Fresh water descents in Catalonia
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.
Whitewater rafting and canoeing on the Noguera Pallaresa in the Catalan Pyrenees are unique experiences. This river is regarded as the best in Europe for whitewater sports and it has various levels along its 60 navigable kilometres. Spring is a great time for these kinds of water sports, as the rivers contain larger amounts of water caused by the melting of the mountain snow.
If you go rowing or canoeing in Catalonia, you’ll find a wide range of options for slicing through the water. Lakes, Olympic-length race courses and whitewater rivers for all tastes and levels.
Pick up your oars and helmet and launch into the water.
Calm and white waters in the Catalan Pyrenees
In the Catalan Pyrenees you can combine canoeing and rowing with water adventure sports such as rafting and hydrospeed in the white waters of rivers such as the Noguera Pallaresa.
In Sort there’s the L’Aigüerola race course, a natural venue ideal for river sports and well equipped for training and holding international competitions such as the ICF World Cup and the Free Style World Cup for kayaks. It has a 375-metre whitewater area, as well as the navigable kilometres of the Noguera Pallaresa river.
You can also go rowing or canoeing all year round in the Segre Olympic Park in La Seu d’Urgell, thanks to the hydroelectric power station that guarantees the flow of the water. Here you can choose between the white waters and calmer waters of the 800-metre channel that runs parallel to the River Segre and forks into two 500-metre whitewater channels with a descent of 6.5 metres. There are also mechanical lifts so that the canoeists can restart their journeys without having to get out of their canoes.
Girona – Costa Brava: a global rowing stage
Rowing teams such as the one from the University of Cambridge have trained on the lake in Banyoles for 20 years. It’s an ideal setting for this sport throughout the whole year, with its mild climate and facilities that enable the rowers to continue their cardiovascular training once they’re out of the water.
The Banyoles race course has easy access to the water and it complies with the official requirements of the World Rowing Federation (FISA in its French initials), being more than 2,134 metres in length. In 2021 it will be the venue for the World Rowing Masters Regatta.
The Olympic Channel of Catalonia on the Costa Barcelona
If you’re an experienced canoeist, the Olympic Channel of Catalonia provides excellent conditions allowing you to enjoy this sport. Built for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, it’s located in Castelldefels, 15 kilometres away from Barcelona.
Its artificial channel is 1,250 metres long, 130 metres wide and 4 metres deep. Several canoeing and rowing clubs regularly train there. Canoeing, windsurfing, sailing and water skiing are the main sports on offer at the facilities, but other team sports and golf and cycling are also possible.
Regattas in Terres de l’Ebre
The calm waters and gentle currents of the River Ebro are the ideal setting for rowing training and competitions. Amposta offers athletes a straight channel that’s 2,200 metres long, the minimum distance for the organisation of Olympic rowing races, enabling them to enjoy the races and prepare for the competition. It also has a sports technification centre, facilities with specific machines, a weight room and a gym designed to improve the technical quality of the young rowers.
Is your canoe 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.
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.
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.
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.