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Luggage Transfer Correos

Cami Sant Jaume - starting in Barcelona going to Monastery de Montserrat

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Day One, Mirador de Colom to Mundet Metro station
Notes on the route: Distance 6 miles, elevation gain 558 ft, elevation loss 102 feet.

https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/wnd-coast-to-coast-1-41344074

I arrived in Barcelona shortly before noon so I caught the metro to the Drassanes stop and from there a short walk over to the Mirador de Colom, or the Columbus Monument. This towering monument with a Statue of Columbus at the pinnacle sits just across the road from the harbor, so assuming I make it to Santiago and then onwards to Muxia, it will become a cross country journey.

The Camino is unmarked at this beginning so I chose a route that enabled me to see a few of Barcelona’s treasures along the way. From the monument I headed up the tourist congested Las Rambles, turning at a point where I was able to cut through the Plaça Reial, the Royal Square in Barri Gòtic.

Exiting on Carrer de Ferran which took me to the Esglésis Sant Jaume, or the Church of St. James/Santiago. There I was able to purchase a credential in the sacristy for 2€. They are open 10:00 to 14:00 & 17:00 to 20:00. Figured I light a candle while I was there so hit the side altar with The Virgin of Pilar, Saint Nicholas of Bari (Santa Claus) and Saint Expedit, patron saint of speedy cases.

From there I continued ahead to Plaça Sant Jaume, home to the Barcelona City Hall and Palau de la Generaliat. There on the corner of a building was a large wall niche with Santiago. Heading from there up the Carrer del Bisbe you pass under the Pont del Bisbe or bishop’s bridge. This gothic style bridge Is a relatively new addition, dating from 1928. Shortly after the bridge on the left side is the office of the Archbishop of Barcelona. I stopped in and was able to receive a second credential, also 2€. I figure that one credential will not have enough space given the length of the Camino. Both credentials are the official credential of the Cathedral in Santiago.

Just beyond you can turn right into the square for a glimpse of the rather impressive Cathedral. Unfortunately, if you are carrying a backpack, you may not enter. Admission is 7€ if you are not and a sello is available mornings 10:00 to 14:00 in the sacristy. On the opposite side of the square, the rather childlike drawing on the Architect’s College is the work of Pablo Picasso.

Continuing north I headed up Passeig de Gràcia, a major shopping destination street with many high end retailers. As I was passing Casa del Libro, a rather large bookstore I took a chance and popped in and checked there travel section. There I was able to buy their only copy of “El Camino Catalán de Santiago desde Montserrat by Joan Fiol Boada.

Further along Passeig de Gràcia is the Manzana de la Discordia, a block containing houses by 4 of Barcelona’s most important architects. Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi is the most noticed, by the Casa Amatller next door is also great. A few blocks north and the corner is dominated by Casa Milà, a monumental work by Gaudi. While there are no arrows marking the way, the intricate tiles of the sidewalk are a less well know design by Gaudi.

Now the road slowly starts to climb as you begin to leave the tourists behind and enter the Barrio Gràcia. if you have worked up an appetite, you will find some restaurants here that a not too pricy and a few with a nice menu del dia. I enjoyed La Tabernacle del Cura, GRAN DE gràcia, 83, 3 course menu with including beverage for 11€.

A short detour will take you past Casa Vicens, an exuberant house which was the first house designed by Gaudi. Just past the Lesseps metro station on the left side of the street is the only Camino marking I encountered. Almost as if my chance I looked down and the was a shell tile, unfortunately facing the wrong direction.

From this point on the road really begins to climb. You are now a distance from the core of the city and you see the green hills of the Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola, Spain’s largest urban park. On the hills above you can see the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the impressive Torre de Collserola, a large communications tower.

From here you are walking alongside the Ronda de Dalt, the ring highway on the north side of Barcelona. You are now in the Vall d’Hebron and you will pass a couple of venues from the 1992 Olympics.

Finally you will reach the Mundet metro station where I chose to stop for the day. I stayed at the Hotel Colors, Carrer de Campoamor, 79, 08031 Barcelona, Spain,. It’s a short distance from Mundet station. My rate was 60€ a night for a single room.
 

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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The Camino is unmarked at this beginning so I chose a route that enabled me to see a few of Barcelona’s treasures along the way.
Good choice !!

Might I suggest getting up through the nature reserve up to Sant Cugat ? Then maybe a slight detour via Sabadell on your way towards Montserrat ? Food should be excellent in both places !!

And it would get you onto the "easier" side of that walk up to Monastery Hill.

A far more enjoyable alternative anyway than up through that ghastly-looking "official" valley route north of the airport ....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Thank you for the report Steven. It is nice to know about the backpack restrictions. Our friend was going to use one while touring.

