Boasting a sunny climate with the Mediterranean Sea as a sparkling backdrop, it is no wonder Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in Europe.
Joining a boat tour of Barcelona, its harbour and the beaches is an increasingly popular and exciting way to explore this stunning city.
1. Ports of Barcelona
1.1. Port Olimpic
Port Olimpic is one of the most popular leisure districts of Barcelona. Part of the growing interest here stemmed from its creation for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
While 1992 is far behind us, this clever addition to the city is still enjoyed by tourists and locals.
The actual Port Olimpic today is a yachting harbour that the wealthy use to get onto the water with family and friends.
Whether you are approaching this port from the sea or the city, you will instantly notice the 154-metre tall twin skyscrapers.
These two buildings, the office tower of Torre Mapfre and the Hotel Arts are the two tallest buildings in Barcelona.
The Port Olimpic Beaches
Towards the sail-shaped Hotel Vela, there is a lovely promenade. This will take you past the beaches of Barceloneta and Sant Sebastiá up to Port Vell.
Following the coast north, you will end up at the beaches of Nova Icaria and Bogatell.
Port Olimpic Nightlife
Dancing the night away at a club in Barcelona is a memorable, fun and freeing experience. Barcelona is known for its nightlife that typically carries into the wee hours of the morning.
It only makes sense that this beachy city would have vibrant clubs along the glistening sea. In front of the Hotel Arts and directly in the yacht harbour, there are plenty of nightclubs and bars.
The most popular ones are Shoko, Opium mar and CDLC. These are sprawling places with interior dance floors and large terraces directly on the beach.
During the day, enjoy the many terraces; in the evening, you can have a lovely meal.
1.2. Port Vell
Before the 1992 Olympic Games, Port Vell was degenerated and run down. Much like many areas along the seashore of Barcelona, Port Vell (the old harbour) was renovated and restored for the Olympics.
In a huge restructure project this Port, which neighbours Barceloneta, has been completely transformed to open up the city to the beautiful sea.
Port Vell went from an industrial wasteland to an area of yacht harbours that have been created. These harbours encompass a peninsula with a large entertainment complex.
Included in the entertainment complex is the most popular attraction: The Barcelona Aquarium.
Here you can actually dive with Mediterranean sharks! Simply cross the wooden swing bridge along Rambla Mar to a gorgeous harbour promenade. Find the Maremagnum complex with shops, bars and restaurants.
The stunning Maritime Museum (Museo maritime) is situated on your right. Along the pier on your left lies the Barcelona World Trade Center, which is a hotel and convention center in the middle of Port Vell.
Port Vell’s makeover has added vibrancy and color to the city while celebrating the sea and the history of Barcelona.
2. Tours on the Sea
2.1. Eco Boat Trip Barcelona Port Skyline
While the ports of Barcelona are lovely to look at from dry land, get an even closer look by boat. On this 40 minute eco boat trip, you will discover the port and a part of the coastline of Barcelona.
When walking around these areas of Barcelona, the iconic W hotel and the cruise ships in the distance are hard to miss. See them in detail with this tour.
Offering a completely different perspective of the city, this tour takes you away from the crowded streets and into the serenity of the sea.
Relax and sit back on the eco boat, taking in the refreshing smell of the sea as it blankets your face as the dazzling views unfold.
This service is offered every day, but please note that weather conditions could alter the service.
2.2. The Wooden Boat Tour
Be captivated by the stunning work of art that is the Goleta Karya.
It is a unique boat for you to experience this sightseeing tour. The wooden schooner was built in Bodrum, Turkey. Comprised of fine materials and modern details, it is a treasure found on the Barcelona coast
You have the choice of two different routes, both showing the most incredible views of Barcelona.
The first choice is called the Water District Experience. A 30-minute cruise in the Port of Barcelona, you will feel immersed in the busy life of the most important port of the Mediterranean Sea.
Experience the fisherman life in Barcelona as well as get closer to the Montjuic Mountain.
The second option is the Blue Side Experience. If you are hoping to gain a different perspective on the popular sights of the city as well as discover the coast, this is the route for you.
This route is a 60-minute tour leading you to the towering Columbus Monument, the Montjuic Mountain, the W Hotel, Sagrada Familia, the Agbar Tower, the Olympic Port and the Forum District.
This exciting tour showcases the Tibidabo Mountain the background.
Both options are available from April 1- October 31.
2.3. Catamaran Sailing
Starting at Port Olimpic, this 3-hour sailing trip glides across the Mediterranean Sea. If you are lively, energetic and up for a great time, this is definitely a great option!
Enjoy the fun music and great people with the gorgeous city behind you. Part of this tour includes stopping for water games and swimming!
