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Information on Barcelona to Montserrat

Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hello Everyone - Myself, a friend from Ireland and mu father (74 years old) are going to try and walk from Barcelona to Muxia starting on September 10. We are all fully vaccinated and very responsible travellers - my father is only going as far as Logrono on the Francis. We hope to walk to Montserrat then the Camino Catalan to the Camino Aragones to the the Camino Francis and finally to Muxia if possible.

I had a few questions about the leg from Barcelona to Montserrat and was hoping to hear from anyone who has done this walk recently. I have tried to read all the forum posts and information online and have some idea but thought I would reach out for more information from this wonderful community of pilgrims.

1. What route out of Barcelona would you recommend? The GR 6 leaving from the Parc del Laberint d'Horta or the route up past Tibidabo?
2. Is it best to walk through Terrassa or through Les Fonts stopping in Ullastrell if possible?
3. Are there hostels in Terrassa?
4. What is the easiest way up Montserrat (thinking of my Dad who is tough like shoe leather but its a long journey :). Is it better to walk up from the Terrassa side or up past Colbato which looks steep but shorter.

Any other advice or information is more than welcome! This will by my 4th Camino and same with my friend. My father has done the Portuguese from Porto and walked to Everest and Machu Picchu. We know it is a long journey but we are all very excited for the adventure and to be walking again! There will be another small group starting in St Jean who we did our first Camino Francis with who will meet us in Puenta la Reina and walk with us to Santiago.

Thanks everyone and I hope his message finds you all safe and healthy during these trying times and I hope to see you all on the trail - buen camino!
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Hello Everyone - Myself, a friend from Ireland and mu father (74 years old) are going to try and walk from Barcelona to Muxia starting on September 10. We are all fully vaccinated and very responsible travellers - my father is only going as far as Logrono on the Francis. We hope to walk to Montserrat then the Camino Catalan to the Camino Aragones to the the Camino Francis and finally to Muxia if possible.

I had a few questions about the leg from Barcelona to Montserrat and was hoping to hear from anyone who has done this walk recently. I have tried to read all the forum posts and information online and have some idea but thought I would reach out for more information from this wonderful community of pilgrims.

1. What route out of Barcelona would you recommend? The GR 6 leaving from the Parc del Laberint d'Horta or the route up past Tibidabo?
2. Is it best to walk through Terrassa or through Les Fonts stopping in Ullastrell if possible?
3. Are there hostels in Terrassa?
4. What is the easiest way up Montserrat (thinking of my Dad who is tough like shoe leather but its a long journey :). Is it better to walk up from the Terrassa side or up past Colbato which looks steep but shorter.

Any other advice or information is more than welcome! This will by my 4th Camino and same with my friend. My father has done the Portuguese from Porto and walked to Everest and Machu Picchu. We know it is a long journey but we are all very excited for the adventure and to be walking again! There will be another small group starting in St Jean who we did our first Camino Francis with who will meet us in Puenta la Reina and walk with us to Santiago.

Thanks everyone and I hope his message finds you all safe and healthy during these trying times and I hope to see you all on the trail - buen camino!

I’ll answer question 5 if I may. If you’re staying overnight at Montserrat I’d suggest taking a bottle of wine, or two, with you. The only accommodation I’m aware of keeps very Spanish hours for dinner and only opens the bar after vespers.

it’s a lovely place to be in the evening when the day-trippers have gone.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I have not walked there (yet), but I have visited twice, and both times I made certain to eat the cheese they make there, and only there. It is called “mato“ and I would happily walk straight up that mountain to have more of it (and Spouse and I are thinking of doing that very thing, and then heading for the Ebro route up to Logrono).
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Any other advice or information is more than welcome!

Sorry, I’m another one who can’t answer your questions about walking from Barcelona with first hand knowledge. I walked from Port de la Selva down to Montserrat and carried on the Catalán from there. If @LTfit sees this thread, she can give you her insights, but you’ve probably seen all of her forum comments about the walk from Barcelona already.

Just to say that I think you made the absolutely right decision to go through Huesca to the Aragonés rather than Zaragoza to Logroño.

We stayed in a lot of public albergues both on the Catalán and also after merging to the Aragonés. I think in many cases the albergue is the only game in town, so I would be sure to do lots of due diligence to see if and when they open up. Some of the associations are extremely helpful. I remember being in contact with the association in Cervera about the albergue there. And then months later, when I was walking from Manresa to Montserrat, I saw a group walking and someone yelled to me — ¿eres Laurie? They were just walking that one stage, and we had a nice time together. They shared their big almuerzo and took me into the private chapel in Montserrat where they got their special blessing. Anyway... my point is that contacting an association would be a very good idea before you set out in the fall, at least if there isn’t good information readily available. Association in Cervera has a webpge and lists email and phone.

