Your fascinating Montserrat Tour departs from Pl Catalunya in the center of Barcelona. There is no hotel pick-up for this tour. You should make your way to the meeting point in Pl Catalunya, opposite the Tourist Office, in front of Banco de España & Deutsche Bank. Look out for the orange umbrellas.
You will board a comfortable air-conditioned coach and set off with your guide on the scenic drive to Montserrat. The journey from Barcelona to Montserrat takes about 50 minutes.
The picturesque route takes you along the Llobregat River to the foot of the spectacular Montserrat mountain. On the way, your guide will entertain you with tales, history and legends of the mountain, and the monastery and shrine you will see later in the afternoon.
Long before you reach Montserrat, you will see the jagged silhouette of the great mountain and understand how it got its name (‘serrat’ means ‘serrated’). This massive rock fortress is more than 1200m (4000 feet) high and dotted with paths, stairs, caves, chapels and hermitages. You will drive through the Natural Park and up to the Sanctuary 725m (2380 feet) above sea level. On a clear day you will see breath-taking panoramas of the Pyrenees.
When you arrive, you will enjoy a 1-hour tour of Montserrat, during which your guide will point out the main places of interest.
You will see the Benedictine monastery, nearly 1000 years old, perched half way up the mountain and sheltered by its peaks. You will also see the basilica with the Chapel of Our Lady of Montserrat. Known as La Moreneta, or the Black Virgin, she is the patron saint of Catalonia, and is a presence strongly felt and revered. The basilica is full of the most beautiful paintings, gold lamps and decorated chapels.
Silence must be maintained inside the basilica, so your guide will give you explanations outside and show you Our Lady’s Chapel with the 12th Century figure of Our Lady of Montserrat.
There is also a fascinating museum (charges apply) – with paintings by El Greco, Picasso and Dalí among many others – as well as treasures from ancient Egypt. You will also find an interesting audiovisual exhibition about Montserrat (charges apply).
You will learn that the monastery has a library with nearly 300,000 volumes. The community of monks also runs a boys' school devoted to the study of music, and this school has the oldest boys’ choir in Europe.
After the guided tour, you will have around 1 hour and 20 minutes to dedicate to the aspects of this beautiful and spiritual place that interest you most.
On the return to Barcelona, you will take a different route and your journey will be accompanied by recordings of a variety of traditional Catalan music. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back at the starting point in Pl Catalunya.