Early Entrance Montserrat & Gourmet Cava Tour from Barcelona

21 reviews

8 hrs 30 mins

Max 15

Why take this tour?

Enjoy the cultural and culinary elements of Catalonia on this unique day trip from Barcelona. You'll arrive before the crowds at picturesque Montserrat Monastery, for guaranteed access to the famous Black Madonna. Then, zip over to the rolling hills of the Penedés region where you will visit one of the top vineyards and learn why cava is making a name for itself as an equal to champagne. Enjoy lunch and tastings of the 10-year reserve along with a detailed tour of the wine-making process.

Highlights

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    View the Black Madonna during your tour of the Montserrat Monastery

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    Acquaint yourself with the artwork housed within the Monastery's art museum

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    Marvel at the views afforded by a cable car trip to the top of the mountains

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    Ponder cava's merits over lunch at a local winery in the Penedés region

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    Enjoy a tour of the vineyard, followed by wine-tasting

Light a candle; take a glass

Your day trip from Barcelona starts early, with a one-hour drive up the mountains to Montserrat Monastery - a beautiful structure perched among mist-covered pinnacles. The Monastery is home to a lot of intriguing history, but the star of the show is the famous Black Madonna; a 12th century sculpture of the Virgin Mary that is among the most venerated religious images in Europe. Huge crowds arrive daily to see this statue so, between that and awkward closures for mass, many visitors leave without seeing her. As one of the first groups to arrive, your visit will be guaranteed. Your guide will give you a full tour of the church and its chapels, telling you how it weathered both the invasion of Napoleon and the Spanish Civil War.

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Your day trip from Barcelona starts early, with a one-hour drive up the mountains to Montserrat Monastery - a beautiful structure perched among mist-covered pinnacles. The Monastery is home to a lot of intriguing history, but the star of the show is the famous Black Madonna; a 12th century sculpture of the Virgin Mary that is among the most venerated religious images in Europe. Huge crowds arrive daily to see this statue so, between that and awkward closures for mass, many visitors leave without seeing her. As one of the first groups to arrive, your visit will be guaranteed. Your guide will give you a full tour of the church and its chapels, telling you how it weathered both the invasion of Napoleon and the Spanish Civil War.

When your tour finishes, the crowds will only just be showing up and you'll have 90 minutes of free time. You can simply grab a snack in the cafe, but we recommend taking a peek into the Monastery's art museum which has a small but extraordinary collection, which includes an El Greco, a Caravaggio, and a Monet. Another option is the popular cable car, that takes you to the top of the mountain, where you'll get a jaw-dropping panorama of the countryside.

Hopping back into your minibus at midday, your day trip from Barcelona continues with a comfortable hour-long drive into the Penedés region, which is famous for producing Catalonia's answer to champagne; cava. As the mountains recede behind you and the vineyards rise, your guide - a local wine lover - will explain how cava stacks up against wines like champagne and prosecco, and why they're more similar than you might think.

Your destination is a small winery that has been run by the same family for 90 years. One of the family members will greet you and bring you inside for a lunch of fresh local produce, breads, and cured meat. The meal will also include the first of a few wine-tastings you will enjoy at the winery.

After lunch, it's time for a tour of the vineyard, which includes a deep dive into the extremely laborious process of cava-making. At almost 70 years of age, the (sprightly) father of the family still manages the production of every bottle here, using a lot of the machinery his parents bought almost a century ago. Included in this process is 'riddling', the action of rotating each bottle 1/8 of a turn every day to allow the sediment to settle. You'll try your hand at this and see how the machinery works with hands-on demonstrations.

With a deeper appreciation of how cava is made, you'll have another tasting of three of the winery's finest vintages. The highlight is a 10-year cava that can go toe-to-toe with anything coming out of the Champagne Region.

Once you've finished your wine, it's time to head back to the city, where you'll arrive at 4:00pm - giving you plenty of time for a siesta before dinner.

  • Sites Visited
  • Montserrat Monastery
  • The Black Madonna
  • Cava Region
  • Vineyard
  • Tour Includes
  • Guided tour of Montserrat Monastery
  • Vineyard tour led by the owners
  • Generous cava-tasting including a 10-year reserve
  • Lunch at the vineyard
  • Round-trip transport to Penedés & Monserrat from Barcelona by air-conditioned minibus
Montserrat, visited on our day trip from Barcelona
Your visit to 'The Black Madonna' is guaranteed on our Montserrat day trip from Barcelona
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Latest Reviews

This tour was amazing! The Cava tasting was our favorite part. The whole experience, the food, meeting Martha at the vineyard, and our tour guide Ewa were just superb.


FAQ

Is this day trip wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, the vehicles we use on these tours do not accomodate wheelchairs. If you would like a day trip from Barcelona and have a mobility impairment, please contact our customer service department (info@walks.org) and we will be happy to organize a private experience for you.
Is there are dress code for the Cathedral of Montserrat?
Yes. In the Cathedral of Montserrat, both men and women are asked to wear clothing that covers at least the shoulders and knees. It is sufficient to bring extra coverings (e.g., a scarf) with you and to put them on before entering to see the Black Madonna.
How should I dress for this day trip?
Montserrat sits at a higher elevation than much of Catalonia so tends to be a few degrees cooler than the other places you visit on this trip. Please bring an extra layer to ensure your comfort when we are on the mountain.