The organization whose accommodation list we used most was from the Federación Amigos de Camino de Santiago de Catalunya. They list an email and phone numbers:
secretaria@hispanianostra.org Tel.: (+34) 915 424 135 (+34) 637 725 687

Their most recent list of accommodations, dated March 2021 is here.

Lots of good contacts on this post from several years ago.

I think it’s generally important to have good lodging information on the more remote caminos, but that is even more essential now with the uncertainties. Buen camino to you and your dad!
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
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There are multiple routes up from Barcelona, though the only one I've walked personally is from the City proper up on tarmac to Valldoreix in the late 80s IIRC but could be about 1990.

The route I'd recommend from thinking about this for a while would be start from the Sagrada Familia, then make your way up through the nature reserve towards Sant Cugat. Then take whichever route option you like from there to Montserrat. (good route selection through Valldoreix is basically too complicated unless you used to live there, even though it's not a bad route historically, and there was the first place I lived, unknowingly, on top of the Camino)

Most people just skip that starting stage entirely, as the "official" route starting out from basically the airport then up through some attendant industrial zone holds few aesthetic attractions, plus it reportedly climbs up fairly vigorously as well.

Whereas the hike up to Sant Cugat/Valldoreix from Barcelona proper is not unpleasant, even on the worse tarmac option.
 

lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
Greetings from a fellow Canuck (now living outside of Canada)! I have walked this route twice, both times via the Parc del Laberint d'Horta. You may have already seen it, but I did post some details here following our first walk on this route: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...catalan-may-to-june-2018-parts-1-and-2.56770/. Due to its steepness and the length of the climb up to Montserrat, it may be difficult for your father.

Do be advised that many of the accommodations along this route require that you call ahead to advise them that you will be arriving as there are not always hopitaleros on site. In most instances this requires simply a phone call the day before but there are times when you will need to make an advance reservation as is the case for the albergues in Montserrat and Monzón.

It is a wonderful route and you will pass through some unforgettable places. Do be sure to take note of where you will be able to purchase food and supplies along the way as often you will find that you need to carry food for the day as you will not have options while en route. My last time walking this route was in the spring of 2019 so there have likely been changes since then. However, do feel free to ask should you have additional questions.
 

MyDestinationGalicia

Mark Auchincloss
Past OR future Camino
2021
That sounds like a brave and cunning plan, I'm very envious..Previous comments have all been spot on so I'll just add my penny worths of advice..I love walking out of Barcelona to San Cugat and on to Montserrat and its easy to do (well there is a short but steep climb rewarded by excellent views looking back over the city and out to sea) as the Camino is well signed, just follow the yellow arrows.

You can pick up the Camino by walking from start at the Church of Sant Jaume (close to Plaça de Sant Jaume, it's about 19 km ) or catch the Metro to Mundet Station (L3) (20 minutes from Plaza Cataluña ). Then it's a short walk passing the velodrome and stopping briefly to see the beautiful park at Laberinto de Horta (from here its about 12 km to San Cugat). Then head uphill continuing along Calle Germans Desvalls until its end. Follow the signs to Collserola Park. To get to Sant Cugat follow the GR6 signposts/yellow arrows up and over the mountain with breathtaking views !. The camino heads towards Forti Castle and its ruins with excellent views of the city. We head in the direction of Tibadabo until Pas del Rei. Then head downhill to Can Borrel then on to Sant Cugat passing before Pi d’en Xandri before arriving at the beautiful Sant Cugat Monastery.

From San Cugat it's easy walking, pleasant stuff to Ullastrell the next stage is fine until you start the steep climb to get to the Monastery at Montserrat which is worth the super effort as it is a truely amazing scene and I hope you can get to to see the choir there in action as they have one of the best in the world up alongside some of the very best we have in the UK...The other option is to use the steep grade railway from Monistrol de Montserrat whose train goes to the Monastery and is utterly spectacular too ! I used it in my days when I did my videos of the Camino..

The Catalan Way is a very beautiful route as Laurie says from Port de la Selva..and you can do it nearly all year round although in the summer months you need to take serious precautions due to the heat but if the spanish can amble about outside the siesta hours there's hope for us too !
 
