Barcelona to Valencia Region
The Spanish Mediterranean Sea has everything a sailor can ask for during his sailing holiday. It offers good weather nine months a year and a tranquil sea, big vibrant cities like Barcelona and Valencia, and natural gems such as Costa Brava and Costa Blanca, which are known for their extremely long beaches and recondite coves where you can anchor. Spain is the ideal destination for your next sailing holiday.
Why is this region popular among sailors
As we’ve pointed out before, the Mediterranean coast of Spain has a bit of everything, but certain things are common in the whole area. The food that you will encounter on your sailing trip is just amazing on this whole stretch of coast. While Catalonian northern coast features a French-like cuisine, Valencia is the birthplace of the paella, the most typical plate of the Spanish cuisine.
Besides that, the weather is great. Areas of the Spanish Mediterranean, such as Costa Blanca, enjoy about 300 sunny days a year, and temperatures are very pleasant during the winter too. Moreover, the sea rarely gets rough which makes the sailing experience very pleasant. When it comes to the temperature, it might get really hot during the summer months of July and August. However, if you are on a sailing trip, you can jump into the sea whenever you want to cool down.
Last but not least - Barcelona and Valencia - the amazing Spanish coastal cities you must explore during your sailing trip.
Barcelona is one of the most vibrant cities in the world and you have to visit it at least once in your life. The city is very popular among sailors who can stay either in one of the marinas located along the kilometres-long city coast or anchor in bays only a few miles from the metropolitan area (e.g. Garraf Beach, located 30 kilometres from Barcelona and one of the quietest spots where to anchor your boat).
Then, as you might know already, Barcelona is famous for its architecture, street life, art, music, food, parties, etc. This city has it all.
This beautiful city is famous for being the birthplace of the paella, no doubt the most internationally popular Spanish dish. It is the third largest city in Spain and it has the largest inner city urban park in Europe - the famous Turia Park, which used to be a river.
Climate in this area is great all year long, with just two months of what we would consider winter in sailing terms. From March until November, Valencia becomes one of the most enjoyable cities in Spain because of its mix of culture, architecture, nightlife and the possibility of carrying out any type of sports activity.
Climate information and best time to sail
The temperature is typically Mediterranean in the whole area, from Barcelona to Costa Blanca, south of Valencia. However, there are slight differences in temperature as you go souther. Barcelona and Costa Brava hold average minimum temperature of 5oC during the winter months while Valencia and the whole Costa Blanca — Benidorm, Alicante, Altea, Benitxatell — enjoy milder winters which enables sailing season to start early in the spring.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that the Mediterranean winter (December, January, February) is a good time to go on a sailing holiday. Although mild and with a pretty calm sea, it can still get cold on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Therefore, you should avoid sailing in this area in the winter months. Also, if you want escape the crowds, don’t plan your sailing vacation for July or August.
The water temperature is also mild, never getting too cold. Despite averaging from 12 to 18°C during the months of December and January, it gets warmer as the spring comes, reaching the average of 25°C in the summer months. Swimming is possible already in early spring.
Winds and waves
Southeastern winds and northern winds are the most common winds on the Mediterranean Coast. The average wind speed is between 5 and 15 knots during the summer months, which is ideal for sailing, especially for novice sailors who will be able to control a sailing yacht under moderate winds.
More demanding conditions might be found at the most northern part of the Costa Brava, close to the Spanish border with France, where the tramuntana (a northern wind) can blow strongly during the colder months, sometimes getting close to 200 km/h. On the stretch of the coast between Barcelona and Valencia, the wind is not usually a problem, apart from the strong storms that can come up in the area during the late summer or early autumn.
Similarly to the most parts of the Mediterranean Sea, waves won’t usually disturb your sailing vacation during the summer months. During the winter months, they can become an issue, although rarely going over 5 metres. It is advised to hire an experienced local skipper for winter sailing or when sailing in the area close to the French border.
Tidal ranges don’t usually go over 1 meter and will not cause any significant disturbances during your sailing trip.
Where to eat and drink
Here is a list of restaurants in Barcelona and Valencia we recommend:
- Paellas La Pepica, Valencia
Located in the area of El Cabanyal, right by the Valencia Beach, this restaurant is one of the most typical choices when it comes to eating proper paellas in Valencia, the capital city of the paella.
- Con Gràcia, Barcelona
This restaurant is located in Gracia, one of the coolest areas of Barcelona, and it offers best seafood from the Mediterranean Sea.
- Can Rafa, Cadaqués
It is hard to find an affordable place to dine in Cadaqués but Can Rafa has some of the most reasonable prices for a good quality food. Outstanding fish and seafood.
- La Cumbre, Benitatxell
This restaurant offers excellent quality food presented in a modern style. It also has an outside area with a pool, and a fabulous view of the sea. This is the place to come back every time you come to Spain.
Most important destinations
Except for Barcelona and Valencia, there are also some other places you shouldn’t miss when sailing the Spanish Mediterranean.
- Cap de Creus
Cap de Creus Natural Park is one of the most amazing places on the Costa Brava. This is a true paradise with amazing landscapes and rugged beauty that will stun you.
Benitatxell and its Cala del Moraig are popular spot among sailors from all over the world. However, try to avoid it during the summer, as it can get very crowded.
A picturesque little town of Peñíscola is often considered one of the most beautiful Spanish towns. It's trademark is the majestic castle on the shore, built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century.
- El Campello
El Campello is a lovely holiday resort on the Costa Blanca that has resisted the lure of mass tourism. It has 23 kilometres of coastline with beautiful beaches and coves.
Where to anchor and interesting marinas
- Marina Port Vell
- Port Forum
- Vilanova Grand Marina
- Port Tarraco
- Port Denia
- Marina Real
Telephone numbers you might need
Local Police and Security – 112
Emergencies – 112
General Information – 012
- Barcelona (0034) 932 85 38 34
- Valencia (0034) 963 524 908
- Costa Blanca (0034) 965 23 01 60
- Costa Brava (0034) 972 208 401