Indulge in the lovely buffet on board, which includes pasta salad, Catalan sausage, bread, sauces and fruit salad.
In addition to the yummy food, you may consume soft drinks, water, beer and sangria for free during the entire tour.
What is not to love about this tour?
You have a DJ, food, drinks, the glittering Mediterranean Sea and fun people!
Catamaran SailingFrom: 46,00€
2.4. Mediterranean Sailing Tour
Step aboard one of our special sailing yachts, which is ready for the waves of the Mediterranean Sea!
Your guide will give you a preliminary sailing briefing as well as a story about the history of Barcelona. There is enough space for up to 10 people.
Boasting a proper inside cabin complete with seating and toilets, the boat feels spacious and comfortable.
Sit back, relax and enjoy a beer or get enthralled with the sailing, hoisting sails or even steering the boat!
Depending on the weather, we will drop the sails and you can enjoy an open water swim. After 2 hours, we will head back to the port where you will disembark.
Mediterranean Sailing TourFrom: 75,00€
2.5. Barcelona Water sports
With its direct proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, it is no surprise that Barcelona offers riveting beach side sports and activities.
Whether you are an adrenaline junkie who seeks out water adventures or a novice who wants to try something new, there is something on this list for you.
Looking to soar in the air like a winged bird as you admire Barcelona in the distance? Parasailing is the perfect activity for you!
If you are looking for speed, but prefer someone else takes the wheel, speed boating is the perfect voyage for you.
Perhaps you are someone who wants to exercise some muscle while you ski around you splash around in the warm sea. For this desire, try out hover boarding.
If you are interested in boarding, but want to lift yourself in the air for an electrifying bonus, definitely check out the newest aquatic sport in Barcelona: fly boarding.
Last but not least, be in control as you splash around on a jet ski. This sport is popular all over the world; it is a classic water sport guaranteed to add an exhilarating twist to your trip.
Regardless of your own personal choices for water sports, all of the tours listed include beautiful panoramic views over from the sea.
The price includes all necessary equipment, a safety briefing as well as professional guide and instructor services.
This is a crazy, fun and heart racing experience! Feel the adrenaline during this 15-minute speed boat tour.
With the Jet Boat, you will enjoy skidding, braking and turning 360 degrees over the sea. It is a perfect sport to try with friends!
Try out the newest water sport activity in Barcelona. You can choose between 15 and 30 minutes and consists of a board that is driven by two powerful water jets.
If done right, it will raise you up to 12 metres above the water’s surface!
This tour starts with an experienced instructor taking you through safety and how to use the board. Find out if you are talented in this adventurous water sport!
This innovative aquatic sport will have you making slaloms around the water in no time!
An experienced instructor will guide you through the basics before you get out there. You will find your balance quickly and delight in this unique sport!
Start at the meeting point where your professional instructor will be waiting for you. You will receive instructions and everything you need to know before embarking on the waters of Barceloneta beach.
Once on board, you will be slowly reeled out from the boat’s flight deck to experience parasailing for 15 minutes.
This will get your adrenaline going and at the same time show you a view of Barcelona from above.
Jet skis are a powerful and fun way to zip around the sea.
Start at the meeting point for important safety information and instructions on how to use the equipment.
Experience the freedom and exhilaration as you cut through the waters of Barceloneta beach. You can choose between 30 and 60 minutes.
Your instructor will be guiding you at all times, ensuring your safety as you make the most of this waters sport.
Escape the tides and gaze over at the Port Olimpic while you carve your way through the sea. Feel free to stop, take a break and jump in the shiny blue water!
3. Combined Tours
3.1. Hop on Hop off Bus & Boat
Barcelona is known for its windy, tiny streets. Walking through the intricate neighbourhoods and countless alcoves is an enlivening feeling that all visitors should experience.
In this tour, not only will you discover Barcelona on land, but you will also have the pleasure of hopping on a boat to explore the city from its surrounding water.
While it is easy to pick separate tours, why not combine the best ways to delve into this fascinating city of beauty?
Whether you chose a one day ticket or a two-consecutive day ticket, both options are enhanced with a magical journey on the sea.
The bus stop at the famous Columbus Statue monument is where you begin your relaxing sailing adventure. This monument is right next to the Las Golondrinas booth.
This boat tour reveals panoramic views of the city only exposed via the sea. The tour lasts approximately 40 minutes in length.
Bask in the sun, breath in the sea breeze and admire the blue Mediterranean Sea as you unwind on the uncovered area of the boat.
After you hop off the boat, simply hop back on the bus to continue your voyage. By booking this combination tour option, you will save 10%.
