Meet your guide at Calle Balmes, 5 in central Barcelona. Depart by air-conditioned coach and head to the mountain of Montserrat, a cluster of cone-like peaks that reach up to 4,051 feet (1,235 meters) in height to the north of the city.
As you travel, pass through scenic villages and hear tales from your guide about Montserrat’s main claim-to-fame — the magnificent Royal Basilica and Monastery of Montserrat. The mountainside church and Benedictine abbey is best known for its Black Madonna (La Moroneta), a statue of the Virgin Mary that has made it one of Spain’s most popular pilgrimage sites for centuries.
Admire the epic landscapes as you ascend the mountain, and on arrival, take in the views over the countryside and Barcelona. Then, after an introduction to Montserrat’s history, use your entrance ticket to head inside and enjoy free time to explore.
Explore the vast basilica and its echoing interior, see the revered Black Madonna, a small wooden statue housed in small room, and learn the story behind this hallowed sculpture. Then, if time allows, walk up to the grotto, traditionally said to be where the statue was discovered.
If your tour is on a weekday (select dates only), perhaps hear a recital by the Escolania, one of the most renowned boys’ choirs in Europe. You can also opt for a walk through Montserrat’s audiovisual museum to learn about the daily life of the monks, finishing at the gift shop to taste and perhaps buy some of the traditional liquors made at the monastery.
After roughly 2.5 hours of exploring independently, return to Barcelona by coach where your trip ends.