Montserrat & Monastery of Saint Benet

Two of Catalonia’s most amazing monasteries are showcased on this full-day excursion. The first, the Monastery of Sant Benet de Bages, is considered one of the best-preserved medieval monastic sites in the region. The second, the Montserrat Monastery, is known for its statue of the Black Virgin, the exquisite songs of the boys’ choir and its spectacular mountaintop location.

  • Code
  • Level
  • Walking Type
  • Activity Type
  • Age
    3 & above
  • Duration
    Approximately 8 hours

Depart the pier and enjoy the approximately one-hour journey to the Monastery of Sant Benet de Bages. Founded in 960, the Benedictine monastery complex achieved its highest profile and greatest prosperity in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, but fell into disuse after the devastation the Black Plague. By some accounts, only two members of the community survived.

Now restored, the monastery once again holds a position of beauty and importance. The historic complex hosts not only a church and a cloister, but also a culinary research center, three restaurants, a shop offering artisanal foods, and a variety of multimedia exhibits.

After your visit to this thousand-year-old property, make the brief transfer to the next monastery of today’s excursion, Montserrat. Perched on a rocky mountaintop 4,055 feet above the valley floor, the monastery is one of the most striking in Spain. During your exploration of this hilltop monastic retreat, view an audiovisual presentation and get taste of Catalonia with a sampling of a regional liquor. Within the church’s sanctuary is an icon of the Black Madonna, surrounded by an altar of gold.

Should mass schedules allow, you may step inside the basilica to admire floors inspired by the Vatican in Rome. Depending on timing, you may also hear the angelic voices of the Montserrat Boys’ Choir, one of the oldest in Europe. Yet another highlight is your scenic funicular railway ride to Monistrol Station.

Lunch will be served at Abat Cisneros restaurant, located next to Montserrat Abbey Square.

A day of marveling at Spain’s monastic history and countryside views drawing to a close, return to the pier by motor coach.

Important Notes:
Guests must be a minimum of 18 years old in order to participate. Guests should be aware that there is an approximately 2-hour, roundtrip motor-coach transfer to Montserrat; however, the fascinating sights included in this excursion are its main focus and more than compensate for the length of the journey. As this excursion involves approximately 3½-4 hours of walking over sometimes uneven surfaces, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. Guests will not be able to remain on the motor coach during stops. It is recommended that guests dress in casual clothing and wear a hat, sunglasses and flat, comfortable shoes. Guests should also bring along a light jacket or a sweater. Photography is prohibited inside the basilica at Montserrat and the exhibition rooms and chapels at Sant Benet de Bages. Should mass be taking place, guests will not be permitted to enter the basilica at Montserrat. Some crowding may be expected. The order of sights visited may vary. With the exception of extreme weather, this excursion will operate in all weather conditions. A minimum number of bookings is required for this excursion to operate. Pre-reservation of this Crystal Adventures excursion is recommended.