In Barcelona I was going to visit at least Sant Pau del Campo, Santa Maria del Mer (Peg saw a TV series on Netflix where the church was featured), the cathedral and La Sagrada Familia. Now I know to pick up my sellos while in tourist mode and just touch the churches (minus the far off the path La Sagrada Familia) when I start walking. I also want to hit the Colombus monument and was going to walk pass the Gaudi buildings. Thanks for opening my eyes to the other nearby sites to them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Day 2, Mundet Metro station to Terrassa
Notes on the route: Distance 17.28 miles, elevation gain 2,067 ft, elevation loss 1,647 feet

NOT THE FULL STAGE - WILL CONTINUE TO ADD AND EDIT THIS POST TOMORROW


Ok, before you take the Cami Sant Jaume off your bucket list because it looks to hard with a second day total of 17.28 miles, read on to see options for breaking the journey up into more manageable stages.

The day began with a coffee break in the Mundet Metro station. Nice little cafe with basic pastry, sandwiches and beverages. Cafe con leeches with a pastry was only 2.20€, far cheaper than they wanted for breakfast at the hotel.

From the station you head uphill towards the Mundet campus of the University of Barcelona. At the first corner you go right a few blocks until you pass the Velodrome d’Horta on your right turn left and head uphill. In about a block you will come upon your first yellow arrow. God bless whoever did the way marking as it is very easy to follow the trail.

The route goes from paved road to dirt track and the turns left onto a single file path. It will be steep going after a bit, I’d definitely recommend having hiking poles and hope for good weather. In rain you will probably be sloshing through water as the trail has some gullies.

On the way to the top you are treated to a view of “Chernobyl “, the nickname for the power plant with three smokestacks by the bay. Unfortunately, it will be several years before you will be able to see the center tower is Sagrada Familia, the hills of the barrio El Carmel block the view, though at one point you will see what I believe is the top of one of the construction cranes.

On yesterday’s walk I was looking up at the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the impressive Torre de Collserola, today I was at about the same level or possibly even higher. The Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola is an active place, so you will encounter other hikers, bikers runners and maybe someone on horseback. I had the good fortune of meeting a local man who asked if I wanted to walk with him. It was great because he served as sort of a pace car, helping me to establish a good rhythm. On weekends, it may be very busy.

The trail varies between gravel road and forest path most of the way to Sant Cugat del Valles. Just after you begin to see the city, you pass by the Pi den Xandri, the ecological, cultural and historic symbol of Sant Cugat. It’s and oddly propped up 230 year old pine tree.

Suddenly you are in Sant Cugat after crossing a stream bed. Today it was dry, and there are steps in case there is water. Following the yellow arrows, you soon arrive at the back side of the Monastery of Sant Cugat. Walk through the open gate through the gardens to the front of the church. The church is work a look if it is open. They do not have a sello for your credential, directing pilgrims to the office across the way which doesn’t open until late afternoon, I think it was 6pm.

Next door is the Monastery museum which is worth stopping into. They offered free entry today and were willing for me to leave my backpack at the desk, or carry it. They are very proud of the cloister with 144 unique capitals. Not sure that I would agree that it is “One of the Finest cloisters in Europe”, but definitely worth seeing. Even better, there are free bathrooms on the 1st (US 2nd floor). They do have a sello at the information desk though it’s not particularly pretty.

Across from the museum is the Tourist office. They also have a sello and it is a much nicer one. They did have a couple of Cami Sant Jaume brochures, but not in English. They were very friendly, but not especially helpful.

Sant Cugat is the first place where you could stop for the day. A good sized city with restaurants and some hotels. When I was looking, they were all $100 plus. One of the forum members mentioned Airbnb as a possibility. Another possibility is heading to the train station and catching a train back to Barcelona or on to Terrassa, ten returning the next day to continue walking from the same

Now, I do need to stop here and get some sleep.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Thank you for the report Steven. It is nice to know about the backpack restrictions. Our friend was going to use one while touring.

In Barcelona I was going to visit at least Sant Pau del Campo, Santa Maria del Mer (Peg saw a TV series on Netflix where the church was featured), the cathedral and La Sagrada Familia. Now I know to pick up my sellos while in tourist mode and just touch the churches (minus the far off the path La Sagrada Familia) when I start walking. I also want to hit the Colombus monument and was going to walk pass the Gaudi buildings. Thanks for opening my eyes to the other nearby sites to them.
The cathedral allows small day packs, but not the large backpacks. They will have you open it for inspection.

