Tourist Information Guide

Overview to Montserrat: Mountain, Monastery and Natural Park in Catalonia, Spain

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A view from Montserrat Monastery
A view from Montserrat Monastery
Montserrat in Catalonia Spain means a lot of things to a lot of different people. To some it is a monastery, to some it is a natural park, to some it is a mountain and for others it is all of these things. Whatever your reason for coming to Montserrat, you will be amazed by its unique beauty and spirituality - there is something special in everything from the stunning basilica to a flower on the side of a mountain path.

This page will provide you with information on all aspects of Montserrat. There are links to detailed pages on Montserrat Monastery and its different attractions, Montserrat Mountain and Montserrat natural park. On these pages you will find information on the history, features and what to expect at Montserrat, plus practical advice on how to make the most of a visit. There is also information on walking and climbing in Montserrat, plus details on how to get there from Barcelona.


Montserrat Monastery

A square at Montserrat Monastery
A square at Montserrat Monastery

Montserrat Monastery has had a presence on Montserrat Mountain since the ninth century. The Monastery sits proudly in the mountain, practically at its peak and seems to be at one with its surroundings. People come to the Monastery for lots of different reasons. Some to marvel at the architecture, some for religious retreats. Many who come to the Monastery visit the famous Black Madonna statue that is inside the Basilica.

Montserrat basilica
Montserrat basilica

For information on the history of the Monastery, the lives of the Monks who live there and the spirituality of the whole sanctuary, see our Guide to Montserrat Monastery.

If you are looking for a more practical guide to the Monastery, with information on the shops, museum, restaurants and attractions at Montserrat Monastery, see our Guide to the Tourist Attractions of Montserrat. Here you will find links to more detailed pages with opening times, locations and other information relating to the attractions. You will also find links to pages providing you with both the history and the necessary practical details for visiting points of interest such as the basilica and the Black Madonna statue.


Montserrat Mountain

The word Montserrat mean 'serrated edge' and it refers to the distinctive shape that Montserrat Mountain forms. On approaching Montserrat you will see that it is thing of natural and distinctive beauty that has its own reasons for a visit completely independent of the Monastery. For geologists there is much to explore on Montserrat Mountain. You can study its rock formations and distinctive climate. Alternatively, you could go climbing and get up close and personal with the terrain (see below for more details on climbing).

For details of the history of the mountain, plus information on the walks that you can do there, the climate in the area and specific areas of the mountain, such as St Jerome (the highest peak), see our Guide to Montserrat Mountain.


Natural Park

Montserrat natural park and a hermitage
Montserrat natural park and a hermitage

In 1987 Montserrat Mountain was declared to be a natural park by the Generalitat de Catalunya. It is a place that is of interest for its vegetation, wildlife and climate. During your trip to Montserrat it is definitely worth trying to schedule in time for a walk around the natural park. You do not have to be a keen walker - there are walks of varying levels of difficulties (see below for more details). But one of these walks allows you to get up closer to the wildlife and nature on the mountain and perhaps to see one of the famous Montserrat hermitages (see below for more details).

A flower in Montserrat natural park
A flower in Montserrat natural park.

For details on the natural park, with information on what it has to offer, plus links to pages about the villages that can be found there, see our Guide to Montserrat Natural Park.


Walking and Climbing in Montserrat

Montserrat mountain
Montserrat mountain

If you are a keen walker or climber, Montserrat is an excellent place to head. In the hostals and towns around Montserrat you will spot lots of groups of walkers, climbers and cyclists who have come to the area to make the most of its unique terrain.

For details on the walks that you can do from Montserrat Monastery - with information on the walk lengths and times and facts about what you can see on the walks, see our Guide to Walks at Montserrat.

Montserrat mountain - a view from below
Montserrat mountain - a view from below

For climbers, Montserrat Mountain offers somewhere really special and unique to go climbing. For details of the climbing services that can be found on and around Montserrat, see our Guide to Climbing on Montserrat.


How to get to Montserrat

If you are heading to Montserrat from Barcelona, it is possible to come by car, coach or train.

For full driving instructions from barcelona city centre to Montserrat, see our Guide to Getting from Barcelona to Montserrat by Car.

If you choose to go to Montserrat from Barcelona by coach you will have to ensure that you don't miss it as there is only one each day. However, the coach is an affordable option for getting to Montserrat and it will bring you right up as far as Montserrat Monastery. For details on times, prices, location and journey length, see our Guide to Getting the Coach from Barcelona to Montserrat.

One of the most popular options for getting to Montserrat from Barcelona is by train. The train will drop you at the bottom of Montserrat Mountain. From here you can either take a cable car or a rack railway if you wish to visit Montserrat Monastery. If you are visiting the mountain and natural park you will be able to stay in the small town of Monistrol, where the train will drop you. Monistrol could act as a perfect base if you intend to explore the surrounding area. For details on getting the train to Montserrat, including journey times, prices, ticket options and train stops, see our Guide to Getting the Train from Barcelona to Montserrat.

Montserrat is an incredible place - there is a Monastery to be found high and in the depths of a stunning mountain and natural park. If you are in Catalunya, it is well worth a visit to the area. There is something here for everybody - architecture, history and nature all on one mountain.


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