Explore one of Spain's most important religious sites at Montserrat, a monastery situated high above the city of Barcelona in greater Catalonia. The spot offers sublime views, a variety of religious artifacts, and insight into the history and spiritual traditions of this region of Spain.
Begin your excursion by boarding an air-conditioned coach in central Barcelona (Calle Balmes, 5) at 3pm, continuing on a ride through the scenic landscapes of Catalonia on your way to Montserrat. Your guide will provide details about the region's history as you go, offering details about the mountain of Montserrat and the monastery that lies near its peak.
Upon reaching the foot of the mountain, climb aboard a cogwheel train for the 15-minute climb to the peak, enjoying panoramic views along the way. Listen as your guide explains how hundreds of years of erosion have sculpted the striking pink rocks visitors see today. Make sure to also keep your camera handy for great shots of the mountain's unique rock formations with Barcelona and Catalonia in the distance.
Arrive at Santa Maria de Montserrat, the Benedictine abbey that occupies the mountaintop. Learn about the critical role the monastery plays in the cultural and spiritual traditions of Catalonia via an audiovisual presentation. Then check out the Royal Basilica of Monserrat, situated adjacent to the monastery. The Basilica is home to the 12th-century wooden carving of Our Lady of Monserrat, a sacred object also known as La Moreneta (the Dark One).
Spend some free time exploring the grounds at your leisure, stopping at the monastery gift shop for a tasting of four local liquors. Then head back to your air-conditioned coach for the trip back Barcelona, stopping at the original departure point.