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Camino Ignaciano commencing from Barcelona - day 1


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Camino Ignaciano commencing from Barcelona

The actual Camino Ignaciano commences in Loyola (also known as Loiola) in the Basque country of northern Spain, and which 665kms later reaches the destination of La Cova de St Ignasi in Manresa.

This year, 2022, marks the 500 year anniversary of the original pilgrimage undertaken in 1522 by Íñigo López de Loyola, who later became Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Personal time commitments prevented me from walking from Loyola, and so I made the decision to commence the walk from Barcelona, passing over the 'Parque Natural de la Sierra de Collserola' proceed via Sant Cugat, pass over the incredible multi-peaked mountain of Montserrat and end the walk in Manresa to coincide with the 31st July and the celebrations for Saint Ignasi.

And so I headed to Barcelona, and obtained the Pilgrim Credential [obtained at Casa Exercicis Jesuïtes Sarrià, C/ de Roger de Llúria, 13, 08010 Barcelona tel : 933 012 350 /].

Day 1 Barcelona
With the Credential in hand, proceeded to the port area, where the city of Barcelona meets the sea. Setting out from the foot of the statue of Christopher Columbus, also known as the Mirador de Colom, the first place that I went to was the main post office [Correos at Placa d'Antonio on Passeig de Colon with Via Laietana, so as to ask for a specific stamp/sello that is only available at this post office. It is not that elaborate a stamp, though as it is apparently reserved for the Pilgrim Credential, it felt appropriate to seek it out, and the building where the post office is located is a stunning architectural jewel. Worth going to so as to see the building and the interior.

From the post office, there was a short walk to the Iglesia Sant Jaume, also known as Iglesia de San Jaime [Carrer de Ferran, 28, 08002 Barcelona tel 933 022 289]. The Church of Saint James is, no surprise, the effective commencement point in Barcelona, for the Camino de Santiago. Another stamp/sello for the Credential and then onwards to pass by the very closely located Cathedral of Barcelona. This is a striking Gothic cathedral, with live geese located within the cloister, kept in an enclosed area, not far from a stone that is set in the floor dedicated to Sant Ignasi. A visit to the 'roof-top' of the Cathedral is worth the effort, as there are good views of the city from that height.

Moving on again, this time to the incredible Sagrada Familia, where construction of Antoni Gaudí's incredible Basilica is still in process, even though construction commenced on 19 March 1882 !! [Calle de Mallorca, 401 08013 Barcelona tel 932 080 414].

The final part of the day was to continue the walk through the heat and noise of Barcelona and upwards through the area known as Horta and headed to the Mirador d'Horta and the late afternoon views over Barcelona.

The first day was over, and I back-tracked to the city so as to pass the night in the city, returning to where my backpack awaited me, having left it behind at the beginning of the day so as to be able to access the Cathedral.

Summary total recorded for that day is 20.4kms / 59 floors
[any numbers are the summary total for that day, and will include all movement from that day]


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Hike 30 miles on California’s Santa Catalina Island as part of the Catalina Camino
Day 2 Barcelona to Ullastrell

As I wanted to try and avoid some of the heat of the afternoon, today was a very early start. I took transport so as to be at the beginning of the route known as GR-6, located at L'Horta. Yes, there at the beginning is a wonderful post with a sign proudly proclaiming that this is the 'Camí de Sant Jaume des de Barcelona', though from thereon the signage was not so clear, and as I walked up and crossed the 'Parque Natural de la Sierra de Collserola' there were many times that I went adrift, as Collserola is criss crossed with many different routes. This particular day the views over Barcelona as the day broke were spectacular, with lightning breaking over the sky in every direction, especially over the distant sea. There was a brief fall of rain, though nothing dramatic. What was dramatic was an encounter with some wild boar - jabalí in Spanish - that fortunately were either so surprised at my passing or too sleepy to take offence at my trespassing into their territory and who left me alone. I was subsequently told that they can be a rather dangerous animal. Having passed over Collserola and with Sant Cugat in sight, the route passes an imposing and rather solitary pine tree that is estimated as dating back to 1774. I proceeded to the centre of the town, had some breakfast and then to the Monastery of Sant Cugat. The visitor access to the cloisters of the Monastery commences at 10.30am, so I entered the church alongside, the 'Church of Sant Pere de Octavia', to seek the stamp on the credential. I was kindly informed that this is only done in the afternoon, and that I should return later. I explained that would not be possible, and was beginning to exit when the priest explained that if I was willing to wait until after the 9 o'clock mass, the credential could be stamped afterwards. So I attended the 9 o'clock mass, was escorted to the church office, which is external to the Church, and given the stamp in the credential as well as given a sneak look into the cloister. This was not as impressive as I had believed that it would be, and in my view seems to have been over restored. The departure from Sant Cugat was uncomplicated, though the rest of today's walk I recall as being significantly on paved road, which is not my favoured walking. The destination for today was Ullastrell, where there is an albergue available for peregrinos. Somewhat this is known as 'Hostalatge Jordi Sans', Details at email tel : 937 887 262]. There was a very warm welcome in this town, both from the people that I had contact with as well as the weather !! The views from Ullastrell towards Montserrat, the following day's destination, were incredible.

