Are you a Gaudi fan? Did you know he left a church unfinished outside of Barcelona? Have you heard of a monastery near Barcelona up in some rocky mountains? That’s Montserrat, and Gaudi worked there, too.
Montserrat is the most popular destination for a day trip from Barcelona, and the Colònia Gúell where Gaudi left the unfinished crypt is on the way there. There is a train that takes you to both of them, but organizing such an excursion on your own can be quite tricky as the train timetables are hard to combine in a reasonable manner. Plus once there you wouldn’t have anyone to explain them to you.
This is why we created this chauffeured tour that allows you to cover both sites comfortably and at a leisurely pace, and gives you a good understanding of what Montserrat and the Count Güell meant for Antoni Gaudi.
Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (traffic, your pace and main interests, day of the week…)
Your private tour guide and your driver will pick you up at your hotel or apartment and drive you to the Colònia Güell, an industrial complex with housing that was once owned by Antoni Gaudi’s best friend and most important patron.
After getting your tickets at the Visitor Center of the Colònia and checking out quickly the interesting exhibit they have there about the life in the factory, you’ll follow your guide to the Cripta to admire Gaudi’s creativity and engineering technique. You’ll be fascinated by the colors of the stained glasses, intrigued about the recycled materials that were used, and wowed at the simplicity of the catenarian arches he designed.
Back to the road, you’ll follow the Llobregat river all the way to the foot of the Montserrat Mountain, where you can stop for a picture before taking the winding road that takes to the Monastery.
The Monastery area offers lots of activities to choose from. Here are some ideas that can be covered:
You’ll discuss the options with your guide, and spend your time focusing on your favorite activities. Your guide will stay with your during the entire time.
The Basilica of Santa Maria de Montserrat gets packed, so for the best experience we recommend arriving 30 minutes earlier to get a good spot standing as close to the altar as possible (or one hour if you wish to be able to seat – in the low season less time might be needed). During the waiting time your guide can continue whispering you explanations, and as the Choir time approaches, a monk will read some passages of the Gospels in different languages and encourage people to join him praying the Our Father.
The Escolania Choir sings every day except Saturdays and school holidays at 1PM (Sundays at Noon) two songs: the Salve and the Virolai, two hymns to the Virgin Mary. The singing is considered a sung prayer – not a concert. This is why it is not appropriate to clap at the end. It is also free of charge for this reason.
After the Choir, you’ll head straight back to the car. We need to depart quickly in order to avoid the tremendous traffic jam that happens after the Choir when dozens of tour buses try to leave the Monastery at the same time via the single road that takes there. This is why toilet and shopping must be done BEFORE the Choir.
The food options in the Monastery area are terrible. This is why we want to take you somewhere else for lunch (unless you prefer to stay longer and are OK with a sandwich or some reheated cantine food).
There is a 10 minutes walk from the Basilica to where drivers are allowed to pick up passengers. Before we head there, you’ll have some time for last-minute shopping and pictures, and to use the toilet if you need it.
Alternatively, you can take the cablecar or the cog wheel train to get down. Note that this needs to be agreed with your guide BEFORE the Choir, as she needs to give instructions to the driver, so he can pick you up at the right place.
Back to the car, you’ll take the road that goes down through the other side of the mountain, with beautiful scenery and if the day is clear enough, you’ll even get to see the Pyrenees mountains in the distance. There’s time for a few photo stops of the curious rock formations of Montserrat.
Enjoy your lunch in a local masia farmhouse that houses a traditional Catalan restaurant where you’ll be able to taste local specialties.
After lunch you’ll get back to the car and head to Barcelona. You can continue discussing with your guide what you’ve seen during the day, ask more questions, or just take a nap during the ride.
You’ll be dropped back to your hotel or apartment, or any other location within the city limits of your choice.
This tour is great for people who are Gaudi fans and also want to see the Montserrat Monastery.
If you are looking forward to some hiking, I’m afraid this tour doesn’t allow for enough time. A Montserrat tour or a tour that combines Montserrat and Sitges are your best options (links above).
If you have walking issues or use a wheelchair, while the driver is only used for the rides between Montserrat and Barcelona, but not in Montserrat itself, the Monastery area and the basilica are wheelchair accessible and whenever there are steps they can be avoided. The Audiovisual and Exhibit, the Art Museum, the cog wheel train stations, the cafeteria, and the gift shops are accessible too. The funiculars, the cablecar and the various hike options are NOT wheelchair accessible.
If you are a Catholic, bare in mind that in this tour you’ll be arriving too late to approach the Black Madonna (you’ll see her from the distance when you enter the Basilica, though) or to attend mass.
If you aren’t a Christian, you will still enjoy this day tour if you like architecture, mountains, music and history.
If you are traveling in the winter, please note that the weather up in Montserrat is likely to be wet, cold and foggy. November through February we recommend to do Colònia Güell with Palau Güell instead. We can also custom a full day that combines Colònia Güell with Sitges or a winery.
Mercedes car or minivan upto 6 of you + guide & dedicated driver
Expect to pay €20-30/person, depending on your order.
PAID ON SITE:
OPTIONAL SITES IN MONTSERRAT:
* Fees given as an orientation only. Sites might decide to change them without notice. Discounts might apply for students and/or seniors.
We can only secure a guide for you after full payment has been received. Don’t wait until last-minute: we often book out in high season, and Park Guell & Sagrada Familia tickets sell out, too.
This Day tour to Montserrat & Colonia Guell is:
|AVAILABLE||Monday through Sunday|
|ESCOLANIA CHOIR||Not singing on Saturdays or during their school holidays.|
Tour starting time:
|9.30AM||This tour starting time is not flexible.|