The jagged peaks of Montserrat are a spiritual shrine and Catalan cultural center. A visit here offers a relaxing respite from the bustle of Barcelona. Soak up sea views, visit a towering Benedictine monastery, and learn about the history of Montserrat in a thrilling new AV show. This is an all-in-one Spanish spectacular.
The stunning Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey was founded in the 10th century, and is still home to more than a hundred Benedictine monks. As you wander the tranquil property you'll see some spectacular art, and perhaps a few brothers at work or rest. You'll also learn the history and mysteries of the area via the audiovisual masterpiece Montserrat Behind Closed Doors.
No visit here is complete without seeing the 12th-century Virgin of Montserrat (Black-Faced Madonna). This 12th-century wood sculpture is one of the patron saints of Catalonia. For more art, the nearby Montserrat Museum has ancient archaeological artifacts and masterpieces by the likes of El Greco, Caravaggio, Picasso and Dali.
After a day of serenity, you can expect to float back down to sea level (but we recommend taking the train).
Montserrat is a one-hour drive from Barcelona. You can go by car to the top, but the parking there has an extra fee and is often full. The best option, if you'd like to enjoy the view on your way to the top, is the cable car (Funicular Aeri De Montserrat).