Bottled sensations

To enter the domains of the Penedès DO is to open oneself up to a world of sensations where everything is possible. You can taste the elixir extracted from the xarel·lo, smell the numerous species of medicinal plants, feel the cooling caress of a waterfall and thrill to the sight of a human tower heart-stoppingly crowned by the enxaneta (typically, a child of some five years old). Come along with us on this route through Alt Penedès, a land that leaves a mark.  

How about beginning our route with breakfast, and a slice of typical coca in Vilafranca market? Perfumed with cumin and aniseed, rectangular in shape, there's no better way to start the day. And, with a little luck, you might also catch a human castle performance, since Vilafranca's three castle groups often give demonstrations of this unique tradition

The next stop could be the historical monuments at the top of Sant Martí Sarroca. The castle offers wonderful views and the 12th-century church has an apse that is so awe-inspiring that it has become a destination for those pilgrims who come in search of Catalan Romanesque architecture.  If you fancy discovering all the hidden corners of this beautiful town, the Sant Martí Sarroca Routes will show you them all; it's a geocaching experience which makes exploration real fun. 

Natural heritage is also very important in Torrelles de Foix, a village watered by the River Foix and the Pontons stream. A picnic at Les Dous is highly recommended, with the pure water of its 35 different springs flowing into a crystal-clear lake with its own waterfall tumbling among the rocks, just perfect for a refreshing dip! 

A little further south, in Foix Park, you will find two of the county's most famous landmarks. Firstly, Castellet castle, with incredible views over the Foix reservoir. And then, Foix Mill; once a medieval flour mill, it is now an interpretation centre that also has a very unusual botanic garden. A walk around it is really relaxing and gives close-up views of the area's plant and flower species!

But wherever you go, you must make the most of any chance to immerse yourself in the area's wine and cava culture: wine tastings, gastronomic wine-pairing, grape harvest festivities, visits to wine cellars, museum culture, walks amongst vines and many more. Alt Penedès has many attractions, but the grape is, without a shadow of a doubt, the indisputable star of this land.


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