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From French border to Figueres, then on to Montserrat, ending in Barcelona in one day--Feasability?

We're planning the last part of our trip to France and Spain. So many wonderful things to see and do, but only limited time, so we've narrowed down our list of places to see and do on our way from Collioure to Barcelona. Please tell us if we're being overambitious. This part of our trip will be in mid June. We'll leave Collioure after breakfast and drive to Figueres (Google maps suggests an inland route of about 45 minutes). We only want to see the Dali the museum (about 2 hours?), and then get back in the car to drive to Montserrat (we'll need a stop for lunch--suggestions?) which Google maps says is about a 2 hour drive.

Although I'm sure the monastery has a lot to offer, we only want to do the cable car ride up and down. My geologist husband is interested in the rock formations, and I love a cable car ride, and beautiful panoramic views. Of course, if the weather is uncooperative, we'll skip this part of the trip.

From Montserrat, we'll drive to the airport to return our car, then take a cab to our hotel near Plaza Catalunya, where we'll stay for the next 3 nights.

So--your thoughts? Suggestions for a lunch stop between Figueres and Montserrat?

Many thanks--you all have the best ideas!

Posted by
3742 posts

Have you calculated how much the foreign drop off fee will be to drop your car in Spain from France?

Between Figueres and Montserrat are many places, but Girona, a beautiful medieval city and culinary capital of northern Catalonia, would be my top pick if you want to make a break there and grab some food I suggest eating at Casa Marieta, est. 1890s, they serve the traditional Catalan cuisine of the area, my favorite are the canelones de ceps, which are pasta tubes stuffed with ceps, which are local foraged mushrooms, and baked with a béchamel sauce on top.

Posted by
124 posts

Thanks! As for the car, we are renting it in Bilbao, at the beginning of the trip. I know that there is a $ 50 fee for going outside of Spain, but as we're picking it up and dropping it off in Spain, there won't be that big fee.

Yes, Girona will be a good place for lunch. I have been to this area before, without my husband. My friend and I stayed in Girona, and made day trips to Figueres and Cadeques, as a side trip from Barcelona. I'll check out Casa Marietta. We won't have time to really explore Girona, given our hope to reach Montserrat in time for a cable car ride.

Posted by
3742 posts

That's good to hear, sometimes the foreign drop off fee can be quite steep! Here is the website for Casa Marieta Girona -

Vic is also a good place to stop off to grab a bite, a few days a week they have a nice farmers' market on the Plaza Mayor. Vic is known throughout Spain for its amazing Fuet sausages and the unique Vic Cathedral, a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassic styles. You can stop by Xarcuteria Solà S.c.p in the center of town to pick up some delicatessen supplies for sandwiches, if you want a more casual on the go lunch.

Posted by
255 posts

Dali museum in 2 hours is super do-able. There's a cideria a couple blocks away that I think begins with an X if memory serves. They had good food and cider.

I'm more than a bit skeptical of your "up and down" visit to Montserrat. It seems like a colossal amount of time and effort for such a small payback. Ultimately, IMO you're missing a lot of what makes a visit to Montserrat special. There are other interesting geological sites that are on the route btw Barcelona and the French border if that's really the draw.

Posted by
25625 posts

I think 2 hours is pretty tight for the Dali Theatre-Museum given that the ticket covers the over-the-top jewelry collection nearby. You will probably spend 15-30 minutes in the jewelry collection. I don't care for surrealist art and expected not to spend a lot of time in the museum, but I'm sure I was there for more than 2 hours, not counting the jewelry collection. I am typically very slow in museums, though.

You should get online tickets for the DTM ahead of time. I don't think the place sells out every day or anything like that, but it does get bus tours, and it sells a limited number of tickets for each entry period. It would really mess up your day if they sold you a ticket for 2 or 3 hours later because a few bus tours got there ahead of you.

Posted by
146 posts

Agree with acraven that 2 hours is not enough time for the Dali museum. We, especially my spouse, are not arty people but were fascinated there. We found the museum quirky, entertaining and fun. The jewelry collection was a nice bonus. Montserrat was a disappointment for us, in part because it was incredibly overcrowded. The cable car ride and view from the top were the only positives. Given our experience, I would not bother going.