This is a thousand year old city, where you have to pay money to enter and…


El Fonol, a village located on a private property in the province of Tarragona, is an acclaimed destination for naturalism.

Panoramica de l’Fonol.Photos: Fennel

In the interior of Tarragona, isolated among gentle hills and surrounded by lush forests, is El Fonol, an ancestral town whose origins date back to the 10th and 12th centuries as it is today An acclaimed destination in Spain for lovers of naturalism, After two years complicated by the pandemic, the tiny villa, set on a 200-hectare private property in the municipality of Passanant, is back to normal and welcoming tourists. “Finally we are one hundred percent open and people from France and Holland have already started coming,” says the owner of the complex, Naria Espinal.

In the late 90s, she and her husband Emilie Vives bought land in the region in the center of Catalonia, which included the city. The seven stone buildings that made it up (as well as a thousand-year-old church in good condition) were completely demolished, but he and his five children, who have always practiced nudity, did it little by little. Decided to rehabilitate and turn it into one. Naturalist destinations that are obviously of interest, as it is not the location of the route and is also not easy to reach. According to Naria, from the very first moment it aroused great curiosity, and at present, besides him, another 30 people live there throughout the year.

From June to October this place tends to congregate more (they can hold up to 100 people), which has about 12 rental apartments (between 40 and 67 euros/night) in addition to hostels (from 11 euros/day). With a site and camping area for 30 people, where you can camp in a tent (from 6 EUR/day) or in a caravan (from 11 EUR/day). Anyone can visit El Fonol, but for It is mandatory to meet certain requirements: first, pay admission (from 4 euros to 7.50 euros for the day if you are going to spend the night or 51 euros of annual bonus) and second, coexist in full nude From the moment you enter till you leave the city. “We open all year round. It’s a normal city, but it has some natural rules that you have to follow,” says Naria.

In addition to nudity (any piece of clothing or clothing that is accepted in extreme times to protect oneself from the sun, but not a swimsuit or underwear), there are other established rules: respecting the political, social, and religious beliefs and ideologies of others. ; You can smoke only in private places (rooms, shops, caravans…); No photos may be taken without the permission of the management or without respect to the environment, fauna and flora.

Sustainable life and activities

Those traveling to El Fonol will find an ecological and sustainable city, where chickens, goats and donkeys roam freely. Electric wires don’t reach them, so light and everything connected to it gets through solar panels, Water is sourced from a natural source, which fills the pool, ideal for summer bathing, and irrigates the many orchards and fruit trees (almonds, walnuts, pistachios…) planted on the premises. . Mobile coverage is minimal, you have to go out of town to get it, and there’s also no Wi-Fi (available only in a small area in the city center and on demand for up to five minutes). Yes there is a pay phone. A wide range of fresh and packaged goods, including locally produced wines and artisan foods, are available at the store, but the store is opened upon request.

picnic area
picnic area

El Fonol is ideal for those who want a vacation and a quiet life in connection with nature. But if you need more than just reading, gardening or sunbathing at the pond, There are also lots of activities to doAlways naked, of course. These include eating a vegetarian buffet in the restaurant (open from July), barbecuing in the picnic area, practicing archery, table tennis, volleyball, football or badminton with equipment available for use, relaxing in the solar sauna or with a massage, clay take is included. Bath, yoga classes, read in the library… Also, Community vegetable paella is made every SundayOver a firewood fire, El Fonol has an institution that anyone who wishes can join (10 euros/person) and help with cooking from 1 pm.

El Fonol also has a wonderful natural environment Perfect for touring. The farm has about 20 km of tracks (not marked) Amidst the forests and valleys which are worth seeing. Free guided tours are held almost every day and last about an hour (in summer they usually start at 7 p.m.). More information here.

For those who want to know a little more about the region, simply put on your clothes again, take a car and visit the beautiful and historic neighboring towns, such as GuimayA beautiful medieval walled village just 7 kilometers northwest of El Fonol, Valfogona Spa, Built around the Corbe River with sources of mineral-medicinal water in the 19th century, forceon a hilltop that is crowned by a castle and a view with panoramic views of the Conca de Barber, or valbona de les monges and its great monastic complex, a female Cistercian monastery, was founded in the 12th century.

place: Cam el Fonol, Phonol, Tarragona; Phone: 977 266 003.

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