Enjoy a scenic countryside drive through Catalonia to Montserrat and its famous Benedictine Monastery. This Barcelona cruise shore excursion is full of history, culture, and tradition, and even tastes some of the handmade liquors made by the monks.
Your meeting point is a 20-minute taxi ride from your Barcelona cruise pier where you will be greeted by your excursion guide staff then you'll board the air-conditioned transport. As the transport takes you to the mountain of Montserrat and its Benedictine Monastery, located approximately 90 minutes northwest of Barcelona, your guide will be giving you some history, facts, and stories about the area. The drive will take you through picturesque farmland passing occasional small villages in contrast to the jagged peaks of Montserrat. The peaks of Montserrat have been carved over the centuries by the wind and rain and can be seen long before you arrive. They stretch 4,051 feet into the sky. The curving mountain road used to access the monastery offers you incredible views out across the valley.
Upon arrival at the parking area, you will join your guide and climb several flights of steps to reach the plaza of the Royal Basilica of Montserrat. Built into the cliff-side and its unique architecture makes this location a scenic wonder and a photographer's delight. Construction on the monastery began in 1025 AD, built on earlier Roman ruins, and soon began to receive pilgrims and visitors who spread the stories of miracles and wonders performed by the Virgin. In the late 12th century, a Romanesque carving of la Moreneta (the Black Virgin) was acquired by the monastery and it has drawn pilgrims ever since. The Royal Basilica has been one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Spain for almost 1000 years.
After an approximately 30-minute orientation and walk through the grounds, you will be given free time to explore on your own. There is a museum, restaurants, and shops, as well as the opportunity to view the Black Virgin from a passageway that circles behind the altar where she is located. You have the option to taste some of the handmade liquors made locally by the monks, Aromes de Montserrat.
At the appointed time, you will meet your guide, returning to the transportation you will begin the drive back to Barcelona and the Plaza de Catalunya. From here, you may choose to return to the cruise ship directly, at your own expense, or explore and return at your leisure if time allows. Taxis are readily available.
Note: We also offer this similar excursion that involves the guests taking a cogwheel train (like a cable car) up to the monastery - please see the /barcelona/montserrat-cog-wheel-train.html.
Enjoy this morning sightseeing shore excursion from Barcelona Spain to the mountain of serrated peaks, Montserrat, and its world-famous monastery.