Our favorite Barcelona sailing tours
The Mediterranean sea offers the opportunity to see Barcelona from a unique point of view: the city views from the water. The coastal line offers a city skyline that you can’t see otherwise. Plus a day sailing in Barcelona is a fun and relaxing plan (that is, if you are not prone to getting seasick). It’s the kind of activity that makes for a great break after all the walk done for your sightseeing, and that both kids an adults love and find entertaining.
However, the options are many. And doing all the research needed to figure out what is the best option for you can be overwhelming. Your guidebook might not be up to date (even if it’s new: they are usuall written at least one year before they are released), and Tripadvisor is so hard to navigate sometimes… But never mind. If you are already picturing yourself on board of a boat, sailing in front of the coast of Barcelona today we get you covered!
These are the top options for going boating in Barcelona:
Las Golondrinas de Barcelona. I remember when I was a child, the golondrinas were a favorite activity to do with my grandparents! And they continue to be very cherished now by the locals. They are the most traditional Barcelona sailing tours are these old fashioned blue panoramic boats that give you a 40-minute tour of the Port Vell with commentaries in several languages, and depart from the Columbus statue at the bottom of La Rambla. The boats being old-fashioned and slow, they won’t take you into open waters, though: the ride ends after passing the cruise piers and the industrial harbor, however it is great to discover areas of the marina that you would otherwise miss and to learn about the relationship of the city with the sea. The same company also runs a 1.5 hour catamaran tour along the city beaches.
Karya Shooner. If you’d like a vintage classic sail, you’ll love the Karya shooner: an old-fashioned wooden vessel built in the famous shipyards of Bordum (Turkey) following traditional ship manufacturing methods. They offer 30 minute rides withing the Port Vell marina, as well as longer 1.5 rides all the way to the Olympic Village, and in both you’ll be treated to a glass of cava (local sparkling wine) and complimentary water. Background music adds up to a great sailing experience. Quite a fancy way to spend your afternoon in Barcelona! Just there aren’t commentaries about what you’ll be seeing from the ship. By the way, they depart from Moll d’Espanya, right behind the Aquarium in the Maremagnum area – check the map: it might be a bit tricky to find. And here is another cool wooden shooner with midday and sunset outings with live music.
Catamaran. This type of ship consisting of two hulls joined by a frame are a popular option due to the comfort and safety they provide, as well as their large capacity. Besides the Golondrinas company that I mentioned before, in Barcelona also operates an eco-friendly Catamaran company with an engine-powered catamaran (their ship is the largest in Europe) for 30 minute Port Vell tours and 1.5 hour tours of along the coastline – a great choice for those who value sustainability in their trip and leisure choices. There’s another company that owns an engine + sail powered catamaran for 30 minute sunset sails, but depending on how many bookings they have that day they might either use the catamaran or a regular sail boat: you don’t get to choose, and that might lead to a disappointment if you are very inclined towards the catamaran.
Historical sail boat. The Maritime Museum also organizes sailing tours, with a strong focus on the history and architecture of the city and specially its water front. On board of the historical Santa Eulàlia schooner you’ll sail along the Barceloneta marinas and beaches all the way until the Forum district where Barcelona ends, learning how intimately related the city has been with the Mediterranean sea throughout our history. This tours only depart on Saturdays and must be booked online from the Museum website.
Yacht. If you want to feel like a millionaire and be surrounded by luxury at sea for a while, there’s sailing yacht tours departing regularly from the Olympic Port and going along the Barceloneta beaches, then past the industrial harbor and the cruise piers, all the way to the entrance of Port Vell in about one hour. The yatch they use is an 8 meter long cruiser designed for luxury leisure purposes. They also offer 1, 2 and 4 hour long private yacht outings… if your budget can afford premium prices. This other company organizes sunset sails on a yacht (with cava, wine, snacks and fresh fruit included). And this other one arranges shared sunrise and midday vermouth yatch excursions.
AND BONUS! For those who’d rather be their own captain:
Rent a boat without a license. Did you know not all boats require a license to pilot them? You can hire a license-free motorboat and sail as you please along the Barcelona coast: after a short briefing to learn how to use it, you’ll be off for one hour sail for a short ride around the beaches, two hours to go as far as the airport area, or a full morning or afternoon (4 hours) if you prefer to go further away North towards the sand beaches of the Maresme area or south past the rocky Garraf mountains, and stop anywhere you like for a dip in open waters. The fee includes fuel, insurance and of course the cleaning after the sail, so you don’t have to worry about anything. And if you don’t even want to worry about piloting… Yes! You can hire your motorboat with a professional skipper to do all the hard work for you.
So what about you? Head to the comments below and tells us: what’s your favorite sailing in Barcelona?