Yacht Charter and Boat Rentals in Barcelona
Spain's rebellious second city, Barcelona is the major cosmopolitan and political capital of Catalonia.
The city, close to the base of the Pyrenees, is large enough that it has its own underground railway network, by which you can hide from the fearsome summer heat as you explore the multitude of attractions at the surface.
Some highlights worth a visit:
- Las Ramblas, a long pedestrianised street that is best explored in the evening while nibbling on tapas and sipping sangria. What you will see and find there will remain with you for times to come!
- The Gaudi Monument, (Sagrada Familia) a cathedral that is so complex, construction is set to be completed in 2026, over 140 years since the first stone was laid!
- The Platja (beach) from where you can watch the world go by as you sunbathe and drink in the atmosphere of this stunning city - one of many beautiful beaches you will find on a Barcelona yacht charter.
- Parc Güell, a monumental garden where the architect Gaudi's mind went wild and is said to have 'perfected his style' - now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- And of course for those on a Barcelona yacht charter especially, the Olympic Port. This was rebuilt ahead of the 1994 Olympics and is the largest of the seven marinas in the city where you may begin your sailing vacation.
This list is far from exhaustive! As you roam the city you will get the buzz for one that never really sleeps and there's always something going on. It is one of the most popular city destinations in Spain and you will soon see why. There's something for everyone, and everyone will soon be immersed in the parts you enjoy and may want to spend just a little more time there!
Explore Barcelona By Renting A Yacht
Barcelona is the gateway to the Costa Brava, and you can also island-hop the Balearic Islands from here.
The Mediterranean Sea coast of the 'Costa Brava' literally translates to 'Wild Coast', in a large part due to the sometimes fearsome north wind, the Tramontana that can get very feisty even in the summer. The further east you head the closer to the Pyrenees you are, and this is where the cold air falls from that creates the wind. It means you need to be ready to put a double reef in, though there is accurate forecasting that will inform you whether you may need to do so.
Heading east on your chartered yacht on a tour of the Costa Brava you can get to Cadaques and the spectacular Cap de Creus. Masters of modern art Salvador Dali and Picasso used to hang out in Cadaques for its scenery and clarity of light - the light caused by the Tramontana blasting all the rubbish out of the air! On such a trip, do pay a visit to Girona - the mediaeval capital of Catalonia and still a beautiful city with its old town and university today.
Barcelona is also a gateway to the Balearic Islands. Over a couple of days sailing you can head down the coast and then out to the islands of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. These three islands are part of the same island chain but are very different to one another. Ibiza is for hippies, party people and families. Majorca's capital Palma is almost as good as Barcelona. Menorca is quieter than the other two islands but has plenty of unspoilt beauty none the less.
As ever, whether on a luxury yacht charter or bareboat charter the choice is down to you. Perhaps you could go on a couple of sailing vacations and explore firstly the east and then the south-west?
How To Get To Barcelona
There are two airports you will see advertised as Barcelona. Barcelona Airport itself is an hour's train ride from the city center (thanks to security you must now change trains midway through the journey) but Girona-Barcelona also advertises as Barcelona - this is a two hour trip by bus from Barcelona. The flights and travel often work out significantly cheaper via Girona thanks to the popularity of Barcelona Airport itself.
This is an international airport with airlines all over the world flying into it. It has its own train station so it makes sense to take a train to Barcelona Sants train station and then take a bus or taxi onto the marina.
Girona-Barcelona Airport has airlines from across Europe serving it, and gets busy in the summer with charter flights.
Girona is a significant distance from Barcelona, and its name is a slick piece of advertising. Even with an added few hours to your overland journey from Girona to Barcelona however you will often find that the cost of travel is significantly cheaper to the main city.
Marinas In Barcelona
There are seven marinas in the metropolitan Barcelona area, with Port Olimpic having 740 berths and Marina Badalona with 649, but the five others having around 160-250 berths each. Each marina has charter companies working into it that offer super yacht, luxury yacht charter, catamaran charter, motor yacht and monohull sailing yacht charter boats on a bareboat, captained or crewed yacht charter basis.
Max Length 35m (114.5 Feet)
Max Draught 4m (13.1 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, fuel, ATM, bar, restaurant, shipyard, waste and waste water collection.
Marina Vela Barcelona:
Max Length 100m (328 Feet)
Max Draught 6m (19.6 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, showers, WiFi, bar, restaurant.
Max Length 80m (262.4 Feet)
Max Draught 8m (26.2 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, fuel, WiFi, ATM, bar, restaurant, market, shipyard, waste and waste water collection, rent-a-car.
