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Island of Montserrat 2022 Uncommon Caribbean Travel Guide

Montserrat island is not what you think it is. Forget the popularized concept of a Caribbean destination destroyed. Forget pining for glory days long past. And forget writing off this resilient island.

Montserrat is a volcano paradise that should be on your immediate Caribbean travel horizons.

COVID Protocols

The most important COVID protocol to consider when thinking about visiting Montserrat is that the borders are only open to fully vaccinated travelers.

The island isn’t accepting any visitors at all who cannot prove they are fully vaccinated. This approach and having kept the borders closed for a year and a half after the initial global COVID outbreak has kept the island almost entirely COVID-free throughout the pandemic—even while nearby islands have struggled to contain the outbreak.

Other than short-term visits for the fully vaccinated, another way to experience the island is with the Montserrat Remote Work Stamp. Similar to a visa, successful applicants receive a stamp good for a 12-month stay—provided you meet certain requirements, including a minimum stay of 2 months and perform a short quarantine. This makes it fairly easy for a unique extended remote working experience.

Read more about the Montserrat Remote Work Stamp.

Volcano Paradise

Two things set Montserrat apart from all other Caribbean islands: welcoming people the likes of which you’ve probably never met and a one-of-a-kind volcano.

The people

You’re highly unlikely to find any other destination in the West Indies with more welcoming people than Montserrat. Visitors should expect to walk into restaurants, shops, and bars and get a greeting as though they’ve lived on the island their whole life!

Veta Wade of Aqua Montserrat

On our last visit, we didn’t just meet new people; we made new friends. That’s not something that happens often, but here it happened every day at almost every turn.

The volcano

Now, about that volcano. There may not be a more misunderstood entity in the entire Caribbean.

For years, the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been nothing but a symbol of destruction.

When people claimed to be going to look at the active volcano, what they meant was to gawk at the ruins of the former capital Plymouth. Montserrat’s formerly vibrant capital city was buried under 60 feet of rock and ash during volcanic eruptions starting in 1997. People died in the pyroclastic flows. It was a heartbreaking disaster, but that’s not where the story ends.

Since then, Soufriere Hills has increased the size of the island by over five square miles! By creating a large off-limits area for humans with the exclusion zone, the volcano has allowed nature to flourish in ways unheard of in the Caribbean. It has even become one of the most closely monitored volcanoes in the world thanks to the nearby Montserrat Volcano Observatory, creating invaluable opportunities for us to better understand our world.

It even created all-new beaches!

And did I mention it’s magical to spend your days in the shadow of this smoking Caribbean wonder? Every morning on my last visit, I would wake early to watch the first rays of morning ignite the volcano’s fluffy halo in iridescent violets, reds, oranges, and blues.

Montserrat Mornings

There is nowhere else in the entire Caribbean where you can start your days like this in view of the volcano. And it’s mesmerizing.

But is Montserrat’s volcano tourism safe? As I mentioned, the Soufrière Hills Volcano is very closely monitored. Plus, no one can even enter the exclusion zone surrounding the city of Plymouth without a permit, a prior request to The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), and remaining in constant contact with MVO scientists once inside. And even with those precautions, no one is allowed within three miles of the summit!

Thanks to the MVO and public safety officials in Montserrat, volcano travel adventures here are also among the safest you can enjoy anywhere.

How to get to Montserrat Island

Like any exotic destination worth its salt, Montserrat doesn’t open its arms to lazy travelers. You have to want to get here to enjoy all the island has to offer. And the first step is knowing where you’re going.

Where is Montserrat?

The island of Montserrat is located around the middle of the Caribbean island chain. In an area we call the sweet spot. It’s about 40 miles southwest of Antigua and about 50 miles southeast of Nevis. And while we’re measuring distances, it’s also about 50 miles northwest of the Guadeloupe Islands.

By air

The quickest way is hopping a flight in a small 9-seater plane with Fly Montserrat. Usually, they make the short hop from Antigua’s V. C. Bird International Airport (ANU) multiple times a day. (If you can’t travel with our preferred Fly Montserrat, you can also try SVG Air.)

If you’ve never taken a small plane before, then your one-of-a-kind Montserrat travel adventure begins before you even arrive on island! Expect to get cozy with your travel partner for 20 minutes while enjoying awe-inspiring vistas both while leaving Antigua and approaching Montserrat.

Aboard Fly Montserrat

By sea

Unfortunately, the Jaden Sun Ferry Service no longer runs between Antigua and Montserrat. This means there are currently no regularly scheduled ferry services to Montserrat, making getting here even more exclusive.

