Swimming facilities in Catalonia
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.
But swimming in a pool is not the only option Catalonia has to offer if you enjoy this sporting discipline. You can combine the pool with outings in the open waters of the Vías Bravas, a public network of marine itineraries for sports, leisure and educational activities. The Mediterranean climate will enable you to go swimming in the open sea and in outdoor pools almost all the year round, so you won’t have to worry about feeling cold. Do you want to find out more?
Olympic pools in Catalonia
The municipal Olympic pool in Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava is an excellent choice for training. Located in the heart of the town, it has a mobile 9-metre partition screen to section off a smaller area of the pool, the whole pool covers an area 1,250m2 in size and forms part of a state-of-the-art sports complex. If you want to go swimming in Girona, we recommend the GEiEG sports complex in Sant Ponç, which has a 50-metre pool with a retractable roof and another 25-metre pool. The complex also has tennis and paddle courts.
A little further south, on the Costa Barcelona, the Crol Centre Calella has an outdoor 10-lane heated Olympic pool open all the year round that’s ideal even in winter. It also has a health and nutrition centre and a spa for high-performance athletes. Other examples of top-class facilities are the municipal swimming pools in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, located less than 20 minutes from Barcelona. There are two indoor pools and one outdoor pool, as well as fitness rooms, guided activities and a spa.
The Club Natació Sabadell, with several Olympic pools (one of them outdoors), is also a historical landmark in the world of professional swimming. Several Olympic swimmers and medal winners swim here, including Mireia Belmonte. Catalonia’s future champions train at these facilities and they’re an excellent option if you want to prepare for major competitions.
Speaking of professional sports facilities, we shouldn’t forget the High-Performance Centre in Sant Cugat, which contributes to the training of sportspeople and houses two Olympic pools (one indoor and one outdoor) for competitions and training sessions, as well as an indoor diving pool.
Swimming in the open sea
The Vías Bravas allow swimmers to venture into the Mediterranean in complete safety. These open water routes are marked out by signs and buoys to indicate the path to take and to enable you to enjoy swimming without having to worry about anything. Most of the routes run in parallel along various coastal paths. They allow you to combine swimming and diving with hiking and running as you enjoy the landscape from different perspectives.
All the routes run along the Catalan coast from north to south, so you just have to choose one (or even several) of them. Those on the Costa Barcelona, for example, range from 0.5m to 1km in length and they’re ideal for lighter training. The city of Barcelona has two routes in front of the beaches in La Barceloneta and Mar Bella. You’ll also find a couple to choose from in Salou on the Costa Daurada. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for more demanding itineraries, the Costa Brava is your best option, as the route from Platja d’Aro to S’Agaró (2km) and those in Sant Feliu de Guíxols (1.8km) and Pals (1.5km) are sure to test your endurance.
Where would you like to swim in Catalonia, indoors or outdoors?
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.
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.
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.