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Approximately 4 hours
Meals not included
Enjoy a panoramic drive through Barcelona -- a light introduction to this marvelous city (time and traffic permitting) -- before you head out of town.
Ride by coach to the Montserrat Mountain Ridge, six miles long, three miles wide and 4,050 feet tall. The irregular peaks of Catalonia's most famous mountain are visible from miles around. Montserrat is a cultural, religious and natural landmark. Legend says that shepherds found a statue of a black Virgin Mary on Montserrat. When they tried to move her, the cart got stuck, which they took as a sign to she should stay on the mountain. So this peculiar mountain range is now the site of the monastery where people come to worship La Moreneta -- the black Madonna who is the patron-virgin of Catalonia.
You will visit the Benedictine Monastery, founded in the 11th century, set on a natural platform at 2,380 feet above sea level. The Benedictine community now numbers 80 monks, and has served the shrine for almost a thousand years, dedicated to a life of prayer, work and welcoming pilgrims. Montserrat is also home to the Escolans -- the oldest boys' choir in Europe.
Travel time to Montserrat is approximately one hour each way. Modest attire is required for visiting churches or cathedrals; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; shorts are not allowed. Be prepared for long lines at the monastery for viewing the Black Virgin. Tour timing may preclude viewing the Virgin if the lines are extremely long. The Black Madonna can be unpredictably closed for viewing due to religious events. The road to the Monastery has many switchbacks. This tour is available only to guests who cruise does not begin or end in Barcelona.