Cruising Guide - Barcelona
Barcelona is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a well deserved reputation for style and class. Bursting with an array of cultural gems, Barcelona is famous for its architecture, contemporary design, sandy beaches, and first class cuisine. Nearby there are cruising playgrounds a plenty with the stunning Costa Brava and Balearic Islands within easy reach. Plus, the majestic Pyrenees are just a few hours drive away if you fancy a hike in the mountains or spot of snowsports action, and the Cote d’Azur of Southern France is within easy reach too.
It’s no wonder, then, that this incredible Catalan city is fast becoming a popular destination for boat owners wanting to moor their boat somewhere that offers year round sunshine and plenty of interesting places to explore both on land and by sea – it’s a wonderful balance of vibrant city life and laid-back Spanish living. Plus, an abundance of international flights are available to whisk you there at your convenience, at any time of the year.
Read on to get some top tips on what to see and do in the area from the team at our new Ancasta office in Barcelona…
As a coastal city, Barcelona boasts beautiful sandy beaches that stretch for miles. With direct access from the city, you can quickly escape the hustle and bustle for a relaxing walk along the shoreline, or to take a dip in the clear blue waters of the Balearic Sea. During summer, the main beaches of Barcelonenta and Sant Miguel are often buzzing with lots of beach-goers enjoying the busy waterside tapas bars and seafood restaurants, whilst the more northern beaches of Nova Icària or Bogatell bear a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere.
Barcelona is famed for its abundance of buildings designed by the famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. Unique in style, Gaudi’s designs were often influenced by forms of nature and thus feature plenty of waves, curves and plenty of colour. Whilst there are many spectacular Gaudi buildings worth seeing throughout the city, a must-see destination is Park Güell. Park Güell presents an extraordinary and varied display of Gaudi’s work with ornate mosaic walls and ceilings, twisting turrets and magnificent ironwork.
Style is big in Barcelona and if you like shopping, there are many luxury brands to indulge in and exclusive boutiques to be discovered. From the grand Passeig de Gracia with its high fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Chanel, to the eclectic boutiques of the old town in the Born Cultural Centre and the smaller retailers on Carrer Major de Sarrià, there is something for all tastes and budgets.
First Class Cuisine
Well known for its delicious array of tapas, fruity sangria and sparkling Cava, the Catalan region offers ample traditional fare, as well as an incredible mix of international dishes lovingly created from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It is said that Catalonia is the area with the most Micheln stars in Spain, so look forward to sampling some of the very best in Spanish cuisine in and around this food loving city.
Just a few hours drive north west of Barcelona you’ll find the Pyrenees. This incredible mountain range not only offers superb scenery and views, but also boasts miles of picturesque hiking trails in the summer and a wide choice of snowsport resorts come the winter months. The Pyrenees are popular with locals who want to escape to the mountains for a short break or long weekend, and provide a great alternative activity for boat owners based in the city if the weather isn’t suitable for getting out on the water.
Explore the Catalan Coast
Stick to the mainland and head north east to enjoy the fabulous rugged coastline of Costa Brava with some of the best beaches in Europe and little bays dotted all along its length from the town of Blanes, right up to the French border. You’ll be dazzled by the breathtaking landscapes, and, with one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred chefs in Spain, this stretch of coast is a gastronomic delight too.
The municipality of Begur lies about halfway up the Costa Brava coastline and is popular for its pretty beaches, fine cuisine and historic charm. The town of Begur is well known for its classy restaurants and boutique shops, and there is a myriad of charming cobbled streets and dainty alleyways to explore.
Sa Riera is a pretty little fishing village close to the town of Begur. Set amongst pine covered cliffs, this secluded cove boasts a beautiful sandy beach and clear blue turquoise waters making it an excellent spot for swimming and snorkelling. Onshore you will find a small selection of good restaurants and cafes offering tantalizing cuisine and local wines. Although Sa Riera can be popular in the summer months, it has remained relatively undeveloped and, as such, has retained its historic charm and magical allure.
Translated as ‘blue waters,’ Aiguablava is testimony to its name. A glistening golden beach with clear blue shallow waters, this is wonderful spot in which to relax and grab a spot to eat in one of the waterside restaurants. Spend a lazy afternoon bathing in the sun or dive beneath the surface for some spectacular snorkelling in and around the bay. Across from Aiguablava beach you’ll find the sheltered little harbour of Fornells brimming with traditional fishing boats. Populated by whitewashed cottages with terracotta roofs, it a wonderful rustic town to explore on foot.
Cap de Creus
The magnificent Cap de Creus is a peninsula located at the far northeast point of Catalonia and just 25km from the French border. The peninsula is characterised by its baren and wind beaten cliffs emblazoned with jagged creeks of deep blue water. Although, at times, the winds can be strong, come here in fair weather and you’ll be treated to magnificent scenery, secluded calas and spacious anchorages.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Costa Brava,’ Cadaqués has been home to many famous artists and writers over the years including Salvador Dali, Picasso, Matisse and Duchamp, amongst others. As such, Cadaqués has a chic yet bohemian air about it and is popular with creatives. The beautiful whitewashed buildings line the hillside and a hike up the meandering cobbled streets will lead you to sweeping views of the bay. The open bay itself is quite large and there are plenty of little craggy inlets to explore by dinghy. Alternatively, stay ashore and enjoy a glass of wine and traditional Spanish cuisine in one of the many high quality waterside restaurants lining the quay.
El Port de la Selva
A picturesque fishing village nestled in a natural bay, shielded by the surrounding mountains, El Port de la Selva has plenty to offer in the way of pristine beaches and cultural attractions, as well as windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding and diving. Explore the maze of little cobbled streets and savour the delicious local cuisine, or, for a bit of relaxation, head to the horseshoe shaped beach of Cala Tamariu. Situated in a secluded bay of glistening crystal clear turquoise water, Tamariu is home to a beautiful golden sandy beach with a cluster of restaurants and cafes by the watersedge.
Our new office in Barcelona is located at the prestigious OneOcean Port Vell Marina. Positioned in the heart of the city, this luxury marine facility can accommodate yachts from 10 metres right up to the largest and most glamourous of the world’s superyachts. Not only does this fantastic new marina offer first-class berthing facilities, it also boasts a wellness centre with a deluxe spa and high tech gymnasium, as well as a private members club with an exclusive restaurant and cocktail bar.
Ancasta Barcelona offers full brokerage and new boats sales as well as extensive aftercare services and help with local berthing. Whether you are looking to buy or sell, the team of experienced yacht brokers are armed with extensive local knowledge and a solid understanding of the industry, with excellent contacts up and down the Catalan coast. Catering for the international spread of clients who frequent Barcelona and the surrounding area, the team can also speak fluent Spanish, English, Russian, French and German.
How To Get There
Travel to Barcelona is simple with several flights every day from major cities around the world, and just a 25 minute transfer from the airport to the marina. Barcelona benefits from regular flights all year round, not just during holiday season, making it an ideal destination for boat owners wanting an easy-to-get-to overseas mooring where they can cruise in comfort throughout the year.
Marina Port Vell, Carrer de L’Escar 26, 08039, Barcelona