Spain’s capital is also a vibrant cultural and social melting-pot, full of spectacular landmarks that will take at least a week to take in. Yacht charter tourists too will find something to do along the coast when they’ve visited all the important spots. As a base for further yacht charters in Spain, Barcelona is the perfect place to begin you expedition by water.
Spain’s second largest city can be found on the Eastern coast of the peninsula, bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a place appealing to many because it manages to fuse so many apparently contradicting things into a perfect harmony. A great commercial, cultural and political center, Barcelona is visited by many of enthusiasts each year which make up only a small portion of the whole tourist population.
Travel & Arrival
Getting to Barcelona is easy, especially if you’re flying in using one of the numerous airlines that stop at Barcelona International Airport. From low cost to charters, every major provider makes a stop in this Spanish city that rivals even with the capital of Madrid. The terminals are just 10 km away from the city center, making your trip short. Larger groups of tourists can rent shuttles as the taxi fares are quite expensive.
Due to its important economic role, Barcelona has a great infrastructure linking it with other city on the peninsula. There are several roads leading in, but the most popular with crews is the C32 which follows the coast. Roads like the C33, the C58 and the E90 come in from the north, the east and the southwest. A trip from Madrid will take you around six hours, depending on which road you take.
The railway system is also highly developed, with numerous trains arriving via France from all parts of Europe. The sailor will be happy to know that there are 2 major train stations, the Barcelona-Sants (southwest of the city center) and Barcelona Estancio De França, Avinguda Marquès de l´Argentera (closer to the old town).
Numerous ferries and cruise ships make access possible for large numbers of França, Avinguda Marquès de l´Argentera enthusiasts by water. The busy port handles boats from the Balearic Islands, from Genoa and from Rome in Italy.
Avant & Apres Sail
Due to its size, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to get to see the entire city in just one visit. However, here are some of the most interesting attractions that might appeal to the crowds. Your first stop should be the animate pedestrian avenue La Ramblas which has cafes, restaurants, shops, galleries and vendors all down its length.
A visit to Barcelona would be a waste without a trip to the Picasso Museum, home of one of the most complete collections of works to bear the artist’s name. Also worth mentioning to any tourist coming here is the fact that the building which houses this museum is a beautiful medieval palace dating back to the 15th century.
For the travelers with an eye for culture there is always Guell Park, designed by Antonio Gaudi. This fairytale-inspired park also offers a great view of the city from its elevated position. From there you can go visit the odd-looking La Sagrada Familia church, also designed by Gaudi and what is today considered his masterpiece. For you art lovers, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Joan Miro Museum should also be of interest.
Having won the “Most gourmand city in Europe” award in 2002, Barcelona is definitely a place where you won't go hungry. The Catalan cuisine will try to win the food lover with its excessive use of garlic, olive oil and fish. Unexpected combinations such as the pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomato pulp, olive oil and salt) are a favorite with locals and are served in every restaurant.
Being a wine region, Catalonia offers many varieties of this wondrous drink, including the famous Cava sparkling wine. guests are invited to sample the local black wine (vi negre) which is famous both locally and internationally.
Tax free shopping is practiced in Barcelona, which means you’ll want more than just a souvenir or two. The best place a visitor should start from is the pedestrian avenue of La Ramblas which has 5 km of shops waiting for you. Fashion junkies in particular will find this town appealing, as many designers open shop here: Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bally and the local Zara, Mango and Adolfo Dominguez.
Events & Actions
It’s difficult to fit all the interesting events this Spanish metropolis has to offer into one paragraph. Here are some of the most important: the Barcelona Summer Festival (worldwide cultural festival), St. John’s Eve (national holiday, celebrated with huge firework shows and bonfires), the Spanish Grand Prix (5th race in the F1 season) and the Festival of La Merce, the town’s patron saint (lots of Catalan traditions and mythology). There are many others, so for the seaman thinking of making a trip down here, a good idea would be to check ahead about upcoming festivities.