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paki

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino frances 2008,2010,camino portuges 2012,camino de la costa 2013,camino primativo 2015,
Hello Everyone - Myself, a friend from Ireland and mu father (74 years old) are going to try and walk from Barcelona to Muxia starting on September 10. We are all fully vaccinated and very responsible travellers - my father is only going as far as Logrono on the Francis. We hope to walk to Montserrat then the Camino Catalan to the Camino Aragones to the the Camino Francis and finally to Muxia if possible.

I had a few questions about the leg from Barcelona to Montserrat and was hoping to hear from anyone who has done this walk recently. I have tried to read all the forum posts and information online and have some idea but thought I would reach out for more information from this wonderful community of pilgrims.

1. What route out of Barcelona would you recommend? The GR 6 leaving from the Parc del Laberint d'Horta or the route up past Tibidabo?
2. Is it best to walk through Terrassa or through Les Fonts stopping in Ullastrell if possible?
3. Are there hostels in Terrassa?
4. What is the easiest way up Montserrat (thinking of my Dad who is tough like shoe leather but its a long journey :). Is it better to walk up from the Terrassa side or up past Colbato which looks steep but shorter.

Any other advice or information is more than welcome! This will by my 4th Camino and same with my friend. My father has done the Portuguese from Porto and walked to Everest and Machu Picchu. We know it is a long journey but we are all very excited for the adventure and to be walking again! There will be another small group starting in St Jean who we did our first Camino Francis with who will meet us in Puenta la Reina and walk with us to Santi
 
Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I've walked the Cami Catalan three (!!why??) times and never once thought of walking it from Barcelona. 1) the classical starting point was the monastery at Montserrat; 2) I saw little point in walking through the industrial suburbs of Barcelona. If you have a particular reason to walk from Barcelona, such as wanting to step into the Med for a second to baptize your poles or boots, or if it's in fulfillment of a vow, then you should go ahead. I know the area a bit and @MyDestinationGalicia 's advice looks solid.

Otherwise, take the local train up to Montserrat, stay at the albergue, attend vespers, and enjoy the incredible location late at night--- full moon would be spectacular.

Pilgrims are well-received in the area but do call ahead. There are not many of us and the infrastructure needs to be alerted. Pace yourselves, stay hydrated, walk early in the day, and you'll have a great time.
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I've walked the Cami Catalan three (!!why??) times and never once thought of walking it from Barcelona

Oh, but surely the monastery at San Cugat is a big draw. And based on what @MyDestinationGalicia says, you are not going to deal with industrial suburbs.

And I also understand the allure of walking from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic! @alansykes is a big fan of that approach, and it does seem like it would be fabuloso!
 
Past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Oh, but surely the monastery at San Cugat is a big draw. And based on what @MyDestinationGalicia says, you are not going to deal with industrial suburbs.

And I also understand the allure of walking from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic! @alansykes is a big fan of that approach, and it does seem like it would be fabuloso!

The first time I read up and googled and it appeared to be primarily industrial suburb out of the airport--- going through Terrassa would be more interesting and, in any case, I now have a musician friend living there. I suppose I should now look up San Cugat and see what it's about. I fear that overall I have a negative perspective on Barcelona, having been pickpocketed on the way from the airport. Having lectured prospective pilgrims at training workshops on the fact that Barcelona is one of the world's pickpocketing cities, I was hoist on my own petard...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have a negative perspective on Barcelona, having been pickpocketed on the way from the airport. Having lectured prospective pilgrims at training workshops on the fact that Barcelona is one of the world's pickpocketing cities, I was hoist on my own petard...

I hope the OP will forgive the slight tangent, but anyone who is walking from Barcelona should be aware of the situation. No doubt about it, Barcelona is very fertile pickpocketing territory, as is Madrid. And if you are like me, clearly a foreigner, the target on our back just gets bigger.

My reaction to your experience, @oursonpolaire is that it is extremely common — we KNOW that there are a million pickpockets, we THINK we will keep our sensors on, but we inevitably lapse. My theory is that those of us who do not live in a world where pickpocketing is so common just don’t develop that extra sense or radar. So when we travel, we tell ourselves to keep a lookout, but that awareness will inevitably turn to inattention.

After a couple of close calls, I decided that it was simply unrealistic for me to expect to maintain my alertness. So I decided that the best plan B was to make sure that I had nothing that could be pickpocketed without going inside my clothing (which I was pretty sure I would notice 😁 ). Now, when I take public transit in Spain (Cercanías excluded), I always have absolutely everything that a pickpocket would want under my clothes. That way I can forget about trying to teach myself to acquire my Spanish friends’ intuitive radar. It just makes for a much less stressful experience.
 
