The Sant Joan Funicular Railway runs from the Montserrat Monastery up to the very peak of the mountain. Built in 1918 for monks wishing to pray at the Hermitage of Sant Joan, it trundles up the 65-percent gradient to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level for stupendous views across the wild, arid landscapes of Catalonia.
Visitors who ride the Sant Joan Funicular to the top of the mountain are rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of the monastery below. From here, signposted walking trails wind around the surrounding peaks of Montserrat Natural Park. Hiking tours of Montserrat Mountain typically include a ride up the funicular, with the option to ride or walk back down after the hike. A small museum near the upper station highlights the plants and animals found in the surrounding wilderness.
Things to Know Before You Go
When to Get There
The Sant Joan Funicular runs every 20 minutes from midmorning to evening throughout the year. It’s busiest during the months of July and August, so expect long lines during this period.
Santa Cova Funicular
Visitors to Montserrat have another funicular option upon arrival at Montserrat, the Santa Cova Funicular. This cable railway takes visitors slightly back down the mountain to Santa Cova, a cave sanctuary where legend says some local shepherds found an image of the Virgin Mary, now housed within the monastery.