Montserrat - A Day Trip from Barcelona

October 02, 2012

montserrat near Barcelona a Catalan UNESCO heritage site

There is so much to explore in Barcelona and the Costa Brava, but don't miss Montserrat which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been a sacred spot since the 9th century. Montserrat literally means "jagged rocks" and the landscape as well as the  mountains are uniquely gorgeous.

You will enjoy the picturesque Catalan countryside on this easy day trip from Barcelona which is close ( about an hours drive by car or train) but feels like another world.

Over 3.2 million people make the pilgrimage to Montserrat every year to visit the Royal Basilica , a Benedictine Monastery, which houses the famous Black Madonna. Even for those not religious, Montserrat is a high point for nature lovers too  ( literally, as the highest peak is over 4000 feet high) because the views are spectacular and takes your breath away.

We rented a car ( about 45 euros/day)  from our luxury campsite in Barcelona, but one can take a bus or train or even take a tour. We didn't take the cable car, but that is a thrilling option for some. ( I've got vertigo, so it wasn't for me). We parked in a car park right next to the Monastery which was handy.

We went early in the morning to miss the crowds, and had it mostly to ourselves for a few hours of exploring the church grounds and hiking. If you go around noon, you have a good chance of catching the famous school for choir boys who sing at the Basilica. Montserrat is also a great starting point if you are going to add the Costa Brava to a trip to Barcelona.

Have you been to Monserrat or is it on your list?

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Sandra Foyt

I was just in Costa Brava for TBEX, but even with a ten day trip, I wasn't able to get to Montserrat. Clearly, I'll have to plan another trip.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Understandable Sandra, there is a LOT to see in that area. We've been to Barcelona over 18 times ( usually for a month or more each visit) and we still haven't seen it all. ;)

You will definitely have to return. It's been interesting to see you morph from an education blogger to an Albany blogger to a travel blogger. ;) Lady, of many interests...and always lovely.

Jessica Holt

I've been to Montserrat and loved it! I took the cable car and you made the right choice not to take it if you have vertigo, it was a very steep (but amazing) trip.

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