The Montserrat Tour
Montserrat is the moon to Barcelona’s sun. Barcelona is vibrant, humming with energy, and bathed with a Mediterranean vibe.
Montserrat is tranquil, introspective, and gentle on the soul. It’s the ultimate escape after a day spent exploring Barcelona’s charms.
Imagine relaxing in a luxury coach as the city dissolves in the background and the “serrated mountain” glides into view. In just an hour, you’re in another world, a world of 1,000-year-old monasteries, patron saints, a world-famous boys’ choir, and views that take your breath away.
We created our Montserrat tour with your Barcelona travel goals in mind. Spend the day seeing the sights in Barcelona and then climb aboard our coach at 3 pm for a four-hour trip to another world. See the Parc Natural de Montserrat, tour the monastery and basilica, see the Black Madonna, and enjoy some free time to explore this mountain hideaway on your own.
Return to Barcelona re-energized and refreshed— and ready for a night on the town.
- When: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 3 pm from September
- Duration: 4 hours
- Language: English. This tour is also available in French from 2021.
- Price: includes visit guided and transport.
- Transport: Comfortable roomy air-conditioned private bus.
- Itinerary: Barcelona > Parc Natural de Montserrat > Sanctuary (Monastery, Basilica, Chapel of the Virgin) > Free time > return to Barcelona.
Why do our customers book this tour?
- The tour is only in English making it easier for you to follow the whole story.
- If you don’t have a whole day to visit Montserrat this is your tour: you can visit Barcelona in the morning and see Montserrat in the afternoon
- Afternoon is also best because there are less people in Montserrat than in the morning
- Picturesque drive up to Montserrat (about an hour from Barcelona)
- Roomy and air conditioned bus with big windows
- About an hour free time to roam on your own
What's not included
- Funicular, track railway or cable car.
- The Boys’ Choir.
- Food and drinks.
- This tour involves some walking so wear comfortable shoes.
- Dress a bit warmer for Montserrat, it is colder than the city.
- Silence must be kept inside the church so the guide will give all the explanations outside.
- This is not a wheelchair accessible tour.
What will I see?
Montserrat, the “serrated mountain,” towers 4,000 feet into the sky, with its jagged peaks and finger-like shapes. It’s a mesmerizing sight from miles away, even better as you enter the natural park. The view unfolds around you on the drive to the monastery.
The Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey dates back to the 11th century, although it was rebuilt in the 19th century. It melds into the mountainside and still serves as a home to nearly 80 monks.
The abbey has always played an important role in the spiritual life of Catalonia; it’s a rite of passage to hike the mountain to watch the sunrise from the top of Montserrat.
The basilica dates to the 16th century. La Moreneta, the Virgin of Montserrat and the patron saint of Catalonia, resides in the basilica’s chapel. Legend has it that the Black Madonna became very heavy and refused to move, so the monks built their monastery around her.
L’Escolania, the boys’ school known for its devotion to music—and of course, the Montserrat Boys’ Choir—is also part of the monastery complex, although it’s not included in this tour, due to time management.
On the tour, you’ll have time to explore Montserrat on your own and take pictures of the amazing views. For a truly spectacular sight, take the funicular to St. Joan’s Chapel (not included in the tour) if there’s enough time.
Montserrat is also a well-known haven for food artisans—the cheeses and honey are exceptional. Hit the market stalls for a few local treasures.
And if you’re an art lover, you won’t want to miss the Museum of Montserrat. In addition to some rare works by Dalí, Picasso, and El Greco, there are even some ancient Egyptian artifacts.
What to expect
There’s a good bit of walking on this tour, so wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the cooler mountain weather. Unfortunately, this is not a wheelchair-accessible tour.
Silence is the order of the day inside the monastery so your guide will give a brief presentation outside before you go in.
The tour begins with a one-hour drive in our brand-new, state-of-the-art low-emissions luxury coach with panoramic windows—you won’t miss a single view on the trip. You’ll have about two hours in Montserrat, and a one-hour return trip to relax before arriving in Barcelona around 7 pm.
- Meet in front of the Hotel Olivia Plaza in the Plaça Catalunya at 3 pm (3:15 pm April through November). Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the departure time.
- Scenic drive to Montserrat
- Parc Natural de Montserrat
- Monastery, basilica, and Chapel of the Virgin
- Approximately one hour to explore Montserrat on your own
- Return ride to Plaça Catalunya
Book in advance, since this is one of our most popular day tours. The tour runs six days a week, so you can easily fit it into your Barcelona vacation.
We meet 15 minutes before departure time in front of Hotel Olivia Plaza at Plaça Catalunya 19. Look out for our guide who will have an orange umbrella.
Your booking is refundable if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance.