This trip to Montserrat followed by the Codorniu winery was one of the highlights of our weeklong stay in Barcelona. We were a family of four with two grown children. Our guide was David, who was very engaging, helpful, knowledgeable and proud of Montserrat, having grown up in the vicinity.
Montserrat is simply not to be missed. Especially the mountain scenery, just breathtaking. We left the city at 8:30am in a minivan with another couple, six in all, arriving around 9:30, leaving us reasonable time to go exploring before our 2pm departure time.
When we arrived a mist was pretty much hiding everything, but it quickly burned off. One has many choices for exploring Montserrat and it can be confusing to plan the best use of your time. David introduced us to the basilica and the legend of the Black Madonna and threw in two thousand years of Catalan history in about 7 minutes. We decided first to take the Sant Joan funicular up to the top of the mountain. Fantastic. Once at the top you can find many beautiful vistas to soak in and to photograph. We then returned via the funicular. It's possible to walk down, but time and energy levels weren't up to it. Then we decided to walk up to the Cross of San Miguel. About a 20 minute walk, very steep at times. People of all ages were doing it as well as a few dogs!. Well worth it. Once you reach the cross you have the definitive view of Montserrat, with the monastery buildings overlooked by the mountain. After walking back, my wife then got into see the Black Madonna. There was a wait but not too bad.
After Montserrat we visited the centuries-old Codorniu winery. We had a guide from the winery, a group of about 20, with David tagging along. The tour was in English. He took us to the ancient underground cellars where the wines and Cavas used to be made. Miles of cellars. We then got to taste the Cavas. Calling it sparkling wine does it injustice.
We returned to Barcelona around 6:30.
Excellent tour for anyone interested in exploring old villages. Of the three villages visited, Besalu offers the most for a tourist. The Cingles de Tavertet sandstone cliffs offer an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and the Ter valley below the cliff. Our tour guide Emma was very knowledgeable and accommodating for our unusually large group.
Loved this tour and loved our guide. There were only 4 of us on the tour the day I went, including our lovely guide. It was 4 girls altogether and we had a great time! The guide, I don't remember her name, but was very friendly, informative, and just a great person to be around. Our time in Montserrat was great but I think we even had a better time at the winery, Pares Balta. I think because our group was small, they were able to provide an even more personalized tour of their organic winery amazing! and provide generous tastings of the excellent cava wine and snacks. It was one of the best tours I've been on and I highly recommend it!
This tour was amazing!!! Mabel was our guide and was excellent. We first stopped off at Vic - a medieval town with a Roman Temple and a lovely market square. The locals at Vic were very friendly. We then went to the Pyrenees and after a quick stop at Querables, a charming mountain town, we took the train up to Nuria. The Pyrenees and Nuria were more beautiful and majestic than I had imagined. The view was just stunning. The resort at Nuria offered hiking which we did, horseback riding, and boating. The tour description does say to dress warmly for this tour and I advise taking that seriously. We didn't and had to buy rain jackets in Nuria.
This is such a great tour, our guide Marta, was just fabulous with information, history and energy. Lots of free time, so panoramic, a very important pilgrimage site. The bus drove up the mountain, so experienced and then at the end of this tour, we caught the cog wheel train down the majestic Montserrat mountain. Sit on the right side if you are going down, and left if going up to ensure you get the views. So good.....
Tour was great, tour guide very informative. Traveling from Barcelona to Montserrat was a beautiful scenic trip. Montserrat very educational.
What a fabulous tour! Alex was a wonderful guide and knew a TON about all the places we visited and was very patient answering all my questions! Loved being able to learn about Girona and then have the free time to walk around the town. Pals was lovely however not much time there and we had to stay as a group. Our time in Costa Brava was delightful--loved the free time to dine and swim in the sea! The only problem with this tour was that we needed more time. I highly recommend this great day out of the city!
If you love nature and beautiful scenic views, you don't want to miss this tour. The views on the pyrenees mountains were simply gorgeous, definitely a good place for a short hike. Plenty of time on the mountains to spend exploring. We had the chance to visit a small town called Vic on our way there which was an added bonus. The locals were friendly and we had an enjoyable 1.5 hours to spend exploring the marketplace. The guide was lovely, very helpful and always making sure that we have what we need to enjoy the trip.
