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Depart from from Barcelona and head straight to Montserrat, just over an hour and a half away. On arrival, you have various options. A visit to the Sanctuary where the Moreneta is housed is a must. The sanctuary has been in use for almost 1000 years for those pilgrims and other visitors who have climbed this spectacular mountain.
At 1:00pm on Wednesday or 12:00pm on Sundays there is the opportunity to hear one of Europe's oldest children's choirs, La Escolania de Montserrat. There is also the opportunity to visit the fascinating Museum of Montserrat, with its five collections ranging from Archaeology from the Biblical East to Modern Painting and Sculpture.
Besides these cultural possibilities, the paths of the Montserrat parkland lead you around a number of different walks, each offering a different perspective on the stunning views over the surrounding landscape, many of which are peppered with small chapels and hermitages. There are routes to suit all tastes and energy levels, from fairly strenuous treks to gentle strolls around the park area, all of which allow you to marvel at the views and to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of this protected natural park.
Another option is to take one of the two rack railways, or the cable car, offering different views of the area. Alternatively, the views can simply be savored from the cafe, which offers panoramic views of the valleys.
You will leave Montserrat and head to the Colonia Guell, about 1 hour from the Monastery. The Colonia Guell was first set up in 1890 on the initiative of Eusebi Guell, a businessman in love with the arts.
The highlight of this visit is the crypt built by Gaudi, the most outstanding building of this Colony. Built between 1898 and 1915, the church was never finished, which gives an even more mysterious touch to the building. It is also one of Gaudi's most frequently studied works on account of the structural innovations (slanted columns, parabolic and hyperbolic roofs), the superb use of material (basalt stone and brick studded with polychrome mosaics and stained glass windows) and the spaciousness of the inside and the porch.
Visiting the Crypt at the Colonia Guell is an opportunity to enter the fantasy world of Gaudi far away from the crowds and souvenir shops. For some, it is the most intimate and authentic Gaudi experience they have in the Barcelona region. And by visiting the Colonia Guell, you also enter into one of the most important chapters of Catalan history. The industrial development that Barcelona experienced at the end of 19th century changed forever the landscape of this region and the life of its people. Social conflicts in Barcelona at that time led Guell to set up a new factory equipped with the latest technology - outside the city on a model industrial estate, with the workers housed alongside the factory, forming an urban complex with its own character, and social and economic life. Unlike the majority of industrial estate owners in Catalonia, Eusebi Güell improved social conditions for his workers and sponsored cultural activities. He provided cultural and religious amenities at the Colonia Guell, which were built in the current Modernista style by various architects whom he commissioned, notably Antoni Gaudi, who was responsible for the church. Stroll around the Colonia Guell, walk between the old workers houses (where people are still living), take a coffee in the old 'Club Social', and you'll be able to imagine the daily life of the workers 100 years ago.
The tour leaves Colonia Guell at around 4:30pm. During the drive to Parque Guell, you'll have ample opportunity to ask questions from your guide and to learn more about the mysterious Gaudi. Arriving at Park Guell, you feel as if you are entering a green island reigning over the city. Follow the windy alleys, passing over bridges or under twisting rock pillars. Admire the fascinating ceramic benches and the fantastic view over Barcelona. Discover the elephant houses imagined by the genius, and the mysterious market place and its imposing columns. Simply get lost in this fascinating labyrinth made up of rocks and pine trees.
The tour officially ends here unless you prefer to be dropped off at the Placa Catalunya. For those wishing to stay in the park and make their own way back your tour leader will give you a map and some 'keys' to understand this universe full of hidden signs. Park Guell is not only a garden city converted into a tourist attraction, it is a project for an ideal society, the right balance between nature and urbanism imagined by Gaudi. To understand and appreciate the Park Guell, you will have to use your five senses and your imagination of course.
Departures (Local Time)
8:30 AM (Hours: 10.5)
9:00 AM (Hours: 10.5)
Cost Per Person (Adult)
Tour Cost: $122.00
Tax/Other Fees: $13.00
Total Cost: $135.00
Remember to wear suitable clothing, footwear and sun protection. Entrance fees are not included in tour price. Lunches are not included but at the stops there will be a range of lunch options to suit all budgets. Available Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
The specific meeting location will be listed in your confirmation email and voucher for this shore excursion. See the 'Redemption and Voucher Details' section below.