Climb the sacred mountain of Montserrat and visit the incredible hilltop monastery on a private tour with transportation
Take a journey to the spectacular heart of Catalonia on a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat. Home to an extraordinary medieval monastery cut into the side of a spectacular, jagged mountain overlooking the city, Montserrat holds a special place in the hearts of Barcelona natives for good reason. Join our expert guide and private driver to visit the mountaintop monastery in total comfort, meeting the revered icon of La Moreneta (Catalonia’s most precious religious image) and strolling through the abbey that has been in continuous operation for nearly 1,000 years. The views from up here are unforgettable, so don't forget your camera! Finish your day with an optional tour of the Penedès wine region, where we’ll get the chance to taste the world’s finest Cava in wineries that have been producing Catalonia’s answer to champagne for generations.
Nothing conjures up the spirit of Catalonia quite like the spectacular sight of the hilltop monastery of Montserrat, nestled in the mountains north of Barcelona. A fabulous landscape of rocky crags and limestone outcrops wreathed in verdant Mediterranean vegetation, Montserrat means ‘serrated mountain’ in Catalan, and as you make your way up the picturesque peak with its distinctive saw-like formations on our tour you’ll see why!
The Benedictine monastery itself appears as if carved from the living rock of the mountainside, founded way back in 1025 to commemorate an apparition of the Virgin Mary accompanied by the strains of holy music to local shepherds as they tended to their flocks on the isolated mountainside. On our Montserrat tour you’ll learn all about this miraculous vision that inspired a monastic community to make their home here, and how the monks are still here a millennium later. We’ll get the chance to explore the grounds of the monastery on our tour, admiring the majestic architecture that spans Renaissance-era cloisters and an elaborate 19th-century facade.
Our Montserrat tour is the most convenient way to visit Catalonia’s Sacred mountain. A chauffeur and private car will pick you up at your hotel in the city in the morning, whisking you and your expert private guide off to Montserrat in total comfort. You’ll have our private car and driver at your disposal for the duration of your time with us, meaning that you won’t have to worry about transportation or any practical details and can focus on enjoying your tour.
Soaring an imposing 1,236 metres into the sky, the views from the upper reaches of Montserrat are truly spectacular: on a clear day the entire, vast sweep of the Catalonia countryside is visible from here, with breathtaking panoramas sweeping all the way to the distant island of Mallorca glittering in the Mediterranean sea. As we make our way through Montserrat’s rocky terrain your guide will give you the lowdown on the so-called ‘Magic Mountain,’ and why Montserrat holds such a special place in Catalan identity.
The Monestir de Montserrat has for centuries been one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage destinations; on our tour of Montserrat we’ll be heading inside the glittering basilica to meet La Moreneta (literally the Little Brown One), a wooden sculpture of the Madonna and child that is one of Spain’s most revered sacred images and a very example of a 'black Madonna'. Tradition recounts that the sculpture dates from the earliest days of Christianity and was carved in Jerusalem, although modern scholarship dates La Moreneta from some time in the Middle Ages. This fabulous example of medieval craftsmanship has become an icon of the entire region, and the Virgin of Montserrat is venerated as the patron saint of Catalonia.
Montserrat is a renowned centre of sacred music, and on our tour you might be lucky enough to hear the monastery’s choir singing the Salve Regina and Virolai - the traditional anthem of Montserrat; visiting the monastery accompanied by the harmonious strains of the choir, it’s easy to understand why this place is venerated as one of Catalonia’s most holy places.
On our tour of the monastery of Montserrat we’ll also be taking a visit to the complex’s museum, home to a surprisingly impressive collection of modern art and Catalan works. Encounter masterpieces by Miró, Dalí, Picasso, Chagall and many others, as well as works from the brushes of early modern masters like Caravaggio and Tiepolo.
If you’d like to extend your time with us into a full day tour, then we’d be delighted to arrange for a tour of the Penedes wine producing region after lunch. The world-renowned Penedes region is the most important area for the production of Cava on earth, with more than 300 vineyards in operation across the zone.
We’ll travel deep into the countryside of this spectacular region, visiting a number of different wineries producing top-class cava, from traditional family-run ventures where methods have remained unchanged for generations to state-of-the-art modern wineries adopting cutting-edge technology. Our team will be happy to craft the perfect Cava wine tour in Penedes to suit your interests! Get in touch with us today to find out more.