It’s too bad because when you used to travel aboard the ferry, you could expect air conditioning, comfy seats, an hour-and-a-half duration, and the possibility of screening a terrible movie. (We endured Weekend at Bernies 2 on our last crossing!)

I’m hoping some intrepid entrepreneur will restart service sometime soon.

Weather permitting

The only issue with both of these methods for reaching Montserrat is that they operate weather permitting. The port at Little Bay, Montserrat, isn’t particularly sheltered, so it’s impossible for a ferry to dock safely when seas are rough.

Meanwhile, John A. Osborne Airport (MNI) on Montserrat is less than 2,000 feet long. By comparison, the runway at Antigua is nearly 2 miles long! So, again, with such a diminutive landing strip, the weather certainly can have an impact on travel.

What’s in a Name?

Although the island had been home to Native American inhabitants since around 3000 BCE, it’s said that when Christopher Columbus laid eyes on it in 1493 that it was uninhabited. That is if you believe a genocidal explorer with no regard for the region’s inhabitants beyond their exploitation.

At that time, he named the island in honor of the Montserrat Abbey in Spain. Something that causes issues for travelers doing a little googling to this day!

Before his arrival, the island was already well known by the Kalinago as Alliouagana. Or “Land of Prickly Bush.”

Montserrat Beaches

Montserrat isn’t likely to top any “Best Beaches in the World” lists any time soon, but that’s more a failing of those stereotypical lists than any fault in the sandy shores of this volcano paradise.

Blessed with fresh, black sand beaches (and one beach that zigs when the others zag), Montserrat may not be a big island, but it has something for every beachgoer in search of the exotic.

Woodlands Beach

My favorite ebony beach has to be Woodlands Beach. Found about halfway down the west side of the island, expect a nearly quarter-mile-long oceanfront bookended with two soaring onyx cliffs facing directly west. Perfect for being painted in color as the last rays of sunset fall over the Leeward Islands. To say it’s picturesque is an understatement.

Black Sand Beach Moment of Zen

Watch this video on YouTube

Isle’s Bay Beach

For something you won’t find anywhere else in the Caribbean, try Isle’s Bay Beach further south. It’s a nearly 2,000-foot expanse of sparkling dark sand, but what makes it unique is that the beach as it is now didn’t even exist 20 years ago! Yes, this whole beach is new!

Of course, there was a beach here before the eruptions, but thanks to the Soufrière Hills’ volcanic activity, this new beach now extends around 100 yards beyond its previous shoreline. You can still walk the pier that used to jut out into the pre-volcano bay — only now that pier is surrounded by new land.

Other beaches that deserve a visit include Fox’s Bay Beach, little Lime Kiln Bay Beach, and even more cozy Bunkum Bay Beach.

Barton Bay Beach

Barton Bay Beach is truly uncommon for a number of reasons. The first is that it may be the closest accessible beach to an active volcano in the Caribbean! Yes, it lays just outside the exclusion zone. This means beachgoers here have the surreal backdrop of a smoking volcano while they take a dip.

Barton Bay Beach, Montserrat

Also found here are a stunning black rock arch, a geothermal hot spring, and even the ruins of an old fort overlooking it all. You won’t find a beach like it anywhere else in the Caribbean.

Rendezvous Beach

But the story of Montserrat is never dull, so of course, there’s a twist to the island’s beaches. The embodiment of that twist is by Rendezvous Bay Beach, the island’s one and only white sand beach!

Rendezvous Beach, Montserrat

The how and why of this beach’s unique coloration is still a mystery to me, but on my last visit to Rendezvous, it was even whiter than my first visit ten years ago.

You can hike to Rendezvous Beach fairly easily or rent a kayak in Little Bay (another fun beach) from our friends at Scuba Montserrat.

Trust me, backed by towering lush green hills and fronted by crystal clear waters with a rainbow of coral in its depths, Rendezvous Beach is a must-visit!

Where to Stay

Of all the things tiny Montserrat island has going for it, don’t expect a destination with fancy resorts or large hotels.

That said, there are quaint guesthouses with a bed and breakfast vibe like Olveston House. It was once home to Sir George Martin, a prolific producer for the Beatles (among others) and the founder of AIR Studios Montserrat.

Olveston House Montserrat Island

Tropical Mansion Suites is a somewhat centrally located hotel with an engaging events calendar and a well-regarded restaurant. The once legendary Vue Pointe Hotel has also been partially reopened, making it another option further off the beaten path.

But your best bet for accommodations on the island is villas. Our friend Susan MacLeod Edgecombe at Tradewinds Real Estate has a wide selection of rental homes. And should you fall in love with your lodgings, there’s a good chance it’s for sale! You might be surprised how active that pipeline is for visitors choosing to make their home in Montserrat.