The sello at Santiago was nice, Santa Maria Del Mar was more industrial looking, so unless you want a lot of sellos, you can skip that one. For Sagrada Família, I highly recommend buying a ticket in advance, the line can take an hour or more. But if you want to visit the crypt, the only way to get there is mass, 9 am in Spanish Mon- Saturday. 11:45 & 20:15 on Sunday. I haven’t been to Sant Pau, but I especially enjoy Santa Maria del Pi in the Barri Gótico.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
We saw Sagrada Familia in '88 or so when a construction site; free I think. Saw it again in 2015 (with a half hour wait for a ticket with an entry time two hours later). The interior was done; I wept. Reserved a spot to visit again last week. We plan on visiting Sant Maria while our friend visits the Picasso museum. I plan on visiting romaneque Sant Pau while the ladies do lady things or are visiting Casa Guell. Both are near our lodging.

Please keep up your postings.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I hope you are keeping a copy of your posts @Steven Dwyer - if you keep up this standard for the whole trip I would love a copy to download as a guide from the Forum's resources section!
One of the problems I had when I was looking at walking from Barcelona was the lack of resources for planning. Finding something in English was almost impossible, and the Spanish sources for the most part start the Camino at the Monastery in Monserrat. Having now gotten to the base of the mountain, (it does look intimidating from here) I really enjoyed the route through Terrassa, which is not an official route.

Today while walking and missing a couple of turns the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should take the time to do a comprehensive guide to the Caminos from Barcelona. Rather than heading on to Santiago, I am thinking that I might stop at the Monastery, head back to Barcelona and walk the three variants an produce a decent guide of all three.

I remember my first Camino I walked with the CSJ guide and it was comprehensive and provided the basic information. I used other guides since then, some better than others. I am not looking to cash in on the Camino as some others have done. My thinking is to make the guide available to to the different associations and web resources.

I don’t see the Cami Sant Jaume as being that commercial, it’s a bit of a walk to Santiago. On the stretch from Barcelona to Montserrat so far I have been unable to locate an albergue, though they are plentiful from Montserrat onwards. But it is a great walk, probably a bit like the CF was in the 1990’s before it began to catch on. I first walked the CF in 2000 and this was more primitive. (OK, they were signs of the dreaded Caganer, but not to the extent you find on many of the routes today.)

Wondering if this makes sense, or if I should just keep on to Santiago. I would appreciate your feed back.
 
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MikeyC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
One of the problems I had when I was looking at walking from Barcelona was the lack of resources for planning. Finding something in English was almost impossible, and the Spanish sources for the most part start the Camino at the Monastery in Monserrat. Having now gotten to the base of the mountain, (it does look intimidating from here) I really enjoyed the route through Terrassa, which is not an official route.

Today while walking and missing a couple of turns the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should take the time to do a comprehensive guide to the Caminos from Barcelona. Rather than heading on to Santiago, I am thinking that I might stop at the Monastery, head back to Barcelona and walk the three variants an produce a decent guide of all three.

I remember my first Camino I walked with the CSJ guide and it was comprehensive and provided the basic information. I used other guides since then, some better than others. I am not looking to cash in on the Camino as some others have done. My thinking is to make the guide available to to the different associations and web resources.

I don’t see the Cami Sant Jaume as being that commercial, it’s a bit of a walk to Santiago and certainly not the cheapest as there are no albergues. But it is a great walk, probably a bit like the CF was in the 1990’s before it began to catch on. I first walked the CF in 2000 and this was more primitive. (OK, they were signs of the dreaded Caganer, but not to the extent you find on many of the routes today.)

Wondering if this makes sense, or if I should just keep on to Santiago. I would appreciate your feed back.
We are currently on a non Camino related holiday staying first in Lleida and then Tarragona to see the human tower and Correr Foc festivals.
For Camino background to this region I used:

.

This detailed guide to this particular Camino was produced by the Catalan authorities. Great photos and maps. The English version is abbreviated compared to the Spanish original which is online and downloaded as a pdf runs to hundreds of pages.

You have no doubt come across this but it may be new to others.

Edit. Scroll down on the linked page for links to each suggested stage. The Spanish links appear first. The links to the English pages are further down still.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
Steven Dwyer: If you have the time and charitable inclination, a well-researched guide covering the pathways from Barcelona to Montserrat would be a great service to the Camino community.
 

lizwalking

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances(2007)Norte(2010)Primitivo(2012)VDLP(?2012)Hospitaleria in Najera(2015)Frances(2015)
Live from here in Alfaro this morning as hospitalera. The way to Santiago is easy to follow. The Ignatian Way has orange arrows, not as plentiful. Last night's one pilgrim said that he has'nt met one other pilgrim for the last ten days 20190918_111245.jpg 20190918_131900.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Thank you for considering the creation of the guides Steven. I know that if this were a project I took on I would continue walking to Santiago and once home do lots of research (too much actually) so I would know what to look for on the routes and judge the importance once back on the camino again.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Live from here in Alfaro this morning as hospitalera. The way to Santiago is easy to follow. The Ignatian Way has orange arrows, not as plentiful. Last night's one pilgrim said that he has'nt met one other pilgrim for the last ten days
I met quite a few in May. Well, "quite a few" by my standards anyway LOL

But yes, you can get unlucky -- one couple I came across (Ignaciano ones) told me I was the first one they'd met in two weeks. But I think it's probably easier to meet other pilgrims if you're going towards Santiago rather than towards Manresa, as the Ignaciano pilgrims seem to outnumber the Compostelan ones, so you'll have a better chance of coming across those hiking in the other direction.

