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The Gorgeous Sant Jeroni Summit Loop and Alternatives: A Complete Guide to Hiking Montserrat

The fascinating rock structures of Monserrat make the perfect backdrop for hiking. There are many trails around the Monestary and hiking Montserrat is one othe the best ways to see the monestary and taking in the incredible views of the region.

I visited Montserrat as a solo traveler during November of 2021 and after extensive research did the full Sant Jerono Loop Trail after taking the bus from Barcelona to Montserrat. In this post I’ll share the highlights of the Sant Jeroni hike and outline several altenative routes you can take to shorten the trail. You can also find general information to help you plan your visit including how to get to Montserrat and how long you need to plan your visit.

Sant Jeroni Summit Loop
Sant Jeroni Summit Loop

Overview of Montserrat

Montserrat, Spain refers to a stunning mountain range located approximately 30 miles northwest of Barcelona, Catalonia. The region is renowned for its distinctive rock formations, with the highest peak, Sant Jeroni, standing at 1,236 meters above sea level.

In addition to its natural beauty, Montserrat is also famous for the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, an ancient Benedictine monastery nestled within the mountains. The monastery houses the revered statue of the Black Madonna, La Moreneta, attracting pilgrims and visitors alike.

There are several ways to enjoy visiting Montserrat and this makes an excellent day trip from Barcelona

Hiking Montserrat

Quick Look at the Sant Jeroni Hike

Distance: 6.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,100 feet
Difficulty: Moderate

*This describe the full Sant Jeroni Summit Loop Hike.  There are serveral alternative routes to make this hike shorter and easier if you prefer.  Scroll to the next section to see some of the other hikes up Sant Jeroni.

This hike is a loop and can be hiked in either direction. I chose to do the hike in a clockwise direction. In this direction you will start with a steady uphill road section and will descend a series of stairs at the end of the hike. If you hike the Sant Jeroni loop in a counterclockwise direction you will ascend a series of stairs at the beginning of the hike. I will describe the hike in a clockwise direction for the rest of this article, but you can easily reverse this if you prefer.

The trail starts across the street from the Monestary of Montserrat. The first part of the trail is wide and steep and offers sweeping views back towards the monestary and across to the road below. There are several steep sections of this part of the trail.

The view going up the trail looking back at Monserrat Monestary

You will eventually gain a high point and will follow along the top of the ridge passing the top of funicular. If you don’t want to do the uphill section of this hike, the easiest way to adjust this hike is by taking the funicular to the top and hiking down (of course you can also do this in the other direction).

The trail continues with small changes in elevation on a much narrower trail. This is a very pretty part of the hike and you will get several incredible viewpoints. Eventually the trail passes a turn to the right to go back to the monestary. To reach Sant Jeroni continue on this out and back section of the trail.

The final stretch involves some steep inclines, but the effort is rewarded with a stunning vista from the summit. At 1,236 meters above sea level, Sant Jeroni provides a magnificent vantage point, allowing hikers to appreciate the beauty of Montserrat and beyond.

Retrace your steps back to the turn off and follow the small trail through the forest and down the stairs to get back to the Monestary.

Hiking down from Sant Jeroni via a series of stairs (this looks a bit sketchy, but it wasn’t!)

Alternative Routes for Hiking Montserrat

There are several options for making this a shorter and easier hike as well as many other hikes in the area.

Option 1: Take the Funicular to the Sant Joan. This bypasses the steepest part of the hike. Once you’re up at the top of the funicular the hiking trail is mostly flat. For the easiest way down, go left and come down the wide, dirt road.

Option 2: Take the funicular to Sant Joan and turn right to hike to the Sant Jeroni summit. You will walk along the trail as it winds its way along the rocks. This trail is much narrower, and has some small ups and downs, but is a generally easy walk. Hike to the summit of Sant Jeroni and return back to the monestary via the steps.

Other Hikes Near Montserrat:

  • Montserrat Abbey, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and Catalonia.
  • St. Miquel’s Cross Trail: A picturesque route to the Sant Miquel Cross, known for its distinctive views of the Montserrat massif and the diverse flora along the way.
  • Cavall Bernat Trail: A moderately difficult hike with diverse landscapes, taking you through forests, rocky terrain, and open spaces, culminating in stunning views from the Cavall Bernat peak.
  • Santa Cova Pilgrimage Path: A historic trail retracing the steps of pilgrims to the Holy Cave (Santa Cova), combining cultural significance with natural beauty in the heart of Montserrat.

Map of the Sant Jeroni Hike

Sant Jeroni Summit Loop
Sant Jeroni Summit Loop

How to Get to Montserrat

If you are coming from Barcelona, it’s easy to reach Monserrat by train, car or via a guided tour. If you plan to hike, it’s best to take the train or car on your own so you get maximum flexibility.


Getting to Montserrat by train is a straightforward journey. Begin your adventure at the Plaza España station in the city. If your accommodation is not nearby, the metro provides a convenient connection to this station. Hop onto the FGC R5 line (Llobregat-Anoia) from here. The train ride takes approximately one hour, with a round-trip ticket priced at 11.50 euros. Detailed information about ticket prices is available here.

Upon reaching Montserrat, there are two options for disembarking, each requiring passengers to alight at distinct stations. This flexibility allows travelers to choose the most convenient option based on their preferences and plans.


