Discover Terres de l'Ebre
The Terres de l´Ebre –declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2013– is a tourist destination characterised by its high natural values and low tourism density. Its mild, stable climate throughout the year makes it ideal for enjoying holidays and breaks with family and friends. It has also recently been recognised by the international association Global Green Destinations as one of the world’s top 100 sustainable tourism destinations in 2016.
There are so many wonderful features in the Terres de l’Ebre: the coast, a rich cultural and historical heritage, really beautiful countryside in which to enjoy many outdoor activities, Mediterranean gastronomy with its own distinct identity, a wide range of leisure activities, areas which have strong wine and rice producing traditions, and a huge variety of popular festivals and activities that recreate different historical eras.
The Ebro River has always been, is and quite possibly will continue to be the hub and meeting point for the four southernmost regions of Catalonia. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy yourself, whether sailing the river on board a tourist “laút” (a wooden boat traditionally used for fishing) or propelling yourself in a canoe or kayak.
The most outstanding feature of the Terres de l’Ebre is, however, its natural landscape, one of the main reasons people visit here. There are two national parks, the Ebro Delta and Els Ports, a nature reserve and 19 other areas protected under the Natura 2000
network. 35% of the land here is protected, making it a true paradise for nature lovers, hikers, climbers, bird watchers, etc. If you prefer, you can go cycling in the more mountainous areas or on the Delta plain, and there is of course the famous Via Verda, which crosses Terra Alta and Baix Ebre for a distance of 49 km and now links up to the Ebro Nature Trail that takes you right down to where the river flows into the Mediterranean.
The coast includes all the features the Mediterranean has to offer. To the north there are isolated coves tucked away between cliffs that can be easily reached from the GR 92 long-distance Mediterranean footpath. To the south there are long beaches of fine sand and shallow waters. Sant Carles Water Sports Centre offers all kinds of sports and activities for the whole family along the coastline between Alcanar and Ametlla de Mar.
The River Ebro has been a key element for all the civilisations that have settled the area. And they have all left their mark, a unique historical and architectural legacy giving personality and character to the four regions. The cultural diversity is reflected in a variety of ways, and can be seen on visits to the cave paintings in Ulldecona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historical monuments and buildings of Tortosa, the different sites of the Battle of the Ebro, the co-operative wineries of Gandesa and Pinell de Brai, and the Picasso Centre in Horta de Sant Joan.
The richness of the area’s culture, history and festivals is reflected in the friendly and welcoming people who live here, and in their cuisine, a mosaic of the best Mediterranean traditions. Rice is one of the most important ingredients and is grown in many different towns in the region, including Amposta.
Added to this, there are of course many different local varieties of fish, shellfish, vegetables, fruit and other products from the land, such as the Terra Alta Designation of Origin wines, olive oil and honey. Many of these products have been awarded certificates that guarantee their quality.
Many of the local festivals have been declared of tourist interest. They take you back in time to different eras, for example, with the Tortosa Renaissance Festival, the traditional performance of the Passion of Christ in Ulldecona or the Sant Antoni festival in Ascó, which has been declared a Cultural Festival of National Interest.
Everything starts here in Horta de Sant Joan the ideal place to begin your walk and become more familiar with your destination.