Swimming in Barcelona on a Sunday morning

swimmer2point0swimmer2point0 Santa Monica, CAMember

Hi all, I will be in Barcelona for a day and want to swim Sunday morning 6/17/2018. I understand Barcelona is a mecca for open water swimming. Can anyone tell me where I might go on Sunday morning around 8 am to swim with a group?


  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    Sorry to disappoint you, but Barcelona is far from being any mecca to OWS. Yes, there are groups, and yes, we are far more people swimming that a few years ago, but:

    1. Groups are "closed" and not easy to reach

    2. There are 3 ports (the commercial one, and 2 small ones) and you have to swim in between: 1500 m of beach one side, 2000 m the other side. If you want to swim farther, there's a high risk of being run over...

    The only real open group I know of is this one: https://www.meetup.com/es-ES/Barcelona-Open-Water-Swimming-Meetup

    If you go by yourself:

    1. By all means avoid Barceloneta (the beach which is the closest to downtown: crowded , very dirty sand, dirty water... Here you have some pics you won't see in tourist guides https://dieciseisgrados.com/2018/03/31/lugares-para-nadar-o-no-la-barceloneta/

    2. Never leave your bag unnatended. It would be stolen in minutes.

    3. I'd suggest Bogatell beach. http://www.barcelona.cat/en/what-to-do-in-bcn/bathing-and-beaches/barcelona-beach-beach You're likely to find somebody you could join to swim (unmistakenly, most are wearing wetsuits). There you can swim north as far as you want: after 1500m approx. there is no more beach, but you can keep swimming. The Port Forum harbour entrance can be easily passed, not many boats around; and after another 1500m you'll find the beach again. (Don't head south from Bogatell beach, because there it is the Port Olimpic, a small harbour with sailing dinghies coming and going all the time.)

    If you want to swim farther, go to Badalona (the town north of Barcelona; you can get there with the underground, L2 line, last station named "Pompeu Fabra" - 20 minutes travel time from downtown). From there to the north, just beach for 7K up to the nex harbour; then, more beaches.

    If you have time, drive a few km (or take a short train trip) we have within a 20 km range,

    For further information or details, don't hesitate to ask.

  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    Besides, I'm planning a swim of 5 to 7 km in Lloret de Mar on Sunday. It's 70 km North of Barcelona, I'm planning leaving around 8AM, have lunch there and back to Barcelona early in the afternoon.

    You're welcome if you want to join. Just send me a PM.

  • swimmer2point0swimmer2point0 Santa Monica, CAMember

    Bruno, thank you for all of the thorough and detailed information, much appreciated. I have to be at the Fira for a meeting noon to 2pm, so I cannot take you up on your kind invitations swim with you. Otherwise 5-7k sounds like a great swim.
    All the best,

  • pool_touristpool_tourist New YorkMember

    I'm going to be in Barcelona for 6 days in September. The Sunday meetup mentioned seems to be active and works with my schedule. If you have any new/changed suggestions since 2018, please let me know. Are there "sea lanes" or swim trails somewhere nearby?

    I'm interested in pool lap swimming as well as sea swimming.


  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    @pool_tourist Which days in September?

    I'm asking because we have 2 bank holidays (11th and 24th), and on the weekends there are interesting events. Some of them in Barcelona and around, some other up to 2 hours drive. Some of them you can reach by public transport, some other you need a car. Will you have access to a car? How much time do you have or are you willing to spend out of town?

    In any case, I'll prepare a list for you.

  • pool_touristpool_tourist New YorkMember

    Thank you Bruno! I will be arriving on the 3rd and leaving the 9th. No car access. I could possibly do one day trip out of town but will be spending all nights in Barcelona.

  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    Hi @pool_tourist . No events under my radar between the 3rd and the 9th, sorry. There is a nice one on the 4th, but it's in a remote area 2h drive from Barcelona, impossible to reach with urban transport, and I don't know anyone attending this year (apart from people living nearby).

    As I said in my first comment at the beginning of the thread - regarding beaches:

    • NEVER EVER leave your bag unnatended. It would be stolen in minutes
    • You have to swim at beaches between ports; the easier way (logistics) is to go to Espai de Mar in Barceloneta beach https://www.espaidemar.cat/ . There you pay 4.60 EUR and you can use the changing room and a locker (you'll need you own padlock). Open 10.00h to 19.00h daily in September (even bank holidays).
    • Also in Barceloneta, you can go to Club Natacio Atletic-Barceloneta https://www.cnab.cat/ ; you can pay a day ticket (13.67 EUR) and have free use of everything except spa. There are 1 inner pool, 2 outer pools (all of the short course, with lanes) and 1 lido 20x12 m. And the best part: there is an exit door to go directly to the beach. So you can change there, swim in the pool, go to the beach and swim, then back to the pool, the gym, and have a shower. It's crowded in the weekends and during "sun hours". To enjoy the pools, you'd better go early in the morning or late in the evening. Sometimes you have to share the pool (not the lane!) with age groups training. This means less lanes for general public. Please note that Barceloneta is a crowded and dirty beach - water is safe from a medical point of view, but often disgusting, both sand and water. Open 6.30h to 23.00h (they chase you out from the pool at 22.30h) M to F; Saturday 7 to 23h; Sunday/Holidays 8 to 20h (again, they chase you out 30 min earlier). You'll need you own padlock.
    • There is also an Espai the Mar in Badalona, the town beside Barcelona https://espaimar.poliwincloud.com/ . I'd swear that you can get a day ticket, but I can't find the info in the website. You can get there with the underground, L2 line, last station named "Pompeu Fabra" - 20 minutes travel time from downtown). From there to the north, just beach for 7K up to the nex harbour.