Though most Santiago pilgrims seem to go via Huesca and the Aragonès rather than via Llleida towards Logroño ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Though most Santiago pilgrims seem to go via Huesca and the Aragonès rather than via Llleida towards Logroño ...
Anyone have a reason for that? (I'm assuming it is true). In my case it is to visit San Juan de la Pena which I wanted to see the last time I was in Spain.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Anyone have a reason for that? (I'm assuming it is true). In my case it is too visit San Juan de la Pena which I wanted to see the last time I was in Spain.
Though Zaragoza is a really nice city, IMO the pull of Huesca, the mountains, San Juan, and the connection with the Aragonés rather than the Frances tipped the scale.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I arrived yesterday at the alberque at the Monastery of Montserrat. There is no wonder that Montserrat has a nickname of the magic mountain. Being privileged to be here two nights has been a real joy.

Yesterday, saw a pilgrim looking woman so I enquirers in Spanish if she was a preigrina, and she responded, “Are you Steven?” It turned out to be @JemimaDawn. We ended upas the only to the the albergue last night.

I stayed an extra night, and today in the albergue in met Mary, @Freewalker. Also in the albergue were a couple of cyclists. One Santiago and the other an Ignaciano. Nice to finally run into some other pilgrims.

While the hospitalero is friendly and helpful, he doesn’t speak much English, so I do think it would be helpful to have a bit more information available regarding what to expect. For instance, totally missed the pilgrim blessing since you need to request it in advance. Got one tonight and it was very nice.

After a lot of thought, I’ve decide the Camino is calling me to stick around and a least work out a basic guide. There are at least three routes from Barcelona to Montserrat and I plan to walk them all.

It means I won’t be able to walk the full Camino this year since I won’t have time to complete it. I’ll probably take a train to cover part, so at least I’ll get to Santiago.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Thank you for considering the creation of the guides Steven. I know that if this were a project I took on I would continue walking to Santiago and once home do lots of research (too much actually) so I would know what to look for on the routes and judge the importance once back on the camino again.
Rick,

I’ve used a number of guides over the years, so I know at least the sort of information I like to have available. When I was looking, I came across three routes to choose from, and I ended up going through Terrassa to Monistrol. It had some nice qualities, but I can’t compare it until I have walked the other two.

I see my role more a providing a good description, explaining the differences, and and relevant issues. For instance, I think the way I walked was good, but I don’t think I’d recommend it on a rainy day. But all of the routes my have the same rain issues.

Coming out of Les Fonts, the Wikiloc route I was using wasn’t marked. Is there a well marked way I missed?

Also found lodging an issue. No albergues, but possibly there are unadvertised hostals/hostels.

If I remember correctly, you are planning to walk from Barcelona. If true, that would be great to get your feedback.

Steven
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Coming out of Sant Cugat, the Wikiloc route I was using wasn’t marked. Is there a well marked way I missed?
Well-marked or not I have no idea, but I can see about half a dozen different routes up, including some but not all variants, on the app that I use myself @ mapy.cz

One going through Cerdanyola del Vallès, Badia d.V., Barberà d.V., around Sabadell and around Terrassa (then two variants up past Terrassa)

The one you did via Sant Cugat

One that goes up near Valldoreix instead, then up through Rubí then via Terrassa (GR 96 Cami Romieu a Montserrat)

The variant of that via Olesa de Montserrat

The GR6 which takes a different route to Montserrat, ending up on the side of the river opposite the "official" route -- Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, Sant Cugat, Les Fonts, Olesa de Montserrat, Esparreguera, then a loooong mountain stage to Montserrat.

The "official" route north of the airport going via Castellbisbal etc

Its principal variant via Martorell

If you really want to be a "completionist", there's even one variant starting at the coast right past the western edge of Barcelona, at Garraf, not that long a walk westward from the airport, a GR 92.4/92.3, heading up somewhat haphazardly past Begues 'til Olesa de Bonesvalls, then follow GR 5 (Sitges - Montserrat - Canet de Mar) past Ordal, Gelida superior, Sant Llorenç d'Hortons, La Beguda, Masquefa, Collbató, Montserrat.

