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Friday, June 8, 2012 (read 1516 times)

Barcelona Beaches - Best Beaches in Barcelona

by Hannah

With its perfect blend of vibrant, metropolitan city and beautiful Mediterranean beaches, Barcelona has something for everyone. Named the best beach city in the world by National Geographic magazine, Barcelona’s beaches are known world wide. Most of the best beaches in Barcelona are accessible by public transport, on average about 15 minutes from the city centre. With 3.5 million visitors each year, the beaches are one of Barcelona’s top attractions.

After a massive clean-up operation in preparation for the 1992 Olympics held in the city, Barcelona takes pride in their beaches, and the maintenance and clean-up ensure they have a lasting legacy.  More than 200 people clean the beaches every day, and there are special beach police patrols to maintain beach safety.  The Red Cross lifeguards have a heavy presence at the Barcelona beaches, and there are increased numbers of first aid and rescue centres, public toilets and bins, information centres and police safety points, to ensure the sustainability of Barcelona’s beaches.  Even the water is kept clean, with scuba divers cleaning the seabed at the end of the summer.
There are different types of beaches in Barcelona to cater to everyone. It depends what you want; the southern beaches are closer to the city and very popular, which means they are also very busy. This increases noise, rubbish, and unfortunately the petty crime rate too. While the northern beaches are further away, some requiring an hour’s drive away from the city centre, the effort required to get there is rewarded with cleaner, less busy beaches.

Probably the most famous is Barceloneta Beach, which, as the closest beach to the city, is therefore the busiest. It benefits from its proximity to the city and many amenities (like shops, cafes, water-sports equipment hire) this beach, along with its neighbour Sant Sebastià, is popular with backpackers, students and tourists. Be wary of your valuables on such a busy beach, but enjoy the party atmosphere. Nova Icaria is the beach closest to the Olympic marina, so tends to be crowded, but there are fantastic seafood restaurants, beach bars and the Icaria shopping centre to amuse you as well.

Slightly further afield is Bogatell; the longer walk from the metro station is more than made up for by the raised promenade, that cuts the beach off from the city and acts as an excellent cycle or rollerblade path. The Mar Bella beach is unofficially a nudist beach; while many of its patrons keep their clothes on, others don’t, so steer clear if that’s a view you’d rather not see from your deck chair. Throughout the day there are many water sports to enjoy here, and at night during the summer there are many raves on this LGBT-friendly beach.

If you travel further from the city, there are even more beautiful beaches to enjoy. Although a 30 minutes or more away on the train, your efforts are rewarded with pristine, and more family friendly beaches. Ocata is quiet and very flat with golden-white sand that’s far less densely populated by sunbathers than beaches nearer the city. Caldes d'Estrach, or Caldetes beach is in a village just north of Barcelona that’s well worth visiting, as is St Pol de Mar Beach. After an hours train journey, this beach has beautiful clear waters and surrounded by lush green hills. Sitges and El Garraf beaches compliment their relaxed atmosphere with boutique kiosks and good facilities, without suffering from over-crowding. 

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Posted In: Travel, Spain, Tourism


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