Stray beyond Barcelona and you’ll find that Catalonia has some delightful spots for the adventurous boater hoping to make the most out of the Med
Barcelona and Port Olímpic
Catalonia’s historic capital is chic and vibrant with first-class marinas, some exciting modern architecture and gorgeous parks.
Cultured and self-confident, Barcelona is one of the most rewarding Med cities to visit by boat. The port is huge and you feel insignificant creeping in between massive digues, dry docks and passenger quays to the yacht basins at the north end.
Near the heart of the city, Marina Port Vell (pictured below) is the best billet in Barcelona, overlooked by Montjuic Castle and the hot slopes of Tibidabo hill.
Port Vell is close to Barcelona’s old Gothic quarter and its many splendid buildings from the 13th to 15th centuries. Modest sized boats berth right at the north end, opposite the elegant arcades and stone façade of the Catalonia History Museum.
The famous main street, La Rambla, is not far from Port Vell and you should enjoy this elegant pedestrian avenue in early evening, the hour of the paseo when families stroll out to see and be seen.
In the cool of early morning, head for the mouth-watering Boqueria market, halfway up La Rambla. North of Port Vell is the imposing city park and Parliament of Catalonia.
Built for the 1992 Olympic Games, the well-run Port Olímpic marina is two miles north of the Port Vell dock entrance and right on the coast with beaches either side.
Port Olímpic is a quieter, cheaper alternative for visiting Barcelona. Its metro station, Ciutadella-Vila Olimpica, is 10mins walk from the marina.
North of Port Olímpic are two newer Barcelona marinas – Port Forum and Marina Badalona.