Montblanc © Till F. Teenck
Visiting Montblanc can feel like indulging in time travel as the fortified medieval centre of the village is gloriously well preserved. The historic old quarter is best explored on foot and notable sights include the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, the Sant Miguel Church, the Sant Marcal Church, the Royal Palace, the Castla Palace, and much more, all dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The picturesque village celebrates its medieval heritage every year in April with a two-week festival filled with parades and fireworks, which commemorates the legend of Saint George killing the dragon. The locals believe this famous event occurred in their village and a plaque commemorates the legend at the St Jordi Gate.
Montblanc is inland from the port city of Tarragona and very close to the UNESCO-listed Poblet Monastery, which is one of the most famous attractions in the Costa Dorada. Poblet was once one of the most powerful monasteries in Spain and was founded in 1151 by the Cistercians. The kings of Aragon and Catalonia were buried here. Many of the beautiful monastic buildings at Poblet have now been restored and a visit is a must for holidaymakers in the region. Montblanc and Poblet are only about five miles (8km) apart and can be jointly explored on an excursion from the coastal resorts.