Photo Diary – A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

Barcelona is rated one of Europe’s top destinations to visit, and after spending five incredible days in the cosmopolitan capital of Catalonia, I can certainly see why. This enchanting city boasts history and culture, amazing architecture, and has some of the best food in the world. And not forgetting the summery vibes of the city’s famous beach! There aren’t many cities that can say they “have it all”, but Barcelona is definitely one of them.

However, one of the things I enjoyed the most about Barcelona, was getting away from the city and heading to the magical mountains of Montserrat. It’s hard to believe that such jaw-dropping natural beauty lies so close to the city, but what makes this place even more special is the monastery that hides away peacefully at the top of the mountains.

About Montseratt Monastery

Catalonia’s most important religious site, the Montserrat Monastery has been the home to Benedictine monks for almost a thousand years. The monastery is steeped in rich history, having been almost entirely destroyed by Napoleon’s Army in 1811.

In 1858, the monks returned to Montserrat to start reconstruction and today you can now visit the monastery and marvel in its breathtaking views, incredible architecture, and ornate basilica. There’s much to be admired at this spiritual destination, and below are just some of the things you can expect from a day trip.

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

The unusual rock formations and amazing landscapes 

According to the traditional Catalan language, the word “Montserrat” literally means “serrated mountain.” And when you look up at the jagged peaks, it’s not surprising to see why these mountains go by this name.

Poets claim that the mountains were carved by little angels with golden saws. Whereas geologists believe, over a period spanning ten million years, movements in the Earth’s crust, and changes in climate and erosion, formed the mass into the shapes that we see today. But either way, with its unique formations and dramatic cliff-clinging monastery, it really does offer some inviting scenery and awesome photo opportunities.

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

The incredible architecture

If there’s two things I love when travelling, it’s being in nature and marvelling at architecture, and Montserrat certainly delivers on both accounts. The buildings that now stand here are mainly a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic architecture built in the 1900s, and every inch of the grounds are visually stunning. It is even said that some of Antoni Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces were greatly influenced by his visits to the mountains.

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

The Basilica and the Black Madonna

The Black Madonna is a statue of the Virgin Mary, which has drawn religious pilgrims from all over the world to Montserrat. When the monastery was destroyed in 1811, it is said that the only piece that remained intact was the Black Madonna. And apparently, the entire of the monastery that you see today was rebuilt around her!

Many visitors come to see the statue, which is located at the back of the basilica encased in glass. However, one of her hands, which is holding a sphere (and symbolises the universe), is not behind the glass. And many believe that upon touching her hand, they will have their wishes granted. Unfortunately I didn’t have time for the one hour queue (and make my wish for a life of full-time travel!) but see if you can spot her above the alter below…

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montseratt

A Barcelona Day Trip To Magical Montserrat

Other things to do at Montserrat

The Museum –  across from the basilica, there is a museum filled with works of art from many famous Catalan artists, including El Grecco.

Torres Cellar – a guided visit around the winery and vineyards, which have produced some of the world’s best wines and brandies (sold in more than 140 countries) for three centuries. Wine tasting included!

Ride the funicular – there are two funiculars that can take you to the top of the mountains, giving you an awesome opportunity to see the monastery from above.

Hike the mountains – if you’re feeling fit and adventurous, there are also many hiking trails which will lead you to the summit of Sant Joan – the highest peak at Montserrat.



Getting to Montserrat

Montserrat is located approximately 60km from Barcelona and there are many ways in which you can get there – hiking, cable car, train, bus, or hiring a car and taking a road trip yourself.

I booked a morning trip through 365 Tickets, who can organise all your transportation and a guided tour for you. Our coach picked us up a few blocks from the Plaza Catalunya and took around one hour. It currently costs just under £35 and you can quickly and securely book online via their website.

Have you ever visited the magical monastery and mountains on Montserrat? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories below! 

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Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ticket from 365 Tickets, but as always, all opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own!

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 2, 2016 at 3:32 am

    It looks so beautiful, you know I’d love to hike there:)

  • Reply
    Alissa
    August 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I’ve been to Barcelona but I’ve never made it to Montseratt… next time 😛 Thank you for sharing your experience!

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      August 12, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you Alissa! Hope you get round to visiting one day, it truly is breathtaking!

  • Reply
    Brittany
    August 12, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    I love your photos… and the idea that the mountains were carved by angels with golden saws 🙂 I didn’t make it to Barcelona last time I was in Spain… looks like I need to go back!

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      August 16, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks for the lovely comment Brittany! Hope you get to go back soon 🙂

  • Reply
    Arnie Jacobsen
    August 12, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    What an impressive sight! Truly remarkable.

  • Reply
    Happy Coconuts Travel Blog
    August 12, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    WOW your photos are breath-taking and really take you there….Barcelona was not at the top of my list but my list may need some revising now 🙂

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      August 16, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Thanks for the kind comments, really appreciate it! Would definitely recommend reviewing your list 🙂

  • Reply
    Gareth
    August 12, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Some great advice here, not to mention some spectacular spots. Montserrat really is a must for anyone visiting Barcelona but all too often remains overlooked. Nice piece!

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      August 16, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Thanks Gareth! Glad you agree! I almost overlooked it myself and so glad I didn’t 🙂

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 13, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I went waaaay back in 2009 and glad to see it’s still just as beautiful! Your photos really capture the feel.

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      August 16, 2016 at 8:47 pm

      Thank you Becky, I was in complete awe of the place!

  • Reply
    Jesus Tirso
    August 15, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    Beautiful. Spain is on my short list and this post just moved it up a notch or two!

    • Reply
      whereisnoodles
      August 16, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Glad it’s inspired you! Really is worth it if you get the chance 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessie
    February 18, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Hi! This looks absolutely incredible! Heading there in June! Can you give me some tips on traveling here? And if there are any tickets we should buy before going?

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