To access Montserrat from Barcelona by car, head onto the A-2 highway in the direction of Lleida, and then follow the signage guiding you to the C-55 road, directly leading to Montserrat. The drive typically takes around 1 hour, offering a convenient and scenic route.

Upon arrival, primary parking facilities are situated near the cable car and cogwheel train stations. Tickets for either transportation option can be conveniently purchased on-site. It is recommended to arrive early, particularly during peak periods, to ensure availability of parking spaces, given Montserrat’s popularity as a sought-after destination.

Getting to the Monestary

Regardless of whether you arrive at Montserrat by train or car, ascending to the Monastery is a part of the journey. The options for reaching the Monastery include the Cogwheel Train, Cable Car, or hiking. Travelers can ascend using either the cogwheel train or cable car, with the former offering a scenic mountain journey and the latter providing a more direct route with awe-inspiring views. For those intrigued by hiking to the Monastery, Earthtrekkers has a helpful guide available for reference.

For more details, see our Guide on Getting to Montserrat from Barcelona.

Things to Know about Hiking Montserrat

Sturdy Footwear and Water: Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes as some trails may have uneven terrain. It’s important to stay hydrated, so carry an ample water supply, especially during warmer months. Packing essentials like sunscreen and a hat is also advisable. There is very little shade on this trail so pln accordingly.

Weather Considerations: Check the weather forecast before embarking on your hike. Montserrat’s climate can vary, and being prepared for potential changes in weather conditions will enhance your hiking experience.

Trail Maps and Markings: Pick up a trail map or guide at the Montserrat Information Center before starting your hike. Many trails are well-marked, but having a map can help you navigate the network of paths. Pay attention to trail markers to ensure you stay on the right route and make the most of your hiking adventure at Montserrat. I found the trail fairly well marked and easy to follow.

Food: There is no food on the trail, but there are several places at the Monestary to purchase snacks or lunch. I got a loaf of bread, some VERY hard cheese, and an apple for the hike.

Details of the Sant Jeroni Hike

I hiked the Sant Jeroni summit loop by myself during Dave and my visit to Barcelona in November of 2023. We were visiting during a work trip for Dave, so while he got some work done in the city, I took the train up to Montserrat.

I left Barcelona around 9:30 and arrived in Monserrat a bit after 10:30. Since I purchased a combo ticket for the train and cog railway, I got off at the second Montserrat stop. The cog railway was waiting for the train and it took just a few minutes to get underway for the short and scenic trip up the mountain.

Once I arrived at the Monestary, I spent some time exploring the buildings and bought some food at one of the shops.

By 11:30, I was ready to start the hike. The trail starts near the cog railway building and you walk up a wide trail that looks more like a road. The first stretch of trail ascends steadily as it follows the side of the rocks. Some of the best views of the route are along this first stretch and there are several interesting viewpoints. This is also the hardest part of the hike so feel free to take breaks!

Once you reach the top of this section, the trail traverses across the top of the rocks and it is much easier. After passing the top of the funicular, I made a wrong turn and added some extra mileage – while the trail is mostly well marked, there are many trails that canmaking hiking Monstarrat a bit difficult – luckily the trails mostly lead to the same places!

The trail along the next stretch as you hike towards Sant Jeroni is wonderful – there are many scenic viewpoints and the trail bends and turns around some of the rock structures. You may see rock climbers on this route.

After a couple miles, you will see the turn off to go back to the Monestary – I continued on the short out and back trail to the summit. This last section is a bit steep and exposed. While the weather was gorgeous when I visited, it was WINDY at the summit and I didn’t linger long. The views from here are incredible!

The final part of the trail to Sant Jeroni
The final part of the trail to Sant Jeroni

After retracing my steps, I turned downhill for the final walk back to the monestary. This part of the trail passes through some pretty forested sections and also descends down a series of steps. While it was clear and dry when I visited, I suspect that this is slippery in the rain and maybe best hiked up instead of down.

The trail is easy to follow and leads right back to the Monestary.

The entire hike took me about 4 hours with some breaks and I was able to grab a snack before getting the cog railroad back down to the trail station.

Hiking Montserrat (coming down from Sant Jeroni)

Other Questions about Hiking Montserrat

How Difficult is the Sant Jeroni Hike at Montserrat?

This question seeks information on the level of difficulty associated with the Sant Jeroni hike. Responding to this would involve providing details on the elevation gain, terrain, and any challenging sections along the trail.

Are There Any Restrictions or Permits Required for Hiking Sant Jeroni?

Hikers often want to know about any specific regulations, restrictions, or permits required for the Sant Jeroni trail. Addressing this question would involve providing information on access requirements and any seasonal restrictions that might be in place.

What is the Estimated Duration of the Sant Jeroni Hike?

Hikers typically want to plan their time efficiently, so knowing the estimated duration of the Sant Jeroni hike is crucial. Responding to this question involves providing an approximate timeframe for completing the hike, considering factors such as the starting point and the average pace of hikers.

Is Sant Jeroni Safe to Hike Solo?

As a solo female hiker, I felt completely safe on this trail. There are a few steep sections that need caution and it’s always best to hike with another person, I was rarely out of site of other people during the entire walk, even in November.

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1 Comment

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