A mere 50 kms ahead of the hustle bustle of Barcelona lies calmness and serenity imbibed into the soul of the mountain range of Montserrat. This breathtakingly beautiful location derives its name from its physical characteristic of spikey peaks, which translates to ‘saw mountain’.
The Montserrat guided tours help you figure out your itinerary at this center of Catalan culture with its numerous points of location that await exploring. Montserrat is known for its religious significance with Montserrat Monastery as the symbol but it is also complemented by many more experiences such as the astounding views of the range, the Abbey, the boys’ choir, Escalonia, and the Montserrat Natural Park, for the ones with a little bit of adventure on their mind, and much more.
Need a quick download on the magical mountain range of Montserrat and the top attractions? Read on and choose a guided tour best suited for you!
Advantages of a Montserrat Guided Tour
Round-trip transfer benefits
Experience hassle free round-trip transfer from Barcelona to Montserrat and back or round-trip train tickets (in some cases). 50 kms of distance comes with a lot of pre-planning when you have to arrange your own travel and hassle often takes away from the joy of the experience. So leave that completely on us and just enjoy the journey!
Discover intriguing facts and anecdotes with an expert guide
Did you know that the boys’ choir, Escolania, which serves the sanctuary and abbey of Montserrat is one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe? Did you know that an ancient legend suggests that angels from up above descended upon earth to serrate the mountain to create a throne for Virgin Mary? Deep dive into fascinating facts and anecdotes like this which are laid out through the place, with the company of an expert guide in our Montserrat guided tours.
Wine and dine with authentic local delicacies
Pair your magnificent views of the Catalan countryside with authentic local wine and tapas. Sounds like the perfect pairing! Indulge your taste buds in new flavors while sampling local treats such coca de Montserrat and Montserrat liquor. Montserrat also houses Oller del Mas château, where you can explore the vineyards, take a look at the wine cellar and of course, experience an expert-led wine-tasting.
Discover lesser known but more scenic routes on the hike
Reconnect with nature, serenity and tranquility while hiking up the gorgeous Catalan serrated mountain through Montserrat Natural Park. Adding on to your hiking experience, our guided tours will lead you through lesser known hiking routes but ones which are strikingly more scenic. Take the road less traveled by and witness thought-invoking soulful views, the memories of which you’ll surely cherish forever.
The Best Montserrat Guided Tours
Combo Guided Tours
Best Day Tours of Montserrat From Barcelona
Choosing the Best Montserrat Guided Tour
Before choosing your tour, take a look at the main features of each type of tour and then make an informed decision. Here’s a list of all your Montserrat tour options and their highlights.
1Early Morning Monastery Guided Tour
Begin the day early with an escape from the hustle bustle of Barcelona to the quiet and calm mountain of Montserrat with the semi-guided half-day tour of the top attractions in Montserrat, including round-trip transport for minimal hassle and maximum merriment! This semi-guided tour will take you through the intriguing facts and anecdotes about Montserrat and let you explore Black Madonna, the striking sights of the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean, and the rock spires of Montserrat, and the local delicacies of Montserrat.
2Tapas/Lunch and Wine Tasting tour
Take a break from the crowd of Barcelona with a round-trip guided tour to Montserrat where you can indulge in nature, culture, history and a range of delicacies and local liquor, all at once! Dive into the history, facts and legends of the Monastery with your expert guide followed by a sampling of the most delicious local wines and delicacies and a choice of a hearty tapas brunch or 3-course lunch.
3Semi-Private Tapas and Wine Tour (16 people max)
Enjoy a private guided tour experience with a maximum of 16 people in the heart of one of the top attractions of Spain, Montserrat, with expert guidance every step of the way. Visit the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat and the sculpture of Black Madonna which gives rise to some interesting legends in that little town and end with the perfect gift for your palate — finest local wines and mouth watering local treats.
