AMAZING HIKING TOUR AMONG THE SPIRES OF MONTSERRAT
We recently felt the urgent need to spend a day away from the city, and decided to go on a hiking tour among the spires of Montserrat.
Among the many lessons recent developments have taught us about ourselves is that we enjoy open-air activities more than ever before.
We want to do more sports, stay healthy, and renew our energy and inner strength by spending more time in natural environments.
Hiking and nature walks are a perfect combination of all the above!
A world-famous sanctuary in the mountain of Montserrat
Montserrat, the serrated mountain, is famous the world over for its sanctuary, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Until recently, millions of Catholic pilgrims and tourists visited it every year.
Over the centuries, the carving of the Mother of God of Montserrat, also known as the Black Madonna (la Moreneta in Catalan) has been protected by a monastic community.
The Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria of Montserrat will very soon celebrate its millennial (1025-2025)!
A day trip from Barcelona
Most people typically visit the mountain on a day trip, normally from Barcelona.
It is easy to travel to Montserrat from Barcelona, both with public and private transportation.
After all, the serrated mountain lies only about 65 km away from Barcelona’s city center.
Experiencing the natural magnificence of this mountain
Besides faith, art and historical heritage (the Monastery houses one of the best but still least-visited art museums in Catalonia), what draws people to this multi-peaked mountain range not far from Barcelona is the awesome landscape and its spectacular rock formations.
Inevitably, most people visit the area around the monastery but have little time to truly experience the natural magnificence of this mountain.
The geology and natural environment of Montserrat are what attracts us the most.
Let’s hike in Montserrat!
We are very fond of hiking all around Catalonia as you can see in some of our previous posts.
However, Montserrat is truly a one-of-a-kind mountain and it definitely is one of Catalonia’s most iconic places.
Being such a steep and labyrinthine 10 km-long mountain, Montserrat’s trails and paths are so numerous that one could walk for days and days.
Over the years we have visited this mountain many times on our own, with friends, or with clients.
A small group hiking tour
Beautiful as it is from all sides, we especially love the area around the Foradada and the Agudes spires. As we said at the beginning, we recently arranged a small group hike to that part of Montserrat. It was a very enjoyable sunny day.
What is most surprising about this mountain is the density of the vegetation wherever it has any soil to grow!
Seen from afar, the mountain spires look mainly pink-grey due to the unique conglomerate, the sedimentary rock of Montserrat.
Trekking under holm oaks
But when you are hiking in the mountain, for much of the time, the dark green of the glossy foliage of its holm oaks is the main color you see.
More than thirty years after the huge fire that engulfed the mountain in the 1980s, the mountain’s vegetation has recovered astonishingly well.
Rowan trees and hawthorns with their red berries, boxwood, black maples, oaks and a lot of holm oaks provide shade to the hiker.
In the coolest corners, much to our delight, we even found some yews, which are not common at all in Southern Europe.
A phantasmagoria of rock formations
It was impossible to lose sight, not even for a moment, of the phantasmagoria of rock formations looming high above our heads.
Their shape is the result of 50 millions of years of erosion. Over the ages, nature has sculpted Montserrat’s mountain peaks into the most incredible collection of forms imaginable.
It’s so much fun to look at them. Locals have always been fond of their shapes and invented names for many of them.
Imagine names like the Mummy, the Eagle, the Bishop’s belly, the Phrygian hat, the Magdalene and the Enchanted Friars.
If you are patient enough and hike extensively, you will even find one shaped like an elephant’s head!
Watching wild life and then a picnic in the sun
We had such a great time walking down narrow ravines under a canopy of green, encountering wild goats, watching vultures flying high above our heads and, later, basking in the sun while enjoying a nice picnic.
It was a day to remember.