---

As for the precise route out of Sant Cugat, the one I can see is the GR 6 / GR 173 (Sender del Vallès Natural) from the station at Sant Cugat to the station at Sant Joan, turning westward via two roundabouts, then north through some greenery. It splits east/west then, the GR 173 turning east, but the Camí continues westward on the GR 6 to Les Fonts. After that, you can either carry on with the GR 6 on to join the "official" route at Olesa de Montserrat, or you can take a cycling path into Terrassa, or a variant hiking variant going through the western part of town on GR 96. From the north west edge of Terrassa, a choice again to either head SW towards again the "official" route at Olesa de Montserrat, or you can instead follow the GR 96 Cami Romieu a Montserrat, which is BTW the same one as goes via Valldoreix and Rubí, through Torreblanca to the Monastery. Or DIY from Sant Cugat to Valldoreix or follow the cycling path via Mirasol past the hospital, and take the GR 96 from there.

---

BTW if my app had been up to date, or really if any of the available information had been, instead of the route I followed from the Perthus where I eventually decided to skip Montserrat entirely (heading straight down into Igualada instead), conceptually my DIY route would have come in to Sabadell from Girona via Sils and Sant Celoni and so on (which is apparently a traditional route of the Camí, and possibly (???) even waymarked ?) ; then down through Sant Cugat and Valldoreix (where I went to school and lived for a while) ; Rubí, Terrassa, Montserrat. (it's highly likely that our favourite walk in the hills behind our house, back in about 1972/1973, was a piece of the Camí via Valldoreix, and that the walk from the train station to school crossed paths with the Camí as it goes via Sant Cugat)

I found anyway, walking through Catalan, that a FAR greater number of waymarked routes exist than appear on the maps and apps that we typically have available ...
 
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MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Day One, Mirador de Colom to Mundet Metro station
Notes on the route: Distance 6 miles, elevation gain 558 ft, elevation loss 102 feet.

https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/wnd-coast-to-coast-1-41344074

I arrived in Barcelona shortly before noon so I caught the metro to the Drassanes stop and from there a short walk over to the Mirador de Colom, or the Columbus Monument. This towering monument with a Statue of Columbus at the pinnacle sits just across the road from the harbor, so assuming I make it to Santiago and then onwards to Muxia, it will become a cross country journey.

The Camino is unmarked at this beginning so I chose a route that enabled me to see a few of Barcelona’s treasures along the way. From the monument I headed up the tourist congested Las Rambles, turning at a point where I was able to cut through the Plaça Reial, the Royal Square in Barri Gòtic.

Exiting on Carrer de Ferran which took me to the Esglésis Sant Jaume, or the Church of St. James/Santiago. There I was able to purchase a credential in the sacristy for 2€. They are open 10:00 to 14:00 & 17:00 to 20:00. Figured I light a candle while I was there so hit the side altar with The Virgin of Pilar, Saint Nicholas of Bari (Santa Claus) and Saint Expedit, patron saint of speedy cases.

From there I continued ahead to Plaça Sant Jaume, home to the Barcelona City Hall and Palau de la Generaliat. There on the corner of a building was a large wall niche with Santiago. Heading from there up the Carrer del Bisbe you pass under the Pont del Bisbe or bishop’s bridge. This gothic style bridge Is a relatively new addition, dating from 1928. Shortly after the bridge on the left side is the office of the Archbishop of Barcelona. I stopped in and was able to receive a second credential, also 2€. I figure that one credential will not have enough space given the length of the Camino. Both credentials are the official credential of the Cathedral in Santiago.

Just beyond you can turn right into the square for a glimpse of the rather impressive Cathedral. Unfortunately, if you are carrying a backpack, you may not enter. Admission is 7€ if you are not and a sello is available mornings 10:00 to 14:00 in the sacristy. On the opposite side of the square, the rather childlike drawing on the Architect’s College is the work of Pablo Picasso.

Continuing north I headed up Passeig de Gràcia, a major shopping destination street with many high end retailers. As I was passing Casa del Libro, a rather large bookstore I took a chance and popped in and checked there travel section. There I was able to buy their only copy of “El Camino Catalán de Santiago desde Montserrat by Joan Fiol Boada.

Further along Passeig de Gràcia is the Manzana de la Discordia, a block containing houses by 4 of Barcelona’s most important architects. Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi is the most noticed, by the Casa Amatller next door is also great. A few blocks north and the corner is dominated by Casa Milà, a monumental work by Gaudi. While there are no arrows marking the way, the intricate tiles of the sidewalk are a less well know design by Gaudi.

Now the road slowly starts to climb as you begin to leave the tourists behind and enter the Barrio Gràcia. if you have worked up an appetite, you will find some restaurants here that a not too pricy and a few with a nice menu del dia. I enjoyed La Tabernacle del Cura, GRAN DE gràcia, 83, 3 course menu with including beverage for 11€.

A short detour will take you past Casa Vicens, an exuberant house which was the first house designed by Gaudi. Just past the Lesseps metro station on the left side of the street is the only Camino marking I encountered. Almost as if my chance I looked down and the was a shell tile, unfortunately facing the wrong direction.

