The proximity to the sea and the mountains, one of the main characteristics of this destination, allows holidaymakers to visit and discover the charming coastal villages and also the natural yet close rural environment, which contrasts with the coastal zone.
In L’Hospitalet de l’Infant and La Vall de Llors, you’ll find the Mediterranean mountains of Tivissa-Vandellòs, which form a group of ranges of the neighbouring massif. The space is split into two landform units: the mountains of Tivissa (to the west and more inland) and those of Vandellòs (to the east and more coastal). These chains were formed in a shallow and warm Jurassic sea (more than 200 million years ago). This explains the presence of mollusc and crustacean fossils, such as ammonites and belemnites, among others. The rocks are made of limestone and dolomite and dissolve with rainwater forming karstic reliefs, where there are abysses, caves, grottos, pierced rocks, mounds and subsidence areas. The stratification of these mountains and the intercalation of more clayey levels favours the presence of water outlets (springs and marshes), natural reservoirs (hollows), table-top rocks, ravines, landslide areas, small plains and small gates.
Precisely because of its closeness to the Mediterranean Sea and its heights of up to 727 meters (Molló Puntaire), this is a territory with a variety of impressive ecosystems and landscapes. In addition, it’s a protected natural space that allows us to enjoy the steep valleys and mountains, suitable for climbing.
This is also an area of indigenous flora and fauna, which make one of its main singularities, because it preserves a good representation of the typical Mediterranean seaside mountain fauna and highlights ubiquitous species. The most representative wildlife associated with these communities is formed by species such as forest mice, wild boars, wood pigeons, robins, hawks and tawny owls. Frequent species also include rabbits, who serve as basic food for the numerous population of eagles, such as golden, booted, short-toed and Bonelli’s eagle (in danger of extinction).
Grottos, or caves, are inhabited by bats, such as greater mouse-eared, greater horseshoe or Schreibers bat, all three protected. The most typical reptiles are snakes, such as Coronella girondica, ladder snake, Montpellier snake and viper. There are honey bees, since there are beekeepers, who place their hives hereabout. You can also find here scorpions, scarabs (some of them are protected) and, in case of good luck, Abida secale snails, very rare in Catalonia.
The forest of La Vall de Llors is a patchwork of small green oak glades and larger extensions of pine forests, with an undergrowth of all kinds of shrubs, perfectly adapted to a dry and sunny territory where to capitalise on the very last drop of water. L’Hosptalet de l’Infant and La Vall de Llors house some exceptional flora that bursts every spring for all those who approach it to watch it. The fields are filled with colours of rosemary, heather, thyme, honeysuckle, poppy, orchid, cistus and dog rose. A comprehensive and varied list that makes this area a unique space for both botanists and hikers who enjoy the discovery of nature in a quiet and relaxed way. The vegetation is above all brushwood typical of the warm Mediterranean zones and some white pine boskets. There are plenty of indigenous orchids in wetter places, such as the Catalan orchid and the Cephalanthera. The area is full of dwarf palms. Many of the local mountain itineraries belong to the protected area surveiled by the Natura 2000 Tivissa-Vandellòs-Llaberia network and by the Muntanyes de Tivissa-Vandellòs Natural Areas Plan (PEIN).