Exploring Barcelona by Sea

There is no reason to restrict your discovery of Barcelona to land, for numerous opportunities are available to explore this part of the Mediterranean coast via sea. And since the city is located in a region known for its ideal weather and tranquil waters, it’s no wonder that sailing expeditions (from quaint sailboats to luxurious yachts) form part of Barcelona’s top tourist activities.

The Port of Barcelona

The Port of Barcelona (Puerto de Barcelona) is one of the largest in the Mediterranean, being the third biggest container port in Spain and the ninth biggest in Europe. Boasting expert infrastructure and cruise facilities, the Port also promotes sustainable mobility by incorporating 31 vehicles with electric motors and installing 47 charging points.

As the Port is situated close to the city centre, passengers departing from boats and yachtscan reach the heart of Barcelona in a matter of minutes via public transport (taxis and shuttle buses are the most popular options).

The Port of Barcelona consists of three subdivisions:

  • The old port, Port Vell (meaning ‘old harbour’), which was built as part of an urban renewal program for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and is now a major tourist attraction containing shopping centres and Europe’s largest aquarium;
  • The industrial port, Port Franc de Barcelona, used for docking ferries, cruise ships and container ships; and
  • The marina, Port Olímpic,built for the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Sublime for sailing

Although Barcelona offers an abundance of beauty and activities inland, some of the best views can be experienced from the Mediterranean Sea. Fortunately, there are numerous options for those who wish to discover this wonderful side of Barcelona, where exquisite city-, mountain- and sea views can be enjoyed.

Traditional sailing

A variety of sailing options are on offer, from new single mast-single sail boats to older classic single mast-double sail boats. While some offer basic sailing lessons and others expect you to help steer, none hold back when it comes to experiencing the calm tranquillity of sailing out to sea.


If your interests are more focused on socialising than actual sailing, hiring a catamaran is one of the best ways to party on the Mediterranean Sea, as there are numerous special sunset- and jazz cruises to pick from.


Yacht sailing puts a fancier spin on traditional sailing, as extra amenities like cabins and motorised cruising enhance the comfort and luxury factors. A lot of yacht sailing go hand-in-hand with an educational portion, private and romantic cruises, group sailings and the occasional party on deck.

Of course a trip by boat presents more exclusive opportunities than one taken on land. Travelling by sailboat, catamaran or yacht allows you to explore the Spanish coast and discover coastal cities like Cadaqués, Roses, and Palamós, see the unforgettable Balearic archipelago, and come face to face with the paradises of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.

Boat Rentals in Barcelona

Barcelona offers up numerous spots for renting yachts and sailboats, such as:

  • Azul Sailing in Puerto Olímpico, where you can rent a boat, motor yacht or catamaran with or without skipper. You can depart from Barcelona centre, Sitges, Masnou, Badalona, Mataró, depending on the boat you choose.
  • Boat Bureau, which offers a choice of motorboats, sailboats, catamarans, power catamarans and gullets based on the size of your group.
  • Nautal at Castelldefels, which provides the option of renting boats for half a day, a full day, or even a few weeks.
  • Charter & Dreams in the Barcelonetaneighbourhood, who specialise in boat rentals for experiences like corporate events, weddings, and others.

Yacht Owners

Barcelona certainly caters for luxury seafarers as well, with some of the city’s prime yacht clubs and berths including:

Barcelona Royal Yacht Club

The Real Club Náutico de Barcelona (RCNB), a prestigious and historic yacht club, was founded over 140 years ago. It’s located in the Port Vell area and offers direct access to the bustling city centre. Internationally renowned for competitive sailing, the club can accommodate large yachts of up to 40m to its marina.

OneOcean Port Vell

Comprising 148 berths, this luxury facility is a world-class home port for super-yachts up to 190m in the heart of Barcelona.

Marina Port Vell

Outstanding customer care, bespoke nautical services and world-class facilities catering for boats of up to 180m make this yacht club one of the most outstanding ones in Barcelona.

Marina Port Fòrum

Located a mere 15 minutes from the city centre, Port Fòrum capitalises on its location by offering numerous opportunities for leisure, dining and shopping. Various technical and nautical services for yachts up to 80m are also available.

The Royal Barcelona Maritime Club

Established in 1881, the Real Club Marítimo de Barcelona (RCMB) is one of the oldest yacht clubs in Spain. In addition to 251 moorings for yachts, the club also offers sailing- and various water-sports courses.

Take note that certain yacht clubs in Barcelona are exclusive to members, such as

The Royal Barcelona Yacht Club, The Royal Barcelona Maritime Club, and The OneOcean Club.

The Barcelona International Boat Show

10 – 14 October 2018 will make Barcelona the focal point of the latest nautical and leisure products. More than 55,000 visitors and over 200 indirect exhibitors will flock to the city to relish in the largest and most comprehensive offering of sport and recreational vessels, exhibited both in and out of water.

Anything from sailing boats, yachts and catamarans to motorboats, cruisers and recreational fishing boats will be on display for all to see and enjoy, as well as accessories pertaining to sailing, fishing, surfing and scuba diving.