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Hello Everyone - Myself, a friend from Ireland and mu father (74 years old) are going to try and walk from Barcelona to Muxia starting on September 10. We are all fully vaccinated and very responsible travellers - my father is only going as far as Logrono on the Francis. We hope to walk to Montserrat then the Camino Catalan to the Camino Aragones to the the Camino Francis and finally to Muxia if possible.

I had a few questions about the leg from Barcelona to Montserrat and was hoping to hear from anyone who has done this walk recently. I have tried to read all the forum posts and information online and have some idea but thought I would reach out for more information from this wonderful community of pilgrims.

1. What route out of Barcelona would you recommend? The GR 6 leaving from the Parc del Laberint d'Horta or the route up past Tibidabo?
2. Is it best to walk through Terrassa or through Les Fonts stopping in Ullastrell if possible?
3. Are there hostels in Terrassa?
4. What is the easiest way up Montserrat (thinking of my Dad who is tough like shoe leather but its a long journey :). Is it better to walk up from the Terrassa side or up past Colbato which looks steep but shorter.

Any other advice or information is more than welcome! This will by my 4th Camino and same with my friend. My father has done the Portuguese from Porto and walked to Everest and Machu Picchu. We know it is a long journey but we are all very excited for the adventure and to be walking again! There will be another small group starting in St Jean who we did our first Camino Francis with who will meet us in Puenta la Reina and walk with us to Santiago.

Thanks everyone and I hope his message finds you all safe and healthy during these trying times and I hope to see you all on the trail - buen camino!
Hi there, my husband and I did this walk in 2019. The only difference was that when we reached León we headed north on the San Salvador to Oviedo then walked the primitivo (definitely worth the detour).
From Barcelona we walked through Parc Laberint and found our first yellow arrow there, for the most part we followed the GR 6 but also used maps.me for some beautiful detours. They are beautiful days walking, we stayed at Sant Cugat in a hotel the first night, it was quite a short day but we wanted to take our time leaving Barcelona, day two we stayed at Esparreguera in a great little hotel. Montserrat is wonderful, the albergue very clean and comfy, we attended víspera and the pilgrim blessing then ate an incredible programs menu at the hotel. We loved it and will definitely walk this route again. From there we walked the Catalan via Huesca, at the albergue at Montserrat they give you all the info you need. Albergues at good distances apart but most times you need to call ahead to let them know you’re coming or find out where to get a key.
It was an amazing experience.
Buen Camino, Ellie.
 

Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you all so much for the great advice, information, and best wishes - it has already proved very useful in helping me plan and also make several back up plans as well :)

For now the plan is to spend our first day just walking from the beaches of La Barceloneta towards the Parc Laberint where we have a hotel booked. We will eat and drink our way through the city while we pick up our credentials and take in the sights. The next day we will walk up through Sant Cugat to Terassa where I have a booked a lovely Airbnb and the host seems very excited to have pilgrim's again which is nice! The next day we will continue to Montserrat which will be a Sunday which I am excited about! Then its off towards Santiago and the Atlantic!

I know walking from Barcelona is not the conventional way of walking this route but the idea of starting with the feet in the Mediterranean and stopping with the feet in the Atlantic has an appeal which is getting us excited and nervous at the same time.

Please keep the advice and information coming as I am firm believer that I will need all the help I can get :)

What a great community of awesome people - thanks again everyone - stay safe, stay healthy and buen camino to all!
 

Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi there, my husband and I did this walk in 2019. The only difference was that when we reached León we headed north on the San Salvador to Oviedo then walked the primitivo (definitely worth the detour).
From Barcelona we walked through Parc Laberint and found our first yellow arrow there, for the most part we followed the GR 6 but also used maps.me for some beautiful detours. They are beautiful days walking, we stayed at Sant Cugat in a hotel the first night, it was quite a short day but we wanted to take our time leaving Barcelona, day two we stayed at Esparreguera in a great little hotel. Montserrat is wonderful, the albergue very clean and comfy, we attended víspera and the pilgrim blessing then ate an incredible programs menu at the hotel. We loved it and will definitely walk this route again. From there we walked the Catalan via Huesca, at the albergue at Montserrat they give you all the info you need. Albergues at good distances apart but most times you need to call ahead to let them know you’re coming or find out where to get a key.
It was an amazing experience.
Buen Camino, Ellie.
Thanks so much! Our second camino was from Oviedo to Santiago and then on to Fisterra and Muxia - what a great walk - loved it. We will definitely plan a little better for this one from an accommodation stand point and call ahead for sure! Thank you for reaching out!
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Hello Everyone - Myself, a friend from Ireland and mu father (74 years old) are going to try and walk from Barcelona to Muxia starting on September 10.
You express some concern about your father. I walked three weeks from the beach in Barceloneta to Pamplona in Oct/Nov 2019. I too was shooting for a Mediterranean to Atlantic crossing but ending in San Sebastián. I was 68. I only remember four tough spots.

