Visiting Montserrat and Girona is your dream? Only have one day to visit them and your desire is so strong that not even the long rides between them will make you change your opinion?
The Monastery of Montserrat and the medieval town in Girona are two of the top destinations for a Barcelona day trip. Unfortunately, they are quite in opposite directions and if you are willing to cover them in just one day, you’ll have to be ready to spend as much time inside a car than out exploring the sites. However, it’s doable! Tricky and exhausting if you try to organize on your own, but manageable with our help.
However, make sure to read all the pros and cons: it’s a long (and not cheap!) day, and we want to make sure you are booking it fully conscious of what it involves.
Final itinerary and timings might vary due to many factors (traffic, your pace, your main interests, day of the week…)
Be picked up at your hotel, apartment or the cruise pier by your private tour guide and your driver to drive you to Montserrat, driving along the Llobregat river, the orchards and factories along it, all the way to the foot of the Mountain of Montserrat.
There are 3 different ways to get to the Monastery:
The Monastery area offers lots of activities to choose from. Here are some ideas:
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.
In order to see both Montserrat and Girona in one day, some sacrifices must be made. And for most people, the Boys Choir is a must. Therefore, the timing for this tour has been designed so it can be included. But unfortunately, that results in you missing other Montserrat sites:
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 Basilica 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). 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 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.
After the choir, you’ll have some time for a light lunch at the Monastery canteen. Unfortunately, the food options aren’t great: sandwiches and cafeteria reheated food (chicken, sausages, omelettes, fries, salads…). But if you wish to see the choir, I’m afraid that’s the only option (unless of course you prefer to wait until 3.30PM and eat a decent lunch in Girona…
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: On Saturday and during school holidays there is no Choir, so we can start your tour at 8:30AM and be in Girona at 1:30PM for lunch. On Sunday the Choir sings at noon, and if we leave right after, we’ll be in Girona by 2.30 for lunch.
Use this long ride for a lovely nap, or to enjoy the views as you cross the landscapes of the central Catalonia: mountains, farmlands, villages, woods and local industries. Your guide can answer any questions you might have about our history and culture, or start filling you in about what you’ll be seeing in Girona.
The Old Town of Girona keeps a charming Call (medieval Jewish Section) with a fascinating (and unfortunately sad) history. No Jewish Heritage tour here would be complete without a visit of its Museum of History of the Jewish ( closed on Monday).
Besides this, there’s also some interesting Medieval Baths, the path along the city walls and an extraordinary Gothic Cathedral. You’ll also get to walk around the medieval alleys and squares to enjoy the local atmosphere. Almost like being in Italy, but without the crowds!
Back to the car, enjoy a well deserved rest or continue chatting with your tour guide about what you’ve seen today, ask any other questions you might have about the local history and culture, and get recommendations for the rest of your stay.
You’ll be dropped back to your hotel or apartment, or any other location within the city limits of your choice.
This tour is ONLY RECOMMENDED for people with lots of energy willing to do both Girona and Montserrat in one day despite the long rides.
If you are traveling with kids, this tour won’t work at all. We suggest you stick to only one of the two destinations: Montserrat is usually more child-friendly, and it makes a lovely combination with a seaside lunch in Sitges if you wish a light full day. As for Girona, kids usually loved it in combination with the Costa Brava beaches.
If you have walking issues or use a wheelchair, please note that the visit of Girona involves sections of stairs and uphill cobblestone streets. Plus you might not have enough stamina to keep going for 10 hours… We recommend you stick to just Montserrat instead, which will be a more leisurely option for you (the funiculars, the cablecar and the various hike options are NOT wheelchair accessible).
If you are traveling in the winter, please note that the weather is likely to be wet, cold and foggy. November through February we recommend warmer destinations such as Tarragona or Sitges, or indoor destinations like a winery or the Dali Museum instead.
Mercedes car or minivan upto 6 of you + guide & dedicated driver
Expect to pay €20-30/person, depending on your order.
OPTIONAL – Not included.
PAID ON SITE in Montserrat:
PAID ON SITE in Girona:
* 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 trip to Girona & Montserrat is:
|AVAILABLE||Monday through Sunday|
|SOME SITES CLOSED||Monday: the Museum of History of the Jewish of Girona is closed.|
Saturday and school holidays: the Montserrat Boys Choir doesn't sing.
Sunday: the interior of the Cathedral of Girona is not available for visits as there is mass going on (you can visit the Cloister and the Treasure Museum, though.
|UNIQUE||In May, Girona celebrates the “Time of Flowers” festival. A great time to visit it and see the usual sites covered in flower decorations.|
Tour starting time:
|10.30 AM||Recommended tour starting time. It allows you to see the Boys Choir in Montserrat (unless it's Saturday or school holidays, since they don't sing then).|
|8.30 AM||You'll be seeing the Black Madonna Shrine instead of the Boys Choir, leave at 11.30 for Girona and eat there at 1.30PM. The Cablecar will still be closed by the time you arrive to Montserrat.|
|9.30 AM||You'll arrive to Montserrat on time for Mass but miss the Boys Choir (unless it's Sunday), as you'll be leaving at 12.30 for Girona to eat there at 2.30PM.|