The Montserrat mountain is spectacularly silhouetted against the horizon. This Catalan icon is formed by a series of jagged peaks, and rears up imposingly from the surrounding flat landscape. This is the view of this natural monument you’ll see when you come and visit from Barcelona on the Catalunya Bus Turístic.

The vantage point changes completely –but loses none of its impact– when you alight from the bus and take the Montserrat rack-and-pinion train up to the top. This is the only way to climb the mountain, and leaves you right in the middle of the site of the shrine. On the 15-minute train journey you’ll be treated to a spectacular front-seat view of the mountain itself and to beautiful vistas of the surrounding landscape, making the trip an attraction on its own.

The monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat is practically embedded in one of the mountain crags. This Benedictine monastery stands at an altitude of 720 metres and is home to a community of around 18 monks who dedicate their lives to prayer, receiving visitors and work. Once on the site you can take a guided tour around the monastery and listen to the Escolania de Montserrat, one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Europe, and whose voices offer a moving experience. You can also visit the Virgin of Montserrat, a dark-skinned image that has become famous as one of the most singular Romanesque carvings in the world.

You’re sure to have thought more than once about making a visit to Montserrat. Now’s the time.