Montserrat means “Teeth Mountains”, and it is not hard to guess why they are called that. These mountains were formed due to the sea water polishing in prehistoric times.
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At A Glance
- Where Is Montserrat Located
- Montserrat – A Day Trip From Barcelona
- Weather In Montserrat, Spain
- Things You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Montserrat, Spain
- How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona
- What ticket to buy to get to Montserrat
- 1) Single ticket
- 2) Return ticket
- 3) Trans Montserrat Ticket
- 4) ToT Montserrat Ticket
- Getting around Montserrat, Spain
- 1) By foot
- 2) By the Funicular de Sant Joan
- 3) By the Funicular de Santa Cova
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Where Is Montserrat Located
Home to the Monastery, Montserrat’s location is of religious and historical significance. Montserrat was destroyed in 1811 when the French invaded Catalunya. In 1844 the Monastery was rebuilt.
The Monastery is set in a picturesque location, at the very heart of Montserrat mountain. The geology, flora and fauna that forms part of this landscape make hiking up the mountain very fulfilling.
It was certainly an unplanned trip when we decided to take a day trip from Barcelona to visit Montserrat.
Montserrat – A Day Trip From Barcelona
You must surely include Montserrat when planning your Barcelona itinerary. It is one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona is visiting Montserrat. The Montserrat mountain peaks are famous for the unparalleled views they offer, over Catalonia.
This trip comes with a big opportunity to see the Spanish side of the country and an opportunity to go beyond the popular sights in Barcelona itself.
Going to Montserrat from Barcelona is always a good idea that would never be a wasted trip. You can either do a DIY day trip or enroll in one of the day tours from Barcelona to save on the hassle of planning.
Weather In Montserrat, Spain
Montserrat’s weather can be classified into 2 periods – a wet, warm period from June to January, and a dry, cool period from February to May. Temperatures range from 13 – 14ºC on average.
Keep in mind that Montserrat is at the top of a mountain, so compared to ground temperature, it can either be colder, windier or warmer.
If you are up for hiking up Montserrat like us, be prepared to be exposed to the Spain weather, as there is not much shade en route. Do dress adequately – slap on sunscreen or cover up!
Things You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Montserrat, Spain
As we are all aware, Montserrat is a famous place that people from all around the world come to witness.
Montserrat’s history is nearly 1000 years old! This place is full of stories and places that speak for themselves.
Before you plan your trip here, you must know everything that it has to offer. For that, I’m briefly listing down some of the things to do in Montserrat or – let’s say – attractions you shouldn’t miss when in Montserrat.
1. Monumental Rosary of Montserrat
The Monument Rosary of Montserrat is a collection of sculptures of religious symbols that are placed on the road leading from Montserrat to the Holy Cave where the image of the Virgin was found back in 880.
This one is Gaudi’s pure work that you shouldn’t miss! Many other artists like Puig I Cadafalch, the sculptor Josep Llimona and Joaquim Codina I Matalí also took part in the creation of this masterpiece.
2. Montserrat Museum
If you are a history and museum buff, you are going to love everything about this museum.
Montserrat Museum houses 6 permanent collections of more than 13,000 artefacts, yeah you need a good amount of time to explore that!
Private donations play an important role in how you find this museum today. Montserrat Museum has a large number of pieces of art from all periods, from artists like Caravaggio, Marià Fortuny, Claude, Monet, El Greco, Picasso, Degas and Santiago Rusiñol.
3. The local market
You must’ve heard of Montserrat’s famous local market. This is a great market where you can find all the typical Catalan products very easily from the farmers themselves.
A true pleasure to experience a natural, artisan and direct trade. In a variety of products, you will find oil, liquor, honey, cheese, and cottage cheese.
4. Montserrat Natural Park
Montserrat Mountain was established as a natural park back in 1987. With plenty of villages, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that this one is for nature lovers.
There’s a lot for you to see when travelling through the park. The highest point of the mountain is St Jerome, at 4,055 feet. For those who fear heights, now this is not exactly for you!
There’s a wide range of wildlife living in Montserrat and species of plants you will find here. You may spot some birds, rodents, cats, bears, bats and reptiles here. A great opportunity that no animal lover or a wildlife photographer would want to miss.
You visit Montserrat and not go for a hike? Is your trip even complete? A big NO!
There are so many mountain trails to explore and walks to do here that are so soothing and refreshing that you wouldn’t want to leave.
Though this is not an easy trail you’ll find, you can start on a beginner trail by taking the Sant Joan Funicular railway to arrive at Sant Joan chapel in just 5 minutes. If you have time to explore more, you can also embark on the trail that goes towards Sant Jeroni.
Hike your day out and give yourself that soothing treatment while spending quality time with Mother Nature.
Don’t miss this viewpoint on the monument Escala de L’Enteniment, dedicated to the Catalan philosopher, Ramón Llul too!
If you want to try out some hiking trails, or even hike to the peak of Sant Jeroni at 1,236m high like us, dedicate a full day to exploring Montserrat. Hiking to the peak took us 3-4 hours.
How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona
The real problem arises when you don’t have much knowledge of area or about its public transportation. You need to have a good research on the area, its transport, tickets to buy and where and when you should buy, for a successful trip!