Real Club Nautico de Barcelona:
Max Length 35m (114.8 Feet)
Max Draught 8m (36.2 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, showers, bar, restaurant
OneOcean Port Vell:
Max Length 190m (623 Feet)
Max Draught 9m (29.5 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, fuel, WiFi, ATM, bar, restaurant, pharmacy, market, shipyard, waste and wastewater collection, rent-a-car.
Reil Club Maritim de Barcelona:
Max Length 20m (65 Feet)
Max Draught 9m (29.5 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, bar, restaurant
Marina de Badalona:
Max Length 60m (196 Feet)
Max Draught 4m (13.1 Feet)
List of additional services: Shore power, water, fuel, WiFi, ATM, bar, restaurant, laundry, market, shipyard, waste and wastewater collection, rent-a-car
Suggested Sailing Routes From Barcelona
Sailing from Barcelona on your boat rental you have two main choices of popular destinations - exploring the Costa Brava or the Balearic Islands by sailing boat or motorboat. Here we look at a week-long trip up to Cadaques and then a two week trip to the Balearic Islands.
7 Days - Cadaques and Cap de Creus: Cadaques is a charming harbor with water and air so clear you could forget this is the 21st Century. The art town is the halfway point of a trip where you can explore Sitges, Girona and the Bay of Roses as you go. The scenery of the Pyrenees falling into the sea here will astound you - but do be aware of the katabatibc winds that can fall from above like bombs! Definitely a route for the more experienced sailor on a bareboat charter...
14 Days - tour of the Balearic Islands: Over 14 days heading west from Barcelona this is an opportunity to visit the important city of Valencia further down the coast before heading offshore and on to the Balearic Islands. If you spend 2-3 days per Balearic island you will have time to take in the various sights and sounds of Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca in their riot of different vibes. The winds are gentler on this route as for the best part of the trip you are out of the way of the Tramontana and can enjoy some very good sailing conditions with little in the way of the feisty north wind bothering you.
Best Times To Rent A Yacht In Barcelona
The sailing season in Barcelona is best from May to October. The major party towns heat up to full frenzy in June to August, and so do the prices. It is very much down to what you want from a sailing vacation in the region - if partying all night is on the cards, the top DJs will hit the region in that time and you will have quite a memorable time. If the quiet life is what you seek, then do try to get out during term time - the sea is still warm in September and October, though the infamous Tramontana starts to be more frequent at this time of year, as it eases off in early May.
Sailing Weather In Barcelona
The Tramontana tends to build from September and eases away in May, though this can blow fiercely for several days at a time even in midsummer.
The NE breeze common to coastal Mediterranean France dominates the Costa Brava in summer, cool relief from the summer heat. It never really gets above 17 knots or so so there will be some boisterous sailing but never more than is fun. You will see more precipitation towards the beginning and end of the sailing season (May and October) but the temperatures rarely stray below 15-17 degrees during those times. In the height of summer (July/August) it isn't as hot as mainland Spain, though you will see the odd few days in the 30+ C range. For Northern Europeans and those from other cooler climates this makes for fantastic sailing!
What should I consider when renting a Yacht or Boat?
The main points to consider are what is your budget, have you got the necessary sailing experience and qualifications to manage the boat if it's not going to have a captain, whom you are taking sailing, where exactly you wish to go and what will the weather be like on the proposed dates of your trip.
What are the Marinas in Barcelona?
There are seven main marinas in Barcelona, with the two largest being Port Olimpic and Marina de Badalona. The five smaller are Marina Vela Barcelona, Port Forum, Reil Club Nautico de Barcelona, OneOcean Port Veil, and Reil Club Maritim de Barcelona
When are the best times to rent a boat in Barcelona?
The high season is in July and August. Locals flee the heat of the city and tourists replace them. Things get expensive and restaurants competitive. The city and sailing destinations nearby tend to relax a bit, become more friendly and cheaper outside of the peak season. If you can take a F7 gale from time to time (or certainly run for port safely) then it may make sense to go in May or September when the air is warm and the ports less busy.
Do you have to pay a deposit when renting a Yacht in Barcelona?
You will typically pay 50% upfront on reservation the yacht rent and the balance on arrival. You will either pay a security deposit with your credit card on departure or can get insurance covering damage in advance. In some cases (such as the recent Covid situation) charter companies may be more flexible but this depends on the individual charter companies themselves.
What happens if my Yacht breaks down?
If you are at sea and in danger, call MAYDAY on VHF Ch16 or ring the coast guard on your phone if you have reception. If you have a mechanical fault and can make it to or are on a mooring you will be able to phone a help line number given by the boat charter company.