Barcelona: a blue city where the sea welcomes you all year round 03/07/2023
Barcelona's endless sunny days make the entire spectrum of blues glimmer throughout the year. The light blue sky merges with the deep blue sea along its 5 km of beaches. The fact is, Barcelona has surprises in store every day, in summer and throughout the other seasons of the year.
Sport by the sea 365 days a year
Barcelona is one of the European cities where people do the most sport. Its coastline is a vast, open-air sports track where you can keep fit all year round. Jogging, Nordic walking or a leisurely stroll along the signposted seafront routes are twice as enjoyable with the sea breeze caressing your face. If you decide on a bike, the seafront cycle lanes offer you kilometres of freedom and spectacular views. You can also sign up for the guided Beach Bike Tour, which will show you every detail of the maritime side of Barcelona.
Do you fancy taking a dip in the sea? You can swim all year round in the Mediterranean, like many of the locals. All you have to do is swap your swimwear for a neoprene suit. On 25th December, the Port Vell hosts the Christmas Cup, a 200m cross-harbour swim first held over 100 years ago. On 1st January, many sports enthusiasts kick off the new year with a traditional dip in the sea, without a neoprene suit or worrying about the winter temperatures.
The fine sand on the beaches is the perfect terrain for a wide variety of sports. You'll find ping-pong tables, cross-training equipment and areas for playing beach volleyball. Or maybe you'd prefer to bring your beach mat and take part in a yoga, Pilates or tai-chi session at dusk. You choose!
The pleasure of sailing
You can enjoy sailing in Barcelona all year round and feel the sea breeze while you look at the city's beautiful skyline. You can hire sailing boats and other craft by the hour or by the day, with or without a skipper, so there's no excuse not to head out to enjoy the Mediterranean.
There are also organised trips on the traditional Golondrinas pleasure boats. Other original options are sailing boat or eco-catamaran tours . The trips usually last two hours and always feature a special bonus that will make your experience complete: live music as the sun goes down, breakfast or a snack on board, and even a wine, cava or vermouth tasting. Do you want to spend more time on the sea? You can book longer trips that combine sailing and a tour of vineyards near the sea. It's a plan that couldn't be more Mediterranean. Whether you're taking a long or short trip, keep your eyes peeled: in spring, friendly dolphins or a curious whale may cross your path.
Nautical activities throughout the year
More than 100 years ago, Einstein travelled around Barcelona harbour in a canoe to get a close-up look at the coastline. Today, there are a wide variety of tempting nautical activities on modern craft: a solid paddle board, a canoe or a lightweight kayak. And in winter, a neoprene suit will make sure nothing gets in the way of you and your desire to glide over the water and enjoy spectacular views of Barcelona like Einstein did. The city also offers year-round SUP yoga sessions.
Sea and food… an unbeatable combo
Spending a while enjoying the evocative power of the sea on a terrace while you have a drink is a memorable gift. Another great option is to pair the experience with the best Mediterranean dishes, sometimes with the sand between your toes! You won't be disappointed by the range of food on offer, as the fish and seafood served at Barcelona's restaurants comes into the Moll dels Pescadors quay in the Barceloneta, where the fishermen unload their daily catch, which is taken to the wholesale fish market, the Llotja de Pescadors, for auction. Sounds fascinating, doesn't it? You can see this authentic event for yourselves as the fishermen's guild, the Confraria de Pescadors, runs a guided tour led by marine biologists, that ends with the tasting of a seafood snack.
And if you want to keep exploring the sea with your tastebuds, why not try one of the city's seafood restaurants, where the fresh produce of the sea takes centre stage. You can sample different fish and seafood rice dishes, a tasty fish stew called suquet de peix, or a surf and turf dish made with chicken and prawns.
A unique setting right on the beach
Barcelona's beaches are a wonderful setting for a whole host of cultural events throughout the year. In June, Bogatell beach is filled with the sounds of classical music with Clàssica a la platja. In July, we swap batons to enjoy the Reggaeton Beach Fest at the Parc del Fòrum, which includes concerts and beach activities. The Fòrum is also the setting for Cruïlla Barcelona, a showcase for the best indie music. In September, during the festival of La Mercè , there are concerts and two days of spectacular fireworks on the beach. And near Barcelona, the best rock awaits at CanetRock, a festival in the heart of the Maresme.
When night falls during the summer months, the beach becomes an open-air cinema screening films in their original language versions. Admission is free! Make sure you don't miss them.
Sporting competitions that put the sea in the spotlight
Barcelona is synonymous with the sea and this is why it hosts some of the world's top sailing competitions, such as the Trofeo de Vela Conde de Godó, a thrilling international regatta held in May; the Regata Puig de Vela Clásica in July, which is a beautiful sight to behold with its vintage boats plying the waves, and the prestigious America's Cup, which will be holding its first preliminary regatta in Vilanova i la Geltrú this year, providing a taster for the main event, the 37th America's Cup, which will be held in Barcelona from August to October 2024. You'll be able to witness first hand this sporting event that brings together the boats that are considered the Formula 1s of the sea. They look like they're flying over the water! In September, Barcelona will also be hosting the ORC Double Handed World Championship. But there's much more International sport to enjoy that puts the sea in the spotlight, such as the EDreams Barcelona swimming marathon that tests the fitness of its participants to the max, the Challenge Barcelona Triathlon, which includes a 1.5 km swim in the sea, and, in October, there's Ironman 70.3 Barcelona, the endurance trial held in the coastal town of Calella, with its 3.8 km swim.
The sea continues… beyond Barcelona
There are endless options to enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean. Near Barcelona there are sheltered covers where you can learn to scuba dive, and discover the biodiversity of the marine world: fish, starfish, coral… In the seaside town of Vilanova i la Geltrú, we recommend windsurfing, paddleboarding, surfing and even a guided kayaking trip along the coast. You can also choose a tour of the most spectacular coast in Catalonia, the Costa Brava, or have a short break in Blanes, which has one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Europe with sea views. Another option is to travel to one of the most beautiful seaside towns near Barcelona, Sitges, on a trip full of contrasts that also includes a visit to the monastery of Montserrat.
The sea from the sky
Did somebody say views? There's no doubt that the best way to enjoy sweeping vistas of the blue sea is to view it from the sky. If you're an adrenaline addict, you can go on a parachute jump in Empuriabrava, at an altitude of 4000 m and see the spectacular bay of Rosas, which is one of the most beautiful on the Catalan coast. Another option that comes highly recommended is a helicopter ride over the Costa Brava , which will reveal dreamlike maritime landscapes.
As you can see, the sea is waiting for you so you can enjoy it in thousands of ways… all year round. Don't miss out on the blue!
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