A multi peaked mountain near Barcelona Spain with the most beautiful Church on the peak, cable car and funicular rides was too tempting to resist. So when we visited Spain recently we did a day trip to this Catalan Pre Coastal Range.The place has beautiful Monastery, Museum, multiple hikes to the top of the mountain and funicular rides.
The planning and research to reach Montserrat on our own was a task in itself, if you are booking a car ride then it would be easy and you would have beautiful views on your way. The train also provides good view and the cable car rides are amazing.
Please find my guide on how to travel using the train from Barcelona in this link.
We reached the top of the mountain around 10:30 AM in the morning. Since it was at a higher altitude, it was super cold. The place is beautiful, high up the view of the valley is just spectacular.
Most Catalan pilgrims come to see La Moreneta, a 12th-century wooden sculpture of Mary with the infant Jesus that is carved in the Romanesque style. La Moreneta is sometimes called the Black Virgin because the finish has been darkened by decades of candle smoke. We queued up to have to view this and was amazed. the queue was quite long, almost an hour.
I had heard about a children’s choir and to listen to that we took up seats in the basilica and viewed the religious ceremony and rituals taking place. It was a long activity and we almost waited another hour to listen to the Choir. The abbey has sponsored a Christian school at Montserrat since the 13th century. The school has one of the oldest boys’ choirs in the world, and we can hear this marvelous boys’ choir sing in the basilica daily at noon and again in the late afternoon. Hearing their sweet voices in the lovely church is a memorable part of a visit to Montserrat. The song and the setting would definitely give you goosebumps.
There is a restaurant which serves mainly sandwiches and drinks and is quite expensive, but after the choir we refreshed ourselves with a snack and hot chocolate. There was a trek to Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome) which stands at 1,236 meters. The trek was quite long and as we are not most fit people,longer for us.
We went half way through, and were a little tired, the views were amazing and the path quite steep. We had not thought that we would be hiking,so we were not prepared a swell. We did half, enjoyed the view from there and decide to trek back down. It took us almost two hours to do the same. But if you are visiting Montserrat and enjoy trekking , please do go up the hike, the panoramic views would be amazing up there.
After coming down and roaming around a little, we took the funicular ride to Santa Cova, the return ticket cost us around 5 Euro each.
Oh what a pretty place it was, there was a trail of around one hour one way, which was sloping down, it was not that steep. The trail was marked with beautiful statues along the way and the rock formation view from here was quite interesting.
The one with the cross, looked surreal from the far.
After the train and lots of pictures, we can back up the funicular ride. It was almost time to go and say good-bye to this mountain top with beautiful Basilica and spiritual feel. We went to take the cable car, which had around 40 mins of queue. We were at the nick of time to take the last train back to Barcelona.
It was a beautiful and memorable day and I do recommend you to visit.
Keen to see Flamenco dances, you can find the guide here