Visiting Barcelona last year I enjoyed hiking Montserrat so much that I went back for a full day of hiking the day before my flight back to Austin TX. A Montserrat day trip from Barcelona is so easy – there is a train that leaves from Pl Espanya and drops you at either Aeri (cable car) or St Joan Funicular (rack train) at the base of Montserrat. On my Montserrat day trips I enjoyed being out in the fresh air, hiking, listening to the birds, chatting with fellow hikers, picnic lunch, and the beautiful wildflowers along the hiking trails.
It is amazing how many different types of wildflowers grow and thrive along the rocky pathways of Montserrat hiking trails.
Some of the plants and flowers are not native to this region of the world – the Century Plant (as seen above) introduced to Spain, along with the prickly pear cactus, by explorers returning from the Americas.
Pretty pink blooms of the grey leaved Cistus wildflowers were abundant along the hiking trails at Montserrat. The bees loved these flowers!
I recommend taking a picnic lunch while visiting Montserrat especially if you will be hiking the trails. I did not think to bring much with me on my first visit to Montserrat but on the second visit I enjoyed a big breakfast at the café near Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey. I also purchased a sandwich and a few other items at the well stocked shop close to the Aeri (cable car). There are no shops once you get to the top of Montserrat via cable car or funicular so bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy at Montserrat is advised. I enjoyed my picnic lunch along with a few other hikers at the summit of Sant Jeroni trail. A group of German travels unveiled their collection of wine, cheese, sausage, fruit, etc – complete with a checkered table-cloth.
A striking variety of wildflowers bloom in the sedimentary rock of Montserrat.
To visit Montserrat from Barcelona take the train from Pl Espanya metro station (L1 – red) and decide whether you want to take the Aeri (cable car) or the funicular (rack train) to Montserrat. Many people told me I was brave to take the cable car – they must have a phobia about cable cars or maybe they just don’t like the way it moves with the wind. I enjoyed it a great deal. I took the funicular on the way down and enjoyed the view and relaxing after my day of hiking. On the cable car you need to stand up but it is faster than the funicular.
If you visit Barcelona for several days then a Montserrat day trip is just perfect to escape the city and enjoy some hiking for a few hours. You can enjoy the scenic Catalonia vistas and return to Barcelona to enjoy some tapas in the evening. Happy travels!
How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona:
By Bus: There is one direct daily bus to and from Montserrat, leaving from the bus station next to Estació Sants train station in Barcelona. You can find the exact times on the company’s website, AutoCars Julia.
By Train: From the Plaça Espanya train station, take the FGC’s R5 train to either Aeri de Montserrat or Monistrol de Montserrat. Which stop to get off depends on whether you choose to take the cable car or the rack train to the mountain. You can purchase combination tickets (called ToT Montserrat ticket) at the train station in Barcelona and find out more about prices and options here.
By Car: Maps, directions, and information on car rentals and parking can be found on this Montserrat Tourist Guide website.
By tour: If you want to visit Montserrat with a tour, there are several organized tours leaving from Barcelona in the morning and afternoon.