Mango Drop Villa Montserrat Island

One of our favorite homes we saw on our last visit was Mango Falls, a four-bedroom, four-bath multi-level home set into the northern cliff over Woodlands Beach. If the monarchy interests you, this is the place Princess Anne stayed on her visit to Montserrat. And the whole thing can be yours for less than the price of a posh hotel room on Antigua.

What to do on Montserrat

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: yes, you can book tours to visit the ruins of Plymouth.

First pummelled by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, its shops, hotels, and government buildings were rebuilt only to be buried a few years later during the eruptions of the Soufrière Hills Volcano. Yes, you can wallow in what once was on Montserrat. But, should you?

Our answer is, sure, it’s a fascinating piece of recent Caribbean history. And something you won’t find anywhere else in the region.

The mistake people make is in thinking that’s all there is!


One of the first people I seek out even before I travel to Montserrat is Scriber. For decades, he’s shared his love for the small island and knowledge of its interior with visitors and residents alike.

Scriber Adventure Tours Montserrat

With Scriber Adventure Tours, he’ll take you deep into the forests of Montserrat (especially throughout the Centre Hills) and introduce you to his animal friends particularly the unique Montserrat Oriole. No, seriously. When he calls, birds flock within arms reach to greet him. It’s enchanting to see.

He’ll also expertly guide you through the island’s emerald depths. Across rivers, through gullies, over ridges, and even to an ancient petroglyphs site — he knows Montserrat in a stunning amount of detail


Thanks to a relatively low human impact on the environment (another reason to appreciate the volcano), Montserrat is surrounded by water teeming with new coral growth. Healthy coral means homes for fish. And the best way to see it all is with Scuba Montserrat.

Situated right off the dock in Little Bay, Emmy and Andy are fun-loving, but passionate dive instructors. For a quick dive, they can get you outfitted and diving right along the north wall of Little Bay. Nothing could be easier!


If SCUBA isn’t your thing, you can still take in all the waterborne wonders Montserrat has to offer by visiting Aqua Montserrat on the south end of Little Bay.

Here, Veta Wade can sweep you away with her infectious laugh and energized passion for conservation.

Your best bet is a guided kayak and snorkel experience for $60. With this package, she’ll take you out of Little Bay and past some bat caves to Rendezvous Beach; Montserrat’s only white sand beach.

If you can tear yourself away from the secluded sands, the reward is one of the best snorkel trails I’ve ever explored. Schools of fish numbering near the hundreds, large elkhorn coral, clear waters, and even the occasional turtle or two await just beyond the shore.

The National Trust

Back on land, one must-visit is the National Trust’s Botanic Garden.

Having surrendered the former botanical gardens to the exclusion zone, the National Trust has become a new haven for conserving the wealth of natural diversity found on the island. And equally important, it serves as a repository of knowledge governing how to utilize these plants for everything from cancer remedies to lip gloss.

Mappie at the Montserrat National Trust

Ask for Philemon “Mappie” Murrain to get a guided tour of all the gardens have to offer.

Boat Tours

Not content exploring all the magical activities available on land? Try a Montserrat boat tour! Experiencing the island by boat offers access you simply can’t get by land. See the pinnacle rocks, wonder at tiny Little Redonda, see Hells Gate, set foot on beaches only accessible by sea, and even boat around the exclusion zone on the south end of the island!

Where to eat

The island of Montserrat has more delightful choices for enjoying authentic West Indian food than it probably deserves considering its size and population.


There are few things I love more than a good saltfish buljol and johnny cake to start the day. It’s one of those meals that immediately immerse me in all that is good in the West Indies as quickly as possible.

To start your day immersed in the flavor of the Caribbean, I suggest stopping at Mary’s Takeout under the silk cotton tree in Cudjoehead. As a bonus to the authentic eats, you also get warm smiles and Monseratian charm from Ms. Mary herself.

Mary’s Takeout for Breakfast on Montserrat

For breakfast on Sunday, you’ll need to swing by JD’s Bakery. It’s the only game in town, but not to worry. You’ll still walk away with a saltfish and provisions plate. One that can fuel any amount of adventures you may have in mind!

Another excellent option for breakfast is the Hilltop Coffee House, where David Lea and his wife Clover serve waffles and superb coffee Saturday mornings among his extensive memorabilia of Montserrat’s past.


Lunch in the Caribbean is always the most dangerous meal of the day. It’s the one where, if you’re not careful, you may still be “eating” lunch when the sun goes down thanks to great company, flowing rum, and chatting for hours.

There’s no place more like to “ruin” your day than The People’s Place atop Forgathy’s Hill. The breeze is perfect. The view of the valley on one side is serene. While the main road on the other side means everyone who passes will likely stop to say “hi.”

