The Montserrat food and wine tour with Castlexperience offers a unique opportunity to experience Catalan cuisine, culture and wine, in the space of a day. Explore the convoluted thousand year history of the spiritually significant Montserrat mountain with a veteran tour guide. With your hunger for culture sated, enjoy a quintessentially Spanish, multi-course lunch in a local golf club, accompanied by your group and locally bottled wine. What’s more, as the name suggests, you will also sample wines in a 10th century castle, surrounded by modern day vineyards and in plain view of the remarkable Montserrat sierra. You will return to Barcelona full of facts, food and a new-found appreciation for Catalan wine.
Begin your day in the central square, Plaça de Catalunya, to meet your group and tour guide and to board your coach. Castlexperience take care of everything throughout the day for you; they organise your transport to and from Montserrat and the Oller del Mas Castle and provide information on notable points of interest en route. Simply sit back and relax, free to take in the stunning views of the rugged countryside outside Barcelona, and watch the jagged heights of Montserrat approach from the comfort of the coach.
At Montserrat itself, your tour guide will lead you to the best viewing spots for some Instagram-worthy snaps before showing you the famous monastery there. Rub the legendary Black Madonna statue for luck, and admire the stunning architecture of the Benedictine abbey. There are plenty of hiking opportunities along the alpine paths and the Castlexperience gives you ample free time to ramble along these ancient paths for yourself. Climbers and walkers travel from miles around to experience the magnificent natural beauty in this area and it is certainly not to be missed. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, ascend in the funicular and take in the breathtaking scenery from 3000 feet above sea level.
With the early start, the detailed tour of Montserrat’s monastery and the incredible views, you will no doubt have built a healthy appetite, ready for lunch. Time-honoured aperitifs of seasonal soup and rustic bread with jamón will whet your appetite for a series of main dishes ranging from white hake with chopped vegetables, to roast chicken leg.
The third and final part of the Montserrat food and wine tour involves a tour of the Oller del Mas vineyards and production facilities and of course, the wine tasting in the castle itself. If your craving for Catalan culture and history is still unsatisfied, you will be impressed by the castle’s old cellar where wine has been fermented since the Dark Ages, and the sheer age of the estate itself – the oldest parts of the building were built a millenia ago. The wine sampled is all grown and produced by Oller del Mas, and each of the three bottles are accompanied by local cheeses. Your trusty guide will talk you through the traditional techniques of wine tasting, including the correct way to smell the vintage, analyse its colour, and taste its subtle flavours.
Castlexperience’s coach will pick you up from the castle grounds and return you to Plaça de Catalunya, eleven hours later. But, they have a few more sites to show you on the journey home – namely some of the principle buildings in the town Manresa, including the imposing cathedral. The iconic massif of Montserrat is also plainly visible throughout the first part of the drive for any last minute photos you might need. By the time you get back to the Catalan capital you will feel like an expert in Catalan history and a connoisseur of its culinary traditions.