Lovely historical town of Girona with knowledgable guide. Fascinating Dali museum. Great day trip out of Barcelona.
We truly enjoyed this tour with the small friendly group and great guide. Tarragona was fascinating and worthy of a visit for sure. We were really lookingn forward to Sitges and were not disappointed. Actually wished we had a full day to spend there because we wanted to take a swim and enjoy the beach which we did as well as explore the town and shop we did for a brief time and also people watch from a street cafe which we really enjoyed. So I definitely reccommend this trip - very relaxing, great scenery, small fun group and comfortable bus and great guide - whose name escapes me now. You wont be disappointed.
We enjoyed the tour of Montserrat and the hike we took above the monastery. We thought the Cava tour was fabulous. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
Great day trip. This tour allows for a good amount of time to walk around Montserrat and explore on your own. Then off to a winery. This was truly a great day trip. I will recommend it to family and friends.
Great tour with a wonderful guide! Girona and the beach were great, very interesting places to visit. Hope we had more time to wander in Girona. Highly recommended!
Fermi was our guide for the day and he was a very experienced mountaineer and gave us plenty of time to really explore montserrat. We were really glad that we got to see the black madonna and the monastery before all the tourists arrived in the truckloads. The funicular was not operating on the day we went, but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we did a longer hike and got to see more sights around montserrat. absolutely stunning place and definitely worth doing.
Truly memorable trip to the Pyrenees Mountains. Had an excellent guide Alex and we would be delighted to do another trip with this company.
Excellent tour with very knowledgeable guides. Would have actually been nice to have more time in Girona to visit this fascinating medieval city.
This was an especially wonderful tour culminating with a 3-hour plus stay in Costa Brava at the beach. We had a delightful lunch and had time to enjoy the beautiful crystal clear water of the Mediterranean. Barcelona is a beautiful, fun city, and having the opportunity to visit remote areas via tour made our trip that much more enjoyable.We would definitely recommend this tour.
I loved Girona it is an elegant city and I hope to return and spend more time.
The tour group was large and the tour was conducted in two languages, which made for a crowded and slow process. So, my husband and I left the tour group as soon as we arrived and went off on our own to explore the city. It was fantastic. We did the same when we got to the Dali museum. We toured at our own pace and had a great experience of both places.
Montserrat was amazing! The cava winery was the best, wonderful tour guide and a pleasant group of fun travelers!!!
Loved this tour. Girona was beautiful and the Dali museum was interesting as well!
This trip was AWESOME, we had plenty of time to do everything and see everything! Our tour guide was both knowledgable and polite. I would recommend this trip. The views from the top of Montserrat are absolutely breath-taking! I loved the local vendors and bought plenty of wine, cheese, honey and sorts. Bring EUROS! :
What a great tour...the guide was most informative with a great depth of knowledge about Montserrat and it's history what a fantastic place! The visit to the winery Pares Balta was a joy...great wines with 'nibblies' with lovely staff who are passionate about their wine, from their growing techniques to the finished product. They even provided soft drinks for the couple of kids on the tour.
United States of America
What a wonderful place to visit! This tour is a must. We were warned ahead of time that the wait in line to see the Black Virgin Mary may take up to three hours! We decided to go anyway and the most wonderful of all surprises -- less than ten minute wait to walk up and touch/pray with the Black Virgin Mary. Beautiful location and friendly people. We visited everything we had planned. Comfortable ride to and from Montserrat. I would do this again in a heartbeat.
This was an exceptional tour for us. The guide, Mable, was very knowledgeable and receptive to questions. She provided full insight into the most recommended sights for us to see when we were on Montserrat. The real highlight of the trip, however, was the visit to the winery. The tour there was comprehensive, and entertaining. We would recommend this trip to anyone who is considering it.
We went to so many beautiful places in just the one day. Girona and Pals are both amazing, this tour was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. Our guide was also really friendly and helpful
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