Summer is heating up and it’s time to start scoping out the different ways to cool down. From relaxing on deck and exploring coves to jet-powered hoverboards and white water inflatables, take the plunge this month with our guide to getting wet in and around the city.
Stand-up paddleboarding is an ancient relative of surfing, with roots in Polynesia, where it was used for centuries as a quick way to travel between islands. It’s very simple—you stand upright on a board and propel yourself forward with a paddle, to then ride in with the waves at your destination. At Moloka’i SUP Center in Barceloneta, you can paddle at your own pace, with lessons available for all ages and abilities. Whether it’s learning how to maintain your balance on the board or perfecting your race-stroke technique, a gorgeous Barcelona backdrop is guaranteed. Classes from €30, monthly membership €50.
After skipper Dave sold his house in 2008 to buy the boat of his dreams, he embarked on a voyage around the UK and then across the Bay of Biscay to Spain. He arrived in Barcelona after a number of trials and tribulations, and now invites you aboard Gemini—his charming and stylish 1947 wooden yacht. Bring your own snacks, speakers and swimming costume in case you fancy taking a dip mid-cruise. Whether you want to help hoist the sails or simply kick back and relax on the deck, experience true sailing along the Mediterranean coast with this knowledgeable captain and his British sailboat companion. Private tour €190, private sunset tour €240. Under 16s go free. www.classicsailbcn.eu
With a fully-equipped bar and giant hammocks for sunloungers, Catamaran Orsom offers a relaxing and scenic sail along Barcelona’s coastline. Holding a maximum capacity of 80 people, you can enjoy a 90-minute lunchtime cruise from €10.50. Or if you’re feeling indulgent, enjoy the special Jazz Cruise, complete with live saxophonist, for €14.50. Alternatively, chill out at sundown on the romantic Sunset Cruise for €16.50.
Barcelona Speedboat is an ideal way to marvel at the city’s skyline if you are on a tight schedule or enjoy your sightseeing with a dose of adrenaline. Departing from near the Columbus Monument, this high-speed, action-packed experience takes you the full length of Barcelona’s beachfront, and you’ll be back in the harbour within 50 minutes. Ticket prices start at a very reasonable €4.50, and it runs daily from 12pm-6pm.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s you floating 500ft above the water. Enjoy an exhilarating bird’s eye view of Barcelona as you soar through the sky. After boarding the boat in Barcelona, you will be fitted into your harness and head out to the open sea. Once you’ve put a little distance between yourself and the coastline, you will head to the back of the boat to be fitted with a parachute. As the boat gradually picks up speed, your feet will lift off the ground, and within seconds you’ll be floating 150 metres in the air surrounded only by seagulls. Prices start at €90 (single), €160 (tandem) and €210 (triple). www.lifestylebarcelona.com
As one of the more innovative aquatic sports, the flyboard is a high-octane contraption that blasts its users out of the water like a joyful human fish. Those up for the ride stand upright on a small platform that shoots a powerful jet of water downwards, sending the attached board up into the air. The jet’s water supply is sucked up via a long pipe that trails behind you like a tail as the flyboarder whooshes out of the water in elegant arcs before diving (or belly-flopping) back into the sea and shooting under the water. €60 (15min). www.jetscoot.com
Considered the sister product of the flyboard, the aquatic hoverboard also takes advantage of water jets that blast riders into the air. The only difference is that the participant ‘rides’ along it skateboard-style, doing spins and grabs as well as skimming along the water’s surface. Invented by French jet ski champion Franky Zapata, these nifty boards (which only went on sale two years ago) have a top speed of 25km/h and can reach heights of five metres. €75 (15min). www.jetscoot.com
WHITE WATER RAFTING
Take the three-hour trip west to Lleida and get wet in a fast-paced, action-packed river race adventure. You will begin the day with a short safety briefing, where you will receive your waterproof clothing in preparation for your aquatic adventure. Once you’ve climbed into the boat, however, there is no turning back, as you’ll be racing at spectacular speeds down the 14km white water rapid run, manoeuvring through the rocks and fighting the current. Be warned: this experience is not for the faint-hearted, but it is fun, fast and very wet! Perfect for lovers of the great outdoors. Available from €56 per person. www.lifestylebarcelona.com
Kayaks were invented thousands of years ago by the Inuit people of the Arctic, and their original purpose was to hunt and fish—‘kayak’ literally translates as ‘hunter’s boat’. The kayak’s stealth capabilities allowed hunters to sneak up behind animals on the shoreline and successfully catch their prey. It wasn’t until the Seventies that it became a popular sport, and now more than 10 white-water kayaking events are featured in the Olympics.
By escaping the crowds and traversing crystalline waters accompanied only by the gentle sounds of paddling, kayaking is also a wonderful way to explore. In this adventure-filled day trip by Excursions Barcelona (currently rated as Barcelona’s top watersports activity on TripAdvisor), you can kayak alongside the rugged shorelines of the Costa Brava and discover some hidden treasures.
The tour begins with a one-hour coach journey from the city’s Gothic Quarter to Sant Feliu de Guixols or S’Agaró, where you will be taken to a picturesque beach to climb aboard your kayak. Experienced, professionally-trained guides will then navigate you through the turquoise waters and, before you know it, you will be adventuring into small caves, snorkelling in coves, jumping into the water and perhaps even holding a sea urchin. No previous experience is necessary—you just need to be able to swim. Lunch is provided and you will be back in Barcelona by 7pm. Full Day Tour €70.