From this point on the road really begins to climb. You are now a distance from the core of the city and you see the green hills of the Parc Natural de la Serra de Collserola, Spain’s largest urban park. On the hills above you can see the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the impressive Torre de Collserola, a large communications tower.

From here you are walking alongside the Ronda de Dalt, the ring highway on the north side of Barcelona. You are now in the Vall d’Hebron and you will pass a couple of venues from the 1992 Olympics.

Finally you will reach the Mundet metro station where I chose to stop for the day. I stayed at the Hotel Colors, Carrer de Campoamor, 79, 08031 Barcelona, Spain,. It’s a short distance from Mundet station. My rate was 60€ a night for a single room.
Brilliant, I thought I knew Barcelona quite well, but you pointed out many things new to me. Thanks.
I have some old memories of Plaza Real (Plaça Reial) in the early 80s when it used to be a bit of a dodgy area, but ahead of the Barcelona Olympics the town hall decided to have a big clamp down on street crime etc. which made it a much nicer place to walk around. However, in Spain it is known that Barcelona suffers the highest rates of picket pocket crime - so any walking as an obvious tourist could draw unwanted attention, so be streetwise and safe.
It's a wonderful city in many aspects, in particular the Gaudi creations of Parc Güell and the unbelievably impressive Sagrada Familia (completion date is rumoured to be set for around 2030).
I must admit I like the idea of a combined coast-to-coast walk and the Camino de Santiago and including the wonderful province of Cataluña to complete the northern territories.
 

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Via de La Plata, Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan and Aragones, Norte
One of the problems I had when I was looking at walking from Barcelona was the lack of resources for planning. Finding something in English was almost impossible, and the Spanish sources for the most part start the Camino at the Monastery in Monserrat. Having now gotten to the base of the mountain, (it does look intimidating from here) I really enjoyed the route through Terrassa, which is not an official route.

Today while walking and missing a couple of turns the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should take the time to do a comprehensive guide to the Caminos from Barcelona. Rather than heading on to Santiago, I am thinking that I might stop at the Monastery, head back to Barcelona and walk the three variants an produce a decent guide of all three.

I remember my first Camino I walked with the CSJ guide and it was comprehensive and provided the basic information. I used other guides since then, some better than others. I am not looking to cash in on the Camino as some others have done. My thinking is to make the guide available to to the different associations and web resources.

I don’t see the Cami Sant Jaume as being that commercial, it’s a bit of a walk to Santiago and certainly not the cheapest as there are no albergues. But it is a great walk, probably a bit like the CF was in the 1990’s before it began to catch on. I first walked the CF in 2000 and this was more primitive. (OK, they were signs of the dreaded Caganer, but not to the extent you find on many of the routes today.)

Wondering if this makes sense, or if I should just keep on to Santiago. I would appreciate your feed back.
I am not sure why you have suggested that there are no albergues along this route (you stated, "I don’t see the Cami Sant Jaume as being that commercial, it’s a bit of a walk to Santiago and certainly not the cheapest as there are no albergues."). This is not correct. Albergues are available all along the way, spaced apart in such a way to walk reasonable daily stages. For more details, see my review of this route written in 2018. I just don't want people to have the wrong impression of this splendid Camino. I have walked it twice in the past two years and fully intend to walk it again.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with @lindam. I have not walked from Barcelona, but @Steven Dwyer, I wouldn’t generalize too much about what awaits based on the days from Barcelona to Montserrat. The route from Montserrat has plenty of marking, plenty of albergues, and lots of beauty, but I only know the Huesca variant.

I came into Montserrat from Manresa, having started in Llancá and walking through Girona, and that route was extremely well marked and easy to follow.

But I am sure there are many forum members who will appreciate the deep dive into the Barcelona to Montserrat segment. Good luck and buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I am not sure why you have suggested that there are no albergues along this route
My error entirely. What I meant to say was that I had not found any albergues between Barcelona and Montserrat. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I’ve edited the original post to reflect this.

If you have information on any albergues between Barcelona and Montserrat I’d appreciate your feed back.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Last edited:

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Yes. Please. Post it here rather than in a PM. I would find it very useful.
We need @LTfit to weigh in here. She walked from Barcelona to meet me in Montserrat. She said it was a very difficult walk, and coming from @LT that means a lot! But I think she took the more difficult option on purpose because it was shorter. I vaguely remember something about an albergue being inaugurated a day or two after she walked through, and I think she spent a night with an association member. I will give her a nudge and see if she has more to add.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Laurie is right on all counts.
I walked from Barcelona to Montserrat in 2015 via San Cugat, Les Fonts (where I slept with a Camino friend of Laurie) and on.

Day two was a tough 34 km, a normal distance for me, but ending with a 5 km very tough climb up I was so happy to arrive in Montserrat. My thread from back then gives lots of details about the three options out of Barcelona (too bad people don't use the search function ;)).

