Set amid the lush forests and rolling vineyards of the Catalonian countryside, this former Benedictine monastery is among the region’s most impressively preserved medieval sites. The painstakingly restored complex is much more than a historic site; it’s a thriving cultural heritage center combining gastronomy, art, and leisure.
St. Benet Monastery (Món Sant Ben), originally founded in AD 960, was fully restored in 2007. Since then it has become a popular countryside day trip destination. On a guided tour of the monastery grounds, visitors tour the cloister, wine cellar, church, and gardens, and learn about the lives of the Benedictine monks. The center also offers cooking workshops and guided tastings, and there’s a store selling organic produce that is grown on-site.
Things to Know Before You Go
- St. Benet Monastery is a must-visit for foodies, spiritual travelers, and those looking for an escape from Barcelona.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Free Wi-Fi is available.
- Guided tours of the monastery typically last about one hour.
How to Get There
The monastery is located 37 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of Barcelona. If you’re not on a guided tour, the easiest way to get to St. Benet Monastery is by car; take the C-16 from Barcelona to the N-141. If you don’t have a car, take the R4 train from Barcelona-Sants to Manresa, and then catch a taxi the rest of the way.
When to Get There
The monastery is open for tours Tuesday to Sunday year-round, as well as on public holidays. The schedule of workshops is always changing, so it’s a good idea to check the monastery’s calendar ahead of your visit.
Restaurants at St. Benet Monastery
The historic monastery grounds are home to three different restaurants. La Fonda celebrates modern Catalonian cuisine through its daily tasting menu, accompanied by wines from the Bages region. The Michelin star-rated L’Ó showcases bold recipes and innovative techniques, while Món, the newest of the three, serves shareable tapas with indoor and outdoor seating.