Start the journey from Barcelona in a comfortable coach to the municipality of Cardona where an old salt mine can be found. The Cardona Salt Mountain is a diapir that grows every year, occupying a depression of the terrain in an elongated ellipse shape with an area of 1,800 m long by 600 wide and an area of 100 hectares, with natural characteristics that have it a fact deserving to be included in the Plan of Spaces of Natural Interest of Catalonia. Salt outcrops are located within this depression, so it was formerly known as the Saline, and today it is known as Valle Salino.
After the closure of the mines, the tourist exploitation of the area began, creating the Cultural Park of the Salt Mountain, a cultural equipment that was inaugurated in 2003 inside the enclosure of the Mine Nieves. Inside, you can see the history of the industrial exploitation of the Valley. You can also see the machinery of mineral extraction from the well, as it was when it was fully operational and you can visit the interior of the galleries of the Salt Mountain on a guided tour at 86m depth.
The tour will then continue to Cardona Castle. You'll have the opportunity to visit the modern fortress and parts of the old Castle of Cardona, built in 886 by Wilfredo 'el Velloso' (the Downi). It was built taking influence from Romanesque and Gothic styles, and inside you will be able to see the Golden Room and the Sala dels Entresols. Its jewel is the tower of the Minyon which was built in the XI century and measures 15 meters high and over 10 meters in diameter, as well as the Romanesque Church or Vincente de Cardona.
During the fifteenth century, the dukes of Cardona were the most important family of the Crown of Aragon, only after the Royal Family. The members of this ducal house were known as the 'crownless kings', because they had extensive territorial dominions in Catalonia, Aragon and Valencia, and dynastic ties with the royal houses of Castile, Portugal, Sicily, and Naples. In 1714, after a siege that largely destroyed the walls of the castle, Cardona was the last stronghold to surrender to the Bourbon troops of Philip V during the War of Succession. His citadel could not be taken, later, by Napoleon's troops.
After the visit to the castle, you will go to a room where the brunch composed of local food, one glass of wine and one of cava will be served.
Later on, you will drive to Montserrat Mountain. Montserrat is a multi-peaked rocky range formed of sedimentary rocks shaped by the wind and rain. The popular imagination has seen human and animal shapes in some of these peaks, giving those names and inventing legends to explain their fantastic origins. This trip to Montserrat will give you the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful and breathtaking views of the Montserrat Mountain, one of nature’s special creations.
You will visit the Royal Basilica of Montserrat, which holds the famous 12th-century Romanesque carving of Verge Moreneta (the Black Madonna). You will be able to see this famous statue of the Black Madonna from a distance. The Benedict sanctuary of Montserrat was founded in 1025 and provides a mystical backdrop for the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia who is enshrined in the monastery's Royal Basilica. The little monastery soon began to receive pilgrims and visitors who contributed to the spread of stories of miracles and wonders performed by the Virgin. Today, Montserrat has been modernized to continue attending the pilgrims need, one thousand years after it was originally founded.
You will also be given some free time to visit the audiovisual exhibition about the history and creation of Montserrat and taste typical liquors of Montserrat.