4Hiking Tour Off The Beaten Path
Satisfy your soul with a little bit of adventure and a lot of natural scenic beauty by hiking through the hidden trails through Montserrat Natural Park. Choose comfortably between English or Spanish for the guided tour and set out on the road less traveled by! If luck favors, you might even hear the boys’ choir sing the famous Escolania de Montserrat.
5TransMontserrat card - Self-Guided Tour with all tickets booked
Bid all the obstacles and hassles goodbye with the single TransMontserrat card, an all-inclusive travel pass, which will take you all the way from Barcelona to Montserrat comfortably and gives you an option to choose the rack railway or the cable car to ascend the mountain. On this self-guided tour, explore the beautiful Monastery and Basilica of Montserrat, enjoy a ride on the Sant Joan funicular where you can witness picturesque views from the Pyrenees to the sea and dive into a delectable traditional Catalan lunch if you wish to.
Montserrat Tours Deconstructed - A Typical Guided Tour Experience
Montserrat, also known as the ‘serrated mountain’ or ‘saw mountain’ because of its physical attributes, is a symbol of Catalan culture and a center of religion, spiritualism and pilgrimage. This elevated rock formation is defined by the mountaintop Benedict monastery and boasts scenic views along with a rich culture of local delicacies and wine. Let us take you through the main attractions at Montserrat:
Virgin of Montserrat
Montserrat houses the famous religious effigy of Moreneta — the black Virgin of Montserrat, also known as the Black Madonna. According to an ancient legend, Moreneta was in the cave of the massif and thus Santa Maria de Montserrat has been the patron saint of Catalonia. The sculpture alongside can be seen influenced by Roman styles and dates back to the 12th century.
Basilica of Montserrat
The church at Montserrat is known as the Basilica of Montserrat and is an architectural marvel with influenced elements of Gothic style. The Basilica houses the religious statue of Black Madonna and houses Montserrat's masses and choral concerts. The Basilica of Montserrat is the main attraction of the place which sees a large inflow of visitors through the year who seek spirituality, a pilgrimage and tranquility.
The Funiculars Of Santa Cova And Of Sant Joan
The furniculurs of Santa Cove and Sant Joan are two of the three mountain tracks in Montserrat and can be accessed upon reaching the Montserrat Monastery. The Funicular of Santa Cova travels down from the monastery to a point from where you can walk to Santa Cova, another location of religious significance as the Virgin Mary’s image is said to have appeared there. The Funicular of Sant Joan goes uphill from the monastery for a captivating bird’s eye view of the area.
Museum of Montserrat
The Museum of Montserrat is the artistic and archeological heritage wing of the thousand-year-old Abbey of Montserrat with 6 very different collections of over 1300 exhibited pieces covering a large period of time. The Museum covers masterpieces from varied time periods, where the oldest exhibit is an Egyptian sarcophagus which dates back to the 13th century BC and the most recent one is a painting by Sean Scully from the year 2010.
Caves Of Salnitre
The Caves Of Salnitre, also known as the caves of Montserrat, were the point of inspiration of Gaudi’s work, the reflection of which can be seen in his architecture. These picturesque caves are a must-visit for adventure seekers to explore the stalactites, stalagmites, and columns in the caves’ depths inside. This is one of the most intriguing caves in Catalonia. It witnesses a constant temperature of 14°C and high humidity.
The cable car, also called the 'Aeri de Montserrat', takes you on a stunning transfer from the bottom of the Montserrat mountain to the Montserrat Monastery atop the mountain, accompanied with the surreal views of the Llobregat River and Valley. This 5-minute journey, which began running in 1930, gives you the opportunity to soak in the natural scenic beauty you’re surrounded by.
Sculpture of the Black Madonna
The sculpture of Black Madonna, also referred to as the 'The Virgin of Montserrat', is a famous religious and spiritual figure which makes Montserrat popular amongst those seeking such a spiritual pilgrimage. The electrifying room and altar where the statue presides and the staircase leading to it garnished with ornate details. It is believed that the Black Madonna was carved in Jerusalem at the very beginning of the religion which makes it a furthermore sacred site.
