Vilella Baixa is the next village in the direction of Montsant after Gratallops.
A visit to this village (and its many “high-rises along the river”) will be well worth your while. In the road running parallel to the river you will find a supermarket (bread, canned goods, frozen foods and toiletries) and a tiny shop selling meat (lamb or chicken) as well as excellent home-made sausage and liver patés (flavoured with herbs, Roquefort blue cheese, garlic, etc.). You can also buy the vegetables and fruit grown by the village farmers there (not to mention the air-dried “Parma”-style cured ham!).
From Vilella Baixa you can either hike towards the Montsant or continue by car on a little round rip to Scala Dei and back to Torroja. This little round trip would include: Torroja, Gratallops, Vilella Baixa (oh, I nearly forgot: you can buy oil from the farmers’ own oil mills just about everywhere), Scala Dei, and Torroja.
The village inevitably boasts several winegrowers and two restaurants: Cal Pep and our favourite: simply tell owner and maitre d’ Artus that you are from Torroja and that Montserrat sent you. Meals can be had for under 10 Euros during the week and are so plentiful that you will need a siesta afterwards.
You can also go on a big round trip from Villela Baixa, i.e. behind the Montsant. In that case you will proceed from Vilella Baixa to Cabaces and on to Margalef, La Bisbal, Ulldemolins, Cornudella, Poboleda, Scala Dei, Torroja. It’s a good idea to leave early and take a lot of time. And you will be driving on endless and relentlessly winding roads, but the landscape of the “inner” Montsant is so fantastic that you won’t regret your decision!
On the way through the villages there is a lot to see and discover, and there are all sorts of hermits like those of San Salvador in Margalef (it is worth a day trip to go to the Hermite and hike up the Montsant from there, or to simply hang out in the dedicated picnic area and enjoy the landscape in all its endless splendour).
Margalef also offers fantastic rock overhangs, as well as a water reservoir. In La Bisbal they sell home-cured ham in the Ulldemolins village shop, and there is a beautiful church, a famous old organ, several hermitages along the Montsant river, and countless hiking possibilities.