Water sports in Barcelona

Water sports in Barcelona

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Want to learn how to sail, kitesurf, windsurf or wakeboard? Explorer Publishing provides a list on where you can try out these adrenaline pumping activities.

Spain is famous for its boating scene and Barcelona is no exception. Sailors and travellers flock from all over the world to enjoy the calm Mediterranean water and many residents enjoy nautical activities like jet skiing, motor boating or sailing on a yacht. These are available for rent at many beaches along the coast, as are catamarans and other types of sailing boats that allow you to enjoy the sea at a slower pace.


For those who want to learn to sail, there are plenty of schools where you can take courses. The Centre Municipal de Vela (93 225 79 40, www.velabarcelona.com) is an important organisation offering reasonably priced courses. If you are interested in participating in upcoming races and regattas, check out the Real Club Naútico de Barcelona , the Reial Club Marítim de Barcelona and the Catalan Sailing Federation .

Business-Yacht Club

Nautical Base, Marina Port Vell, Gate B
Port Vell
610 766 511
At this exclusive establishment, J/80 regatta sailboats are available for a few hours’ charter from Port Vell Marina. You can sail the J/80 with or without a skipper (for those with a sailing licence) from Monday to Sunday – prices vary between EUR 50 and EUR 75 for a three-hour sail, depending on the time and day of the charter. Inexperienced sailors can take a boat out with a skipper on Wednesdays and Fridays during specific time slots and Saturdays all day.

The maximum capacity allowed on board is six individuals. The basic monthly fee of EUR 35 (and member signing up fee of EUR 190) covers a three-hour sailing session with a professional skipper every month. Contact the club for information on other membership tariffs.

Escuela Naútica de Catalunya
Pg de Gràcia, 18
Passeig de Gràcia
90 232 59 02
The Nautical School of Catalunya is an excellent option for studying sailing, as prices are reasonable and there are several courses.

The school should be able to accommodate if you want to gain a professional nautical qualification such as Yacht Captain (98 hours of study) or specialise in a particular aspect of sailing on a short 20-hour course (EUR 250 to EUR 295).

Standard beginner, intermediate and advanced sailing courses run from September to July. The beginner course (iniciación) costs EUR 300, which comprises 140 hours of teaching split between theoretical and practical modules. Classes are from 14:00 to 16:00 or 20:00 to 22:00 twice per week, or once a week on Friday from 14:00 to 17:00 or 18:00 to 21:00. The intermediate course costs EUR 295 and the advanced course (EUR 690) qualifies you to sail a boat independently.

Real Club Naútico de Barcelona
Moll d’Espanya, s/n
Port Vell
93 221 65 21
With over 130 years of experience, this club offers a range of professional sailing courses taught by experienced skippers. Courses aboard cruise ships and other vessels are available for all levels, ranging from beginners to private lessons and family excursions.

Bautizo del mar (sea baptism – EUR 16 per person) is an introductory trip for beginners, familiarising them with the basics of sailing. Trips last about two hours, are supervised by experienced skippers (English-speaking on request) and take place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of the sport, there are monthly sailing courses that involve attending a weekly four-hour class at the weekend (EUR 160 per person). Each session is evenly split between theory and practice. On a competition level, the club hosts and organises several regattas and boat races.

Reial Club Marítim de Barcelona
Moll d’Espanya, s/n
Port Vell
93 221 48 59
This club, the oldest in Barcelona and one of the oldest in the country, has an outstanding sporting record and an excellent nautical sports academy. Reial Club Marítim offers group and private sailing courses for adults and children, in conjunction with the Catalan and Spanish Sailing Federations. Once students have completed their courses, they can continue their training through the club’s highly successful boat race teams. This is also one of the few centres in the city that teaches rowing, as well as holding regular training sessions in the sport.

Water Sports

Windsurfing (surf a vela), body boarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing and kitesurfing are all popular. There are water sports centres within the city where you can hire equipment or take lessons, but the better centres, offering a wider range of activities, can be found along the Costa Brava (particularly around Empuriabrava, Sant Pere Pescador and L’Escala). If you’re serious about surfing, the Atlantic coast in northern Spain has much bigger waves.

