If you love to drive, you will love the Mont Caro road
Mont Caro is a mountain pass at an elevation of 1.447m (4,747ft) above the sea level, located in the the Ports de Tortosa-Beseit range, in Catalonia, Spain. The summit is heavily built and partly occupied by big buildings and huge antenna masts. The road to the summit is narrow and dangerous, especially in winters.
The surface of the road is paved and chains or snow tyres can be required in winters. There are two large antennas and a Virgin Mary shrine on top of the summit. It’s the highest summit in the Spanish province of Tarragona. Approaching Tortosa from the north along the C-12 turn right at the first roundabout into the town of Roquetes. Follow the indications for Els Ports Natural Park and Mont Caro. Stay on this road for the 20 or so kilometres that will take you to the summit of Mont Caro, the highest point of the Ports at an altitude of 1,447 metres.
The last kilometers of the road are very steep, with some 14-15% ramps. Make stops on the way up to admire the breathtaking views and to sample the birdlife of the different habitats. The range of species here is similar to that of the previous itinerary , with greater chances of finding Orphean and Sardinian Warbler in the olive groves at the foot of the mountain, and Rock Bunting in the more exposed, rocky areas higher up.
The road includes some steep sections, without market central lines, is very narrow, scarcely wide enough for two cars to pass at the same time and there are no protections or guard rails along some parts of the route. This is a long and difficult climb. It starts off on nice, wide, well-kept roads while we're fairly close to Tarragona, but the higher up in altitude we go, the worse the roads, until near the summit we have narrow, worn roads with no verge to keep the riders from the rocky roadside jutting into the edge of the tarmac. In its aesthetics, the climb is rather similar to Mont Faron, from the Tour Méditerranéen (and occasionally Paris-Nice), however while that climb is short and steep, this one is long and draining, but they both have similar stunning vistas of the coastline below.
The climb is simply terrible. It has a well-deserved reputation for being dangerous because of unpredictable snowstorms. Bear in mind the Mediterranean climate of the area: in summer time, the forest may be really hot and dry.
Starting from Tortosa, the ascent is 23.2 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.424 meters. The average percentage is 6.1 %. Along the way, the road is very steep, with sections up to 20% near Lo portet, a mountain pass. It has been climbed by the Volta a Catalunya bicycle race.
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