1) The park from the velodrome to Sant Cugat. This sticks in my mind because of the heat and because it was done on the same day that I started from the beach.

2) The hike up Monserrat from Monistrol de Monserrat. Some trail but I remember it being mostly dirt road and stairs. Lots of stairs. They allow pacing yourself though.

3) Up the mountain to the new and old monasteries of San Juan de la Peña. I've read of complaints about this on the forum but I didn't consider it bad. It was done early on a cool day.

4) Down the same mountain. Physically easier but watch your footing.

Now a lodging warning. The Gronze guide to the Catalan has a stage starting in Bolea and ending at La Peña Estación. There is no lodging at La Peña Estación but you can catch a train to Jaca or Huesca from there and then return. I decided to add in another day instead with the stages Bolea-Sarsamarcuello-Ena-Santa Cilia (though the Santa Cilia night was spent further on at a hotel in Puente de Reina de Jaca instead).
 

Steven Dwyer

Member
Past OR future Camino
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 really liked the walk from Barcelona to Monserrat, so much so that in 2019 I ended up walking five of the various route options to see what they were like. So for what it is worth, here are my thoughts.

As I was writing this, it looks like you made the decision to go through Terrassa. i am going to post the reply as if you were undecided in case someone else has similar questions.

From Barcelona I would take the GR 6 from Parc del Laberint d'Horta. It is well marked and a very pretty walk and seems to be the preferred route. The metro stop Mundet makes it easy to reach if this is your starting point.. I have only hiked this route, so don’t have a direct comparison to the route past Tibidabo.

When the trail splits at Les Fonts, I would suggest you take the route through Terrassa. I have walked both ways and believe that this is the better option for your group. The ascent up to the Monastery is challenging for many people, especially as it comes at the end of the day. Going through Terrassa leads you via Monistrol de Montserrat and provides you with some options.

When I walked in 2019 I walked from Terrassa to Monistrol and spent the night in Monistrol and walking up in the morning and had the most of the day to enjoy the Monastery. A great option if you have the time. The only change that I would make is to spend the night at the monastery, instead of Monistrol.

If you haven’t got the extra day, but reach Monistrol and can’t muster the energy to make the climb, you have the option to take the rack railway skipping the last couple of miles and the approximate 2,000 ft elevation change.

There is no backpack transport that I am aware of for this camino, so a third option would be to take the railway up, check in and drop your backpack, train back down and walk up without a pack.

As for lodging, I didn’t find much in the way of cheap accommodation in 2019. Ullastrell had a pilgrim albergue, but I didn’t stay there. In Terrassa, I stayed at the 1900 BnB right off the Camino which I liked and recall it being about $70 a night. Booking direct with them got the breakfast included in the price,

I use the Wikiloc app for routes. Here are some relevant routes that show elevations.

Route through Barcelona

Moll de les Dressanes (BCN) -Laberint d’Horta
https://ca.wikiloc.com/rutes-senderisme/csj-cat-etapa-01-barcelona-port-al-laberint-dhorta-36932951

Route through Terrassa

Horta to Terrassa. 17.3 miles
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/csj-2-mundet-metro-to-terrassa-41417213

Terrassa to Monastery 16.56 miles

Route through Ullestrell from Jordi Xicola, a hospitalero at Montserrat.

Horta (BCN) – Les Fonts – Ullestrell 20.1 miles
https://ca.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=16025292

Ullestrell a Olesa de Montserrat 5.1 miles
http://ca.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15081779

Olesa de Montserrat a Monestir de Montserrat (Collbató) 14.7 miles
https://ca.wikiloc.com/rutes-sender...-02-ullastrell-a-montserrat-collbato-16014465

 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Thanks Steven, you're the guy.

Thinking of Wikiloc: I'm glad I had it running during my walk, especially up to Montserrat. Yes, the camino is well marked, if you mean there are arrows. Those arrows are not always obvious though in cities and suburbs. Imagine having big yellow arrows painted everywhere in your neighborhood. You wouldn't want them very obvious. With the Wikiloc app if you go off the track you are following it will give an alarm and you can backtrack a little to see where you strayed. That's a lot better than backtracking a lot with no idea where you went wrong. Wikiloc saved me a lot of time and walking.

