When we picked Spain as the destination of our ninth wedding anniversary, we knew Montserrat had to be on the itinerary. It’s an easy daytrip from Barcelona via train but we opted to book and experience with Castlexperience Wine Tours based on online reviews. We stopped in their Barcelona office one evening after dinner and booked the small group half day experience for the next day.
We met the group outside of the Hard Rock Café in the city center. We boarded the bus and were off on our day of fun. The tour guide did a great job highlighting some of the key landmarks we passed along the way while also highlighting interesting facts from Barcelona’s past. After about an hour drive, we made it to the top of the mountain of Montserrat. From the moment we arrived, we were completely blown away by its stunning beauty.
We arrived just before the church closed for the day. We rushed inside in hopes of getting a chance to see the Virgin of Montserrat. This black virgin is a statue of the Virgin Mary holding an infant Christ. Legend has it that the statue was lost for some time in Barcelona after traveling to Spain from Jerusalem. One fateful night, shepherds saw lights and heard singing on the mountainside. Upon further exploration, they found the statue in one of the mountain’s caverns. Attempts to relocate the statue were unsuccessful. Unable to move it, they decided to build a church around it. The Santa Maria de Montserrat houses the statue and gets around two million visitors every year.
After an hour exploring the mountain top, we headed back down to visit Oller del Mas winery. We’ve been to many wineries over the years but this one was a little different that others that we have visited. For starters, their wine is fermented in clay pots which was quite unique. This was the first time we had ever seen this type of wine making process. After a tour around the grounds, we were treated to some tapas and organic wines made at the vineyard.
Montserrat ended up being both of our favorite places we visited in Spain. The history and natural beauty of the area made this place special to us and a place we will never forget.