The food here is no slouch, either. Expect an ever-changing menu of West Indian staples like stew beef, Montseratian specialties like goat water, the second-best roti on the island, and even pizza!

BBQ Ribs at Time Out Restaurant, Montserrat

Another solid spot for lunch would be The Attic. A transplant from Plymouth (like so many of the businesses on Montserrat), this quaint eatery still serves quality local flare at its new location. We can also vouch for the stew beef and BBQ ribs plates at Time Out Restaurant, Bar & Grill in Little Bay.


Once again, the island of Montserrat delivers more quality options than you’d imagine possible for dinner.

For Guyanese Roti (which is damn near as good as Trinidadian), run, don’t walk, to Summer Breeze Restaurant in Little Bay. Trust us. It’s the perfect way to start the night. They even have another favorite of mine: corn soup.

For a truly unique dinner option, make a reservation at Watermelon Cottage. Trevor, your host, is one of a kind. He’ll not only serve some of the best food to be found on-island. He’ll also happily regale you in splendid fashion with tales of his life and travels that strain credulity.

Watermelon Cottage is more than an eclectically designed and decorated dining destination; it’s dinner and a show!

Ziggy’s grilled tuna

Then there’s Ziggy’s Restaurant. Helmed by husband and wife team John and Marcia, this restaurant has been consistently crafting some of the best dining experiences for hundreds of miles around.

And finally, you might be surprised to hear that we loved getting pizza at Rosemie’s Salem Pizza Parlor. But seriously, what’s better than a solid pizza after a night of bush rum in Salem?

Every Meal

For the complete local experience, don’t miss out on the local pepper sauces. Our pick is Rooster’s but we liked every one we sampled, so you can’t go wrong!

When to Visit Montserrat Island

Montserrat, like other Caribbean islands, has a wetter season in the Summer and a dryer season in the Winter. So, naturally, the weather in the Lesser Antilles is most appealing during the months when it’s coldest for our friends in the northern hemisphere.

That said, thanks to the island’s vibrant and unique heritage, some yearly events and festivals are worth shaping your travel around.

St. Patrick’s Festival: March 10 – 17

The most uncommon event has to be the St. Patrick’s Festival.

Montserrat is the only country in the world, other than Ireland, where St. Patrick’s Day is considered a public holiday. The difference is that here the revelry lasts a whole week!

But don’t think this weeklong celebration is only thanks to the many Irish Catholics who settled on the island in the 1600s. It also commemorates an unsuccessful slave revolt in 1768 that lead to the rebellion leaders’ public execution.

It’s a tricky tightrope to walk between these two reasons for the season. And that’s why visiting during this time is so special. It profoundly lays bare the often complicated history of the Caribbean and still finds time for feteing!

Montserrat Carnival: December 15 – January 1

From mid-December to New Year’s Day, visitors can enjoy an intimate carnival experience. It’s as colorful, loud, and exhausting as you’d want it to be. All without any of the unfortunate criminality that has marred more massive carnivals in other parts of the Caribbean.

Other Events

July brings Calabash Festival, where stunning creations are made from the massive fruit of the calabash tree. At the beginning of August, there are festivities connected to the island’s African heritage surrounding Cudjoe Head Fest. And in November is the Alliouagana Festival of the Word. Experience a literary festival that brings acclaimed writers to Montserrat from all over the Caribbean islands and the world.

Montserrat mornings

One more thing!

Something that can really trip up visitors to the island of Montserrat (including us on our last visit!) is the fact that you have to pay in order to leave the island. Yes, there’s a departure tax.

It costs US$21 or EC$55 (CARICOM nationals are US$13 or EC$35) per person. There’s also another Antigua Airport Administration Charge in the sum of US$37.50 per person for travelers not connecting through Antigua airport within 24 hours.

They won’t let you on the plane or ferry without paying these fees. And there’s no ATM at the airport or ferry terminal for you to get money. So plan ahead!

The Bottom Line on Montserrat Tourism

As I mentioned at the beginning: Montserrat is likely not what you’ve heard it is. For too long, the story has only been about the destruction of the Emerald Isle. Only looking back on glory days. But the truth is, between the incredibly welcoming people, the lush green hills, the vibrant seas, and the absolutely stunning volcano, Montserrat truly is a volcano island paradise.

Montserrat Map

Last updated by Patrick Bennett on .

The complete guide to Montserrat

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Montserrat on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

There are two companies offering 4-6 scheduled flights per day, and charter flights from Antigua’s VC Bird International Airport to the John A. Osborne Airport on Montserrat: FLY MONTSERRAT and SVG Air. Flights are on small aircraft capable of carrying up to 9 passengers. Short notice cancellations or changes to the schedule are common, and we recommend you check with the airline in case of delay.

