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Magic mountains

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Situation : Montserrat Natural Park

Trail running route

  • Distance: 9.8 km, acumulated 2.323 m
  • Mainly hard ground
  • Ligth vegetation with some paths trrough sparsely wooded areas
  • Provissioning; 3 complet supplies Km 0, 6, 10

Trekking routes

  • Sant Joan-Sant Miquel
  • Santa Cova


  • Natural Park de Montserrat
  • Montserrat Sanctuary

* Measures must be taken to protect the environment


Trail running description route

The route begins at the ‘escala dels pobres' (steps of the poor). On our way up, we will pass sections with enormous vertical rocks and observe the monastery from a different perspective until we reach the ruins of the Santa Ana Hermitage. We will then cross the torrent of Santa Maria over a wooden bridge, and go through the French pass. Once we get to the cross paths located at the end of the stairs, we will continue straight on round the large rock called, 'la Panxa del Bisbe' (the Bishop’s Belly) and will arrive at the 'Pla dels Ocells' (The plain of the birds) (1026 m).


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We will continue the ascent along a fresh, green path, which is not quite as steep, until we come to the path that leads to the San Jeroni  Hermitage, an impressive place near the imposing   spires called  'las Magdalenas y Gorras' (the Cupcakes and Caps).  To the north, on the other side of the torrent that we followed, is a spectical unique in the world,  called the rocks of 'Sant Salvador', the most notable of which are 'la Momia', 'la Prenyada'  and el 'Elefant'.  

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Continuing on we come to a long section of stairs that allow us to discover the impressive views over the massif of Montserrat from the highest point, Sant Jeroni (1237 m).

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On the return, we go down a section of the same track and then take a detour following a path that will take us back to the monastery. We will pass by Sant Joan, where we will stop a moment for some refreshment.  We will go by the ‘Pla de las tarántulas' (The plain of the tarantulas)  until we reach la 'Cruz de San Miguel' (Saint Michael’s Cross) where we can enjoy a spectacular view of the Monastery. We will follow the path toward Montserrat.

Elevation profile

magic mountains profile

Trail route photos

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Trekking routes

The trekking routes are two; La Sant Cova y Sant Joan-Sant Miquel and he cultural route in the monastery of Montserrat; Basilica and museum.


San Joan-Sant Miquel route

This route may have different difficulty to  climb. You can climb it  on foot or using the funicular of San Joan, we recommend to use the funicular, as it is a beautiful experience with spectacular views., You overcome a great variation of altitude with a considerable slope (on foot the slope is not so hard). 

The route starts at the foot of the funicular, with splendid views. We will go right towards the small hermitage of San Joan, by a wide but quite rocky road. We can see different aspects of the typical landscape of Montserrat and even, it is very frequent, to observe climbers on their vertical walls.
Arrival  to the Hermitage, we will climb the steps and go to  the remaining San Onofre hermitage that is practically carved into the rock. The whole trip is very recommended. All this route can be done calmly in 30-40 minutes.
The stairs end on the same way we had come. We will return to the funicular, there we will continue straight ahead following a very wide and cemented road, after a slight ascent it starts a strong slope. At  the right we will see a sign that takes us through a short path to the cross of San Miquel, where there is a splendid view of part of the mountain and the monastery. We will return taking  the same path and continuing down to the monastery. 

'Santa Cova' route

You can not miss the visit to Montserrat. A circular route, that starts on foot after getting off the train rack, following a very easy road suitable for all ages. There are about 8 km (round trip) with a total ascent of 422 meters (211 of ascending and 211 of descent), the route begins in descent, until we arrive to the funicular of 'Santa Cova', this can be used to return in order to avoid the strong climb at the end, especially if you travel with small children, then you continue a very well maintained road. There are fountains all over the track. The route can be done easily in about 90 minutes.

The destination is the hermitage of Santa Cova de Montserrat. The image of the Virgin Mary of Montserrat was found in 880. From there on it started the the origin of its cult and its consecration as Catalonia's  patroness. Its discovery turned the place into a center of pilgrimage and contributed to  the construction of the Monastery of Montserrat.

The legend tells that in 880, on a Saturday at dusk, a few shepherds saw a great light descending from the sky, accompanied by a beautiful melody, that was heard at medium height of the mountain. The following  week they returned with their parents and the vision got repeated again. Likewise * It happened again some weeks after with the rector of Olesa of Montserrat. Aware of the event, the bishop of Manresa presented himself at the place; Then they found a cave in which there was an image of Santa Maria. They tried to transfer it in procession to Manresa, but the attempt was unsuccessful, by which they understood that it was due to the divine will: that image had to be venerated in the mountain of Montserrat. 

The image that is venerated at the present time is a Romanesque carving of XII century made of poplar and beech wood. It represents the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus sitting on her lap and measures about 95 centimeters  height. In the right hand it  holds a sphere that symbolizes the universe; The child has the right hand in sign of blessing while on the left hand it holds a sphere that reminds a pineapple, a sign of fertility and finite life.
The image is completely  golden except  the face and hands of Mary and the little Jesus. The Virgin Mary, however, is black in color, a fact that has given her the popular nickname "la * Moreneta". The origin of this blackening of the carving is believed to be due to the smoke of the candles that for centuries have been placed at the feet to venerate her.
The former baroque chapel was destroyed during the 'Fràncès' War in 1631 and rebuilt in neoromanic style. In 1964 the interior was reformed and the chapel was rebuilt between 1696-1705. It is necessary to emphasize the vertical location of the chapel to the slope of the mountain, which gives it a feeling of being suspended in the air; It is a beautiful example of integration between architecture and nature.
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The route runs through one of the most beautiful spots in Montserrat and you can see  the peculariar morphology of the mountains of Montserrat.
Throughout the route you can observe part of the well-known 'Open air museum', where there are frequent beautiful religious figures  representations (30). These representations form a monumental rosary and are from private donations, usually from religious confraternities.

Cultural visit to the monastery of Montserrat, Basilica and museum

The monastery of Montserrat is monumental, the little space that exists, has made everything  to climb upwards, like the surrounding mountains.
At a height of 720 m above sea level Montserrat is a symbol for Catalonia and has become a point of pilgrimage for believers and a hot spot for tourists. The monastic complex, together with the annexes and services, form a small nucleus of population of about 68 inhabitants according to the census of 2006.
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This Hermitage had become the most important in all mountains  due to the image of the Virgin Mary that was venerated from the Year 880. The monastery soon became a sanctuary, which benefited it,  since the donations and alms received allowed him to grow steadily. At the end of the 12th century the abbot  requested that the community of monks should be extended to twelve, the minimum required to be considered an abbey.


Montserrat constitutes a place to pray, being frequent the stays of resting and religious awe in the own monastery or in a hostel. There is also a small campsite.
The official shop of the monastery is very complete and contains many curious objects, as well as many books and guides. Outside there are usually craftsmen with a variety of products.
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