head to the mountains


Montserrat is a mountain near Barcelona, in Catalonia, in Spain. It is the site of a Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary and which is identified by some with the location of the Holy Grail in Arthurian myth.

« Montserrat » literally means « jagged (serrated) mountain » in Catalan. It describes the peculiar aspect of the rock formation, which is visible from a great distance. The mountain is composed of strikingly pink conglomerate, a form of sedimentary rock, popular with climbers.

Shimmering bizarrely in the distance as you drive the C-16 toll road between Terrassa and Manresa is the emblematic mountain range of Catalonia, Montserrat (Serrated Mountain).

Lying 50km northwest of Barcelona, the serried ranks of wind-and rain-whipped rock pillars (reaching a height of 1236m) were formed from a conglomeration of limestone, pebbles and sand that once lay beneath the sea. With the historic Benedictine range’s flank, it makes a great outing from Barcelona.