Montserrat & Oller del Mas Winery
The problem with visiting a country for only 2 weeks is that there’s conflict between staying in a city longer and seeing more of the country. When visiting Barcelona, we opted to turn our last day into a day trip. We debated between hiking, wine tours, and ruins, and opted for a trip that combined a few of them. We decided to make this our trip splurge. A guided tour was great for a day trip as all transit, food and drink was included in the cost. They also held our luggage during the trip.
We chose an excursion to Montserrat and a visit to the Oller del Mas Winery in an old castle. We booked it through through Castle Experience for $75:
If I was to do it again, I would either do the all day trip, OR do a longer trip to just Montserrat. This is not to say the wine tour was bad, but rather that Montserrat blew us away.
The tour only allowed us an hour at Montserrat. Had we known, we would have done a longer trip. This monastery is almost 1000 years old and is the birthplace of the Jesuit movement. The Church is a gilded splendor, with a still active monastery. It is perched on the side of the cliff, and offers the most astounding views of the surrounding areas. We found ourselves wishing for more time to explore/hike. I could say more, but the photos speak for themselves.
Having done this trip a day after Barcelona, it was a huge contrast to see this, as opposed to the modern Gaudi-covered city.
The bus ride up was through a crazy hilly, twisting narrow road that was a little nauseating for both motion sickness, and fear of heights purposes. If you get motion sick, bring water and sit toward the front of the bus.
Oller del Mas
Having done wine tours in California and New York, I was expecting something similar. However, this was far more detailed and interesting than the ones I had done. The tour showed us how the castle was converted to house the winery operations, while preserving it’s 1000 year history. The same family has owned it for 1000 years, and the guides taught us the local history of the region. The views were breathtaking, the wine delicious, and I have a new appreciation for how easy the New York climate makes it to brew wine.
The Useful Stuff:
I would recommend doing a full day tour – getting to Montserrat can be a pain, and the tours include transit which is great. My regret is not being able to hike – we were told the views only get better as you climb.
There is also a train that will get you there. The train lets you take a cable car up the side of the cliff to the Monestary. Though we didn’t do it, it looked like a breath taking (if not vertigo inducing) ride.
A big thank you to Sophie & Becca for their photos (girls know how to rock a DSLR) – due to my stolen phone, their pictures are all I have.
Pin it with the photo below!