Montserrat – day trip from Barcelona
Everyone knows all about Barcelona these days but how many of you have heard about Montserrat located just about an hour from the iconic city?
The mountain Montserrat is famous for its lovely landscapes and the Santa Maria del Montserrat Abbey. The name literally means serrated mountains due to the peculiar rocky formations rising in the air. It’s an ideal place for a hike or a regular day trip from Barcelona. You can get there by a train from the Placa d’Espanya station that departs about every hour and continue to the Abbey by the Aerial cable car or the rack railway. The cable car takes only about 5 minutes to go up to Montserrat but there are no seats available, fact that you can easily forget when you experience the impressive panorama all around you. The ride on the rack railways is 15 minutes long and provides great views as well and it’s a better option for those with a fear of heights. It is better to decide whether you’re taking the cable car or the rack railway beforehand in order to purchase a combined ticket from the train station in Barcelona and save some money.
Santa Maria del Montserrat Abbey is a still-functioning monastery with more than 150 monks living there. It was founded all the way back in the 10th century and it’s beautifully preserved. There are two funiculars that can take you either for a hike up in the mountains above or down to the sacred cove to explore the story of the image of Virgin Mary and ‘The Chapel of Holly Grotto’. If you happen to be in the mood for walking the path to the cove is approximately 1.5 km and it has some picturesque views to accompany you down the road.
There are many hiking trails waiting for you if you choose to take the funicular up to the Montserrat mountains and if you are a dedicated hiker you can even go up really early and watch the sunrise there. Something I would like to do myself one day when I go back.