10 Best Things to do in Montserrat, Barcelona


 

A visit to Montserrat Mountain is always a worthwhile day trip from Barcelona. This is one of the most significant points in Catalonia, situated just 50km outside of Barcelona’s city center. 

If you’re wanting to spend a day exploring all that Montserrat has to offer, I recommend renting a car and making your own way out of the city. A vehicle really gives one the opportunity to explore this region to the fullest, as public transport isn’t the most efficient out here! 

Day Trip to Montserrat from Barcelona

1. Visit the Monastery of Santa María de Montserrat

This is a highlight for any visit to the Montserrat region. It is visited by thousands of people yearly, who come to this area to bask in the Benedictine history. It is where one can make their pleas to the Virgin of Montserrat. 

Take note that only one person is permitted into the virgin’s chapel at once, so you’ll have to stand in the queue and practice perfect patience until it’s your time to shine. 

Montserrat Monastery – by Gyrofrog – Wikimedia Commons

2. Stroll Through the Camí dels Degotalls

Getting to the monastery requires a bit of a hike, no matter where you’re embarking from. The walk via the Camí dels Degotalls is one of the easiest routes, and children can manage it. 

The route is lined with sculptures, oak trees and historic archetypes. To find this road, follow the direction of Monistrol. 

Camí dels Degotalls – by Jordiferrer – Wikimeida Commons

3. Rock Climbing in Montserrat 

This is a popular region for rock climbing in Catalonia. Spanish locals are known to travel from all over the country just to rock climb the mountains of Montserrat, so if you’re an avid climber then you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity. 

The most popular month for climbing in Montserrat is October, when its not so hot but also not quite winter yet. 

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4. Ride the Cable Car to the Peak

If walking, hiking or climbing is simply not your forte, you don’t need to miss out on the fun of Montserrat. The park management built a wonderful cable car option for visitors who need a little help getting to the top. The ride is swift and a lot of fun, particularly for children. 

There are two cable car options in Montserrat. One is a 5 minute ride, and the other is a 15 minute ride. 

Montserrat – by Alma mater – Wikimedia Commons

5. Visit the Art Museum Of Montserrat

If relics from the 13th to the 20th centuries gets your blood flowing, then you don’t want to miss the Art Museum of Montserrat. Here you’ll find a massive collection of masterpieces from these eras, with works from the likes of Monet, Dali and Picasso. 

Moving deeper in time, the museum also houses objects and artifacts from Ancient Egypt, and the centuries that followed. 

Montserrat Museum – by Михаил Бернгардт – Wikimedia Commons

6. Don’t Miss the Audiovisual Room

While inside the Art Museum, make a point of stopping by the audiovisual room that is solely dedicated to the history of Montserrat. This space will give you all of the insight that you need to properly understand the history of this region, and what it truly means to the country. 

Through a carefully curated range of images and videos, you’ll leave perfectly prepared to explore the area through a new lens. 

7. See the The Benedictine Abbey in Montserrat 

Close to the aforementioned monastery, the Benedictine Abbey is a place of immense history that is now open to the public for observation. A lot of the corners are closed off for preservation, but you can easily pay a visit to the Basilica. 

It is estimated that this monument was completed back in 1025, which is a difficult concept to wrap the modern brain around. Throughout the ages, this abbey has been a symbol of great political power and strife. 

Benedictine Abbey in Montserrat  – by Mike McBey – Wikimedia Commons

8. Book a L’ Escolania Performance

Escolania de Montserrat is a choir composed entirely of 14 year old teenage boys who are known and loved all through the country. More than that, this is an internationally recognized choir, so there are almost always performances scheduled for the public. 

L’ Escolania – by Jean Robert Thibault – Wikimedia Commons

The choir performs live from Montserrat, and it’s quite the experience to behold with the mountain energy surrounding you throughout. 

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9. Visit the Local Market 

Whilst en route to the monastery of Montserrat, keep an eye out for the local marketplace on the side of the road. Here you’ll find an array of stands selling wide varieties of Catalan products that are traditional to the area. 

Expect to find fair trade products containing only natural ingredients: oils, cheeses, honeys and various forms of Catalan liquor. Make sure you have cash on hand as there is not signal in these parts for electronic payments. 

10. Find the Caves Of Salnitre

Naturally, caves would be an abundant marvel in a rock-formed area such as this. The Caves of Salnitre can be accessed from the nearby city of Collbató. This is where the guided cave tours depart from, taking you under the ground to a depth of 500m. Unfortunately, going any deeper than this is restricted to the public at this time. 

Caves Of Salnitre – by Elnyes – Wikimedia Commons

Tours are weather dependent, and you’ll need to be wearing the appropriate attire to enter. Sturdy shoes with good grip and warm clothing are recommended. 

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