Montserrat is undoubtedly the most popular day trip from Barcelona. The Abbey of Montserrat is a monastery located at the top of the Montserrat mountain that has a rich history and is deeply linked to the spiritual experiences of San Ignacio de Loyola or Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Before his spiritual conversion, St. Ignatius was, in fact, a Spanish knight. He took part in many battles and was wounded at the Battle of Pamplona in 1521. During his recovery, he underwent a spiritual conversion that would take him to the Holy Land. On the way, he overnighted at Montserrat, where he experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. The next day, he left his sword, gave away all his fine clothes, and dressed in rough clothes and sandals. He walked down the mountain and arrived at Manresa, where he stayed for 11 months. Learn more about him and Manresa Cave HERE
What will the visit to Montserrat and Manresa entail?
Departure at 8:30 am for Manresa to make sure we arrive when the church opens.
In Manresa we’ll visit the Church of St. Ignatius and the Cave where he prayed and underwent an intense spiritual experience that gave him the inspiration to write “The Book of Spiritual Exercises,” a guide for living one’s life according to God and the basis of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The Cave is a place of pilgrimage and worship visited by Jesuits and students from Loyola universities around the world who are interested in visiting all the important places in the life of St. Ignatius.
Drive to Montserrat after visiting the Cave, enjoying some exceptional views of the mountain on the way and visiting the Monastery that held so much importance for Saint Ignatius.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT MONTSERRAT
If time allows, we’ll listen to La Escolania, the Boys’ Choir, to hear their beautiful voices sing out the Salve Regina and El Virolai, the hymn dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat.
We’ll then have a snack before heading back to Barcelona; one option is to try some local cheese and honey, referred to as “Mató amb mel.” Montserrat has several places to get food.
Manresa is the town where St. Ignatius of Loyola chose to settle for a period in 1522, remaining for 11 months. He was fascinated by its beauty, its location by the Cardener river, and the kindness of its inhabitants, who took care of that poor pilgrim who had walked down Montserrat without any proper shoes.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SOLO TRAVELERS TO MONTSERRAT
If you would like to visit the Cave of St. Ignatius in Manresa, but the price of the chauffeured tour exceeds your budget, we can organize a tour using public transport; it will take you a little longer, but we can take advantage of the journey to talk about Barcelona, Catalonia, Montserrat and, of course, St. Ignatius. We encourage you to book the tour and specify that you would like to go by public transport.
TOUR NOT AVAILABLE ON SUNDAY & MONDAY
Go small you won’t regret it
Carolina was our guide to Montserrat and under her exceptionally pleasant guidance, we walked to the top and took the funicular railway down. It was quite a nice hike up that apparently few undertake, preferring to take the rail up and walk down as an option. The solitude, vistas, and plant life were beautiful
Rich & Helene Osswald, Pennsylvania
I can’t say enough positive things about our experience with Carolina and Skip the Line. We were unsure about using a tour guide because we had never used one before, so we waited until we arrived in Barcelona to set something up. They responded immediately and were flexible concerning meeting times. We made an easy payment through PayPal and we were all set up. We met up with Carolina two blocks from where we were staying and she immediately engaged our 6 and 9-year-old kids. We went on to a tour that was incredibly informative from a historical perspective, but also in current events. And, it was great to get the perspective on current events from a local. Carolina was honest AND even-handed. The tour ended with “Certificates of Achievement” in understanding Barcelona for my kids. Skip the Line and Carolina were a highlight of our trip and I highly recommend them.
Best way to start our Trip !!!!
We signed up for the Highlights tour on our first full day in Barcelona and it was the perfect way to start our trip. Carolina was a great and patient guide and she really helped us get our bearings. We saw a few different areas of the city, learned a lot about each neighborhood, and ended up with a great tour of La Sagrada Familia. I highly recommend scheduling a tour with Skip the Line – they were professional, on time, organized and really fun to hang out with!
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