Summary total recorded for that day is 41.4kms / 166 floors


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Day 3 Ullastrell to Montserrat

Another early start and on my way just after 6.30am. The route in the area of Ullastrell is very well way-marked, though I was somewhat surprised to commence the day going down and continuing to descend. I was aware of how the destination for today, Montserrat, was going to need an effort to climb, and if I was going down, that would require later in the day even more going up. As this walk was on paths, and not on paved road, it was, despite descending, a lovely walk, until the approach into Olesa de Montserrat, when it was once again involved walking on paved road. The town did not have a lot to detain me, apart from the opportunity of having another coffee. The Church was closed, though the Ajuntament, which was a short deviation, obliged with a stamp on the credential. Onwards, across a river, the Rio El Llobregat, then upwards the short distance to Esparreguera, where again the Church was closed and so a short deviation was made so as to have the credential stamped at the Ajuntament. The route then took me to Collbató, in the foothill of Montserrat, which loomed very majestically above this small town. And once again, the Church was closed, so once again had the credential stamped at the Ajuntament. There then seemed to be at least 2 ways from Collbató to ascend Montserrat. The first that I chose took me to the nearby 'Ermita de la Salut', though from there the route seemed to continue on paved road, so I backtracked and chose the alternative route, that fortunately quickly moved from being paved road to a track. This gently and sometimes not so gently ascended and ascended, until reaching the Monastery of Montserrat. There was then a wait until 4.00pm, when the possibility to gain access to the pilgrim accommodation was opened. The access is via a specific door, which is indicated in an attached image. The accommodation is exclusively for pelegrinos with a credential, and where only one night staying in the albergue is permitted. Ask for the voucher so as to obtain the 'menu de peregrino' which is available in the hotel restaurant. I met with another peregrino, a man from Belgium, who was undertaking his first walk, had never walked to or been to Santiago, though had started this Camino in Loyola, and was now on day 30 of walking.

The albergue does not accept advance reservations, so the following email address is simply for information

Summary total recorded for that day is 31.7kms / 161 floors


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Day 4 Montserrat to Manresa

We set out early, and skirted the mountain before beginning the descent. Passing the 'Ermita de Santa Cecilia', which is now an art center that was converted/developed by the renowned artist Sean Scully though was closed at the hour that we passed []. We had spectacular views looking back on Montserrat as the sun rose and broke through the cloud and mist. The route from Montserrat is significantly on paths and tracks and away from paved roads, and is very well way-marked. We stopped for a coffee in Castellgalíland, where I briefly contemplated staying there, as there is a refugio [ tel 938 330 021 / 938 331 975 / 689 008 359 email :], though decided that I would continue with my fellow walking companion/peregrino from Belgium. Manresa soon came into sight, with impressive views towards the 'Basilica Santa Maria De La Seu'. Descending, we crossed the Cardoner River via the old bridge and headed to the 'Cova de Sant Ignasi'. This was the destination, and the location where on Sunday the Holy Door would be locked on Sunday 31 July, to remain locked until the next Holy Year / Año Santo Jacobeo, which I believe will next be in 2033.

Summary total recorded for that day is 26.6kms / 67 floors


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This walk was a slight demand at 4 days, and perhaps could be more comfortably stretched to be walked over 5 or 6 days, with some additional time spent at Montserrat. One of those days, I would like to undertake the walk from Loyola, or maybe start in Manresa and walk from there to end in Loyola.

This Camino has a stunningly informative web page at though the route from Barcelona is not included.

Another source of assistance is Gronze at
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Great pics and info. I walked just a tiny piece of this last year, from Barcelona up toward Tibidabo and then the section leading to Montserrat. Definitely a good heart workout but the views certainly make it worth it.
Excellent report! Much needed on this under-appreciated Camino. Two things to add: First, if you attend the evening Mass in Montserrat, they will provide a Pilgrim blessing afterwards. Second, while in Barcelona you should definitely visit the “Església del Sagrat Cor - Jesuïtes” church - it has the sword that Ignacio laid down on the altar of Montserrat when he devoted himself to the Holy Mother.

Thank you for your travel info and photos. Well done!

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