Austria to Spain – Part 4: Spain

Today the last part of our trip starts, driving back home through Spain with 2 nice stops:

First we drive over the border along the coast – a new experience as before we always used the route over the highway further inland via Le Perthus.
Before we reach La Port de la Selva – a very inviting looking little town – we turn right and up the mountain to Sant Pere de Rhodes. The street is very very steep and we worry about our Cochecito. He sounds strange so we stop and let him rest before we drive on. But finally we make it to the parking and are relieved. Would we have come from the west, the climb would have been much easier.

Sant Pere de Rhodes

We take the hiking boots and first go up to the castle above the monastery – the view is spectacular!

Castell de Verdera
Sant Pere de Rhodes from the castle above

Now we walk down to Sant Pere de Rhodes and visit this fascinating monastery, well explained by an audio guide. Especially the church is stunning. The hight of the nave is exceptional.  The way the columns are constructed is special and the Romanesque sculpture of the capitals beautiful. It was constructed in the 10th and 11th century, for sure an outstanding building.

Main Nave of the Church

Cloister and Bell Tower
Bell Tower
Left the Bell Tower, right the Defensive Tower

Not far from the monastery are the well preserved remains of a medival village and its church:

We spend a long time on this mountain and after a late lunch we leave and drive south. Our stop for the night is at the free caravan parking in Vilafranca in the Penedès area south west of Barcelona. They make great cava and wine there and Vilafranca is a nice town. (41.339595, 1.690599)

The next morning we find a very good route along the coast, past Peñiscola into the Sierra d’Irta, where we stop at the Camping Ribamar directly in the National Park. The camping is very beautiful, the location fantastic: surounded by forest, close to the coast.

Camping Ribamar

We take a long walk along the coast from one beach to the next and are nearly alone. On the way back we accidently walk past our camping but finally we notice and turn around. We spend a relaxed evening at the camping.

Coast at the Sierra d’Irta

The next morning we enjoy our breakfast with freshly baked croissants which we had ordered and than reluctantly start to get ready for our last part of the journey before we arrive back home.

The trip ends with a car wash in our home town:


We drove from Vienna to Javea in 2 weeks, driving about 3000 km and avoiding highways with toll fee nearly completely. (We paid 30 Euros in France and 5 Euros around Barcelona).
In Italy we found the roads in quite bad condition, especially in the area between Verona and Milano, but nevertheless we enjoyed not using the highways as you see so much more and get a better impression of the country.

Although we had two weeks we felt rushed and had to make a certain distance every day. In summer we will start to live in our Cochecito and hopefully will have the time to explore more thoroughly and stay as long as we like. We can’t wait!

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