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Early Entrance Montserrat & Gourmet Cava Tour from Barcelona

Travelling through the beautiful Catalan countryside in an air-conditioned minibus, you’ll visit the world-famous monastery of Montserrat, arriving before the crowds to experience the peace of the mountains and the famous ‘Black Madonna’. Then tour one of the best small-batch cava producers in Spain.

A well-rounded and relaxing day trip from Barcelona, including both cultural and culinary elements, this is the tour for you.
Your tour starts early in Barcelona, where you’ll meet your local guide and hop into a comfortable, air-conditioned minibus. In just one hour, we’ll whisk you out of the city and up to the Montserrat monastery, which sits atop a mountain with commanding views of the surrounding countryside. Aside from its natural and architectural beauty, the monastery is home to the ‘Black Madonna’, a 12th-century statue of the virgin that is one of the most venerated Catholic icons in Europe. Needless to say, this lady is in hot demand but, because of the crowds that visit and irregular opening hours, many visitors never get to see her up close. On this early morning tour, you’ll arrive just as the monastery opens, guaranteeing you a close look, and if you are visiting on pilgrimage, the opportunity to touch her.
Of course, there’s more to your experience than that. Your guide will give you a full tour of the beautiful church here, along with its side chapels, telling you about the rich history of the building, which survived both Napoleon’s army and the Spanish Civil War.
Back in the parking lot (just as the crowds are starting to arrive) you’ll have 1.5 hours of free time to explore. You can take the cable car to the top of the mountain for jaw-dropping views over the rolling hills below; explore the engrossing monastery art museum which features works by El Greco, Caravaggio, and Monet; peruse the local food market, or just sit in the cafe and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee.
You’ll hop on the bus again at midday and drive an hour to the Penedès region, famous for its sparkling wine, Cava. Vineyards here follow the same production process used in the more famous region of Champagne; the difference is in the grapes. As vineyards start to appear on either side of the road, your guide, a local wine lover, will explain what makes cava so special and how it stacks up against its more famous cousins, champagne and prosecco.
When you arrive at the vineyard, the owner, a fourth generation winemaker, whose family has run the vineyard for over 100 years, will greet you and serve you a lunch of fresh, local bread, cold cuts and produce. Sitting down to eat, you’ll also enjoy the first of numerous cava tastings, with animated commentary from your host who is passionate about her work.
After lunch, she will show you around the property, while giving you an in-depth explanation of how cava is actually made and how their processes have changed (or, in some cases, not changed at all) over four generations. You’ll even get a chance to ‘riddle’ a few bottles; a process of turning the bottles about one-eighth of a turn every day, to help consolidate sediment. Today it’s usually done by machine, but on this traditional farm, the 70-year old father of the family still does it by hand every day.
Now that you appreciate how its made, it’s time for another tasting of the three finest vintages, culminating in a 10-year cava reserve that would give Dom Perignon a run for his money.
Fed, watered, and by this point, perfectly relaxed, you’ll hop back in your comfortable minibus and drive an hour back to the city. You’ll arrive at 4:00pm, just in time for a quick siesta before heading out for an evening in the city.

Experience Includes

  • Guided tour of Montserrat Monastery
  • Vineyard tour led by the owners
  • Generous cava tasting including a 10 year reserve
  • Expert local guide
  • Lunch at the vineyard
  • Round trip transport to Penedés & Monserrat from Barcelona by air conditioned minibus
  • Small Groups of 15 people

Experience Excludes

  • Tickets to Montserrat museum
  • Funicular to the higher part of the mountain (not to be confused to the 1st funicular up to the monastry!)
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel tranfers
  • Refreshments
  • Souvenirs

Departs

March - October

Departure location

Tour meets next to "Picasso" Bar, 422 Carrer de Mallorca, 08013 Barcelona, on the corner of Carrer Marina and Carrer Mallorca.

Start times

8.00am

Duration

7 hours - excluding lunch break

Terms & Conditions

  • You will receive a voucher for this experience. Please read it thoroughly.
  • Itinerary subject to change without notice.
  • Gratuities to guides are appreciated but never obligatory.
  • Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
  • Please note that the tour meeting time is 15 minutes prior to the start time. No refunds or re-bookings can be provided for late arrivals or no shows after tour commencement or departure.
  • Please remember that the attire must be appropriate for the Cathedral visit. 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 scarf) with you to put them on before entering to the holy areas. We/your guide cannot be held responsible for denied entry due to improper dress. .
  • Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate guests with mobility impairments, wheelchairs or strollers on this tour.
  • Please note that the weather at Montserrat is always a bit cooler than in Barcelona.