Small group is the way to go!
There were enough of us booked on this day that we split
into 2 groups and our guide was Ferran (hope I spelled that
correctly!). The meeting spot was easy to find, our guides
on time, and we quickly got into the vans and hit the road.
The drive out of Barcelona and up into the mountains was
lovely. I do with that our guide had given us a bit more
information on the are we were passing through. He was
always ready with an answer, but tended not to offer
information unless asked.
There was a lot of walking, and little of it flat; either
slopes or stairs, so be aware that this could be a challenge
for anyone with mobility challenges.
There were many tour groups at the monastery, and more
arrived throughout our visit, so everything was a bit
crowded. Be aware that you may get jostled or have to press
your way in to see the sights.
After a tour of the monastery we boarded the cable car
for a ride up into the clouds. Note, the ride is smooth and
secure, but those with a fear of heights may find it a
challenge. The peak was still shrouded in clouds when we
got to the top, but as we descended on the well maintained
trail they began to clear. The views were spectacular. Our
hike brought us back down to monastery where we had free
time for lunch at one of the many cafeterias, shopping at
the gift shops, and more wandering of the grounds, before
heading back to Barcelona.
I do wish that taking the teleferic/gondola down the
mountain was an option for the tour. There were more
attractions around the monastery than time to explore in our
short free time, such as the art Museum. Also, seeing one of
the main attractions, the Black Madonna, was not included.
Overall, it was still a great visit.