Something I saw in the first few days on the way to Montserrat that I didn't see on the Francés was a yellow X sometimes painted to indicate you were headed the wrong way.

Also, headed past Montserrat you will see orange arrows pointing in the opposite direction of the yellow arrows. These are pointing the direction to Montserrat for pilgrims following the Camino Ignatius. There are several stages in common.

Steven and I met up in Barcelona before I set off and visited a lot of churches, getting stamps. On my first camino day I set off early and only had to touch the church doors.

Edit. I've fallen in love with romanesque architecture. If you have time in Barcelona visit Sant Pau del Camp (Saint Paul in the Fields, once outside the town walls). Admission charged, pilgrim credential/passport sold. Not far from the Columbus monument. The Google Maps code is: 95G9+GQ Barcelona, Spain
 
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Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
You express some concern about your father. I walked three weeks from the beach in Barceloneta to Pamplona in Oct/Nov 2019. I too was shooting for a Mediterranean to Atlantic crossing but ending in San Sebastián. I was 68. I only remember four tough spots.

1) The park from the velodrome to Sant Cugat. This sticks in my mind because of the heat and because it was done on the same day that I started from the beach.

2) The hike up Monserrat from Monistrol de Monserrat. Some trail but I remember it being mostly dirt road and stairs. Lots of stairs. They allow pacing yourself though.

3) Up the mountain to the new and old monasteries of San Juan de la Peña. I've read of complaints about this on the forum but I didn't consider it bad. It was done early on a cool day.

4) Down the same mountain. Physically easier but watch your footing.

Now a lodging warning. The Gronze guide to the Catalan has a stage starting in Bolea and ending at La Peña Estación. There is no lodging at La Peña Estación but you can catch a train to Jaca or Huesca from there and then return. I decided to add in another day instead with the stages Bolea-Sarsamarcuello-Ena-Santa Cilia (though the Santa Cilia night was spent further on at a hotel in Puente de Reina de Jaca instead).
You express some concern about your father. I walked three weeks from the beach in Barceloneta to Pamplona in Oct/Nov 2019. I too was shooting for a Mediterranean to Atlantic crossing but ending in San Sebastián. I was 68. I only remember four tough spots.

1) The park from the velodrome to Sant Cugat. This sticks in my mind because of the heat and because it was done on the same day that I started from the beach.

2) The hike up Monserrat from Monistrol de Monserrat. Some trail but I remember it being mostly dirt road and stairs. Lots of stairs. They allow pacing yourself though.

3) Up the mountain to the new and old monasteries of San Juan de la Peña. I've read of complaints about this on the forum but I didn't consider it bad. It was done early on a cool day.

4) Down the same mountain. Physically easier but watch your footing.

Now a lodging warning. The Gronze guide to the Catalan has a stage starting in Bolea and ending at La Peña Estación. There is no lodging at La Peña Estación but you can catch a train to Jaca or Huesca from there and then return. I decided to add in another day instead with the stages Bolea-Sarsamarcuello-Ena-Santa Cilia (though the Santa Cilia night was spent further on at a hotel in Puente de Reina de Jaca instead).
Thank you so much Rick - great advice and thanks for the heads up about La Pena Estacion! It has definitely made me rethink the plan and it is looking even better now - much appreciated!
 
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Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I really liked the walk from Barcelona to Monserrat, so much so that in 2019 I ended up walking five of the various route options to see what they were like. So for what it is worth, here are my thoughts.

As I was writing this, it looks like you made the decision to go through Terrassa. i am going to post the reply as if you were undecided in case someone else has similar questions.

From Barcelona I would take the GR 6 from Parc del Laberint d'Horta. It is well marked and a very pretty walk and seems to be the preferred route. The metro stop Mundet makes it easy to reach if this is your starting point.. I have only hiked this route, so don’t have a direct comparison to the route past Tibidabo.

When the trail splits at Les Fonts, I would suggest you take the route through Terrassa. I have walked both ways and believe that this is the better option for your group. The ascent up to the Monastery is challenging for many people, especially as it comes at the end of the day. Going through Terrassa leads you via Monistrol de Montserrat and provides you with some options.

When I walked in 2019 I walked from Terrassa to Monistrol and spent the night in Monistrol and walking up in the morning and had the most of the day to enjoy the Monastery. A great option if you have the time. The only change that I would make is to spend the night at the monastery, instead of Monistrol.

