Elite tennis in Catalonia
It’s no coincidence that Catalonia has the largest number of tennis courts in Spain. With a history of racquet sports dating back over 100 years, it’s one of the pioneering locations where you can develop as a professional tennis player or simply enjoy a good match.
Some Catalan courts have witnessed the rise of tennis players such as Rafael Nadal, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario and Carlos Moyá, among many others. The reasons are obvious: Catalonia has a good Mediterranean climate, outstanding facilities, accommodation suitable for sportspeople, high-quality tennis schools and a comprehensive schedule of events and tournaments. Do you need any more reasons to develop your backhand here?
A legendary club with first-class courts
The Sánchez-Casal Academy in El Prat de Llobregat, just 20 minutes from Barcelona, is one of the most prestigious clubs in Catalonia. Founded by tennis players Emilio Sánchez Vicario and Sergio Casal, silver medal winners at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, it has been running for over 20 years, educating and training the tennis players of the future. Not only does it provide training for its students, but it is also a school and accommodation for a comprehensive education.
The campus has 27 tennis courts in a setting surrounded by gardens, as well as other facilities such as football pitches, basketball courts and an outdoor swimming pool. If you decide to visit it, look for the programme the best suits your needs. There are annual, weekly and summer training courses, international exchanges and weekend sessions.
If you’re looking for other facilities near Barcelona, remember that there are also other professional facilities such as the Cornellà International Tennis Centre, with 31 tennis courts (fast, clay and indoor), seven paddle tennis courts, a gym and a heated swimming pool. Another option is the High Performance Centre in Sant Cugat, with four indoor tennis courts (two for singles and two for doubles) made of a synthetic resin with a wooden base and three outdoor clay courts.
Professional sport in Girona
Further to the north of Catalonia, in Girona, you’ll find another top-class club that supports elite tennis. This is the Club Excursionista i Esportiu Gironí (GEiEG), a pioneer in the city’s sporting culture since 1919 that boasts several facilities, including the Sant Ponç and Palau Sacosta complexes and the La Devesa sports area.
For tennis lovers the Palau Sacosta has three clay tennis courts and one court with synthetic flooring, as well as facilities for other sports such as athletics, football and rugby (although tennis is one of the most popular). The Sant Ponç complex is another alternative where you’ll find ten porous concrete tennis courts, six paddle tennis courts and two squash courts.
It’s your serve, are you ready?
Other sports experiences in Catalonia
If you’re looking for the ideal destination for a sporting holiday, Catalonia is the place for you. You’ll find a pleasant Mediterranean climate, first-class sports facilities and accommodation suited to your needs. Sport is much more than physical exercise. Come to Catalonia and see for yourself.
Catalonia is a bicycle tourism paradise. More than 6,000 kilometres of roads and paths cover the region so you can discover its most privileged spots. You’ll find long routes designed to be covered over one or several days or to be travelled in various stages or circular routes from a base camp. There are also mountain routes through some of the natural settings of Catalonia which are ideal for intermediate-level and expert cyclists.
The Costa Daurada and the Terres de l’Ebre coastline invites you to sail and enjoy the feeling of freedom and at oneness with the sea. Sailing is a very popular water sport in the Catalan Mediterranean due to the pleasant climate and the coastline packed with plenty of beaches and coves where you can drop anchor. If you’re a sailing lover, there are lots of marine resorts and sailing clubs on the Costa Daurada which will teach you how to tame the wind and the waves on different courses.
Pau Gasol and Ricky Rubio are two great NBA players but, before triumphing in the United States, they were the stars of their respective basketball clubs, FC Barcelona and Joventut de Badalona. Such high-level professionals don’t appear out of nowhere and grassroots sport is essential. Catalonia has numerous clubs which promote collective sports with facilities allowing them to be played by both amateur and professional teams. Team sports are popular here.
From the Pyrenees in the north to Terres de l’Ebre in the south, following the Mediterranean coastline or delving into the wealth to be found inland, Catalonia provides a chance to enjoy a thrilling ride on two wheels with the whole family. As well as more demanding routes for experienced cyclists, there are also itineraries with gentle slopes and lanes that are suitable for everyone.
Do you want to go down rivers with descents of over six metres? Have you ever tried rowing down an Olympic-length race course? In Catalonia, if you go rowing or canoeing, you can combine your training at excellently equipped facilities with the thrill of descents and the excitement of new experiences.
If there is something that makes Catalonia stand out, it’s the varied landscape and the pleasant temperatures throughout the year, making it an excellent choice for preparing the triathlon season. You’ll find everything you need in the towns on the Catalan coast; these are the links between the roads and trails in the natural parks, the roads that wind along the seafront, the waters of the Mediterranean and the outstanding sports facilities.
Are you looking for somewhere new to train and improve your technique in the water? Catalonia offers you outstanding facilities such as outdoor and indoor Olympic swimming pools suitable for competitive and synchronised swimming, diving and water polo. Some of these facilities are also equipped with platforms and diving boards for practising jumps and somersaults.
Enjoy an authentic golfing experience in Catalonia. A total of 40 courses located beside the Mediterranean or surrounded by mountains and nature that are well-connected with Barcelona and the other Catalan capital cities. Most of them have received numerous international prizes such as the World Golf Awards, certifying them as high-quality courses to enjoy this sporting discipline on.
Catalonia is the birthplace of numerous motor sport greats, including the Márquez brothers, Dani Pedrosa, Maverick Viñales, Pedro de la Rosa, Marc Gené, Álex Crivillé, Pol Espargaró, Sito Pons and Sete Gibernau, among many others. It also hosts first-class competitions such as the Spanish F1 Grand Prix and the Catalan MotoGP Grand Prix.
The beauty of the Costa Brava seen from its cliffs is spectacular, but it can be marvelled at from even higher up. Your chance to do so is provided by SkyDive Empuriabrava, a must-visit for adrenaline lovers. With their help you can reach an altitude of 4,000 metres and enjoy the thrill of falling through the sky with a parachute over a unique natural setting.
According to the records, fencing has been popular in Catalonia since the 13th century. This sporting discipline has a long-standing tradition in the region and nowadays places such as the Amposta Sports Technification Centre in Terres de l’Ebre continue to instruct fencing professionals.
The varied terrain of Catalonia, dotted with the high peaks of the Pyrenees and mountain ranges and ridges, makes it the ideal location for climbing. Even the legendary Californian climber Chris Sharma succumbed to the spell of this area many years ago and decided to settle and put down roots here.
Taking part in a marathon and covering 42,195 m is a major test for any athlete. In Catalonia the Barcelona Marathon has become increasingly popular year after year and it’s now the fifth largest in Europe in terms of the number of runners, after Paris, London, Berlin and Stockholm.