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Where to start

bonafem

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances November (2014)
Hola peregrinos!

After 2 years I'm back for a second mini camino! I'm having some trouble finding information on the routs for the camino catalan.

I only have 3-4 days and would like to end in Monsterrat.

My question is, where do you recommend starting? I was thinking of starting in Vic but not sure if I can make it in that time. Does anyone have any suggestions? Also does anyone know where I can get a list of Albuergues?

Also do you know where I can get credentials in Barcelona? Perhaps I can also get an Albuergue list there.

Thanks very much for your help!

xx

Update: After more browsing in the forums it looks like I can actually start from Barcelona, and will make the perfect 3 day walk to Monsterrat (may even make it to Monsera). Has anyone done this route recently? I'd love to hear about the experiences! Will try to head to Iglesia st Jaume now to see about a credential and a map.
 
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natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
I can't help you too much, bonafem, as I've never walked the Camino Catalan, but just wanted to say welcome to the forum! Others with experience will pipe in soon I'm sure. Take care and Buen Camino.
Faith
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi @bonafem I walked from Barcelona to Montserrat 2 years ago, route through Sant Cugat, Les Fonts, Ullastrel (new albergue there) and Olesa de Montserrat.

I did it in two days but you could of course do shorter stages. I got my credential and first stamp at the Cathedral.

Signage was pretty good but going up Montserrat I ended up on the GR 5 instead of 6.
 

bonafem

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances November (2014)
Hi @bonafem I walked from Barcelona to Montserrat 2 years ago, route through Sant Cugat, Les Fonts, Ullastrel (new albergue there) and Olesa de Montserrat.

I did it in two days but you could of course do shorter stages. I got my credential and first stamp at the Cathedral.

Signage was pretty good but going up Montserrat I ended up on the GR 5 instead of 6.
Thanks so much! Can I ask how long your days were? And did you have to book accomodation in advance? Would be great to stay in Ullastrel if there's a new Albergue there, but most of what I found said stops were Sant Cugat- Terrasa-Montserrat.

I'm thinking of heading to Monresa as day 3!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
There are THREE routes out of Barcelona to Montserrat, two go through Sant Cugat which has a beautiful monastery. From SC one route goes through Terrassa (no albergue) and the other through Les Fonts which is what I did.

Before leaving I had contact with the Amics group in Barcelona and Terrassa. The albergue in Ullastrel was inaugerated 2 days after I passed through otherwise would have stayed there as to Les Fonts was only 21 km and to Montserrat from there over 35 km (last 5 km straight up). If I recall to Ullastrel is around 30 km which breaks up the second day.

I didn't book anything in advance (can't in municipal albergues). When I reached Les Fonts I took a short train ride to Rubí where I stayed with a Camino Forum friend of a Camino Forum friend. The following morning I took the first train back to Les Fonts and walk to Montserrat.

I take it back, you CAN reserve a bed in Montserrat. I am at work now so can't find the details but if you Google you will find the info.

Good luck and Buen Camino!
 
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bonafem

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances November (2014)
There are THREE routes out of Barcelona to Montserrat, two go through Sant Cugat which has a beautiful monastery. From SC one route goes through Terrassa (no albergue) and the other through Les Fonts which is what I did.

Before leaving I had contact with the Amics group in Barcelona and Terrassa. The albergue in Ullastrel was inaugerated 2 days after I passed through otherwise would have stayed there as to Les Fonts was only 21 km and to Montserrat from there over 35 km (last 5 km straight up). If I recall to Ullastrel is around 30 km which breaks up the second day.

I didn't book anything in advance (can't in municipal albergues). When I reached Les Fonts I took a short train ride to Rubí where I stayed with a Camino Forum friend of a Camino Forum friend. The following morning I took the first train back to Les Fonts and walk to Montserrat.

I take it back, you CAN reserve a bed in Montserrat. I am at work now so can't find the details but if you Google you will find the info.

Good luck and Buen Camino!
Thank you so much for this info! I think I will try to get to Ullastrel today and then to Monestrat tomorrow and Manresa on Sunday!

Thanks for your help!!
 

bonafem

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances November (2014)
Alright! A bit delayed but I'm here to report back for anyone else thinking of doing this route!

Over all it was a lovely little hike and very different from the Frances!

I got lost A LOT. Parts of the trails were very well marked. Other parts...not so much. I recommend getting a map if you can. Of course for any hike I try to get a map but since I had planned this last minute and was thinking about how easy the Frances was I wasn't carrying one.

Anyways!

Day 1: Barcelona - Terrassa

I started at the Cathedral since it's near where I live and got a stamp there. I then walked all the way to Sarria to start the climb over tibidabo. Note: I wasn't able to download wikiloc on my phone either due to some problems with apple ID so I was on google maps for this part of the trail. After leaving the centre of Barcelona I started on the highway up Tibidabo. There was a little sign with a seashell on one side of the road to take you on a dirt path up the hill. It would be easy to miss and not very pleasant to walk all the way on the highway so definitely look out for it!

