Montserrat is located 48kms inland from Barcelona, around an hours drive. It's home to Santa Maria de Monserrat Abbey which dates from the 11th century although it was partially destroyed by Napolean's troops in 1811-1812 during the Peninsular war. It's normally home to around 80 monks and features the Escolania, Montserrat's boys choir which is one of the oldest in Europe.
The Abbey is spectacular in itself but is enhanced by the incredible setting, sitting as it does below the jagged peaks of Montserrat. The highest point of the mountain, Saint Jeroni, is 1,236 metres and can be reached by footpaths leading from the monastery. We had two fantastic days there blessed again by great weather.
We managed to explore the Abbey, take a trip up the funicular and walked to just below the peak of the mountain. There are many fantastic trails spreading out across the mountain. We also managed to have a look through the Monastery's museum which houses works from Dali, Picasso, Monet, Renoir and Degas to name a few. A real surprise and big bonus for our stay.
We stayed at the monastery at a hotel next to the Abbey. Really enjoyed staying up there and would recommend it if you can do it.
Sunrise on our first morning
Remains of an ancient village cut into the face of the mountain
On the way up
Ok, so this guy is going for the real peak. He has bigger balls than I do...