Excursion to Montserrat: everything you need to know

To talk about Catalonia is to talk about Montserrat, one of the places with more character of the whole community. Both for its natural beauty and its history, an excursion to Montserrat is one of the most interesting proposals to do, whether you are from Catalonia or if you are visiting. An excursion to Montserrat is an interesting proposal that you can do in one day. It is more than enough to admire all that this corner offers us, although you can extend your stay with some accommodations that you have at your disposal.

Excursion to Montserrat: How to plan it?

Indeed, with just one day you can get to know Montserrat well, dominated by a mountain with very characteristic cliffs and stone needles shaped by the wind over millions of years. To get to Montserrat you can do it by car from Monistrol de Montserrat, leaving the car in a parking lot. There is also an option from the same village, and it is very interesting if you are traveling with children. It is a rack railway, a means that transports us to the monastery itself, but also to the past.

For the more intrepid, there are several well planned walking routes from Monistrol de Montserrat, so you can get to know the natural landscapes before reaching the monastery. If the weather forecast is good, the walking route will make you appreciate the magnificence of this place, a magical environment and full of symbolism in Catalonia.
The rock pillars of Montserrat are home to a Benedictine monastery as well as hiking trails. (photo: Cameron Hewitt)

Hiking in Montserrat

Another option once you have arrived at the monastery by car or rack railway, is to take a hiking route through the mountain. If you go early it is a great idea to do the Creu de Sant Miquel, which is not complex and allows you to admire from there one of the most spectacular views of the area. Likewise, a 30-minute walk will be enough to reach the Santa Cova, a place where in 880 the image of the virgin was found by some shepherd children. The feast of the Virgin of Montserrat is on April 27 and is one of the 9 patron saints of communities in Spain.

Another idea for hiking on an excursion to Montserrat is the route of the path of the Degollados. It does not reach 4 kilometers round trip, it is simple and takes you to contemplate views that are not to be missed. If the day is clear and you look in the right direction, you can see the Pyrenean mountains.
Perhaps the hiking route that takes the cake is the ascent to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak of the mountain of Montserrat, which exceeds 1200 meters. A route that requires a little more time, because it is 15 kilometers, but has the advantage of being circular. You can leave early and be back for lunch and, on the way, let yourself be carried away by the views and the observation of animals such as wild goats, eagles and wild boar.

Art in Montserrat: basilica, monastery and museum

The abbey is a feast for the eyes and welcomes visitors from the Plaza de Santa Maria, the gateway to the monastery, the basilica and the museum of Montserrat. The arches of the square are just a foretaste of what you will see later. The basilica is breathtaking, and in it is the figure of the virgin, the Moreneta. The basilica overwhelms by the richness of its interior and the silence that is breathed.

The monastery belongs to the Benedictine order and has a construction in which Catalan Gothic reigns. Be attentive to listen to the choir, one of the oldest in Europe, which can be seen mornings and afternoons, and on Sundays at religious services in the basilica.
The museum of Montserrat is open on weekends and houses a collection of more than a thousand pieces of art, including works by Dalí, Picasso and El Greco. An excursion to Montserrat not only provides a unique view of an incredible natural landscape, but also brings us into contact with culture.

Eating in Montserrat

It is obvious that a trip to Montserrat has to be completed with a meal or a snack. You have some restaurants and bars that offer varied menus, in which the proposals of the Catalan gastronomy of the area predominate. But there are also more diverse proposals inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. If you are going on an excursion to Montserrat, it is best to make a reservation to guarantee a table.

You can also eat in any of the villages in the area, such as Monistrol de Montserrat, El Bruc or Collbató. You should not worry, because the experience of eating in these places is always satisfactory.

An excursion to Montserrat is an excellent plan to spend the day, admire art and be in contact with nature. For tradition, culture and history, Montserrat is one of the places where it is possible to spend a unique day with family and friends. To know Montserrat is to begin to love it, so an excursion is always the best starting point.