It was a nice, quiet walk up with a lot of shade. After passing over the mountain and heading down to Sant Cugat I somehow lost the trail (had been following signs but must have lost a turnoff). So I ended up on the highway again. There wasn't really a shoulder and quite a bit of traffic so I ended up hitchhiking a few km's into Sant Cugat as I didn't feel very safe on the road. The man was going to Terrassa and offered to drive me all the way there - seemed confused that I wanted to walk ;D. I got dropped off near the Cathedral in Sant Cugat and got my stamp and a map pointing me in the right direction. I had a snack, looked around the Cathedral (beautiful) and headed on my way. Things were well signed again most of the way to Terrassa. Along the way I was trying to figure out how to get to or contact the Albergue nearby, but by the time I found a number to phone I think they were alreay closed. I ended up finding an airbnb in Terrassa last minute which was nice. And had some amazing Nachos while I waited.

Day 2: Terrassa- Monsterrat

OK this day was an absolutely beautiful walk but thanks to my stupidity was a bit scary as well. It started on mostly nice trails - a little bit hilly but a nice walk and only a couple km on the highway. The first half of this day was very well marked and easy to follow. And then I got lost... Walked in circles for a while and eventually found the trail again. The scenery changed to more rocky and open - still beautiful and quiet. I passed signs saying only 11km from Monsteratt and felt like I was going to make excellent time! And then the trail continued, the markings became less clear, and led to an open face part of the trail. Here it seems like a lot of different hikes merged so there was a lot of signage but most of the routes seemed to be going the same way so it was OK that the camino signs were sparce. And then I got to a cross-trail and half the signs went one way half the other - no camino sign. One way was going down, and also had a name of a place which I assuemd was a town. I was also out of water at this point (note to future walkers: after the first 10km there aren't any places to get water that I saw so stock up). So I decided sinice I didnt know where I was going I'd walk down to the town and fill up water/try to find my way again. As I was still deciding a man walked up- I said 'hola' he didn't respond or look at me and I jsut didn't get a great feeling from him. He had gone the other way so that just backed up my decision to go down. Then, when I got to the next crossroads the camino signs appeared again so it seems I had gone the right way. But now they were pointing in the direction of a scramble - and I still didn't have any water. So I decided to keep following signs down to what I thought was the town. When I got closer I realised it was not a town. It was a monastry on another hill. It was really pretty but no water and no road. So I backtracked - still with no water- to follow the camino signs. The next 5-6 kms were pretty tough. It was well signed but the trail wasn't always clear, and there were a few scrambles. It was OK and then I got ot a wider trail and thought I was in the homestretch. I could now see Monsterrat in the distance. But then the trail went upwards again and followed a narrow and sometimes steep trail for a while. THe signage was less clear so I really hoped I was going the right way and that I wouldn't trip. Eventually the trail widened again and signmarkers came. By this point I was so thirsty I wanted to run to Monsteratt but it still seemed to take me ages. Finally I got to where the train station is, found the nearest cafe, and ordered 2L of water and an aquarias and sat and drank and felt much better. And then came the climb...it was steep but wide and well signed so didn't feel so bad after the last bits! Finally made it to the top and found the Albergue. The two ladies running it were absolutely lovely, and there was even a pilgrims dinner at the hotel though I think I was the only pilgrim there. Mosnterratt is really beautiful and worth a trip on it's own! Lot's of hiking to do on the mountain! Anyways I was glad this day was over and slept very well.

Day 3: Monsterrat- Manresa

This day was pretty uneventful. I headed back down the mountain the same way and got a bit lost, but could see on google maps how to meet back up with the trail. I saw that there was a restaurant right where I would get back on the trail so planned to stop there for lunch and water. I passed another restauarant and church on the way but didn't stop because I had set the goal- but that was silly! I got to the restaurant and there was a big group party standing outside. I tried to go inside but they told me it was full. Feeling grumpy and hungry I walked away. People definitely don't know the camino or pilgrims as well in this area so they just assumed I was a hiker from Monsterrat it seems! Anyways I still had a couple snacks in my bag. The trail went through some fields and forests, it was a pleasant walk overall though not much shade. Getting into Manresa you walk through all the vinyards and an old fortress which is pleasant. The only downside was getting into Manresa - you then have to walk all the way uphill to the Albergue! There is a pilgrim discount at the Albergue so managed to get a private room for a good deal. Manreasa is a nice little town with lots of restaurants and bars so a great place to finish my mini camino!

I hope to pick up the trail again soon for another weekend hike until I reach Logrono!
 

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