Just a short journey from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona lies a serene and spiritual haven: Montserrat. Rising sharply against the skyline, this mountain sanctuary is a natural marvel and a pilgrimage site that has beckoned believers and travelers for centuries.
Reaching Montserrat: Given the mountain's lofty heights, consider taking the train followed by the Montserrat rack railway or the cable car. These modes of transportation offer visitors the thrill of convenience and panoramic vistas as they ascend.
We came here directly from the airport, so we used a rental car and parked at the entrance. I first thought that the parking lot was beneath the monastery and that we must use the cable car, so I bought tickets in advance - it turned out to be a mistake - you don't need the cable car if you come with a car. But we didn't want to miss the cable car ride - so we went done and up... Great views!
Things to Do and See:
Visit the Montserrat Monastery: At the heart of Montserrat is its famous Benedictine monastery, home to the revered statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, often called "La Moreneta" due to her dark complexion. Pilgrims and visitors queue to pay respects to this iconic figure.
Hiking Trails: For nature enthusiasts, Montserrat offers many hiking trails. The mountain caters to all, whether for a gentle walk or a challenging trek, with pathways revealing spectacular views.
Shopping: Local vendors offer regional products, from cheeses to liquors, making for perfect souvenirs. Additionally, several dining options exist, from casual cafes to more formal settings, where you can savor traditional Catalan dishes.
There is a recommended museum onsite that I didn't have time to explore, and some also attend the Boys Choir show in the Basilica.
Visiting Montserrat provides a harmonious blend of spirituality, history, and natural beauty. It's an essential day trip for anyone staying in Barcelona, offering a refreshing perspective on Catalonia's rich heritage.