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Montserrat is a rocky mountain located 50 km to the southwest of Barcelona. It is considered the most significant and important mountain of Catalonia. The etymology of Montserrat comes from Catalan Mont (mountain) and serrat (serrated). The mountain receives its name for its peculiar morphology. In 1987 Montserrat was declared a Natural Park to ensure its conservation. The highest peak is called Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome) and stands at 1,236 meters above sea level.
The importance of this mountain is due to the legend of the miraculous appearance of the Madonna and Child in one of the caves. This cave received the name Santa Cova (The Saint Cave). To this day the wood carving of the Madonna and Child are kept in the Church of the monastery and it is possible to visit it. This image of the Madonna is popularly known as La Moreneta (The Black Madonna) for its dark color. The color is the result of a reaction caused by varnish. La Moreneta´s holiday is on April 27th.
Due to the legend of the Madonna, the mountain has been linked with spirituality. Besides the main monastery of Santa María de Montserrat, there is a great number of small churches and chapels, some of them abandoned. The main monastery stands at 720 meters above sea level. Nowadays there is a community of 80 monks that live there and follow the rule of Saint Benedict.
During the first part of the tour you will enjoy an introduction to the history of the monastery. Once the guided tour has ended, you will have free time to enjoy de fabulous landscape by yourself, to visit the local food market, to visit de audiovisual exhibition and to taste some typical liqueurs.
What to visit in Montserrat?
* La Moreneta: the most popular option, both for the locals and the foreigners. Depending on the time of the year there can be a long queue.
* Escolanía: one of the oldest Boys Choir in Europe. They usually have concerts on weekdays at 13:00. It is recommended to consult the timetable.
* Museum: wide variety of archeological and an art gallery with works from medieval times to avant-garde. The entrance to the museum is not included in the tour. Time to visit approximately two hours.
* Funicular of Sant Joan and funicular of the Santa Cova: The funiculars offer the possibility of get to different points of the mountain. The price of the tickets are not included in the tour and it is recommended to consult the timetable.
* Hiking routes: The Mountain has many hiking routes. The routes are long and it can take hours to finish them. A good option is to walk to the cross of Sant Miguel (approximately 15 minutes away from the monastery), it offers one of the best panoramic views of the mountain and the monastery.
* The Basílica de Montserrat holds the Montserrat Virgin, known as La Moreneta (the Black Virgin), which is the patron saint of Catalonia.
* Breathtaking views of this natural park and towns around are enjoyed from the mountain.
* Bilingual guide.
* Radio guide system.
* Taste of 4 typical liquors, handmade by the monks of the monastery.
* Entrance to the audiovisual exhibition in Montserrat "Espai Audiovisual Montserrat". The exhibition is based on three fundamental pillars: mountain, monastery and sanctuary. It explains to its visitors the history, natural creation and significance of this pilgrimage site.
* Cog - Wheel Train.
* Discounts for some of the main attractions: 20% off in the Sant Joan Funicular ticket, 10% off in the Museum entrance fee, 10%off in the buffet restaurant at the "Mirador dels Apostols".
* Hotel pickup and drop-off.Please Note* This tour is bilingual in English and Spanish.
* Check in time: 23 March 2019 – 31 October 2019: 14:45H / 01 November 2019 – 31 March 2020: 14:00H
* Departure time: 23 March 2019 – 31 October 2019: 15:00H / 01 November 2019 – 31 March 2020: 14:15H
* Proper dress code is requested to enter the Basilica at Montserrat. It is not permitted to enter with tank tops, strapless shirts, short shorts or sandals.
* Please be aware that some walking is included during this tour, please come prepared and we recommend wearing comfortable clothes and shoes.
* At Montserrat there is a mountains climate, depending on the season you will need clothes protecting you from the rain and/or cold.
* We recommend you to check the timetable of the different facilities that you wish to visit during your free time.
* For your comfort, a radio guide system is offered during the tour, in groups of more than 5 people.
* Print your voucher and give it to your guide. E-voucher accepted.
* Please be at the meeting point 15 minutes before the tour begins.
* Julià Travel Gray Line Spain contact: 0034 93 317 64 54 / firstname.lastname@example.org
* Cancellation policy: a 100% cancellation penalty applies if cancelled 24 hours or less prior to travel date or in case of no-show