Departure is from Barcelona at 8:30am, and from Barcelona we will head straight to Montserrat, just over an hour and a half away. On arrival, you have various options. A visit to the Sanctuary where the Moreneta is housed is a must. The sanctuary has been in use for almost 1000 years for those pilgrims and other visitors who have climbed this spectacular mountain. At 1pm on weekdays there is the opportunity to hear one of Europe's oldest children's choirs, La Escolania de Montserrat. There is also the opportunity to visit the fascinating Museum of Montserrat, with its five collections ranging from Archaeology from the Biblical East to Modern Painting and Sculpture.
Besides these cultural possibilities, the paths of the Montserrat parkland lead you around a number of different walks, each offering a different perspective on the stunning views over the surrounding landscape, and many of which are peppered with small chapels and hermitages. There are routes to suit all tastes and energy levels, from fairly strenuous treks to gentle strolls around the park area, all of which allow you to marvel at the views and to enjoy the unspoiled beauty of this protected natural park. Another option is to take one of the two rack railways, or the cable car, offering different views of the area. Alternatively, the views can simply be savored from the cafe, which offers panoramic views of the valleys.
At 2.30pm, the tour will leave Montserrat, to drive down to Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, the Cava Capital, via Gelida, to visit some of the biggest underground wine cellars in Europe. Sant Sadurni d'Anoia is situated in the Penedes wine-growing region, which boasts one of the widest varieties of grape of any wine-growing region in the world. The region received a major boost in the late 19th-century when French vineyards succumbed to parasite, although Penedes itself was later struck by the same problem. Production has since recovered, and Cava is now a major rival to French champagne; in fact, the main difference between Cava and champagne is simply the region in which they are produced.
Two of the most famous wine producers of the Penedes region are Freixenet and Codorniu, and the tour will continue with a visit to one of their wine cellars, where they will demonstrate exactly how the famous sparkling wine is produced, from the first pressing of the grapes to the second fermentation in the vast expanse of cellars. This will of course be accompanied by the chance to sample the product, to see exactly why it has acquired such international fame. From here, the tour returns to Barcelona, arriving at 7:00pm.
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