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/camí-català-from-barcelona-to-monserrat.33796/

A Camino friend met me at the airport and we made our way to the Cathedral for a credential and stamp then we took the metro to the Laberinto de Horta (see above link for details). My friend walked with me till San Cugat (well marked) where I carried on to Les Fonts as the albergue in Ullastrell was to be inaugurated the next day.

The Amics group of Terrassa and Barcelona where very helpful. No need to reinvent the wheel when there is information out there.

https://amicscamisantjaume.wordpress.com/

From their website :
Laberint d'Horta
Inicio del Camí justo frente la puerta de acceso al laberinto.
9,4 9,4 Sant Cugat del Vallès (Monestir)
Todos los servicios, excepto albergue. Hay establecimientos de hostelería.
19,9 10,5 Les Fonts
Todos los servicios, excepto albergue. Hay un hostal.
30,2 10,3 Ullastrell
Todos los servicios. Hostalatge de pelegrins municipal: “JORDI SANS” C/ 1 d'Octubre (al lado del Ayuntamiento)
Llaves:
Ayuntamiento (Tel. 937-887-262) de lunes a viernes de 9 a 14 y miércoles de 17 a 20
Bar del Casal Cultural (Tel. 937-331-051) lunes de 16 a 20 y de martes a domingo de 14 a 23 (el Casal está en
la carretera de Olesa. Desde el Camí se puede acceder por un callejón que hay, a mano izquierda, unos metros
antes de la carnicería Palet, en la calle Serra (Camí de les Monges))
37,9 7,7 Olesa de Montserrat
Todos los servicios, excepto albergue.
albergue. Hay establecimientos

There are various ways to climb up to Montserrat, if I recall correctly my plan was to take the GR 6 but I ended up on the 5. Either way a tough walk.

Hopes this helps someone. My advice is to go through Huesca (pilgrim albergue) and San Juan de la Peña, a jewel not to be missed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
No need to reinvent the wheel when there is information out there.
(too bad people don't use the search function ;)).
@LTfit thanks for the additional information. I agree that there is no need to reinvent the wheel. My intent is to gather the spokes that have fallen in the various threads, polish them (translate and verify) and assemble them into a wheel.

Ideally what I would like to produce is a document in several parts.

One, a narrative that provides a description of the way with details of what you will pass. For instance, some details on the fine Monastery in Sant Cugat, and it might be fun to know that opposite the cathedral is Marilyn Monroe Museum.

I’d like to have it for the three routes out of Barcelona so that a pilgrim can decide what route works best for them

Two, a printable guide for each route with the basic information such as how to get to starting points, lodging possibilities, especially albergues.

This is similar to what I did with the resources for the Camí Sant Jaume. Once it’s posted I would value feed back so I can go Back an edit. Unfortunately, what often happens is that something gets posted with perhaps s wrong telephone number, and unless you read the whole thread, you miss the correction.

By the way, I am in awe of your ability. There is no possible way I could have made it up the hill to Montserrat at the end of a long day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
There are at least 5 paths up to Monserrat. 1 starting from Monistrol near the start of the rack railway that splits halfway up into Camí del tres quarts gr-96 and Camí de les aigues gr5, from near the aero/cable car/ gondola, and from Olesa the gr-6, sender de Montserrat, and the gr-5/6.1.

I just booked 3 nights at the apartments at Montserrat with plans to hike the 4 trails I didn’t take. The apartment comes with free rack railway so I can take it down and take the R-5 train to the start of some trails.

It will be interesting to see how the compare. At least i’ll know which of the two splits to suggest. Plus, I get to spend a few more nights a Montserrat which is a real plus.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Thank you Steven. If you have a gpx or kml file already for each (say downloaded from wikiloc) please post them. I don't think I have time to wait for your magnum opus. I can find these myself if you don't have a URL handy but I don't mind borrowing.

I expect that you would find this yourself with so much time on top but I really liked the art museum up there and I want to make sure that you don't miss it.

As a by the way I had used Airbnb only once 3 years ago but I downloaded the app and I found a place in Sant Cugat about 3 km from the museums for less than $30 US. There are a number for as much or less than that but many are booked solid for a month and some are actually in neighboring suburbs.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
Rick, sent you a PM with a bunch of routes. Will be checking the Olesa to the Monastery route today.

The Art Museum here in Montserrat is well worth a visit.

