From The Coast And Airport Inland To Montserrat
El Baix Llobregat is an extraordinarily diverse comarca that begins at the estuary of the River Llobregat and extends as far inland as the foothills of Montserrat.
It comprises the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, Gavà and Castelldefels along the coast.
Cornellà, Esplugues, Sant Joan Despí, Sant Just Desvern, Sant Feliu, Molins de Rei and Sant Boi are virtually suburbs of Barcelona.
The remaining municipalities are Begues, Sant Climent de Llobregat, Torrelles de Llobregat, Vallirana, Cervelló, Sant Coloma de Cervelló, Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Palma de Cervelló, Pallejà, Corbera, Papiol, Sant Andreu de la Barca, Castellví de Rosanes, Martorell and Sant Esteve de Sesrovires.
And closer to Montserrat we have Abrera, Esparraguerra, Collbató and Olesa de Montserrat.
Unfairly, El Baix Llobregat is a comarca that is often overlooked but large parts of it are really worth investigating.
I strongly recommend hiring a car and exploring some of really interesting towns and villages you’ll find inland just a few minutes drive from Barcelona.
If you are staying in Barcelona and want to visit the sacred mountain of Montserrat, you’ll find an excellent choice of day trips and tours to the mountain and monastery of Montserrat.
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The Coast and The Airport
The part of Baix Llobregat that I’m most familiar with is El Prat and the area round Barcelona El Prat Airport.
The immediate vicinity of the airport is not particularly pleasant but you’d be surprised by the nearby town of El Prat de Llobregat and if you need accommodation for a one-night stopover, I’d really recommend booking here because it’s got a real village feel and most hotels offer a shuttle service to the airport.
Most people also know the beach resort of Castelldefels, which, with its long golden sandy beaches, is one of the most popular resorts south of Barcelona. but many would be surprised to find out how pleasant the coast is at El Prat, Viladecans and Gavà.
The main inconvenience of the beaches here is that you are so close to the airport and the resulting plane noise, but this section of the Llobregat Delta also has some spectacular wildlife.
In fact, El Prat is worth a mention once again because here the beach is just as nice as at Castelldefels and as becoming increasingly popular with Barcelona locals, who want to avoid the tourists.
The Inland Towns
The other well-known area is out at the end of the blue metro line around Cornellà de Llobregat because the RCD Espanyol football stadium is out there.
Cornellà is connected to Barcelona City Centre by metro and, although the locals might resent me saying so, is actually so close to Barcelona that it’s really a suburb.
Other towns, such as Sant Feliu, Sant Just, Esplugues and Sant Joan Despí are on the Barcelona tram line so are also quite accessible.
The whole area is still part of the Barcelona urban sprawl and has always attracted a large immigrant population.
Somewhat further inland and quite a lot more rural and Catalan, you’ll find the town of Santa Coloma de Cervellò, which is where Antoni Gaudí built the Colonia Güell for his industrialist patron Eusebi Güell.
The industrial includes Gaudí’s famous crypt (shown in the picture), which is considered by many to be his finest work and the amazing structure can be seen as a prototype for the Sagrada Familia so if you’re a serious Gaudí fan it’s definitely worth a visit.
In fact, if you’re staying in Barcelona you can book a day trip, which includes the Colonia Güell, the Gaudí Crypt and Montserrat.
Considering Baix means Lower, the further inland you get, the more you wonder whether the name Baix Llobregat is completely appropriate.
Once past Martorell, the terrain begins to climb and by the time you reach Olesa de Montserrat at the foot of the sacred Mountain of Montserrat, you’re definitely in mountainous territory.
The sacred mountain is split between the comarques of L’Anoia, El Bages and Baix Llobregat itself but as you can see from the photo, Olesa de Montserrat is as good a place to approach the mountain from, particularly if you’re coming by local train.
This part of Catalonia is absolutely wonderful and the area deserves at least a few days of your time.
However, most people are in Barcelona with only have a week or two at their disposal, in which case a visit to Montserrat should be very high on your list of priorities, so once again I recommend taking a look at the excellent choice of day trips and tours to the mountain and monastery of Montserrat.
If you understand some Catalan, you can find up to date news about El Baix Llobregat on the Consell Comarcal del Baix Llobregat Website.