Barcelona is one of the most special places on the planet. The city attracts all kinds of visitors with its rich history and culture, priceless architectural jewels, Gaudi wonders, beautiful lifestyle and outstanding tapas. It is known to mix the historic and the modern, allowing visitors to enjoy the very best of both worlds. However, all that history and sightseeing makes us ignore the breathtaking natural beauty that the city boasts of. Those visiting Barcelona can enjoy diverse and spectacular landscapes within a single day tour, simply by visiting Montserrat and Penedes. Montserrat is a picturesque mountain famous for its holy shrine, weirdly shaped rocks and beautiful monastery. On the other hand, Penedes is a wine region that hosts some of the top vineyards in the region. This tour combines the mystical experience of Montserrat to the magical scenes of Codorniu Cellars at the Penedes.
Caves Codorníu (wine cellars)
Caves Codorníu’s vineyards and winemaking activities date back to 1551. Since then the Catalan traditional values have gone hand in hand with innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. They are the largest underground cellars in the world, where the first bottle of Spanish sparkling wine was produced in 1872 by the traditional method Champenoise (the same as French Champagne), it was named cava.
Architecture and landscape, with Modernista-style buildings amidst rows of vines, provide a unique first impression when arriving to the Cathedral of Cava. The Codorníu Cellars were created between 1895 and 1915 by the Modernista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. It is one of the most important examples of how the Modernista architecture combined visionary designs with the practical needs of industries.
It is the ideal place to follow the whole process from grape pressing to labelling the bottles. The wine ferments at least 9 months in a bottle, in the dark, still and at the constant temperature of the underground cellars. The visit to the vast cellars continues in a small electric train and ends with a taste of wine.
The mountain of Montserrat is a massive rock over 4000 feet high, visible for miles, with weird shapes and rounded peaks that jut into the sky. Its name means serrated as a reference to the jutting peaks. The unique Natural Park has paths, stairs, caves, chapels and hermitages scattered over the mountain, extraordinary landscapes and wonderful views. Enjoy the picturesque drive along the Llobregat river and up the spectacular mountain.
The Benedictine monastery is nearly 1000 years old, perched half way up the mountain and sheltered by its peaks. There is a basilica with the Chapel of Our Lady of Montserrat known as La Moreneta (Black Madonna), the patron saint of Catalonia, and a presence strongly felt and revered. The community of monks also runs a boys' school devoted to the study of music.
Montserrat is thriving with culture: a library of nearly 300,000 volumes; the oldest boys' choir in Europe; a basilica full of paintings, gold lamps and decorated chapels, a museum with paintings by El Greco, Picasso and Dalí among many others and treasures from ancient Egypt.
The visit will coincide with the Boys’ Choir Midday Concert, when available. On arrival to Montserrat our guide will give an orientation tour to the main places of interest: monastery, basilica, museum with a marvelous collection of paintings, Stations of the Cross, as well as bars, restaurants, shops and home products market.
Please consider that silence must be kept inside the church so your guide will give you explanations outside and show you Our Lady’s Chapel with the 12th Century figure of Our Lady of Montserrat.
Tour members will have free time for lunch (not included) and to dedicate to the aspects of this beautiful and spiritual place that attract them most.