Montserrat is a mountain close to Barcelona, it is about 30 kilometers away and is very representative of Catalonia. In this place are both the sanctuary and the monastery that bear the same name of the rocky massif, which are dedicated to the Virgin of Montserrat.

There are several ways to go up to the sanctuary and the monastery, the most popular being from Collbató or from Monistrol de Montserrat. On the occasions that I have done this hiking route, I always start from the train station of this last city. It is also a good route with which you can walk together with your canine companion.

Montserrat is an excellent place for hiking as it has more than 20 different routes that allow you to choose depending on the level of difficulty you want, plus the views from some points on the mountain are truly wonderful.

How do I get to Monistrol de Montserrat?

There are two ways to get to this small town:

  • By car
    • If you decide to arrive by car there are two ways to do so, the first is via the A-2 or Northeast motorway and take the Manresa exit via the C-55 motorway. The second is taking the C-16 road in the direction of Terrasa and take the exit to the C-58 road, this last way of getting there has a toll but the time with either of the two options is practically the same, from 45 to 50 minutes.
  • By train
    • You can get to Monistrol de Monsterrat by public transport, there is a train that leaves from Plaza España in the direction of Manresa that takes us to our destination. This line is the R5 and has departures from 5:16 with two trains per hour, these schedules may change, so we suggest you check the FGC (Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya) search engine on the day you plan to go to don't get surprises. It is also very important to be on time for the train, because otherwise you will have to wait for the next one.

What ways are there to climb the Monestir de Montserrat?

When we talk about Montserrat it will generally be to refer to the Monastery, to get there there are four different ways:

  • By car
    • Through a winding road from the town of Monistrol de Montserrat. At the top you can leave the car in a paid parking lot at a cost of around €6.50 per day. Space is limited, so it is advisable to arrive early in order to have a place to leave our vehicle.
  • By cogwheel train
    • Similarly, from Monistrol de Montserrat, you can take a rack railway that goes up to the Monastery. The price is 11.50 euros per adult for a round trip.
  • By cable car
    • This cable car was built in 1930. To access it you can do it by taking the train from Barcelona or by car, there is a train stop before reaching Monistrol de Montserrat called Aeri de Montserrat. The cable car costs €12 per person for a round trip.
  • Walking
    • If you are a hiking enthusiast, then this option is the one for you. There are several routes that we can take to get to the monastery, the most popular can be taken from Collbató or Monistrol.

What are the most popular hiking trails in Montserrat?

There are more than 20 different routes in the entire Montserrat area that start from several different points, for this reason we believe that it is one of the best areas for hiking near the city of Barcelona, these are some of the best known routes:

  • Path of Les Canales i L'Aigua
    • This route is done on foot from Monistrol de Montserrat and is also known as the Romeo road to Montserrat. This route was the one followed by pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, who made a stop at Montserrat.
  • Drecera dels Tres Quarts
  • PR-C 19
    • It is signposted with the official short-distance trail markings, white and yellow. It partly follows the route of the old Camino Real.
  • Coves del Salnitre (Saltpeter Caves) Collbató-Monasterio
    • It is the easternmost access route to the sanctuary from the Collbató side. It allows you to visit the Cueva del Salitre, the Santa Cueva and walk the path of the monumental Rosario.
  • A la Creu De Sant Miquel
    • Arriving at the Monastery we can arrive by a wide and cobbled path. Between going and coming back it does not reach 3 kilometers. So if you arrived on foot from Monistrol de Montserrat you will not have to make too much extra effort to get to this place.
  • Ascent to Sant Jeroni from the monastery in a circular route
    • It is one of the most popular routes to reach Sant Jeroni, the highest peak of Montserrat. In addition, it allows you to discover some of the most beautiful areas of the mountain and even see some wild goats if you are lucky.
  • The return Montserratina
    • This is the most complete and hard route, it is an excursion of 22 kilometers and 1700 meters of positive difference in altitude. Visit the most important points of the mountain and it is suggested to do it in two days.​

What is my experience?

This was the second time that my girlfriend and I did this hiking route in Montserrat, we started from the town of Monistrol de Montserrat and went up the path of les Aigües to the Monastery. We take the opportunity to visit the Monumental Rosary that leads to the Santa Cova de Montserrat.

Our intention was to arrive from 8 in the morning to take advantage of good weather, avoiding the sun and the heat of summer, which this year has been much higher than usual. Unfortunately we didn't manage to fulfill our purpose and the 7 o'clock train had already left, we arrived about 10 minutes later, so we had to wait about an hour for the next train.

The positive side is that, despite arriving a little before 9 in the morning, we had excellent weather so the route was not difficult for us. From the train station in Monistrol de Montserrat to the road to Santa Cova we did about 70 minutes.

The heaviest part is when you start to climb the stairs during the tour, it is what I consider the most complicated area and where you should take a little rest if you are not used to this type of exercise.

The visit to the Monumental Rosary took us about half an hour, since we like to admire the sculptures calmly. Already in the surroundings of the monastery we have breakfast in one of the cafeterias that are there and we visit the Basilica. On the way back we decided to walk again, which is easier than going up, only we took a wrong turn and ended up walking a kilometer stretch on the road, which can be dangerous.

We had no luck with the timing, since when we arrived at the train station in Monistrol de Montserrat, the train had missed us for a few minutes, so we once again had to wait about an hour for the next one. However, climbing the Monestir de Montserrat is always a pleasant experience.

Do you like hiking? What hiking trails do you know near where you live? What is your favorite hiking route?

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