The history lesson:
One hundred and forty hundred million years ago, the Montsec mountain range formed part of a marine basin open to the Atlantic ocean.
In the mid-Higher Cretaceous period (-80 million years), when dinosaurs populated the area, the first movements began that raised the mountains that we today know as the Pyrenees. For 60 million years the rocks pushed and raised the diverse shapes that are forefathers of todays landscape.
In the last million years, during the four great glaciations, the forces of nature combined to deform and raise these marine sediments and to give this area its present form. The Noguera Pallaresa and Noguera Ribagorça rivers appeared, carving their way through the raised range forming spectacular gorges.
With its highest point, Sant Alis, at 1,676 metres above sea level, Montsec provides living evidence of how the passage of time and almost every step in the regions history is recorded in its physical geography.
You can find fossil remains that explain how today’s land was a sea 140 million years ago, which types of plants grew there 121 million years ago, and that the area was inhabited by immense dinosaurs which suddenly disappeared 65 million years ago, and so on and so on though the successive ages of the earth.
The Serra del Montsec is a limestone mountain system that is more than 40 km long and covers a total area of 18,696 hectares, spreading across the districts of La Noguera and El Pallars Jussà.
The rivers of La Noguera Pallaresa and Ribagorçana have left their mark on the landscape in the form of the spectacular gorges of Mont Rebei and Terradets, which now divide the range into three separate parts. From west to east, these are: Montsec d’Estall, and Montsec d’Ares and Montsec de Rúbies.
Situated directly to the north of the town of Àger, Montsec D’Ares is the launch site that gives us access to our aerial playground. The gentle north-facing slope of Montsec d’Ares, in the district of El Pallars Jussà, guards an important medieval architectural heritage, which includes historic remains at Sant Esteve de la Sarga, Alsamora, Castell de Mur and Guàrdia de Noguera.
The clear, unpolluted quality of the skies of Montsec has recently prompted the establishment of the Parc Astronòmic Montsec (Astronomical Observatory), near Àger. This facility offers visitors the chance to discover more about the sky, stars, nature and the history of Montsec.
Located at the easternmost extreme of the mountain system is the village of Vilanove de Meiá, at the foot of Montsec De Rúbies, a turnpoint in one of our classic flights crossing the impressive Terradets gorge.
The south-facing side of Montsec de Rúbies is a zone containing important palaeontological remains, which include sites at the Meià quarry and at Cabroa. This very rocky area is also ideal for climbing and potholing.
On the cooler and drier north-facing side, the predominant vegetation is scrub, which hosts a wide range of Mediterranean aromatic plants. Areas such as the Barcedana valley and Llimiana are areas of outstanding natural beauty located on the north-facing side of Montsec de Rúbies.
What does all this mean?
Basically, it means that the Vall d’Àger and the surrounding area was designed for paragliding and adventure sports!
We have the perfect combination of long rocky ridges, turquoise lakes, deep river gorges and flatland playgrounds, with the Pyrenees just behind, right here on the doorstep.