Oversized bags can’t be carried due limited baggage space. Baggage is frequently held on Antigua and travels separately on subsequent flights.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Montserrat.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there. See Healthcare in Montserrat for more information on self-isolation.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in Montserrat

There are currently no restrictions on internal travel in Montserrat.

Public places and spaces

Businesses, shops, restaurants and bars are open as normal, although some still ask for masks to be worn. There are no longer any restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather in public places.

Visit the government of Montserrat’s website for more information.

Healthcare in Montserrat

If you think you have COVID-19, flu or common cold symptoms, you are asked to call the “Flu Hotline” on +1 (664) 496-9724.

You will be contacted by local authorities if you receive a positive test. You must then self-isolate where you have been staying, along with anyone you are staying with. Visiting technicians should contact the Montserrat authorities for whom they are working for further instructions.

More information is available on the Government of Montserrat’s website and on the FCDO’s dedicated coronavirus travel advice page.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in Montserrat.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.


For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

As Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory there’s no formal British diplomatic or consular representation. The local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance.

Emergency assistance is provided by the Office of the Deputy Governor. More information is available on the Government of Montserrat’s website.


Crime levels are low, but you should take the same sensible precautions as you would at home. If your hotel does not have a safe, you may need to keep valuables with you.

Air travel

There are two companies offering 4-6 scheduled flights per day, and charter flights from Antigua’s VC Bird International Airport to the John A. Osborne Airport on Montserrat: FLY MONTSERRAT and SVG Air. Flights are on small aircraft capable of carrying up to 9 passengers. Short notice cancellations or changes to the schedule are common, and we recommend you check with the airline in case of delay.

Oversized bags can’t be carried due limited baggage space. Baggage is frequently held on Antigua and travels separately on subsequent flights.

Sea travel

Currently there is no ferry service to Montserrat.

Road travel

Minibuses are available along a number of routes in Montserrat (fares range from EC$5 to EC$7 per journey), but with no regular schedules. Taxis are available and can be booked throughout the day and night. Taxis aren’t metered. Agree the fare in local currency before you set off.

To drive in Montserrat, you’ll need to get a temporary visitor’s driving licence on arrival at the airport or from any police station on production of a valid driving licence and payment of a fee of EC$50. The temporary licence is valid for 3 months. Driving is on the left, as in the UK. There is a speed limit of 20 mph due to multiple hairpin bends. Don’t drink and drive.

Emergency assistance

As Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory there’s no formal British diplomatic or consular representation. The local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance.

Emergency assistance is provided by the Office of the Deputy Governor. More information is available on the Government of Montserrat’s website.

In the event of a natural disaster:

  • listen to ZJB (Radio Montserrat) on 88.3FM or 95.5FM
  • stay in contact with your local hosts
  • follow the advice given by ZJB

Victims of crime should contact the Royal Montserrat Police Force:

  • telephone 999 or +1 (664) 491 2555 or +1 (664) 491 2556

In a medical emergency (ambulance required) contact Fire, Search and Rescue:
Telephone 911 or +1 (664) 491 7790

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Montserrat, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Montserrat is a separate legal jurisdiction to the United Kingdom and has its own laws.

There are harsh penalties if you are caught with drugs of any kind. You should observe the customs regulations on the importation and exportation of agricultural products and the protection of marine and animal life. There are a number of marine and animal specimens that may not be taken from the island. If in doubt check with the local customs authorities prior to the purchase, importation or exportation of such items.

Homosexuality is legal under Montserrat law, but there’s no provision for marriage or civil partnerships between same-sex couples, and they aren’t recognised in law. Throughout the island, the general public is very conservative. In general people are tolerant of homosexual couples but don’t approve of public displays of affection between same-sex couples. Hotels don’t discriminate against same-sex couples and are generally welcoming to all, regardless of sexual orientation. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Beach wear (swimwear) isn’t acceptable away from beach areas.

This page has information on travelling to Montserrat.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Montserrat set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Montserrat’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

All travel to or from Montserrat is via Antigua. If you are travelling to Montserrat you must comply with Antiguan entry requirements, even when immediately transiting on to Montserrat. Check the travel advice for Antigua before booking any flights to or from Montserrat.

Entry requirements for Montserrat are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. You don’t need to provide proof of your vaccination status for entry to Montserrat nor take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test.

Further information can be found on the Montserrat government website.

Children and young people

Children under the age of two have always been exempt from COVID-19 controls. Otherwise, children and young people under 18 are treated the same as the adult who accompanies them.

