Combine the highlights of the city of Barcelona with a drive to the spectacular mountain setting of Montserrat to visit its famous basilica. Enjoy a scenic drive to the mountain of Montjuic, site of the National Palace, the Olympic Stadium and the Spanish Village. Stop to take pictures at one of the most privileged belvederes over the city. As you drive through Passeig de Gracia, see the Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and other stunning examples of modernist buildings. See Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. About an hour drive away from the city, the mountain of Montserrat, one of Spain’s natural wonders, rises in the middle of the Catalan countryside as an astounding tribute of Mother Nature’s endless power of creation. It’s one of Europe’s oldest and most unusual geological formations - the barren tops of this unique and isolated mountain look like smooth, vertical fingers reaching up into the sky. It is also home to millenary Benedictine’s community, its monastery and basilica. As you drive up the mountain and at the foot of the basilica, you’ll have some of the best scenic views of Catalonia.
You’ll learn about local history and lore and some of the most significant details about this mystical emplacement; such as the veneration for La Moreneta, the patron of the citizens of Catalunya. The Romanesque sculpture of the virgin has been darkened by the smoke of millions of candles throughout the centuries, giving it its black color and consequently the affectionate name of La Moreneta or Black Virgin. After visiting the basilica, you’ll have free time to have lunch on your own and/or shop.Note: As this tour visits a religious site, please dress appropriately. No bare shoulders or shorts are allowed. If services are taking place, group access to the Basilica might be restricted. There are several restaurants or cafes in Montserrat with a large selection of dishes which cater to various budgets and tastes. There is substantial amount of walking on this tour, approximately 2 hrs. Tour is only available for Norwegian Jade sailings.