Barcelona's ideal geographic location makes for the perfect study abroad location for those who enjoy the sun and the sand along with their studies! After spending countless amount of free time exploring Barcelona's local culture and best beaches, Mia has shared her own definitive guide to the most interesting beach spots around the Mediterranean city.
If you study abroad in Barcelona during the summer months, you are bound to fall in love with the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona is home to some of the most amazing beaches in Spain enhanced by the seemingly never ending stream of sunshine. Seriously, I think it has rained twice the whole time I have been here. Now that I have spent countless days lounging around on the hot sand, I have compiled a list of the most interesting beaches I have been to. Whether you’re keen to try out water sports, look at some ancient Roman ruins, or find a hidden cove and relax all day, this list has something for everyone.
Costa Brava: Platja d’Aro and Hidden Coves
Let’s start off strong with my personal favorite area, the beautiful northeastern coastal region of Costa Brava. You’ll have to catch a hour and a half long bus ride to get to the beaches in this area, but it is totally worth it. My friends and I visited the municipality Platja d’Aro for a day trip and we were absolutely stunned by the never ending view of the Mediterranean. Platja d’Aro features a sprawling (slightly gritty sand) beach as well as hidden coves with rugged cliffs and moss-covered rocks. Make sure to follow the path along the beach scattered with tiny tunnels leading to the coves of Camí de Ronda and Cala del Pi.
Barcelona: Playa de la Barceloneta
Probably the busiest beach on this list is Playa de la Barceloneta. Get off the L4 at the Barceloneta metro station and walk a short distance to one of the oldest and most popular beaches in the city. You can bask in the sun and take advantage of the endless people watching. There is a constant flow of energy here, including beach volleyball, pirate-themed party ships going by, and water sports like jet skiing. Remember to keep an eye on your belongings and enjoy an exciting day in the sun here. Check out restaurants on the nearby boardwalk, including FOC, which serves delicious latin food and drinks.
Barcelona: Playa de la Mar Bella
Playa de la Mar Bella is also a notable beach in Barcelona. I first discovered this beach while on a morning run down the boardwalk. A little farther up from Barceloneta, Playa de la Mar Bella provides a little more space to sprawl out in the sand, as well as more land, sports, and parks.
Badalona: Platja del Coco
Take the metro north from the city center of Barcelona and in about 30 minutes you’ll end up in Badalona. Platja del Coco is a good option if you want a quieter beach than Barceloneta but don’t have the time for a full day trip to Costa Brava. More family oriented, this beach is a relaxed spot to bring a light beach read. Visit the small restaurants directly on the sand for some poke and enjoy the views of the coast and beach peppered with colorful umbrellas.
Tarragona: Playa El Milagro
I first saw Playa El Milagro through the train window on a CEA CAPA day trip to Tarragona, and was stunned by the intense blue hue of the water. While I was only able to spend about an hour dipping my feet into the refreshing water, you should definitely make time to meander along this calming beach. The view of the azure water stretches endlessly while opposing the ancient Roman ruins of Tarragona. See if you can spot the Tarragona central square and cathedral!
Barcelona has an abundance of idyllic beaches on the Mediterranean; you practically can’t go wrong when choosing one. Take a break from the heat by swimming in the sea and don’t forget your sunscreen. Enjoy!
Mia Forouhari was an official CEA CAPA blogger for summer 2022, sharing her story in frequent posts on our blog. A Marketing major from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, she studied abroad in Barcelona.