Mediterranean oceanfront and a rambling hilly park overlooking the city make fine settings for a bit of outdoor activity beneath the (generally) sunny skies of Barcelona. For a break from museum-hopping and overindulging at tapas bars, Barcelona has the antidote – running, swimming, cycling or simply pumping fists in the air at a never-dull FC Barça match.
The waterfront esplanade and beaches are all perfect for an early morning run, before the crowds come out. Locals who want to log some serious miles take to Parc de Collserola, which is laced with trails. Among the best is the Carretera de les Aigües, a 9km-long track from Tibidabo to the suburb of Sant Just Desvern, with superb views over the city. More convenient are the gardens and parkland of Montjuïc or the smaller park of Ciutadella.
Barcelona’s long enticing seafront makes a fine setting for a ride and the bike lane separate from traffic and pedestrians ensures you can get going a good clip (though you’ll have to move slowly at peak times, like summer weekends). The city itself has an extensive network of bike lanes, including along major streets like Passeig de Sant Joan, Consell de Cent, Avinguda Diagonal and Ronda de Sant Pau/Comte d’Urgell. Avid mountain bikers will want to make their way up to the vast Parc de Collserola with rambling trails on a wooded massif overlooking the city. There are also many options available for bike tours and hire.
Need to Know
If you want to jog while you're in town, but don't want to go alone, you can join others in a casual running club. The Hotel Brummell Running Club (www.hotelbrummell.com) has Tuesday night runs (at 8pm) around Montjuïc, departing from the hotel. Barcelona Casual Runners (www.meetup.com/barcelona-casual-runners) meet outside Parc de la Ciutadella at 8pm Tuesday and Thursday.