    If you can't use a car or a motorbike with a box where you can lock your clothes and personal belongings, or you can't drag anyone with you to take an eye on them while you swim, I don't know any other means for sea swimming.

    For serious pool training, apart from CNAB (where access to the beach is a serious advantage), I'd recommend:

    • Sant Jordi pool: long course, public lanes; there are age groups training in the evening https://piscinasantjordi.cat/ . Open 7 to 22h M to F; Saturday 8 to 20h; Sunday/Holidays 9 to 14h. Day ticket: 7.42 EUR. You'll need you own padlock.
    • Bernat Picornell pool: https://www.picornell.cat/ This is a nice one, because it's in the middle of Montjuich hill, so you have nice running/hiking options, and Fundacio Miro beside. Public lanes; there are age groups training in the evening https://piscinasantjordi.cat/ . Open 6.45h to 24h M to F; Saturday 7 to 21h; Sunday/Holidays 7.30 to 16h. You'll need you own padlock. Short course, but there is an olympic lido wich opens 9.30h to 20.30h M to SF, Sunday/Holidays 10 to 19h. You can use the gym, too. I can't find the price of a day ticket, but I remember it was around 12 EUR. Day ticket gives you access to Olympic Diving pool, which is 10 minutes walking away; only during Summer... till Sept. 4th!!

    If you have any doubt, or more specific questions, do not hesitate to ask!

  • pool_touristpool_tourist New YorkMember

    Thank you!!

  • pool_touristpool_tourist New YorkMember

    Another question if you don't mind - do you know of any master's teams that allow visitors at their pool workouts?

  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    Sorry, @pool_tourist , I don't know any.

    To get into a master's team, you have to join the club or pay the monthly fee of the public pool where you want to swim, then you can join the team. For only a few days, you need to know the specific dates and hours they are training, then contact the trainer personally and ask him/her. As in early September the school term is starting, teams are just starting too (or haven't started yet), therefore training schedules tend to be random.

    I suggest contacting them saying that you'd like to join them (if you say that you are only visiting the city, you'll probably get a "no"), and ask them to workout with them the days that suit you. I'd try here:

    https://www.cnab.cat/ with direct access to the beach: cnab@cnab.cat

    https://www.cncatalunya.cat/ beside well known Parc Güell: at direccioesportiva@cncatalunya.cat and aaoo@cncatalunya.cat

    http://www.cnbadalona.cat/ also direct access to the beach: natacio@cnbadalona.cat

    https://www.picornell.cat in Montjuich hill: info@picornell.cat

    https://clubesportiumediterrani.com/ ; jmrull@mediterrani1931.com

    If I was in a team I'd gladly introduce you, but I train on my own, in Picornell pool. I don't know yet if I'll be on holidays the 1st week of September, but if I'm around you could join me. PM' me if you want to.

  • pool_touristpool_tourist New YorkMember

    Thanks again for all your advice, Bruno! I had 3 wonderful swims in Barcelona: CNAB, Sunday beach open water meetup, and the Olympic Picornell pool. Also got to watch some water polo training from SALT in Montjuic. People from Barcelona seem to think the St. Sebastian/Barceloneta beach is not very nice, but I loved it. We swam out to the artificial rocks and saw lots of fish and huevo frito jellyfish -- all very beautiful. For other views of the water I also did a ride on Las Golondrinas (tour boat) and rented a kayak for an hour at Base Náutica Municipal Espigón de la Mar Bella. Can't get enough of the Med!


  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    @pool_tourist Wow, you did a lot in few days! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Barcelona has a lot of things to do related to water. I'm lucky enough to work in the port, right beside Barceloneta, so I can enjoy them often.

  • pool_touristpool_tourist New YorkMember

    LOL that was only the swim stuff. I also overloaded on Gaudi, walked and walked and walked, and had a grand finale at the Magic Fountain! I would have been happy to stay longer. If you ever want to do an apartment swap and take a vacation in New York, New York, let me know.

  • brunobruno Barcelona (Spain)Senior Member

    What an offer!! Many thanks, I hope I'll be able to do it someday.

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