Montserrat: a hike from disappointment to amazement

Montserrat: a hike from disappointment to amazement

What’s up everyone?

Today I’ll take you with me on a journey to famous Montserrat mountain and monastery, located about an hour away from Barcelona. Ready to go?

Let’s proceed!

I’ve been hearing about Montserrat for a very long time. There are a few photos of the monastery and the multi-peaks peculiar shape of the range that make it on every tourism guide and website and basically everyone recommends you to take the trip if you happen to be in Barcelona.

I wanted to visit this place back in 2015, but given it was November and the days were shorter, I postponed it for another time.

“Another time” happened to be a few days ago.

We used this website to plan our trip – I recommend it because they offer all the details you might need regarding the available tickets and how to get there. Our choice was the simplest one: to take the train from Barcelona combined with the funicular to get us up to the monastery (€21.10 round trip for an adult). You’ll see there are various other options that include visits to the museum and funicular rides to different points of interest in the peaks around the monastery. I recommend you to do a thorough research before buying them because you might just end up paying for something you don’t want or need. For example, visiting the museum wasn’t of interest to us (plus, you can enter the church for free) in this case.

Tickets in hand and us boarding the train from Barcelona early morning, I had very high expectations. I previously heard only good things about this place and how amazing it is – so in my head its awesomeness took huge proportions. I know, I know, it’s not really ok to do that, but I’m working on it!

Therefore, when I arrived..

..I wasn’t swept off my feet.

I was disappointed.

Really, I was so, so disappointed. I was already thinking about how I wasted a whole day and €20 to just come and see a beautiful, but average site, suffocated by touristic shops and people taking selfies.

We visited the church, admired the, I admit, great views and sat down for a coffee to reassess the situation.

Coffee always makes everything better, doesn’t it?

With our energy bars fuelled, we decided to discover as much of the surrounding hike trails as we could for the rest of the day.

And this is where it all got truly awesome!

If anyone sold you the idea that the monastery of Montserrat is the main point of interest, don’t believe them! It’s the stunning nature surrounding it.

There are various hike trails that can be approached by all ages – we’ve seen elder people slowly walking the path and families with little babies in carriages, so no excuse for you to avoid at least a short stroll!

We’ve done a great bunch in around 5 or 6 hours total – but we’re quite fast and sporty people, so don’t take this as an average time to do it. As main landmarks along our way I’ll mention the Sant Joan monastery and the chapel of Sant Miquel (where it was so peaceful that we spent almost half an hour just sitting on the porch and feeling the pleasant breeze).

Besides this, we climbed on various peaks just to take a look at the enormous land unfolding at our feet (and smell the rosemary bushes). We were tired and hungry but still pushing for more in the summer heat – because once you see a striking view, you’re curious if the next one will top it up and whether another peculiar set of peaks will appear after the corner! And it always did surprise us!

I find it difficult to paint for you with words the true wonder of this area. And I’m afraid the following images don’t do it justice as it deserves. You have to be there, see all for yourself and marvel at nature’s majesty.

Montserrat, thank you for showing me your beautiful face!

14 thoughts on “Montserrat: a hike from disappointment to amazement”

  • I totally get what you say. That is why sometimes I decide not to visit places on a tour. When I visited Barcelona, I saw tons of half-day trips to the monastery. I am sure there is not enough time to explore the hiking trails on those. I ended not visiting (since there was a lot to see in Barcelona) but I will keep your post in mind. I would like to walk around. I tis true. The scenery is gorgeous around here.

    • Yes, that’s true! I saw a lot of tours advertised too, the majority of them also expensive and I really didn’t get what value they were offering to be worth it. Maybe some of them are great for history lovers (if they offer lots of info) or elder groups?

  • Yay! This sounds like my kind of adventure!
    Everything is always so much prettier when you wander out into the natural areas around them. Your photos are gorgeous. I’m glad you had a fun day in the end.

  • These photos are absolutely breathtaking… I definitely understand about something being overhyped and feeling disappointed. Sometimes we don’t see things the same as everyone else, but it’s good that in the end you found your own beauty in it.

    • Really?! Uau! Had no idea they do that! Sounds like an awesome hike, I imagine how beautiful it would be to camp up there and watch the wonderful sky at night!

  • I’m so glad it worked out in the end and you were happy with your trip. I hate being disappointed by something I was looking forward to too. Your photos are great and really capture the beauty of the area.

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