8 Best Beaches In and Around Barcelona
Barcelona’s glistening coastline is brimming with beautiful spots for a swim and sunbathe. Rolling hills, traditional towns and chiringuitos (or beach bars) with views to die for. Being in prime location on the Catalonian coast, stunning beaches can range from being a walk to a day trip away. Some beaches are great for a day of tranquility, others are great for water sport fanatics and some are more for those looking for a buzzing atmosphere. We’ve rounded up the best beaches in and around Barcelona to make your decision a little easier.
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In order of distance from Barcelona’s city centre…
This is by far the most popular beach in Barcelona, so if you’re after a buzzing atmosphere (and you don’t mind sunbathing in pretty close proximity to strangers) Barceloneta is a must. You can easily walk to this one from anywhere in the city, or if you have a bike that’s even better. Loads of restaurants, chiringuitos, massage tables, stalls, plus palm trees galore will line the beach - just don’t let the beer or souvenir vendors rip you off!
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For those of you who get twitchy at the thought of sunbathing all day, this is the beach for you. Nova Icaria is right by Port Olimpic, so it’s super easy to get to from the city centre by bike. You’ll find loads of volleyball courts set up on the sand, plus it’s the best beach in Barca to get up on a windsurf. It’s also notorious for crazy clubs and bars, so if day drinking in the sun is your kinda thing, Nova Icaria should definitely be on your hit list.
Bogatell is still in the hustle and bustle of Barcelona, however there’s a more ‘off-the-beaten-track’ feeling about this beach than the likes of Barceloneta. It’s super easy to get to by bike from the centre, and the white sand and reasonably priced chiringuitos make it a winner in our books. Play volleyball, go for a swim in the sea and head into the cool neighbourhood of Poblenou for dinner once you’ve watched the sun set.
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A little out of the city and away from the crowds of tourists, Ocata is one of the more serene beaches on the Catalonian coastline. Soft sand, clear water and not a sunbed or umbrella vendor in sight. Although it’s a 30 minute journey out of the Placa de Catalunya station, the pristine sand makes it so worthwhile. Chiringuitos are dotted down the stretch if you find you need a break from Barca’s summer sun (or a glass of vino with a view).
Although Castelldefels has become more and more popular amongst tourists, it’s still far enough away from Barcelona’s central beaches to be the perfect place to lie back and relax. Plus it’s huge! Get off the metro at “Platja de Castelldefels” NOT “Castelldefels” (20 minutes south of Barca), head down to the sea and pick a lovely, squidgy spot on the sand to chill out with a good book or pop open a beer with your picnic. Plus you can always count on this one for a beautiful sunset.
Why not tick off 2 beaches in a day? Once you’ve got your fill of Castelldefels, head down the coastline to Port Ginesta where there’s a particularly picturesque spot. On the other side of the port, Port Ginesta beach is a small sandy patch that juts out into the ocean. You’ll be totally surrounded by stunning rural scenery and watersports fanatics.
Sant Pol de Mar
The minute you set foot off the train at Sant Pol de Mar, you’ll see why it’s made this list. The incredible, crystal-clear water and rich, golden sand is so inviting you’ll wish the sun would never set. The beach is surrounded by old, white buildings and lush rolling hills. Take a wander through up through the streets of the town and you’ll see how the views are picture-perfect!
On the southernmost tip of the Costa Brava, Platja Gran in Tossa de Mar is a real hidden gem amongst tourists. It may not technically be IN Barcelona, but this beach is surrounded in historic architecture and the prettiest little Catalonian town you will ever see. A 12th century medieval castle (or Vila Vella) looks like a real life sand castle on the edge of the beach. It marks the start of the sandy Platja Gran, creating the perfect setting for stunning photographs. Take a boat trip out, discover Tossa de Mar’s history or stroll through the quaint, cobbled streets in search of a drink or bite to eat.
Several buses leave from Estacio Nord Bus Station everyday and take about 1 hour 20 minutes. Check out the timetable and prices here.
Check out our map of the best beaches in and around Barcelona
Article by Darcy King