Yesterday on the way stopped by Sagrada Familia. They were celebrating the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy. By chance, and extremely good luck, I got to go to the International Mass. Never thought I get to a mass in that amazing space. Was hoping for a nice sello from the sacristy, instead they directed me to the info office for an ok sello.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2000,2001,2004 Camino Frances from St. Jean
2005 Camino Argonese from Oloron to Puente de la Reina, Camino Frances from St. Jean,
2013 Camino Portugese from Porto, Camino Ingles from Ferrol, Camino Finisterre
(2016) Camino Portugese from Braga
I have now finished walking three of the many routes up to Montserrat. Two of the routes were from Olesa de Montserrat, and the third route was from Monistrol de Montserrat. There is still another route Olesa to look at, the the GR-96 from Monistrol, and for fun the route from the Aeri up to the Monastery.

From Olesa

Route # 1, the GR 6.1/5 via Esparreguera and Collbató

15.12 km 1,345 m elevation gain, 707 m elevation loss, approx 5 hours.
Note: the wikiloc takes the described route to Cami Sant Miguel.
PRO: The villages are nice and it would be better in the rain. Water is available along the route. Way-marking is very good.
CON: it takes an additional hour.

https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-senderismo/3-3-cami-de-sant-jaume-cami-dels-peregrins-per-sant-cugat-olesa-de-montserrat-monestir-de-montserra-32071338

I picked up the first arrow at the large traffic circle, and the way is well marked with a few exceptions. As you leave town, you cross under the rail tracks and the highway before crossing the river Llobregat. Shortly after the river, turn right at the waymark, then an almost immediate left at the next waymark. You then climb uphill on a path and stairs to the town of Esparreguera.

Following the route into town you come to the large Church of Saint Eulalia, originally built in the 16th century, it suffered great damage in the Spanish Civil War. The 60 m Bell tower is visible from a distance. There is a fountain in the plaza. There are several bars on the way. Following city streets out of town, you then pass through an industrial area. You continue along a gravel road to enter Collbató. Taking a city street, you reach the Casa del Municipi. On the corner are two arrows, take the path straight ahead. When you pass under the 17th century Arc D’en Bros you enter the historic nucleus of Collbató. Opposite the church of Sant Corneli, originally 11th century, reconstructed in the 18th century is another fountain. There is also a bar that may or may not be open.

Continue to follow the marked trail to the Ermita del Salut. Just past the Ermita, the trail climbs steps off to the left side of the trail. Following signs to the Coves del Sanitre you eventually leave all roads behind just before the caves. Looking ahead, you no doubt will wonder where the trail is as it crosses the face of the mountain. You will come to a signposted junction showing the GR-6, GR-5 continuing straight ahead. Do not take the downhill even though it currently has a yellow arrow. This is the GR-6 coming from Olesa.

Eventually you reach a split in the road. To the left is the Cami De Sant Miguel which takes you upwards to St. Michaels Ermita and Cross before descending to the Monastery. To the left is the Cami de la Santa Cova, which heads downwards passing under the cave where legend tells Black Madonna was found. My suggestion is to take the Santa Cova route as just after you pass under the chapel at the cave, you join the paved Santa Cova trail. Take a left and you will be able to visit the cave. Walking on the Monastery, you follow the mysteries of the rosary, each depicted with a sculptural group. Perhaps my favorite is 1916 Resurrection of Jesus by Antonio Gaudi. After passing by the lower station of the Funicular, you head uphill. You pass the point where the routes from Monistrol de Montserrat join and just past the station for the Aeri (Cable Car) you reach the Monastery complex.

Route #2, the GR 6 via Colònia Sedo
13.30 km 794m elevation gain, 195 m elevation loss, approx 4 hours
PRO: Great panoramic views of the Monastery. 1 hour shorter.
CON: Not suggested in rain as the trail is part stream-bed. No fountains.

https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/olesa-de-montserrat-monestir-de-montserrat-can-41712630

This route begins the same as route one. After taking the right turn after crossing the river, continue straight on by-passing the turn for Esparreguera. The route is marginally way marked. It travels on mostly quiet roads until the mid point.

As you approach Can Sedo, a factory area, you begin to see some markings. Turn right immediately after Can Sedo at the sign for Can Vinyals and Ermita Sta. Margarida. Eventually you come to the bar L’antiga Braseria. Stick to the main road until you come to the waymark for Ermita Santa Margarida and take the road to the left ignoring the yellow arrow to stay on the GR-6. The yellow arrow is a variant #3 to be discussed below.

A short while later you are treated to a beautiful panoramic view of the mountain with the Monastery clinging to the side. Pass by the Ermita and stay on the road until you cross the bridge over the Torrent de Salut. Just after the bridge you reach the signposted left turn on to the trail for the GR-6, Monistir de Montserrat. This about the midway point and from here it is a steep uphill climb.

From here you are at times in a dry stream bed, often straddling a gully in the center. When the climb reaches the roadway, turn left, then in about 100 feet take the path on the left and continue climbing. Eventually you come to concrete steps, with an iron handrail that improves the trail for awhile. When you reach the trail junction with the GR-5/ GR-6.1 follow the directions above
 

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