The Benedictine Monastery is almost 1000 years old and is host to around 70 monks. The Monastery is also home to The Virgin of Montserrat. People refer to her by a few different names including ‘’La Moreneta’’, the Black Madonna and Our Lady of Montserrat.
There is a fascinating story of intrigue in which the monks who lived at the Monastery hid the black Madonna. They hid it from the Napoleonic troops who were coming to destroy the monastery and everything within. The soldiers proceeded to steal many of the treasures of Montserrat and burned the library too. The old Roman texts within were destroyed, but thanks to the bravery of the monks, the Black Madonna was saved.
When you get to the top of Montserrat (after your hike or with the cable ride), you can visit the market stalls. The pleasant stalls decorate the side of the road on the way to the Basilica. There is an abundance of homemade goods such as cheese, honey, and the special Catalan drink ratafia. The people running the stalls are always amiable and will often let you try before you buy.
Montserrat is also home to a museum that contains some of Catalonia's most important art collections. Get your Museum of Montserrat tickets to see works of art by Picasso and Dali. There are also important works by artists from outside of Spain for you to enjoy such as Caravaggio and Monet.
The mountain range is very popular within the extreme sports community! Unless the weather is terrible, you will likely encounter a group enjoying the challenge of scaling the various cliffs!
The Basilica is open every day from 7.30 am to 8 pm. A Montserrat guided tour will ensure you see the best of the Basilica and the surrounding community.
The easiest option is to hop the train from Plaça Espanya (you can’t get it from Plaça Catalunya). Driving to the mountain is an option, but you will likely face heavy traffic jams. There is also very little parking at the top. Taking a Montserrat tour ensures you won’t get lost along the way.
A Montserrat day trip is perfect to get to know an important part of Catalonia better. Montserrat is significant mainly to the Catalan people who view it as a focal point of Catalonia. It is also home to the Catalan Patron Saint, the Black Madonna, something you will be sure to learn about on your Montserrat tour.
If you want to get to the top of Montserrat, you will have to buy a few tickets unless you want to spend a lot of time walking. First, you need a ticket from Barcelona, Plaça Espanya to Monistrol de Montserrat (the closest train station to the mountain). Next, you have the choice of walking to the Monastery or taking the rack railway instead. You can then take another to the top, but you will either have to buy a separate ticket or follow the path for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
The final path, in particular, is quite grueling and not everyone can manage it. It is especially difficult after you’ve already hiked from the base of the mountain! Unless you’re in excellent shape, a ticket to the top is the best option for you! You can buy specific Montserrat tickets/ combined tickets from the Ferrocarril. If you plan ahead of time, you can save some money instead of buying one ticket for each step of the journey!
The peak of Montserrat isn’t huge, and you can easily explore it in its entirety in one day (including the hike from the base). Whether or not you need a guide depends on what you’re looking for from your trip. If you want to take part in sports and climb one of the many cliffs or rock faces, for example, a Montserrat tour isn’t really necessary.
However, if you want to learn about the fascinating history of this mountain range, then a guide can really enhance your experience. Enjoy the views and architecture while learning all about the wonderous, sometimes tragic history of Montserrat.
There are a few routes you can take to hike Montserrat, but the sheer size of the mountain range means none of them are particularly easy. It is inadvisable to attempt to walk to the summit if you haven’t done any training for a while!
On a Montserrat day trip from Barcelona, you must wear comfy shoes and appropriate clothes! The mountain range is extremely warm in summer and is challenging to hike if you are not dressed appropriately. Equally, it is freezing cold in winter. You don’t want to find yourself on top of the mountain in November in a light jacket! What are you waiting for? Buy your Montserrat tickets today!