Traditional Tapas lunch
To experience Montserrat in a wholesome way, it is suggested to try the traditional Catalan Tapas lunch which includes delectable local dishes (hot or cold), often served with the perfect pairing of local wine which comes from the vineyards in Montserrat. The holistic experience at Montserrat will fill your heart with scenic beauty, your mind with spirituality and your stomach with delicious traditional tapas and wine!
Handmade liquor by the Monks of the monastery
Another unique aspect about Montserrat is the handmade local liquor and fantastic liquor tasting sessions. This handmade liquor is made locally by Benedictine Monks of Montserrat using purely traditional methods. These delicious elixirs are often made with a variety of herbs and spices like lavender, cinnamon and cloves, etc and will definitely awaken your taste buds with its eccentricity.
Are Montserrat Tours Really Worth it?
Montserrat is a unique location which houses many experiences all in one place. The main Basilica fulfills your search for a religious atmosphere and spirituality, the guided hikes at Montserrat Natural Park quenches your thirst of an adventure and supplements your experience with scenic views of a lifetime, and the hearty traditional Catalan food and wine guided tours leaves your soul feeling completely satisfied. So, the answer is a definite yes! Montserrat is definitely worth the visit and even better with guided tours to make your experience more enjoyable without any hassle.
Montserrat Practical Information
You can visit Montserrat at any preferred time but some of the top attractions have opening and closing time specifications as follow:
- The Montserrat Monastery is open on all days from Monday to Sunday from 7:30 AM to 8 PM. You can visit the Black Madonna from 8 AM to 10 PM and from 12 PM to 6:15 PM.
- The Museum of Montserrat is open from 10 AM to 6:45 PM from Monday to Friday. On weekends and public holidays, it is open from 9 AM to 8 PM.
- Santa Cova, From April 1 to November 1, is open from 10:30 AM to 5:15 PM, and from November 2 to March 21, it is open from 11:30 AM to 4:16 PM
Getting to Montserrat
- By Bus:You can opt for a private bus company as several of them offer trips to Montserrat.
- By Car: To reach Montserrat, take the A-2 towards Lleida from Barcelona. You will find a paid parking area in the limits of the location, although the capacity is limited. You can also park your car safely near the Monistrol station and go ahead by train.
- By Train: Take the L1 or L3 routes and get off at the Plaça d’Espanya stop and take the R5 Manresa line which runs at an hour's gap. If you wish to take the Funicular train up to the mountain, get off at the Monistrol de Montserrat stop and if you want to take the cable car up, get off at the Montserrat-Aeri stop.
- The station, funicular, and museum are wheelchair-friendly.
- The Montserrat Monastery does not permit the use of braces, shorts or sandals. Knees and shoulders must be covered for both men and women.
- It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and clothes as the location requires quite a bit of walking.
- Please note that the average temperature at Montserrat is generally 13-14 degrees Celsius and it is recommended that you carry warm clothes, especially during the months of winter.
- Service dogs are permitted at the Montserrat Monastery.
- The Montserrat Monastery permits photography. Usage of flash and tripods if prohibited.
The Montserrat guided tours have varying time slots, it depends on the guided tour you pick.
The quickest way to reach Montserrat from Barcelona is to take the train, the duration of which takes about an hour.
Yes, there are guided tour packages which include indulging in a liquor tasting session.
Access to Montserrat, the monastery and the mountain is completely wheelchair friendly as you can access it by a car or the rack railway. However, the cable car and funicular railways are not wheelchair accessible.
Budget travelers can opt for the Early-Morning Montserrat Mountain Tour with Round-Trip Transport from Barcelona for a pocket-friendly option to explore the magical mountain of Montserrat.
Ready to head to Montserrat?
Fancy heading out to some other stunning Barcelona attractions? Take inspiration from our list of the best things to do in Barcelona here.