Further information, can be found on the Montserrat government website.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

Passport validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter Montserrat. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.


You don’t need a visa for Montserrat if you are either a British citizen passport holder or a British Overseas Territories citizen passport holder. For other nationalities, there is an on-line visa application service.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for exit only from Montserrat.

Embarkation tax

When you leave Montserrat you will be charged an embarkation tax of EC$25 for residents or EC$45 for non-residents. In most cases this fee will be included in the purchase of a flight ticket, but you are advised to check with your airline before departing.

Yellow fever

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Returning to the UK

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.

See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each overseas territory page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in overseas territories. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the local territory government.

You should be prepared to show evidence that any medication you are carrying has been prescribed by a medical professional, if required by Customs officials on arrival.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Health risks

UK health authorities have classified Montserrat as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in Montserrat. You should visit the NaTHNaC website for further information and advice on dengue fever and take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems you could be affected by airborne dust, volcanic ash and gases (including sulphur dioxide SO2).

Medical facilities

Montserrat has a small hospital with limited facilities. Anyone needing specialist medical treatment may need to travel to a neighbouring island. Medical evacuations may require a negative COVID-19 test prior to approval to travel – test results sometimes take 2 – 4 days. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Dental care for visitors is by private practice, which is only available in the evenings, and at weekends.

There are two pharmacies in Montserrat; one is part of the Glendon hospital, +1 (664) 491 2552 and can fulfil prescriptions issued by licensed medical professionals. Lee’s Pharmacy is located in Brades, +1 (664) 491 3444.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 or 999 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.


The Soufriere Hills Volcano has been active since 1995. An area around the volcano, containing about two-thirds of the island, is vulnerable to volcanic hazard and is a no-go area. In addition there are three areas around the coastline which are designated Maritime Exclusion Zones where no shipping should enter. Seek local advice about safety precautions and access restrictions.

A volcanic Hazard Level System was introduced in 2014 for the Exclusion Zone. It rates the Level of Volcanic activity on a scale from 0-5; where 5 is the highest. This part of the island is divided into five zones A, B, C, F and V and two maritime zones E and W and permission to enter these zones depends on the level of volcanic activity. The current Hazard Level is 1 and allows unlimited access to Zones A, B, C and F. Permission is required for access to Zone V. At this level the maritime zones E and W can only be transited during daylight hours and no anchorage is allowed.

Around 40% of the island is unaffected by volcanic activity but these areas may be prone to ash falls and volcanic gases during any volcanic activity and if the wind is blowing from south to north. These sometimes cause cancellation of flights to and from the island. The volcanic situation is monitored 24/7 by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and the situation remains under constant review.

An island-wide siren system is installed to warn of volcanic activity. The sirens are tested daily at 12:00 midday. If the sirens sound outside this, tune to Radio Montserrat (ZJB) immediately on FM 88.3 or 95.5 for an accompanying message. The radio station also provides regular scientific updates and advice to listeners. Brochures outlining the Hazard Level System are available at ports of entry to the island.

Maritime Exclusion Zone

There are three areas around Montserrat’s coastlines designated as Maritime Exclusion Zones. Shipping should not enter these zones. The largest of these extends for 4km on the eastern side of the island and there are two on the western side of the island. The most southerly of the two extends for 2km off shore and the third for a half kilometre off shore. Maps showing these zones along with their GPS co-ordinates are available to mariners at the Montserrat Port Authority at Port Little Bay.


The hurricane season in the Caribbean officially runs from 1 June to 30 November, though very stormy weather can occur outside this period.

Monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Centre.

See our tropical cyclones page for advice about what to do if you are caught up in a tropical cyclone.

Most major credit cards are accepted in (some, but not all) supermarkets, restaurants and hotels.

The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (EC$). It’s fixed to the US dollar at 2.70 EC$ to 1 US dollar. US dollars are also widely accepted. The territory has limited but modern banking facilities.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of

FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

What to see in Montserrat: TOP-10

There will be no shortage of suggestions when choosing what to see in Montserrat. On the territory of the monastery and the whole mountain you can find quite intriguing. It is recommended to plan an excursion to Montserrat in advance.

Below are the top 10 places to visit when visiting this unique complex.

1Aeri cable car

Rising on the Aeri cable car, you should pay attention to the magnificent view: the valley and the beginning of Montserrat from above.

Fascinating trip, great picture – the answer to the question of what to see in Montserrat at the first stage.

We advise you to buy your tickets in advance so that you can use the Montserrat Cable Car without long queues. You can do this online at the link on the official ticket platform.

2 Boys’ choir

Exactly at 13:00 every day (except Saturday) the basilica serves as a stage for the performance of the world-famous boys’ choir. Delightful singing has long conquered the hearts of those who are not indifferent to music all over the world. Arriving at the Montserrat monastery in advance, you can enjoy the program for free.

