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Monastery of Montserrat

Last updated: 06 February, 2024

Montserrat, the ‘sawn mountain’, is a jagged massif rising from the plain, 40km outside Barcelona, and famous for being the spot where St Peter allegedly hid a black statue of the Virgin, carved by St Luke, in a cave. The Virgin is now enshrined in a honey-coloured Benedictine monastery, set against undulating rock said to have inspired Gaudi – the setting, now a national park, is so extraordinary that it’s a famous honeymoon spot for Spaniards.

Funiculars ascend to the Santa Cova trail, Sant Joan trail, and (most spectacular) Sant Jeroni trail at the summit. Or join the pilgrims in hiking up – it takes three hours if you’re fit, four if not.

Logistics

Price from: £5
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Take the FGC train to Monserrat from Plaça Espanya. Otherwise, it’s about an hour by taxi from the centre of Barcelona. There’s a self-service restaurant up at the monastery (but don’t expect haute cuisine), plus market stalls and picnic tables on the Mirador dels Apostols. It’s cool at the summit, so wear layers and wear sturdy shoes for the trails, and bring water and binoculars. Montserrat is most magical early morning before the crowds appear; book a room at the Hotel Abat Cisneros to get in first.

When to do it

The basilica is open all year round. Try to be there for 1pm (noon on Sundays) or 7pm, when the choirboys of the 13th-century Escolanía (the oldest music school in Europe) perform songs of worship. In July, the choir is on holiday. Avoid rainy, overcast days which wipe out the views.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Montserrat Half-Day Tour with Tapas and Gourmet Wines

  • Barcelona

Enjoy a relaxing, scenic getaway from bustling Barcelona on this small-group tour to Montserrat, a beautiful nearby mountain. Here, visit the Montserrat Monastery and a boutique winery. Tour the gorgeous vineyards and head to the wine cellar to learn about wine production and taste three exquisite wines and a local tapas lunch.

Price €80

Min age 1

Rating 4.87 / 5 [3728 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Montserrat Tour with Gourmet Wine Tasting and Lunch

  • Barcelona

Enjoy this 10-hours intimate experience. Set out from Barcelona to discover the Natural Park of Montserrat, one of the most important landmarks of the region. Enjoy the famous Spanish cuisine and visit a boutique winery, where you will enjoy château wine!

Price €100

Min age 0

Rating 4.85 / 5 [3194 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Montserrat with Cogwheel Train,Gourmet Wine Tasting & Tapas/Lunch

  • Barcelona

If you really want to get to know Barcelona and Catalonia, visiting Montserrat is a must-do. This day tour combines a visit to this magical site with a wonderful food and wine experience. Riding a cogwheel train to the top of Montserrat mountain while admiring its spectacular views, discovering a boutique winery, and tasting top-quality wines and gastronomy will be some of the highlights of your trip.

Price €90

Min age 0

Rating 4.86 / 5 [2090 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Montserrat Monastery Small Group or Private Tour Hotel pick-up

  • Barcelona

Ensured small group tour of maximum 8 pax. Round-trip hotel pick-up & drop-off included. Make a pilgrimage to the mystical mountaintop retreat of Montserrat in this 5-hour excursion from Barcelona with a very small group. With a comfortable pick up your guide will lead you on an exploration of this nearly 1,000-year old Benedictine Monastery set high above Catalonia. - Half-day trip to the mystical mountaintop monastery of Montserrat with a small group from Barcelona - Enjoy astonishing views of the natural park - Great way to explore the region near Barcelona

Price €94

Min age 0

Rating 4.75 / 5 [1992 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Montserrat Monastery Half Day Experience from Barcelona

  • Barcelona

Discover the wonders of the famous mountain Montserrat, a national Park and place of pilgrimage from millions of people around the world. Join your tour guide in an air-conditioned private vehicle in Barcelona for a drive up the mountain of Montserrat, named after its peculiar aspect with multitude of rock formations, it literally means saw mountain. Enjoy the view and hear about Montserrat’s Basilica and Monastery, home of la Moreneta (Black Madonna). We offer an early access to visit Montserrat Monastery before the crowds arrive. Once we arrive, you will enjoy a guided tour (45 minutes), where we will discover what is Montserrat and its the secrets, enter the basilica and touch the famous Black Madonna. After that, during your free time (2-hour), visit the farmer’s market, go to an easy walk to the Saint Miguel cross to enjoy a breathtaking view of Montserrat, take the Sant Joan Funicular, and much more. The tour concludes with a trip back to the meeting point in Barcelona.

Price €65

Min age 0

Rating 4.91 / 5 [1908 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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