Vandellòs i L'Hospitalet de l'Infant
Vandellòs, in the inland but not too far from the sea, is only 270 m over the sea level. Despite this fact, we are talking about a typical mountain village which is suitable for hiking and leaning over the top to get wonderful views over the coast and the inland landscape. The old city centre consists on some narrow lanes built in the middle age and whose old name was la Vall de LLorer from which its name originates. No wonder, therefore, that its history tells us about the old times, battles and even prehistoric men who left traces of their existence in caves and grottos which have been awarded as human heritage by UNESCO.
L’Hospitalet and Vandellòs are both part of the same council which does not mean they are identical. Whereas l’Hospitalet de l’Infant is by the sea, a village kissed by the breeze and the sea waves, Vandellòs is the inland as if they were the two sides of the same coin. The coast in l’Hospitalet has unspoiled beaches where you can listen to the sound of the waves while breathing the air from the valley. Besides this they are thoroughly equipped with all the facilities. Last but not least, l’Hospitalet has been host land from ancient times. In fact, the name of the village originates in the medieval hospital which was built to host pilgrims and walkers.
This little village with only 83 inhabitants is one of the five localities which make the council of Vandellòs I l’Hospitalet de l’Infant. It is a typical Mediterranean inland village with low houses and narrow streets. It is an ideal spot to start different hiking, cycling or horse-riding routes. The most significant architectonical building is la torre de les hores, in the very centre of the village, from where the different paths depart.
Masriudoms, with just over 100 inhabitants is another locality in the council of Vandellòs i l’Hospitalet de l’Infant. You can find it as you get away from the coast and it’s almost a must to stop there and see its 13th century Romanic church with a bell tower which was, originally, a medieval defense tower and it is registered as a Cultural Heritage. You can also feel the timeless rural life in the public washing place in the Plaça de la Font.
12 km south from l’Hospitalet de l’Infant passed the Coll de Balaguer we find l’Almadrava, a little group of white houses at the seafront, where, just about 50 people live. As you can imagine, the village name originates in l’Almadrava , a traditional fishing tool for the tuna and other migrating fish. As we are in a fishermen land, the place recalls old fishing stories. L’Almadrava has one of the quietest sandy beaches in the Costa Daurada. It is 1600 m long and it has all the bathing facilities.
During the 50’s many little villages were abandoned due to migrations from rural areas. The Masia de Castelló is one of them but, paradoxically, and as opposite to what happened in other cases, it has been recovered little by little, thanks to its old neighbors and lovers. Nowadays, it is a village which comes back to life at certain moments of the year with activities such as the Rustic Festa and the Pessebre dels Estels.