So you’ve finally made it to Barcelona and you’re ready to venture beyond the bustling city streets into the lush green countryside. But with limited time, you need an efficient yet indulgent escape. Look no further than a full-day tour of Montserrat, the stunning mountain monastery just an hour from Barcelona, paired with an epicurean lunch and gourmet cava tasting. You’ll soon be transported into a realm of rugged natural beauty, spiritual solitude, and of course, tantalizing tapas and crisp sparkling wine.
Climb aboard a coach in the morning and wind your way up the twisting mountain road, each turn revealing dramatic new vistas of saw-toothed peaks and verdant valleys. Arrive at the Benedictine abbey, a place of palpable peace, and get your culture fixed by exploring the basilica and museum. Then comes the best part – lunch at a traditional Catalan Masia. Feast on tomato bread, cured meats, olives, and more, perfectly complemented by a selection of cavas, the region’s answer to champagne. A day of nourishment for both body and soul, this tour is a shortcut to bliss for the time-crunched traveler.
So you’ve decided to escape the tourist hordes and experience the real Montserrat. Wise choice, my friend. This tour is your ticket to getting off the beaten path and diving into the island’s natural wonders and local culture.
After meeting your guide, you’ll board an air-conditioned coach and head into the hills. Leave the cruise ship crowds behind as you traverse winding roads through dense rainforests and emerge at scenic overlooks with postcard-perfect views of the coast.
Your guide will give you the lowdown on the local history, cuisine, and traditions along the way. Pay attention – there may be a quiz at the end! (Kidding…maybe.) Along the drive, you’ll stop at a secluded beach and a botanical garden teeming with exotic blooms.
By the time you arrive at your restaurant, you’ll have worked up an appetite hiking to a thundering waterfall, exploring an old sugar plantation, and dodging monkeys on the trail. (Watch your snacks!) A delicious lunch of Creole specialties and cold drinks awaits. After refueling, visit a rum distillery to see how the island’s signature spirit is made. Sample a glass or two – you’re on vacation, after all!
As the sun dips into the sea, head to a historic fort high atop a hillside. Soak in the sweeping views as a symphony of sounds – crashing waves, tree frogs, and birds calling to roost – fills the air. By now, your guide feels like an old friend as they share more stories of life on this little slice of paradise.
After a day exploring off the beaten path, you’ll return to port with a deeper appreciation for Montserrat’s natural beauty and culture – and memories to last a lifetime. Salud!
After exploring the historic monastery, you’ll be ready to refuel with an authentic Catalan lunch at a family-run restaurant. But first, a little liquid courage.
At the on-site winery, you’ll taste three distinct Montserrat wines paired with gourmet tapas. The full-bodied crianza will surprise you with flavors of black cherry and spice. The rosé brut cava is crisp and refreshing, ideal for the warm summer days. And the sweet moscatel is liquid gold, bursting with apricot and honey notes.
With the aromas of oak and berries still lingering, take a seat on the sun-drenched patio. To start, slices of jamón ibérico, the acorn-fed ham that’s been called ‘meat candy.’ Then fideuá, a saffron-infused seafood pasta, or escalivada, grilled summer veggies with romesco sauce for dipping.
For the main course, choose between hearty beef stew, chicken with mushrooms, or fresh fish of the day. All come with a side of creamy garlic potatoes or verdant salad. And of course, bread to soak up every last drop of the flavorful sauces.
As a sweet ending, crema catalana custard, its caramelized sugar topping hiding a velvety interior. Or mel i mató, a simple yet decadent mix of honey and fresh cheese.
With bellies full and taste buds satisfied, you’ll head back down the mountain, the spires of the basilica fading into the distance. A perfect introduction to the vibrant food and wine of Catalunya to carry with you for the rest of your trip.
After traipsing through Montserrat’s scenic countryside and up its mountain paths, you’ve worked up an appetite. Luckily, the tour includes a stop at a local bodega for some tasty tapas and a sampling of the region’s celebrated wines.
At the bodega, you’ll sip wines made from grapes grown in the nutrient-rich volcanic soil and matured under the Mediterranean sun. Reds from the Monastrell, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes prevail, with flavors of black cherry, spice and chocolate. For whites, Macabeo and Chardonnay are popular, offering hints of tropical fruit and herbs.
Pair your vino with delectable tapas like jamón serrano, manchego cheese, olives, patatas bravas and garlic shrimp. As the wines flow freely and the appetizers keep coming, conversations with new friends will too.
The bodega’s owner will give you an overview of Montserrat’s winemaking history, dating back to the Phoenicians. You’ll hear how the region’s wine industry declined in the 20th century but has seen a resurgence with a focus on quality over quantity. Many boutique wineries now produce excellent organic and biodynamic wines, putting Montserrat back on the map.
If you fall for a particular wine, you can buy a bottle (or case!) to ship home. What better souvenir than one you can savor for months to come, transporting you back to the flavors and beauty of Montserrat with each sip. Just be sure to save a glass for your tour guide—their insider knowledge and humor surely enhanced the experience!
A leisurely lunch awash in wine and tapas is the perfect way to conclude your morning exploring Montserrat’s natural and cultural highlights. Bellies full and taste buds content, you’ll head back down the mountain, memories and maybe a bottle of vino in hand. ¡Salud!
After traipsing through the rugged mountain trails of Montserrat, you’ve worked up an appetite. Luckily, this tour includes a gourmet lunch and wine tasting at a traditional Catalan winery. Your taste buds are in for a treat with artisanal tapas and full-bodied Montserrat wines.
Forget those greasy bar snacks, we’re talking delectable small plates made from the freshest local ingredients. Picture wafer-thin jamón, creamy goat cheese drizzled with honey, patatas bravas doused in a spicy tomato sauce, and empanadas bursting with meat and cheese. Don’t be afraid to ask for seconds, we won’t judge! These tapas are meant for sharing so you can sample all the flavors.
Whether you prefer a crisp white, medium-bodied red or a bold rosé, Montserrat’s wineries have you covered. Indigenous grapes like Macabeu, Parellada, and Monastrell are used to produce distinct wines with mineral and fruit-forward notes. The charming sommelier will guide you through a tasting of 3-4 wines, explaining the profiles and suggesting pairings with your tapas.
Even wine novices will feel like connoisseurs after learning the proper swirling, sniffing and sipping techniques. And for those who want to take their newfound knowledge to the next level, some wineries offer tours of their vineyards and cellars. By the end of your tasting, you’ll have found a new favorite to take home!
Combined with the dramatic scenery, a delectable lunch and wine tasting in Montserrat creates memories that will last long after your trip. The flavors of honeyed goat cheese, jamón cut paper-thin, and Monastrell wine will transport you back to the rustic winery. And each bottle you open at home will bring hints of rosemary, lavender and Mediterranean sunshine. A perfect ending to an unforgettable day exploring the mountain monastery. Salud!