of the last dinosaurs in Europe went extinct 66 million years ago. The forces of the interior of the Earth did not stop pushing until raising the Pyrenean mountains altogether, 20 million years ago.
THE RIVER CUTS THROUGH THE LAND – 5 million years ago
When the river Noguera Ribagorzana started to run, its waters ran above the Montsec, that is, more than 500 meters above the current level, when this mountain range was covered side to side (Cuenca de Tremp y Valle de Àger) by sediments that deposited strong torrents that descended from the young mountains of the Pyrenees.
500 METERS OF ROCK AND 5 MILLION YEARS LATER – Present time
This means that rivers not only excavated gorges such as Mont-Rebei, Terradets or Collegats, but also emptied the Cuenca de Tremp and Valle de Àger among others, eroding millions and millions of cubic meters of rock.
How safe is it?
On a scale of 1 (very dangerous) to 10 (very safe), we would rate the hike a 7. Some sections are narrow and some sections are steep and challenging. If you are afraid of heights or if you suffer from vertigo, we won’t recommend going up or down the stairs, looking down when crossing the bridges or getting too close to the edge.
How to kayak on the river
Kayaking is allowed only on late spring, summer and autumn. The wind will be too cold in the winter to kayak on the river.
If you want to rent a kayak there, there are kayak stops next to the river where you can rent a kayak. You can book a kayak in advance on this website.
Useful information to know
- Wear warm clothes, sun protection, sunglasses, comfortable clothes for walking.
- Bring 1 to 2 liters of water per person depending on the season.
- It is recommended to bring binoculars to watch the fauns and other birds.
- No car can go beyond the parking. You have to walk.
- It is not advisable to ride a mountain bike.
- Do not leave the marked roads (it is especially dangerous to do it on the roads of the Umbrian Montsec).
- Dogs must be leashed.
- Camping is not allowed.
- The parking fee is 5€ per vehicle per day.
- It is not allowed to throw stones or objects into the river.
- It is not allowed to take minerals or fossils.
- It is not allowed to take plants.
- It is totally forbidden to make a fire.
- Practical jokes or pushing other individuals towards the edge are completely forbidden.
- Always take your trash with you. Do not leave any trash behind.
- We must remind climbers that the walls of Mont-Rebei share them with vultures and other birds, and that these from December to June are in the laying period, so it is recommended to avoid climbing on those dates.