And that is why we’re breaking it down for you here.
Make your way to Plaza Espanya train station in Barcelona. The train station is in the same building as the metro station. Once at Espanya, look for Line R5 headed towards Manresa.
The train duration from Barcelona Espanya station to Montserrat is 1 hour.
You have two options to reach the Monastery after the train ride. You would have to select which ticket to buy when you’re at the station:
By far the easiest method is to book an air-conditioned bus to take you easily from Barcelona to Montserrat Monastery.
ii) Cable Car (Aeri de Montserrat)
The cable car ride from the train stop Aeri de Montserrat is only a 5-minute ride. You will have breathtaking views on the cable car ride up to the monastery. However, you would have to stand throughout the journey.
iii) Cremallera Funicular – Rack Train
This rack railway service that will take you from the bottom of Montserrat Mountain to arrive at the Montserrat Monastery.
If you opt for this option, get off one stop after Aeri de Montserrat, called Monistrol. The Rack Train ride will take 15 minutes to the Monastery and is a more comfortable ride than the cable car offers. However you won’t have as good views as you would from the cable car. You can, though, sit down throughout your journey and are thus suitable for the wheelchair-bound.
If you’re confused and would rather take a guided tour from Barcelona, a Montserrat tour is always a good idea.
What ticket to buy to get to Montserrat
1) Single ticket
Single journey to Montserrat. Includes €2.15 train fare from Barcelona Espanya to Montserrat . You have the option of buying a ticket for either:
- the cable car ride up to the monastery (Get off at train stop Montserrat Aeri) or
- the Track Train ride up to Montserrat Cremallera funicular, a funicular from Barcelona to the monastery (Get off at train stop Monistrol)
Ticket prices: Adult – €11.40; Child – €8.50; Pensioners – €10.75
2) Return ticket
Same as above but with a return ticket.
Ticket prices: Adult – €20.20; Child – €15.65; Pensioners – €19.20
3) Trans Montserrat Ticket
This is ultimately the ticket we got for the most value.
The ticket includes the following:
i. Return train fare from Barcelona to Montserrat
Either with the Cable car ride option to the monastery, or the Track Train mountain train ride
Remember you need to specify which when you buy this ticket because they are not interchangeable and after a day trip from Barcelona, you won’t have the energy to deal with the mess.
You either buy a Cable Car version or you buy the Cremallera Funicular – Rack Train version (funicular from Barcelona to the monastery) of this ticket.
ii. 2 return journeys on 2 different funicular rides – Funicular de Santa Cova & Funicular de Sant Joan
You catch these funicular rides once you arrive at the monastery, which brings you to different parts of the mountain, including the top of Montserrat mountain and the Santa Cova cave.
This ticket saves you from €10.30 (return)/ €6.50 (single) for the funicular from the monastery to the top of Montserrat mountain and/or another €4.00 (return)/ €2.60 (single) for the funicular ride from the monastery to Santa Cova Cave.
iii. 2 free metro rides with this ticket
Each metro ticket otherwise costs €2.15 each.
iv. Access to the audio visual area on Montserrat
Ticket price: €29.30
4) ToT Montserrat Ticket
An all-in-one ticket, it includes everything in the Trans Montserrat Ticket mentioned above and in addition, you have:
i. Entry into the Montserrat museum (U.P. €7.00 for adult/ €6.00 for pensioners)
ii. Lunch at the restaurant at Montserrat
The restaurant offers a buffet lunch.
Ticket price: €46.20
Getting around Montserrat, Spain
First thing to do when you arrive? Grab a Montserrat map from the tourism office to get your bearings!
There are a few options to go about while you’re at Montserrat.
1) By foot
Instead of taking the funicular or cable car, we took off on foot, hiking up the steep slopes of the mountain towards the Sant Jeroni peak, at 1,236m high. Hiking to the peak took us 3-4 hours.
En route, we were greeted with sights of the teeth formations. The clear sky accentuated the already picturesque landscapes.
2) By the Funicular de Sant Joan
Apart from visiting the monastery, take some time to visit Sant Joan’s peak via the Funicular de Santa Cova. Sant Joan takes you near the highest point of Montserrat, though you will still need a little hike.
Catch the viewpoint of the entire Montserrat Monastery. The views are impressive. You can return with the funicular again, or can hike down the monastery. It is a scenic but long walk which takes about 3 hours.
3) By the Funicular de Santa Cova
The Funicular de Santa Cova takes you slightly back down the mountain to the starting point of Montserrat. Here, visit the cave chapel Santa Cova. Legend has it that this is the cave where the image of Mare de Deu de Montserrat (the Virgin Mary) was seen by shepherds. The cave sits about 20 minutes’ walk from the funicular station or you can choose to walk directly from the Montserrat Monastery to the cave.
There you have it! Before packing your trip, just know that Barcelona and Montserrat are truly for wanderers!
You need a lot of time and energy to travel, explore and discover everything they have to offer. From getting to Montserrat train station, to how to get Montserrat tickets, to day tours from Barcelona, I hope I’ve covered it all for you and you found this article helpful.