Montserrat & Sitges Tour

(3)
from/per tour 1,075
  • Day Trips Out of Town
  • Montserrat Tours
  • Seaside Tours
  • Kid friendly
  • Lenght: Full Day
  • Wheelchair friendly

Description

PRIVATE DAY TRIP TO MONTSERRAT AND SITGES:
A day of mountains and sea!

Do you have a day to go out of town? To the question “Mountain or Sea?” your answer is BOTH!? Have you heard about the famous Montserrat Monastery and the village of Sitges and wonder if they can be seen in the same day?

Montserrat is the most popular destination outside of Barcelona: a scenic rocky mountain and a monastery where a Black Madonna is worshiped by a boys choir. And Sitges is a lovely seaside town with over 300 days of sunshine a year and a remarkable modernist past. They are just one hour away from each other, but unless you have a car it’s impossible to see both in the same day as there is no public transportation connecting them.

And yet, we think that being able to combine mountains and sea in the same day is such a unique plan! This is why we created this tour, that thanks to our private driver allows you to get to visit Montserrat and then conveniently arrive to Sitges for lunch.

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This day trip to Montserrat and Sitges covers:

  • Montserrat Monastery area
  • Escolania Choir (when available: see Schedule below)
  • Sitges (visit and lunch)

MONTSERRAT & SITGES TOUR ITINERARY

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

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  • Meet guide and driverDRIVE TO MONTSERRAT

    Your private tour guide and your driver will pick you up at your hotel, apartment or the cruise pier and drive you to Montserrat, past the city suburbs, farmlands and industries, and along the Llobregat river, all the way to the foot of the Mountain of Montserrat, where you can stop for a few pictures before taking the winding road that gets to the Monastery.

    NOTE. If you choose to start your tour one hour later, you’ll also have the option to take the cablecar to the Monastery, but you’ll be missing the Black Madonna Shrine. The cog wheel train is not recommended as guides can’t skip lines there and they are likely to be long.

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  • 8.45 start tours onlyBLACK MADONNA SHRINE

    Once in the Monastery area, you’ll be taken to the Basilica where after walking through the side chapels and climbing 50 steps you’ll get to the Shrine where the Black Madonna is worshiped. Following the tradition you’ll be able to touch her and make a wish. The view from there over the inside of the Basilica is quite stunning.

    This must be completed before 10.30AM, when they close the doors until mass is over. When they reopen later, the lines are extremely long and guides are not allowed to skip them: this is why the visit of the Shrine is not available for tours starting at 9.30AM.

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  • What can you do?MONASTERY AREA

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

    • Mass (Catholic only). Starts at 11AM and lasts for 1 hour.
    • St Joan Funicular and optional hike back. Best done as early as possible to avoid long lines, it departs every 20 minutes and takes you to a high point from where to enjoy the views over the Monastery and the rest of the mountain. The ride takes 5 minutes, and once there you can also visit a small exhibit about the geology and the nature of Montserrat (15 minutes). You might also choose to hike down a relatively easy path (walking shoes needed, though) that takes about 45 minutes to walk. The views are spectacular and it can be done with kids at a slower pace.
    • 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.
    • Holy Cave. If you are into churches and able to walk, you might want instead to walk to the Holy Cave Ermitage, where it is said the Black Madonna was originally found by miracle. The little church isn’t especially beautiful, but the views are and the path is partially decorated with sculptures representing the Misteries of the Cross, one of which was designed by a very young Antoni Gaudi. A funicular saves you 10 minutes of the way, that takes around 40 minutes (one way). The walk involves steps.
    • Via Crucis path. This shorter walk with decorative panels describing Jesus Path of the Cross takes around 30 minutes and 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.
    • 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 minutes more, after watching the video).
    • 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.

    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.

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  • Waiting for the choirMONTSERRAT BASILICA

    The Escolania Choir sings every day except Saturdays and school holidays at 1PM (Sundays at Noon). 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). 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 kids of the Escolania Choir will perform two songs: the Salve and the Virolai, two hymns to the Virgin Mary. During the first one everyone listen in silence, while for the second one locals will devotedly stand up and sing along.

    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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  • DRIVE TO SITGES

    Hop on the car to drive across the Montserrat mountain enjoying impressive views and passing curious rock formations until the road starts descending to join the highway that will take you to Sitges.

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  • Time to eat!SEASIDE LUNCH

    Enjoy a wonderful paella or seafood lunch in the marina of Sitges.

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  • 9.30 start tours onlyVISIT SITGES

    If you chose to start your tour at 9.30 and skip the Black Madonna shrine, now you’ll have a spare extra hour to explore Sitges with your tour guide: walk around its whitewashed streets, feel the breeze of the Mediterranean sea, and learn about the village modernist past.

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  • DRIVE BACK TO BARCELONA

    After lunch, join the driver to return to Barcelona. The road starts with some sea views, to after passing the Garraf mountains start crossing farmlands and industries before entering the city. Use this last ride to continue asking your guide questions, get recommendations for the rest of your stay, or… take a nap!

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  • 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 works great for people looking for a pleasant day out of town and will enjoy the contrast of being in the Mountains and the Mediterranean sea in the same day.

If you are traveling with kids, this tour is totally kid-friendly.

If you have walking issues or use a wheelchair, bear in mind that the driver is only used for the rides, but not in Montserrat or around Sitges. 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. As for Sitges, the marina area is flat and easy to walk, but the old town is uphill and with some cobble-stone streets.

If you are a Catholic, we recommend to start your tour at 8.30AM so you arrive to Montserrat on time to get to the Black Madonna shrine.

If you aren’t a Christian, you might prefer to start your tour at 9.30AM and have more time to explore Sitges.

If you are traveling in the winter, please note that the weather up in the mountain of Montserrat is likely to be wet, cold and foggy. November through February you might want to consider skipping Montserrat and combining Sitges with a winery or with the Roman ruins of Tarragona.

If you only have a morning, Montserrat can be done in just 5 or 6 hours.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Tour length: 8 hours.
  • Entrance fees are not included, but all paid attractions are optional.
  • Lunch is not included. Expect to pay €20 to €40 per person, depending on what you order.
  • 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.

BOOKING INFORMATION

MONTSERRAT & SITGES

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

OPTIONAL – Not included.

PAID ON SITE:

  • 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 Montserrat & Sitges tour is:

AVAILABLEMonday through Sunday
ESCOLANIA CHOIRNot singing on Saturdays or during their school holidays.

Recommended starting times:

8.30AMArrive early to Montserrat and enter the Black Madonna Shrine, touch her and make a wish.
9.30AMSee the Black Madonna only from the distance when you enter the Basilica to hear the Choir, but have time to explore Sitges after lunch.

3 Reviews
  • Satisfaction

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    Pamela S

    We loved the tour, the tour guide and all the extra information about Barcelona!!! The trip to Montserrat was great! She picked a fabulous place for lunch in Sitges, great day!!!

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    Dave and Mary Steele (Reno, Nevada, USA)

    My wife and I were in Port at Barcelona from Noon until 6PM the following day and spent the first afternoon and second day with Marta on exceptional private tours. The first day we toured Barcelona. The following day we drove to Montserrat and Sitges. Both were phenomenal in their own ways and had a wonderful lunch at a beachside table in a nice restaurant in Sitges. Marta, thank you for the wonderful experience my wife and I will never forget.

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    Cynthia R (Midland, Texas, USA)

    The monastery at Montserrat was incredible and Marta's knowledge of the history was impressive. Sitges is a seaside town and very beautiful. Marta had made reservations at a wonderful restaurant on the beach. After lunch we toured the city. All in all it was a wonderful day. Well worth the price!