Sun, sea and surf – three words that are undoubtedly part of Barcelona’s culture, considering the country’s breathtaking coastline which stretches for approximately 4.5 km.
Swimming season in Barcelona is generally from May to mid-September, when seawater temperatures reach a very comfortable 20°C to 24°C, yet the beaches in Barcelona offer stunning relaxation and socialising opportunities all year long, as beach bars and restaurants are strewn everywhere to enhance any al fresco occasion.
Thus, when it comes to sunbathing and revelling in beach-side tranquillity, Barcelona provides tourists and residents a fantastic variety of beaches to choose from.
Location-wise, Sant Sebastià is the most westerly beach in Barcelona and, along with Barceloneta beach, also the oldest and most traditional. Spanning approximately 660 metres long, it offers fantastic sports clubs ideal for nautical activities.
As much as 70% of Barcelona’s residents frequent Sant Sebastià, although it is also a favourite amongst visitors from abroad. Most definitely one of the reasons for its popularity is its commitment to providing easy access for everyone, including the mobility impaired.
Reaching a length of 422 metres long, Barceloneta beach is also a well-populated spot for foreigners, as well as youth groups and schools, who regularly prefer it for outings and al fresco activities.
Like most beaches in Barcelona, Barceloneta is also well-equipped for disabled persons, presenting a bathing support service fully intended for persons with disabilities and reduced mobility, making it a popular choice for bathers from all walks of life.
If a calming and relaxed time is more to your liking, you might want to give Nova Icària beach a try, for even though it is one of the best-loved beaches in Barcelona, it is also one of the quietest.
Clocking in at roughly 415 metres long, this beach provides a wide range of leisure amenities, including a playground and a ping-pong table by the Bogatell breakwater, as well as two volleyball courts near the Olympic Harbour.
Spanning a very impressive length of about 702 metres, Bogatell beach is one of the prime locations that were upgraded when Barcelona’s seafront underwent a makeover in the 1990s. Similar to Nova Icària, a range of recreational facilities can be found at Bogatell, such as a football pitch.
As beaches in Barcelona are some the major must-see sites for tourists from abroad, the country’s public transportation system also ensures easy access for anybody wishing to catch some sun on Bogatell.
Situated eastwards on the Barcelona seafront, Mar Bella is one of the beaches that emerged from the urban redevelopment project implemented for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. At 512 metres long, it is mostly frequented by residents from the Sant Martí district (to whom it belongs).
This is one of the Barcelona beaches with its own designated nudist area, as well as a range of recreational facilities, including a skateboard rink and ping-pong table located on the higher part of the promenade (Passeig Marítim), near the Mar Bella sports pavilion.
A children’s playground and volleyball court is also situated near the Bac de Roda breakwater area.
Nova Mar Bella
There are quite a few similarities between Nova Mar Bella and Mar Bella beach, such as the fact that both beaches emerged from the redevelopment of the Barcelona seafront carried out in 1992 for the Barcelona Olympics; both belong to the Sant Martí district and are mostly used by residents from the area; and both are regarded as rather quiet compared to some of the city’s other beaches.
At approximately 420 metres long, Nova Mar Bella also presents a volleyball court for enhanced enjoyment, wooden walkways close to the water, and easy access for mobility impaired users.
One of the youngest beaches on the Barcelona seafront, Llevant was completed in the summer of 2006 and spans about 375 metres long. Llevant beach is the result of the demolition of an old breakwater, the ‘Escullera de Prim’, and the construction of the platform that was intended to host the marine zoo. It has a volleyball court, located at the west end near the breakwater that separates it from Nova Mar Bella beach.
Banys del Fòrum
Technically not a beach in the traditional sense, Banys del Fòrum is, instead, a section of sea that has been enclosed to create a large saltwater pool near the Fòrum baths (deep enough for those who prefer to flaunt some fancy back flips).
At 375 metres long, this paved space (which is also known as the beach with no sand) allows one to enter the sea via steps, and is especially useful for people with disabilities or reduced mobility, as it features a hydraulic chair lift to make it easier to get in and out of the water, giving everyone the chance to enjoy some saltwater bathing.
The area is open from May to September and is a hotspot for those seeking out breathtaking photography locations.