Updated Jun 21 2023
The gardens of Mossèn Costa i Llobera owe their name to the great Mallorcan poet Miquel Costa i Llobera. Much of the charm of the gardens lies in the fact that, despite taking up around 6 hectares of the Montjuïc hillside, they have to be some of the least known gardens in the city. It’s therefore the ideal place to go to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and even from some of the more popular tourist destinations around Montjuïc.
Highlights about the cactus garden
The gardens specialize in all kinds of species from the desert, sub-desert and tropical areas, and you’ll also find various plants that can typically be found in high mountainous areas. The area that attracts the most attention, however, is that which contains a huge collection of cacti, originating in many different continents and countries. Contrary to many of the other gardens around Montjuïc, which were created or developed for the International Exhibition of 1929, the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera were designed much later, in 1970. A structural and aesthetic refurbishment was carried out between 2006 and 2011.
Like his contemporary Jacint Verdaguer i Santaló, Miquel Costa i Llobera was also a priest (the Catalan word ‘Mossèn’ means ‘Priest’), and a well-known poet of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. Originally from Mallorca, he had a strong relationship with Barcelona, where he studied law and was president of the city’s Jocs Florals (the Floral Games – historically related poetry contests that had floral prizes) on one occasion.
The vegetation of the garden
A total of 800 types of cacti, other similar species and subtropical trees (many of which are several hundred years old) populate the gardens. This figure gives you an idea of the importance and scale of the collection.
Thanks to its strategic location in the southern part of the Montjuïc mountain and next to the sea, temperatures in the middle of the gardens average around 2ºC higher than those in the rest of the area. This microclimate is perfect for the species that are contained within the gardens. It’s also quite protected from the intense winds that often affect the area, which ensures that damage to the plants is avoided.
Especies destacadas del jardín
A tree that is typical of subtropical climates
Plants that originate from Mexico, which are unique in that they only flower once
Plants native to Australia
Cactus from Brazil, that can reach huge dimensions
Cactus originating in South Africa, which is also known as ‘Crocodile Teeth’
Decorative and artistic elements of the gardens
In addition to the different species of plants, which are of course the main feature and charm of the gardens, you will also see several artistic and decorative elements that enrich the idyllic setting in which they are to be found. Among them is a pergola that will shelter you from the heat of the sun – something that’s otherwise quite hard to escape in these gardens. During a walk round the gardens you will also see many sculptures, the most striking of which is La Puntaire (in English The Lacemaker), which can be found on a ledge in the mountain where there’s a viewpoint and a few benches on which to sit.
L’au dels temporals, el pi de Formentor (The Bird of the Storms, The Pine of Formentor)
Joaquim Ros i Bofarull
La puntaire (The Lacemaker)
A Joan Pañella (To Joan Pañella)
Access to the gardens is free of charge. Due to the intense heat that the gardens often suffer and the lack of shade, we recommend that if you visit the gardens in the summer months on a hot day, you should avoid the hottest part of the day (12:00 to 16:00). Due to its size, the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera have several entrances, the most accessible of which are that next to the Terraza Martínez, via the Jardins (gardens) de Miramar and that which is located on the main Miramar road, a short walk from the plaça (square) de la Armada.
Once you arrive at the gardens you’ll see that it has several paths and stairways, some of them in zig zag form, which are all on different levels passing through different scenery. We suggest that you walk through the gardens along one level and return via another, in order to get a different perspective of the scenery.
During your walk round the gardens you will be able to enjoy many wonderful views from different viewpoints, including views of the sea, the harbour and the rest of the coastline. It’s an ideal place to take photographs of the port, the coast and of course of the different varieties of plants, many of which are quite spectacular.
Here at irBarcelona we recommend that you catch the Aeri del Port cable car at the Sant Sebastià stop next to the beach, and this will take you up to the Jardins de Miramar. From there you can enjoy the view from the observation deck before wandering round the Jardins de Mossèn Costa i Llobera at your leisure. After a pleasant walk, you can return to the Jardins de Miramar and perhaps eat or drink something on one of the two terraces (the Miramar restaurant and the Terraza Martínez) that can be found at either side of the gardens.
ctra. (road) de Miramar, close to plaça (square) de L’Armada.
From Monday to Sunday, from 10:00 until sunset.
Free of charge
How to get there
Metro: Paral·lel (Lines 2 and 3), and then walk for 15-20 minutes (entrance on carretera de Miramar / plaça de la Armada).
Buses: lines 21 (entrance on carretera de Miramar / plaça de l’Armada), 150 and tourist bus (entrance by the Jardins de Miramar).
Montjuïc Funicular: take the funicular and walk down the Avenida de Miramar (entrance by the Jardins de Miramar).
Aeri del Port