Located 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Barcelona, this monastery is nestled high in the Montserrat mountains, making for quite the spectacular setting. It is home to one of the world's oldest printing presses, the longest standing boys choir in Europe, and many important Catalonian religious statues and architecture, making it a worthy pilgrimage for many. The Black Madonna statue is the biggest draw; if you come on the weekend, you'll undoubtedly be in line if you're looking to view her. Otherwise you may join the resident monks in their daily services or explore the basilica, which houses works by Dali, El Greco, Picasso, and others.
There is direct access by bus, car, and even an outdated funicular tram up the mountain, although Embark travelers may not want to settle for tourist transport when the rest of the Montserrat Natural Park beckons. There are a handful of short trails that hit the nearby mountain peaks, the highest of which will take about half a day an necessitates some good hiking boots. You can also hike the nearby mountains, which also are known for some decent rock climbing locations. We've included a local adventure tour operator for your convenience.