If you haven’t got the extra day, but reach Monistrol and can’t muster the energy to make the climb, you have the option to take the rack railway skipping the last couple of miles and the approximate 2,000 ft elevation change.

There is no backpack transport that I am aware of for this camino, so a third option would be to take the railway up, check in and drop your backpack, train back down and walk up without a pack.

As for lodging, I didn’t find much in the way of cheap accommodation in 2019. Ullastrell had a pilgrim albergue, but I didn’t stay there. In Terrassa, I stayed at the 1900 BnB right off the Camino which I liked and recall it being about $70 a night. Booking direct with them got the breakfast included in the price,

I use the Wikiloc app for routes. Here are some relevant routes that show elevations.

Route through Barcelona

Moll de les Dressanes (BCN) -Laberint d’Horta
https://ca.wikiloc.com/rutes-senderisme/csj-cat-etapa-01-barcelona-port-al-laberint-dhorta-36932951

Route through Terrassa

Horta to Terrassa. 17.3 miles
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/csj-2-mundet-metro-to-terrassa-41417213

Terrassa to Monastery 16.56 miles

Route through Ullestrell from Jordi Xicola, a hospitalero at Montserrat.

Horta (BCN) – Les Fonts – Ullestrell 20.1 miles
https://ca.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=16025292

Ullestrell a Olesa de Montserrat 5.1 miles
http://ca.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=15081779

Olesa de Montserrat a Monestir de Montserrat (Collbató) 14.7 miles
https://ca.wikiloc.com/rutes-sender...-02-ullastrell-a-montserrat-collbato-16014465
Wow Steven your the man! Great information - very helpful and has really put my mind at ease about our route! I love the wikiloc trail maps and advice on Montserrat! Thanks again for reaching out - it is so appreciated and I hope to see you out on the trail sometime - buen camino!!!
 

Steven Dwyer

Member
Past OR future Camino
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
Wow Steven your the man! Great information - very helpful and has really put my mind at ease about our route! I love the wikiloc trail maps and advice on Montserrat! Thanks again for reaching out - it is so appreciated and I hope to see you out on the trail sometime - buen camino!!!
Thank you, Brent. I am a bit envious of you as I would love to have Barcelona and Montserrat on my travel schedule this year. Maybe next year.

One thing that I forgot to mention and the rain outside brings to mind is that if there is any significant rain, i would exercise caution walking from Terrassa to Monistrol de Montserrat. There are a few stretch’s were you will be walking in ravines that might be difficult, but more importantly, there is a river crossing that has posted warnings. I will look for the alternative routing when I have some free time. I remember at the time not seeing a good alternative and not having great cell phone coverage part of the day so looking for an alternative would have been very difficult. The easy work around would be to take the train from Terrassa to San Vicenç de Castellet or Manresa, change trains and get off at Monistrol. There is a river crossing on the other route via Ullastrell as well that could be problematic with significant rain.

You talked about eating and drinking across Barcelona, so I will pass along a few recommendations for restaurants. In Terrassa I highly recommend Vapor Gastronòmic or El Cel de les Oques. Both are Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended. Not as cheap as a pilgrim meal, but excellent quality. In Monistrol Bo2 right on the Camino does a weekend prix fix lunch menu. Bo2 was so memorable that I managed to eat there three times!

Responding to your question has reminded me that I had intended to write out a good description of the various routes from Barcelona to Montserrat. In 2019 I walked five of the different ways and meant to do an extended description to be added to my post https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...elona-going-to-monastery-de-montserrat.64539/. check back with the forum and perhaps I will have posted more. Today I did add a post on where to get a credential in Barcelona along with photos of the various sellos or stamps I found along the way.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
One thing that I forgot to mention and the rain outside brings to mind is that if there is any significant rain, i would forgo walking from Terrassa to Monistrol de Montserrat. There are a few stretch’s were you will be walking in ravines that might be difficult, but more importantly, there is a river crossing that has posted warnings. The work around would be to take the train from Terrassa to San Vicenç de Castellet or Manresa, change trains and get off at Monistrol. There is a river crossing on the other route via Ullastrell as well that could be problematic with significant rain.
Not sure which route you took exactly, was it the GR6 ? But the GR96 route from Terrassa via Vacarisses as far as I can see seems to mostly follow small tarmac or dirt roads, with tarmac options to the hiking route, if rain were to make that impracticable. More options if you were to get up to Vacarisses historic centre instead of the waymarked route. Looks quicker and easier than the GR6.

