Montserrat and Codorniu Wine Cellars
Make the most of your time and visit the Penedès wine region on the way to Montserrat Sanctuary
Beyond Barcelona are spectacular and diverse landscapes. The most stunning of all is Montserrat, with its serrated profile, views, ancient monastery and holy shrine. South of Montserrat is el Penedes, a rough and dry region with an ideal climate for vineyards. The tour combines a visit to the modernista Codorniu Cellars at the Penedes with the mystical experience of Montserrat.
Caves Codorniu (wine cellars)
Caves Codorniu’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 Codorniu 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, 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.
- Make the most of your time and visit the Penedes wine region on the way to Montserrat Sanctuary. The two most popular sites near Barcelona are combined in this tour.
- Discover the Cathedral of Cava, Codorniu. The visit includes a tour in a small electric train around the largest underground cellars in the world and a taste of cava (method champenoise wine).
- Entrance fee and wine tasting at Codorniu Cellars (12 euro)
- Hotel pick up and drop off
- Dress a bit warmer for Montserrat, it is colder than in Barcelona city.