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Fun outdoor things to do in Barcelona

Written by Fiona

April 22 2016

Barcelona is famed for its fabulous architecture, fashion, bars, restaurants and culture. So it might surprise you to discover there are also plenty of outdoor activities to try in the Spanish city.

Thanks to a great mix of landscape, sunshine and activity providers, Barcelona, on the coast of Spain, and the surrounding area is a super outdoors playground.

Go walking

In Barcelona, Montjuic Park is a lovely place to enjoy a stroll. You can walk to the top of Montjuic hill for wonderful views over the cit. The park is also home to Montjuic Castle, Olympic Stadium and MNAC museum, as well as a beautiful botanical garden.

Sant Pere Màrtir mountain in the Serra de Collserola. Pic credit:  Till F. Teenck on wikimedia.org

Sant Pere Màrtir mountain in the Serra de Collserola. Pic credit: Till F. Teenck on wikimedia.org

Collserola Nature Reserve, on the edge of the city, is home to a small mountain range that is also popular with walkers looking for something a little more challenging. You’ll love the views over the whole of Barcelona.

You’ll need to hire a car to reach the mountains and foothill of the Pyrenees, but it’s well worth the effort if you enjoy walking off-the-beaten trail. Here you’ll also find Catalonia’s only National Park, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici. The Pyrenees are 150kms north of Barcelona and take about 2.5 to three hours to reach by car.

Other scenic spots for hiking in the region include the nature reserves of Parc Natural de la Zona Volcànica de la Garrotxa and the Parc Natural del Delta del Ebre.

Another great place for hiking is Rupit, where a stroll through the Pyrenean foothills reveals waterfalls, canyons, gorges and cliff faces.

Also take a look at the Catalan Hiking Association website for walking routes.

If you are unsure where to go, try a walking tour in Barcelona or further afield. There are plenty to choose from.

Run the city

See Gaudi's Barcelona while running. Pic credit:  Christine Zenino

See Gaudi’s Barcelona while running. Pic credit:
Christine Zenino

Sight running tours are growing in popularity worldwide and in Barcelona you can join one of 12 tours that take in many different attractions. Running tours are a brilliant way to stay in shape and see the sights. See Go Running Tours.

Get on your bike

Cycling in the city is easy to do, especially as it is mostly quite flat. Hire a bike and e-bikes to see Montjuic Park in Barcelona.

Another great option, and highly rated on TripAdvisor is a Photo Bike Tour.

There are also many mountain biking trails in Collserola Nature Reserve. Barcelona Mountain Biking organise weekly rides, or for a leisurely pedal on the roads head to the Penedes region. You can even combine cycling and wine tasting here!

Fat bikes are increasingly popular as well and make it easy to enjoy trails around the wider region close to Barcelona.

Splash out

The are plenty of fabulous beaches on the Mediterranean coast, close to Barcelona and between the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada. Whether you are a beginner or more experienced there are many water-based activities to try, including surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, kayaking, sailing and SUPs (Stand Up Paddleboading).

Take flight

hot-air-balloon-1100841_960_720

The sunny weather, frequently still conditions and beautiful scenery means that Catalonia is popular as a hot air ballooning location. Or how about learning to paraglide?

I teamed up with Expedia on this post to share my list of outdoors things to do in and around Barcelona.

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