While Montserrat’s main attraction is the monastery, the mountainous destination just outside of Barcelona is criss-crossed with excellent hiking trails and walking paths suited for all ability levels. Here are some of the best easy trail options.
The shortest walk in the Montserrat area, the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) makes a loop from the monastery past 14 stations of the cross to a small chapel called Capella de la Soledat, famous for its resident cats. The trail involves a few stairs and some uphill walking, and should take about 20 minutes.
A two-hour walk along the Tebes Trail takes visitors to the mountain's ancient church ruins of San Juan, San Onofre, and Santa Magdalena. The relatively easy walk highlights the flora, fauna, geology, and human history of Montserrat.
One of Montserrat's most popular walks takes visitors to Santa Cova (Holy Cave), an important pilgrimage site where the famous statue of the Black Madonna—today on display within the basilica—was found. The Santa Cova funicular takes visitors part way down the hill, where a 15-minute walk leads to the cave. Well-defined steps lead back up to the monastery along the Path of the Cross.
Sant Joan Funicular to the Monastery
For those who don't mind hiking downhill, a popular option is to ride the Sant Joan funicular up toward the top of Montserrat, then walk back down to the monastery along the wide path, enjoying views and solitude along the way. The walk downhill takes between 45 minutes and an hour.
Saint Michael's Cross
This 40-minute shady walk has only a few ups and downs, and leads to an overlook with stellar views of the monastery. The path continues to the upper station of the Sant Joan funicular, where hikers can ride or walk down, or make the more rigorous ascent to Sant Jeroni.