3Things to see in Montserrat for believers: Saint Mary

The black-faced Saint Madonna is a real miracle for pilgrims. The Virgin Mary is hidden behind glass and holds an egg in her hands, which has the miraculous property of wish fulfillment.

There are almost always long queues, so it is recommended to arrive early. There is a break at Montserrat Monastery: 10.30-12.15. During this period of time, it is impossible to see the shrine.

4 Pilgrim’s Book

One of the most popular places in the basilica is a small shop offering a look at things belonging to pilgrims. Among other things, there is a book of Pilgrims, with the help of which people convey their own hopes to the saint. Here’s what to see in Montserrat for lovers of religious artifacts.

5Best tours in Montserrat

6Santa Cova on Montserrat

Santa Cova route

Using the Santa Cova funicular, you need to walk down the path leading to the grotto-cave. It was here that Saint Mary was observed. Locals say that Maria was seen not only by adults, but also by children. Over time, this place was recognized as a saint.

Santa Cova closes at 17:00. It is better to come here before 15.00. Departure takes place once every twenty minutes, but due to the queues, the wait is stretched to forty.

7 Sant Joan funicular to Montserrat

This invention on the mountain of Montserrat at first sight seems rather creepy. The funicular is set at a steep angle, and besides, the mountain itself is steep. Such a picture can frighten someone who visits the place for the first time. The steep angle of the funicular floor provides a comfortable climb, so there is no reason for those entering to worry.

At the beginning of the ascent, it is recommended to follow the road leading to Sant Joan. There you can find a narrow path that leads to one of the steep slopes of Montserrat. The view is simply amazing!


Upon entering the Basilica of Montserrat, many candles catch your eye. No one will mind if a visitor lights his own in Montserrat. It is worth buying at the entrance for a few coins.

9Highest point Montserrat

Sant Jeroni is considered the highest point of the massif. Those who want to explore Montserrat to the maximum should test their strength with an additional route. Moving back to the funicular, you need to turn right at the sign for Sant Jeroni.

Walking to the right place will take about an hour. If such a test seems overwhelming, it is worth walking a hundred meters in the direction of the sign. Already in this place, unforgettable views from the mountain of Montserrat open up.

Are you going to Montserrat? Go to on to book the best mountain tour with an experienced guide.

10Montserrat Souvenir Shop

The shop is a mandatory point of the tour. It is located opposite the train station. Buyers can inexpensively purchase any product of national production.

11Hotel Montserrat

Before choosing what to see in Montserrat, it is worth solving the problem of accommodation. The three-star hotel offers a range of services for those who want to appreciate a unique attraction.

Have a good rest!

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Tourist Attractions in Montserrat

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Bird’s-eye view of Montserrat

Montserrat has different meanings for different people, this fact is reflected in the tourist attractions. For many pilgrims, Montserrat is a purely spiritual place, they come here to worship the Black Madonna, attend mass or visit the Santa Cova cave. However, if you are not a religious person, then the mountain and monastery of Montserrat will still be a very interesting place for you. If you are an active person, then you will enjoy walking and climbing the steep paths on Mount Montserrat. If you love nature, then you will be able to see the flora and fauna of Montserrat with your own eyes. If you are a music lover, then you should not miss the performance of the famous boys’ choir of Montserrat. Art lovers will appreciate the exhibits at the Montserrat Museum. In the monastery of Montserrat, everyone will find something to their liking.

This page contains links to more detailed articles on various Montserrat tourist attractions: Black Madonna, Basilica, Choir, Masses, Montserrat Museum, Montserrat hiking trails, Montserrat mountain, Montserrat funiculars, Montserrat restaurants and shops. Each article has the necessary information about the location, opening hours, prices and contact details of attractions.

Book your tickets for a half day excursion to Montserrat from Barcelona round trip

There are two organized tours that will save you time and hassle to travel to Montserrat on your own. They include round-trip travel from Barcelona to Montserrat by air-conditioned bus. You can choose a half-day tour in the morning or in the afternoon.

Morning excursion to Montserrat

Click here to purchase tickets online for the morning excursion to Montserrat from Barcelona

Black Madonna

The statue of the Black Madonna is considered one of the most significant and popular attractions of the Montserrat Monastery. Every year, thousands of pilgrims visit Montserrat to pray in front of the unusual statue. During peak season, there are long queues at the entrance to see the Black Madonna. The statue is located in the Basilica of Montserrat, it is located above the altar among beautiful decorations.

Read more about the history, visiting hours, location, accessibility for the disabled and waiting times to visit the Black Madonna in our article on the Black Virgin of Montserrat.