Though I can see one fairly hairy spot not long after Terrassa, with a river crossing that might be a little dodgy if the water's flowing, so that may be the place you're talking about, and there appear to be no easy tarmac alternatives at that precise location, though I guess detouring round that spot by heading down to the main road can be done, albeit a little bothersome time-wasting-wise.

I've only walked up from Barcelona to and then all the way through Valldoreix, and that was on tarmac -- easy enough, but clearly the hiking trails are better.

I won't ever walk this Barcelona to Montserrat route now I think, as my Camí Catalan experience has been, is, and will be a different one on a different route, and I avoided Montserrat ; but if I ever were to walk up there, who knows ?, then I would definitely tarmac it up from Monistrol village to the Monastery !!
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
For the Barcelona to Monserrat Sellos thread I sent in some church pictures. Then I found this picture of the first arrow for the Parc del Laberint d'Horta route. It is located at 41.439,2.148 which is marked by the red pushpin on this satellite image. Note the Mundet Metro station at the bottom of the picture and the Velodrome at center right.

IMG_20191019_123140.jpg Screenshot_20210529-144311-01.jpeg
 

Steven Dwyer

Member
Past OR future Camino
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
JabbaPapa, you are correct that much of the day’s walk is on roadways, and yes there would be a way to eventually walk around the problem areas. The issue for me as I encountered these areas was that I had a very limited map and not good cell phone connectivity to look for an alternative.

unfortunately, I am traveling now so I don’t have all of my notes. I should be able to go back and look at the route, look at some maps and find an easier way around these areas if the need arises. In an ideal world, I would rewalk the stretch again and produce a new rainy day version wikiloc for the route. Maybe next year I will get a chance to do that.
 
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Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you, Brent. I am a bit envious of you as I would love to have Barcelona and Montserrat on my travel schedule this year. Maybe next year.

One thing that I forgot to mention and the rain outside brings to mind is that if there is any significant rain, i would exercise caution walking from Terrassa to Monistrol de Montserrat. There are a few stretch’s were you will be walking in ravines that might be difficult, but more importantly, there is a river crossing that has posted warnings. I will look for the alternative routing when I have some free time. I remember at the time not seeing a good alternative and not having great cell phone coverage part of the day so looking for an alternative would have been very difficult. The easy work around would be to take the train from Terrassa to San Vicenç de Castellet or Manresa, change trains and get off at Monistrol. There is a river crossing on the other route via Ullastrell as well that could be problematic with significant rain.

You talked about eating and drinking across Barcelona, so I will pass along a few recommendations for restaurants. In Terrassa I highly recommend Vapor Gastronòmic or El Cel de les Oques. Both are Michelin Bib Gourmand recommended. Not as cheap as a pilgrim meal, but excellent quality. In Monistrol Bo2 right on the Camino does a weekend prix fix lunch menu. Bo2 was so memorable that I managed to eat there three times!

Responding to your question has reminded me that I had intended to write out a good description of the various routes from Barcelona to Montserrat. In 2019 I walked five of the different ways and meant to do an extended description to be added to my post https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...elona-going-to-monastery-de-montserrat.64539/. check back with the forum and perhaps I will have posted more. Today I did add a post on where to get a credential in Barcelona along with photos of the various sellos or stamps I found along the way.
Hello Sir - one more question if I may? Were there arrows from Terrassa to Montserrat? Thanks once again for all the information - you have made the start of journey a little easier to plan for sure - mush appreciated! Hope all is well cheers!
 

Steven Dwyer

Member
Past OR future Camino
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
Hello Sir - one more question if I may? Were there arrows from Terrassa to Montserrat? Thanks once again for all the information - you have made the start of journey a little easier to plan for sure - mush appreciated! Hope all is well cheers!
Yes, the camino is well marked. I
Hello Sir - one more question if I may? Were there arrows from Terrassa to Montserrat? Thanks once again for all the information - you have made the start of journey a little easier to plan for sure - mush appreciated! Hope all is well cheers!
Hey Brent,

yes, there were a lot of arrows and some other types of markers between Terrassa and Montserra. I think I missed one overgrown marker, but quickly realized I was off the Camino. It would be helpful to have Wikiloc or another GPS app in case you wander off trail.
 

Brent Macdonald

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Yes, the camino is well marked. I

Hey Brent,

yes, there were a lot of arrows and some other types of markers between Terrassa and Montserra. I think I missed one overgrown marker, but quickly realized I was off the Camino. It would be helpful to have Wikiloc or another GPS app in case you wander off trail.
Thanks again Steven!
 

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