Lonely Planet review for Beaches
A series of pleasant beaches stretches northeast from the Port Olímpic marina. They are largely artificial but this doesn’t stop an estimated 7 million bathers from piling in every year! Each autumn, storms wash much of the sand out to sea and the town hall patiently replaces it for the following season. From 2009, a series of underwater barrages in front of some of the beaches should reduce the waves caused by these storms and save a lot of trouble. The southernmost beach, Platja de la Nova Icària, is the busiest. Behind it, across the Avinguda del Litoral highway, is the Plaça dels Champions, site of the rusting three-tiered platform used to honour medallists in the sailing events of the 1992 Games. Much of the athletes’ housing-turned-apartments are in the blocks immediately behind Carrer de Salvador Espriu. Just in from the next beach, Platja de Bogatell, is the Cementiri de l’Est, created in 1773. It was positioned outside the then city limits for health reasons. Its central monument commemorates the victims of a yellow-fever epidemic that swept across Barcelona in 1821. The cemetery is full of bombastic family memorials, but an altogether disquieting touch is the sculpture El Petó de la Mort (The Kiss of Death), in which a winged skeleton kisses a young, kneeling but lifeless body. There’s a good skateboard area with half-pipes at the north end of the beach. Platja de la Mar Bella (with its brief nudist strip) and Platja de la Nova Mar Bella follow, leading into the new residential and commercial waterfront strip, the Front Marítim, part of the Diagonal Mar project.