Scrolling through Instagram inspires me to go places. In fact I use Instagram to look for inspiration for new places to travel to. Thanks to the platform, Jose and I have discovered so many lesser known and hidden gems in Spain and Europe.La Muralla China de Finestres which is also known as The “Chinese Wall” of Finestres was one such discovery. After our visit here last summer we strongly feel that Finestras Wall of China is one of the most beautiful natural formations in Spain.
Things to know before going to the “Chinese wall”of Finestres
- It can be done by car or by following a hiking route. If you are going there by car, then a 4×4 is recommended.
- While traveling by road, do not follow Google Maps for the route. Instead follow the sign boards to reach Finestres.
- Check the weather in advance, and if its going to rain or snow, then better cancel the trip. A nice sunny day would do perfect justice to this beautiful region and landscape.
- Since Finestres is an abandoned village, expect zero cafes and water stations. Carry enough water to last you through your hike.
- There are two hermitages in this area namely San Marcos and San Vicente. If you have the time and energy, we recommend you visit both. However just to let you know, the hike up to San Marcos hermitage is only 5 minutes and is quite easy to do. The route to ruins of the hermitage of San Viçenç is more steep and time consuming.
- Since the path is mostly rocky and muddy, its best to wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Hiking Poles come handy if you are planning to do a long hike
- If you are traveling to Chinese Wall of Finestres with a baby, then we recommend you use the Baby Carrier and ditch the stroller. We always use our trusty KOLKOL LEELA
- Carry a nice big hat to protect yourself from the harsh UV rays
- Plan to go there early in the morning so that you can get pictures with less or no people in the background.
- If you are looking for a more picturesque way to explore the Chinese Wall of Spain, then book a kayak expedition organized by one of the several local active tourism operators.
- Roques de la Vila is the name as this geological formation was always known, it is currently better known as the “Chinese wall” of Finestres.
How to get to the “Chinese Wall” of Finestres?
- You can plan a trip to the Chinese Wall of Finestres (La Muralla China de Finestres) either by Road or by Kayak. While we chose the former option, we personally feel the Kayak route would be more picturesque and adventourous.
- You can choose to do a guided Kayak excursion .The activity is suitable for both adults and children, the only requirement is to know how to swim.It is a full day activity and the route has a length of 12 km between and its duration is approximately 4hours. The difficulty of the activity is low – medium.
The approximate price for the Kayak excursion package is 45€ and is inclusive of
- The guide
- The kayak and the oars
- The life jacket and the helmet
- A hermetic bag (for mobile, wallet…)
- An Anorak (depending on the weather)
What you are expected to bring for the Kayak Excursion?
- 2litres of water and food
- Required Solar protection
- Comfortable clothes (swimsuit is optional)
If you want to book your Kayak Excursion, then you can do it HERE
Our Road Trip to La Muralla China de Finestres
We were staying at Benabarre, a quaint little town that is well known for its cheese and artisinal chocolates. The distance from Benabarre to Finestres village is approximately 23 kilometers and the GPS said that it would take about 52 minutes to reach the destination. We took almost double the time to reach as the road conditions were very poor . We had rented a SUV and it was pretty tough to make our way through the muddy and unpaved roads. A 4×4 vehicle is essential to make the travel more pleasurable and easy. After losing our way twice we finally made it to the beautiful abandoned village Finestres. We were totally impressed with what we saw. A village devoid of any permanent inhabitants for over half a century. We parked our car outside the only house in the village and set off to explore the natural beauty of Finestres.
Trekking to the “Chinese Wall” of Finestres via Sant Marc Hermitage
During our hike, we can across ruins of what once was a thriving community. We made our way to the hermita ge of Sant Marc in about five minutes and what we treated our eyes with was spectacular. Beautiful and impressive views created by nature. A stunning turquoise blue canal with a natural bridge formation – a pair of parallel vertical strata of limestone ridges rising to a great height. It is the best spot to click those insta worthy photos.
We spent some time there before and i also made ended up taking shelter at the beautiful chapel to feed my hungry baby. The chapel was small and minimalistic but it was beautiful. To me it echoed so much warmth, love and positivity. We spent a few minutes in prayer before making our way back to the village. As we did not come prepared for the long hike, we took leave. But if you are high on adrenaline then surely do the hike upto Saint Vincent. It does not require any technical expertise. Undesignated trail is the only downside of this hike.
Trekking to Saint Vincent (Sant Vicenç de Finestres)
Return to the town and follow another sign that indicates the hermitage of Sant Vicenç.The road begins with a steep descent to the Barranc de Sabinós until you find crossroads that take you to the remains of the castle of Finestres, where the ruins of the hermitage of San Viçenç are located perched on the spectacular rock formation.If you are okay with climbing over rocks, then we urge you to make your way upto the beautiful church of Saint Vincent (Sant Vicenç de Finestres) . The XI Century Romanesque church was built right in the space between the two walls of rock. crowns the highest point at the center of the wall.