Complete Tour Description
Rising up from the low, rolling hills outside of Barcelona, Montserrat, meaning “serrated mountain” is aptly named. Leave the bustle of the city behind on this half-day tour and experience one of the most important and beautiful sites for nature lovers and history fans in all of Catalonia. It may come as a surprise that just one hour away from such a vibrant and frenetic city, this gorgeous site offers rugged nature, stunning mountain views, and an atmosphere of utter peace and calm.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
We make the most of our time on this tour by starting a little earlier than most other visitors. By departing from Barcelona at 8:00 AM we provide you with a precious advantage, avoiding the daily lines that form in front of the Benedictine monastery and the world-famous Black Madonna statue.
Take in the Beautiful Surroundings
Your transfer in a comfortable, air-conditioned bus will only last about one hour, during which time your guide will tell you all about the history of this fascinating site.
The natural setting in which the monastery is found is breathtaking; take in endless views, with the Mediterranean sea to the east and the Pyrenees mountains to the west, looming in the distance. You will have a brief orientation tour upon your arrival before your guide leads you to the Gothic Basilica, nestled between the towering rock spires and cliffs that gave Montserrat its name.
Discover the Black Madonna
No trip to Montserrat is complete with laying eyes on the famous Black Madonna, believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the late 12th Century. This Romanesque statue, entirely made of wood, is linked to a mysterious legend, according to which the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to build the monastery and were therefore forced to build around it, turning this remote religious outpost into an important pilgrimage site.
Free Time & Other Activities
During your free time, you can take an optional cable car ride high above the rugged landscape and otherworldly rock formations, or perhaps spend more time learning about the history of Montserrat at the interactive and immersive historical exhibition. If you are into art, there is even a museum of contemporary art; an unexpected home to masterpieces by artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Dalí.
Sample the Local Delicacies
Finally, save a bit of time to savor the local culinary specialties – from the herbal liqueurs and cheeses to cured meats and honey – all produced by local artisans from the surrounding countryside who set up stalls outside of the monastery to let visitors sample and purchase their wares. These handmade gastronomic delicacies are an authentic taste of regional Catalan cuisine which you should sample before heading back to the hustle and bustle of Barcelona!