Basilica (church)

Facade of the basilica at Montserrat

The basilica at Montserrat is a beautiful Renaissance building. The basilica itself, its courtyard, the chapels inside the basilica and the Black Madonna (see above) are of great architectural, historical and spiritual interest. In the basilica at the monastery of Montserrat, you can also attend masses, plus the choir performs there.

For information about the architecture, history, opening hours and location of the basilica, as well as what events take place there, see our article on the basilica at Montserrat.

Choir at Montserrat

The boys’ choir at Montserrat is called “L’Escolania”. This is one of the most famous choirs in the world, people from all over the world, not only from Spain, come to listen to it. This choir is known for its specialization in Gregorian chant. The choir usually performs twice a day; any visitor to the Montserrat monastery can attend the performance.

To see a clip of the performance and read more about the history, choral singing and performance schedule of the choir, see our article on the choir at Montserrat. If you would like to purchase a recording of the chorale, please visit our page on music at Montserrat.

Masses at the Basilica of Montserrat

At least two masses are held daily at the Basilica of Montserrat. Masses are different, it all depends on which one you get. As with the performance of the choir, masses can be attended freely.

For location, hours and types of masses in the Basilica of Montserrat, see our article on masses in the Basilica of Montserrat.


Montserrat Museum

Montserrat has two museums – the Montserrat Museum and the Espai Audio Visual Museum.

Montserrat Museum is an art museum with an extensive collection of works dating from the thirteenth century to the present day. Due to the fact that Montserrat is perceived mainly as a religious place, many people are not even aware of the high level of work presented in this museum. Feel free to stroll through the museum and admire the works of Picasso, Dali, Miro, El Greco and Degas.

For opening hours, location, facilities, prices and guides at the Montserrat Museum, see our article on the Montserrat Museum.

Espai Audio Visual is an exhibition about the history of Montserrat. There are also exhibits offering a glimpse into the daily life of the monks at the monastery. This exposition is located in the bookstore at the monastery, there is also information about the famous printing press.

For opening hours, location, facilities, prices and exhibits at the Espai Audio Visual Museum, see our article on the Espai Audio Visual Museum.

Hiking trails


There are five official hiking trails from Montserrat on Montserrat. These routes will allow you to visit different places on the mountain, such as famous monks’ retreats, landmarks and places of religious significance. The routes vary in difficulty and length – this will allow you to choose a route that suits your physical fitness and free time.

For information on the various routes, their length, the time it takes to complete them and the starting points, see our article on the hiking trails of Montserrat.


In 1987 Montserrat was officially recognized as a nature reserve by the Government of Catalonia. Anyone can walk around the reserve (see above) and admire the local flora and fauna. At the top station of the Funicular de Sant Joan there is a small exhibition dedicated to the animals and vegetation of Montserrat.

For more information about Montserrat, its sights, opening hours, location and directions to the exhibition, see our article on Montserrat.


Funicular de Sant Joan on Montserrat

Montserrat has two funiculars (not to be confused with the cog railway that goes up Montserrat).

The Funicular de Santa Cova takes you down a little below the monastery, to where the road leading to the famous Santa Cova begins. For more information on opening hours, prices, trip duration and accessibility of the funicular for the disabled, see our article on Funicular de Sant Cova.

The Funicular de Sant Joan takes you up Montserrat even higher than Montserrat Monastery. This funicular serves two purposes – it will take you to the starting point of the three Montserrat hiking trails (see above under “Montserrat Hiking Routes”), as well as to a small exhibition dedicated to the Montserrat Nature Reserve (see above in the section “Mount Montserrat”), besides the funicular ride in itself is a fascinating activity, giving the opportunity to look at the monastery from a bird’s eye view. For more information on opening hours, prices, travel times and accessibility of the funicular for the disabled, see our article on Funicular de Sant Joan.

Shops at Montserrat

Bookshop at Montserrat

Montserrat has souvenir, book and food shops. Whether you’re looking to keep something to remember the choir, buy souvenirs for friends, buy handicrafts made by the monks, or just grab a bite to eat, you’ll find it all at Montserrat.

For more information on opening hours, location and product range of Montserrat’s shops, see our article on Montserrat’s shops. This page also has links to more detailed articles that describe where to buy postcards, art and crafts, food and music recordings at Montserrat.

Montserrat Restaurants:

Montserrat has food for every taste and budget. There are two formal restaurants, two self-service cafeterias, a coffee shop and a supermarket. For more information on locations, opening hours, prices and table reservations at Montserrat Restaurants, see our article on Montserrat Restaurants.

Montserrat has a wide range of tourist attractions.