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Day trip to Montserrat & Colonia Guell

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from/per tour 1,075
  • Day Trips Out of Town
  • Gaudi Tours
  • Montserrat Tours
  • Lenght: Full Day
  • Transp: Chauffeured

Description

GAUDI'S OTHER CHURCH AND
his relationship with Montserrat

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.

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This Montserrat & Colonia Guell day trip covers:

  • Güell Crypt
  • Montserrat Monastery area
  • Escolania Choir (when available: see Schedule below)
  • Countryside lunch

TOUR ITINERARY

Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (traffic, your pace and main interests, day of the week…)

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  • Meet guide and driverDRIVE TO THE GÜELL COLONY

    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.

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  • The other unfinished churchCOLONIA GÜELL CRYPT

    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.

    • Note: In this tour there is no time to walk around the rest of the Colònia Güell.

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  • On the roadDRIVE TO MONTSERRAT

    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.

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  • What can you do?MONTSERRAT MONASTERY

    The Monastery area offers lots of activities to choose from. Here are some ideas that can be covered:

    • Audiovisual and Exhibit. A 10 minute audiovisual explains what the Mountain and the Monastery of Montserrat mean for the locals, from its history, its religious significance, the art and the nature. Then the visit continues through a nice exhibit that explains how the monks and the children of the choir live (about 20 to 30 minutes more, after watching the video).
    • Art Museum. If you like art, you will be impressed by the beautiful collection the monks have gathered throughout the centuries! The visit takes at least 1 hour.
    • Via Crucis path. A 30-minute hike along decorative panels describing Jesus Path of the Cross. Despite a few steps here and there, it’s quite easy to walk and it takes you into the nature and away from the pilgrim and visitors crowds for a while, with also some nice photo opportunities. It’s the only hike available for this tour, as any other will take you too long and you’d miss the Choir.
    • Shopping. There are two gift shops and a small farmers market with a dozen stalls selling local food products such as cheese, honey, fig bread and caramelized nuts.
    • Holy Cave path. If you are a big Gaudi fan and are a good walker, you might want to consider walking to the Holy Cave. Part of the path was decorated with the Stations of the Cross, and one of them was decorated by a young Gaudi. The round trip takes almost 1.5 hours (and the way back is stairs uphill), so bear in mind that you are likely to have to stand at the back of the Basilica to hear the Choir if you choose this option.

    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.

  • At the BasilicaBEFORE THE CHOIR

    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.

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  • Oldest Boy Choir in EuropeESCOLANIA CHOIR

    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.

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  • Toilet, pics, shoppingBEFORE LEAVING

    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.

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  • DRIVE TO THE RESTAURANT

    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.

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  • Time to eat!TRADITIONAL LUNCH

    Enjoy your lunch in a local masia farmhouse that houses a traditional Catalan restaurant where you’ll be able to taste local specialties.

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  • DRIVE BACK TO BARCELONA

    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.

  • TOUR ENDS

    You’ll be dropped back to your hotel or apartment, or any other location within the city limits of your choice.

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU?

This tour is great for people who are Gaudi fans and also want to see the Montserrat Monastery.

If you are traveling with kids, this tour is OK, but they probably would rather skip the Cripta Güell so there is more time to explore Montserrat, and then maybe have lunch by the beach in Sitges.

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.

If you have two days and want to see both sites in more detail, consider taking a Montserrat half day tour one day, and visit the Colonia Guell and Palau Guell on the next day.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Tour length: 8 hours.
  • Entrance fees are not included. Tickets for the Cripta Güell are €7/person. As for Montserrat, all paid attractions are optional.
  • Transportation provided in private Mercedes Viano minivan (upto 6 of you) or Mercedes E Class car (couples), depending vehicle availability, with a dedicated driver. Groups of 7 or more will need larger vehicles at an extra cost.
  • There’s no special dress code the enter the Montserrat monastery.
  • Lunch is not included. Expect to pay €15 to €30/person depending on what you order.

BOOKING INFORMATION

MONTSERRAT & GUELL CRYPT

8 HOURS:

€1075

Mercedes car or minivan upto 6 of you + guide & dedicated driver

LUNCH

NOT INCLUDED

Expect to pay €20-30/person, depending on your order.

ENTRANCE FEES

Not included.

PAID ON SITE:

  • Güell Crypt: €9/person

OPTIONAL SITES IN MONTSERRAT:

  • Cablecar: €7/person (ONE WAY)
  • St. Joan Funicular: €8.10/person (ONE WAY)
  • Audiovisual show: €5/person
  • Art Museum: €7/person

* Fees given as an orientation only. Sites might decide to change them without notice. Discounts might apply for students and/or seniors.

IMPORTANT

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.

  • We take Visa and Mastercard.
  • Our website incorporates SSL connection to guarantee your safety.
  • You’ll receive an automated email confirming your booking after completing your payment.

Schedule

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.

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