Hop on Hop off Bus & BoatFrom: 34,80€
3.2. Barcelona Ebike, Air & Sea
Interested in gazing at Barcelona from the sea?
Fancy a lovely bike ride in this stunning city? How about an aerial view of the shimmering sea below?
In this multifaceted tour, all of these wishes will be granted.
The tour begins with an ebike ride to the slopes of Mountain Montjuic. From here, hop onto the cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain.
Be dazzled by the views from above as you make your way up the mountain. Once at the top, stroll around the Olympic Ring and the Montjuic Castle, as you learn more about the history.
Make your way back to the harbour where a boat tour awaits. Embark on a journey around the Olympic Harbour, as you snap stunning photos of the skyline.
The tour doesn’t stop here, as it continues to the following emblematic Gaudí sites: La Sagrada Familia and the best-known modernist buildings on Passeig de Gracia: La Pedrera and Casa Batlló.
What is included?
- Electric Bike
- One Way Cable Car Ride
- Water-front boat trip (Eco boat or Goleta)
- Panoramic views of the Barcelona Skyline
- English speaking guide
3.3. Barcelona Helicopter, Land & Sea
This is a luxurious and comprehensive way to soak in everything that Barcelona has to offer.
Start off at Passeig de Gracia where your official guide will take you on an enlightening walking tour.
Following your enthralling walking tour, hop on a luxury minibus for a sightseeing ride.
The first attraction is the iconic Monumental, the last bullfighting arena in operation in the region of Catalonia.
Become mesmerized by the sprawling, eccentric design of the Sagrada Familia. As you cruise towards the park Ciutadella, you will ride along the Arc de Triomf.
Next you will arrive at the heliport where the highlight of the tour is waiting for you:
A thrilling 6-minute helicopter ride soaring by the coast of Barcelona is waiting for you.
Breath-taking views of this Mediterranean treasure are visible everywhere you turn; get ready for a spine-tingling adventure!
The tour doesn’t stop here.
Bask in the sun and sea air, as you sail along the harbour of Barcelona. There is a bar available on board the boat, should you fancy a drink to refresh yourself after an awe-inspiring day.
After sailing, you will be dropped off at the Columbus Monument where you can continue exploring the city on your own.
What is included?
- Open Top Luxury Mini Bus (USB, WIFI, Leather Seats)
- 6 minutes helicopter flight
- Waterfront boat trip (Eco boat or Goleta)
- Panoramic views of the Barcelona Skyline
- English speaking guide
4. General Tips, Recommendations and Advice
This article covers an array of adventures, tours and experiences for you to make the most of your travels.
While everyone is different, hopefully there is something on this list that suits your needs. Although some of these offers may seem for the more adventurous, make sure you take a look at everything we have listed.
While for some a thrill-seeking and daring a water sport is the perfect activity, others may prefer something more serene.
As you do your research and narrow down your plans, take into consideration your personal comfort level.
There are leisurely activities, luxurious experiences and slow-paced tours available as well.
Our advice is to stay true to the activities that match your desires, as there is something on this list for everyone.
The goal is for guests to enhance their vacation, guaranteeing lifelong memories.
5. Book them online!
A rare chance to see Barcelona from a completely new perspective. Our luxury sailing yacht will take you on a two hour sail along the coast.Duration: 2h Departure times (10:00am, 13:45h, 17:30h)
Experience the Barcelona Hop on Hop off AND go on a boat ride! Get two amazing views on the City, from the convenient open-top bus and from the Sea.Duration: 1 or 2 consecutive days
Enjoy the view from the sea of Barcelona. Start at Port Olimpic and sail across the Mediterranean sea. Explore this amazing and unique experience.Duration: 3h
Best water activities in Barcelona on the beach! Choose from: Parasailing, Jetski, Speedboat, Flyboard & Hoverboard.Duration: 15-60min
Barcelona’s geographical location is a major reason it is so popular.
While you are no doubt aware of the Mediterranean Sea curving around this vibrant city, you may not have considered the various tours and experiences designed for every type of traveller.
Our list includes the lovely ports, boat tours and combination tours for you to create everlasting memories of your perfect summer trip in Spain.
Barcelona from the sea brings with it an entirely new angle for exploration that shouldn’t be missed. What are you waiting for? Book your Barcelona sea adventure today!
Now it is your turn! Is anything missing from this article? What do you think about all the tours on offer? We welcome and encourage comments!
Christian Petzold is a successful touristic entrepreneur, experiential traveller and round-the-world backpacker. He holds an academic degree in tourism management.
His touristic expertise has been covered in radio, newspaper and television.