Barceloneta and Port Olímpic are the best spots in the city for renting out windsurfing equipment. It can cost as little as EUR 60 per day for equipment and the help of an instructor. Aside from the clubs listed below, useful organisations to contact are the Real Club Naútico Barcelona and the Reial Club Marítim Barcelona. Official organisations include the Catalan Windsurf Association and the Catalan Kitesurfing Association.

Barcelona Wakeboard School
Rio Ebre
97 131 85 75
Set 100km to the south of Barcelona, this school focuses entirely on wakeboarding and wakeskating. Wakeboarding is similar to kiteboarding, except that you are pulled by a motor boat and you don’t have to rely on wind conditions. A 30 minute ride costs EUR 50 and one hour costs EUR 100.

If you would like to spend the weekend in Amposta, one night’s stay costs EUR 25 (or EUR 40 full-board) and the school also runs week-long wakeboard camps that involve five days of wakeboarding and two days of excursions.

Bunker Wind, Surf and Kite Club
Paseo Maritimo, 163
650 808 211
At first glance, the annual membership of EUR 450 seems quite expensive. However the cost includes use of the club’s exclusive beachfront facilities (swimming pool, sunbathing area, garden, changing rooms, showers, individual lockers and storage space); and partners and children are also welcome to use the facilities. As the club is extremely popular, you could be on the waiting list for up to six months before becoming a member. Storage space is provided for each member’s kitesurfing and windsurfing equipment.

Canal Olímpic de Catalunya
Av Canal Olímpic, s/n
93 636 28 96
Canal Olímpic water sports centre was created for the 1992 Olympics, when it hosted the kayaking. Eight- to 10-hour courses are available in kayaking, windsurfing and water skiing, with 50 percent reductions for club members.

Membership costs EUR 62 per person (14 years and above) per trimester and family membership (includes partner and children below 12) costs EUR 71 per trimester. Standard membership includes the water sports facilities, gym, sauna and hydro massage pool. However, you have to pay to use the pool. Non-members can hire canoes, kayaks, rowing boats, windsurfing boards and Optimists (little sailing boats) at a cost of EUR 10 for one hour.

Centre Municipal de Vela
Moll de Gregal, s/n
Port Olímpic
93 225 79 40
This centre is run by the Catalan Sailing Federation, and offers windsurfing classes as well as sailing courses. These are good value and well taught.

Windsurfing courses (EUR 159 plus EUR 25 registration fee) consist of eight intensive hours of teaching, either from Monday to Thursday or over two weekends. Lessons are taught between the following times: 10:00 to 12:00, 12:30 to 14:30 or 18:00 to 20:00. If these hours don’t suit you, private lessons are also an option. Annual membership costs EUR 186 and entitles you to full use of the club facilities as well as discounted courses. There are regular socials, regattas, sporting activities and family events organised for club members.

Photo Wikimedia Commons

Sant Pere Pescador
629 224 559
This club and school focus on kitesurfing. Trained instructors give classes for different levels and at different paces. A private class of an hour costs EUR 65. If the pupil is a first-timer, an initial theory lesson on the beach is obligatory and cost EUR 45.

The school also offers intensive courses that comprise 10 hours of classes over two days. The course, which costs EUR 266 including insurance, teaches theory and practical understanding needed to enable you to kitesurf independently. The school is open from April to September and is just over 100km from Barcelona.

Wind 220
Paseo Marítimo con Pontevedra
93 221 47 02
Wind 220 is the most centrally located windsurfing and surf club in Barcelona. Set on Barceloneta beach, the club is popular with residents more because of its easy access than because of the quality of surf.  It’s not everyone’s first choice though, because of the overwhelming number of tourists on the beach during the summer.

Yearly membership costs EUR 400, which can be divided into monthly payments. Members are entitled to use all club facilities: changing rooms, personal locker space, sauna, showers and board rack. There is also a chill-out area upstairs equipped with hammocks. Unfortunately, the membership waiting list can be very long, so get in there quick.


The article is reprinted with permission of Explorer Publishing from the Barcelona Complete Residents' Guide on January 2010.


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1 Comment To This Article

  • Pawel posted:

    on 31st May 2015, 13:48:26 - Reply

    Nice set of info. Just wanted to share that you do not need to travel 100km south now to do wakeboarding. You can visit Castelldefels and have it on the Cana Olimpic or on the beach (barcelona4fun.com)

    Happy wakeboarding!