Sant Jeroni from the Montserrat Monastery. Walk along the Camí Vell and return to Sant Joan
One of the most classic and essential routes of Catalan hiking. An emblematic route that many of us have engraved in our heads.
- Difficulty: easy. Very busy road and cemented sections with steps
- Elevation: 520 meters
- Time: 1h15' uphill (1h30' at an easy pace or 50' at a brisk pace) Between 1h15' and 2h back along the circular route.
- Kilometers: 11km
Variants: We can avoid a large part of the slope from the Sant Joan funicular. You can also connect from the Funicular de Sant Joan to the old path of San Jeroni to return through the same point. Apart from this, there are countless other variants, such as going to the viewpoint of the cross of Sant Miquel or the hermitage of San Joan, 15' from the funicular.
We will leave the square of the Montserrat Monastery and we will go to the Montserrat enclosure. From there, we will go up the first steps next to a fountain from which we will take the Camí Vell de Sant Jeroni on the right, crossing the bridge. At this point we will begin a long ascent of steps that gradually ascends. A seemingly strong start but perfectly bearable! Approximately, it will be a 25-30 minute climb.
One of the most emblematic sections of this first part is the Pas dels Francesos, an area of steps wedged between two rocks that reminds us of one of the battles of the French War in Montserrat. Shortly after, we will arrive at the hermitage of Santa Anna, from where we could take a path that would take us to the funicular of Sant Joan, which is another good option that is quite flat and with excellent views.
We will continue ascending, this time but for a more relaxed stretch. Above us we can clearly see the Panxa del Bisbe, a very apt name. From here, the path begins to flatten out and enters a forest of oaks known as El Pla dels Ocells. Indeed, the song of the birds is more than evident if we are lucky enough to be alone on that stretch. The path is not lost, although in some cases, natural streams and other trails deviate from the original path. After about 5 minutes from the beginning of the route, we will find a detour to the right that will allow us to climb the Miranda de Sant Antoni, to the magnificent Cavall Bernat viewpoint.
Continuing upwards, after about 55 minutes from the start of our route, the path becomes steep again and shortly, it will join the Camí Nou de Sant Jeroni. From this point we will follow the same route both ascent and descent in the 20 minutes that separate us from the summit. After about 10 minutes of moderate ascent, we will arrive at the hermitage of Sant Jeroni, an ideal location to take a break and enjoy this wonderful plain. From here we can turn right, and in 10 minutes we will arrive at the Mirador del Moro, another beautiful viewpoint with views over El Serrat de les Onze and the old Sant Jeroni Air Station. We could also go down the Sant Jeroni canal.
We will finish the climb to Miranda de Sant Jeroni in just 10 minutes of climbing a hundred steps and a magnificent view of much of Catalonia.
We will make the return through the Camí Nou de Sant Jeroni, which will take us straight to the Sant Joan funicular. From there, we can go down on foot or take the same funicular. If we decide to do it on foot, we can follow a wide track that goes down to the hermitage of Sant Miquel (it is highly recommended to turn off to the Mirador de la Creu, just 5 minutes away). From there, in only 15 minutes we will find the Monastery.
Once in the Monastery, do not forget to go and greet the Virgin of Montserrat!
Author images and text: Sergi Boixadeu