The Abbey of Montserrat is located 721m high in the mountain range of the same name – about 1.5 hours by train from Barcelona. Here everything is about the adoration of the Virgin Mary. “ La Moreneta“, the statue of the black Madonna, dates back to the 12th century and can be seen inside the Basilica. The abbey possesses an extensive history and the monastry still operates to this day. Many people from the region visit the mountain to find some days of peace and spend time for themselves… although tourism is quite intense during the Summer months.
The abbey also accommodates a variety of Catalan art and song repertoire. During the Franco years, the abbey was almost fully protected against the grasp of dictature, so much so that many artists and intellectuals found shelter here – everywhere else, everything Catalan was prohibited.
All in all the mountain range of Montserrat is worth a visit. You can enjoy hiking and climbing in beautiful nature – even if you are not connected to christianity. The free standing mountain of Montserrat offers a far view, free of obstacles, and is 1200 meters high. Many hiking paths lead away from the abbey through (almost) untouched nature.
From Barcelona you can catch a train to the station “Monistrol de Montserrat”. There you can change to get on the Cremallera (in English: “the zipper”, or funicular) up to the abbey. Get off a train station before and you can find the Aeri (cable car), although it is quite expensive. At the abbey there is another cable car (Funicular), which can take you to the peak of the mountain.
Tips and Information:
- Buy the complete return ticket (train + Cremallera) (approx. 20€) from the ticket machines at Plaça Espanya. You will find friendly service personnel there who can help you.
- Make sure you have enough time! Best to go in the morning, since the last train connection back to Barcelona leaves shortly after 6pm!
- Hiking isn’t fun at 35°C. If you can, try to go in Springtime or Autumn.
- By train:
- Train from Plaça Espanya: FGC R5 direction Manresa, get off at “Monistrol de Montserrat”
- Cremallera: the “Zipper” to the abbey leaves from the same track
- By bus:
- Autocares Julià is bringing you directly from Sants Estacion to the Abbey (cheapest way to go!).