Montserrat is a unique mountain range located near the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain.

A Complete Guide to Planning Your Montserrat Visit

The most famous and distinctive feature of Montserrat is the serrated rock formations that give the mountain its unique and surreal appearance. The name “Montserrat” is made of two words – ‘Mont’ and ‘Serrat’ – and it means “serrated mountain” in Catalan.

You can spot this saw blade-like shaped mountain on the way. The drive from Barcelona’s city center takes typically around 1 hour.

The key feature of the Montserrat mountain includes the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey built at the start of the 11th century. The Benedictine abbey is peculiarly nestled in the southeastern part of the mountain and can be reached by road from Monistrol de Montserrat or Collbató.

The monastery is a significant religious and cultural site and attracts millions of visitors every year. It houses the famous wooden carving of the Black Madonna (La Moreneta), Catalonia’s patron saint. The Black Madonna is located in the Basilica. Pilgrims and other visitors from around the world have to buy an entry ticket to be able to reach her throne and ask for blessings.

Must-See Attractions on Your Montserrat Visit

Apart from the Abbey’s religious significance, the Montserrat mountain is renowned for its natural beauty. The peculiar rock formations, with vertical and needle-like peaks, deep gorges, and thick oak and boxwood forests make it a popular destination for hikers, climbers, and nature enthusiasts. Let us give you a handful of ideas how to spend a day in Montserrat.

The main hiking trails are signposted and fairly easy to follow but due to the rock climbing popularity some trails deviate to vertical walls or drops. Some trails require an advanced fitness level and occasionally rock scrambling. Most of the mountain has a good cell phone reception but having a paper map is a good idea.

Most of the trails and paths allow visitors to explore the natural area with some wildlife (Ibex, wild boar, squirrels, hawk amongst others) and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape of Catalonia. Some people claim that the best views are always from the mountaintop. In this case, you can reach Sant Jeroni’s 1236 m summit in less than 2 hours starting from the Abbey.

Another activity that frequently takes place at the Abbey is the performance of one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe, associated with the Montserrat Abbey. The Escolania performs daily (except Saturdays and festive days) at the basilica, adding a musical element to the spiritual and cultural experience of visiting Montserrat.

For anyone looking to skip the uphill/downhill parts of the hiking experience in Montserrat the Sant Joan Funicular and Santa Cova Funicular offer an easy way to reach different parts of the mountain. The Sant Joan Funicular takes visitors to the summit for stunning views, while the Santa Cova Funicular descends to a chapel in a picturesque spot known as Santa Cova. Some legends point out that the very first Black Madonna was found in a cave near Santa Cova.

The Montserrat Art Museum displays a rich collection of Catalan art spanning from the early Middle Ages to the 20th century. The museum provides insight into the region’s artistic and cultural history as well as some archeological findings from the biggest caves near Collbató. You can also visit the audiovisual exhibition at the bookshop that includes a short film underlining the pivotal episodes in the Abbey’s history as well as a walkthrough exhibition to add some detailed information to all aspects of life in Montserrat.

Traveling to Montserrat by Train

Montserrat is easily accessible from Barcelona by train (R5 line) from Plaça Espanya linking with a cogwheel train ‘Cremallera’ to the Abbey. Many visitors choose to make a half-day trip to explore the mountain, the monastery, and the surrounding natural beauty. Whether for religious pilgrimage, outdoor activities, or cultural exploration, Montserrat offers a diverse range of experiences on how to spend a day outside of city.

The farmer’s market at the Abbey provides a great place to connect with local people and try some delicious products. The must-try will include various cured cheeses and kinds of honey produced locally around the mountain. The farmers will happily provide yummy samples of all products on offer. Take advantage and return from Montserrat with an edible treat.

montserrat private tour for families with custom-made itinerary

Montserrat Private Tour For Families With Hotel Pick-Up

7 - 9 hours
Availability : All year round
Min Age : 7+
Max People : Private
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Hiking the Montserrat mountain with a certified guide

Small Group Montserrat Hiking Tour and Monastery Visit

7 hours
Availability : All year round
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 8 pax
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