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Las Golondrinas de Barcelona
The Golondrinas of Barcelona. Photo: Ultragrafis for Pixabay

Barcelona from the sea: The historic legacy of the Golondrinas

One of the most authentic excursions to do in Barcelona is boarding one of these emblematic boats and enjoy the scenery.

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The Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Las Ramblas, the Liceu theater... Barcelona has no shortage of emblematic places to visit. But if there is one attraction that tourists should can't during their visit to the city, it is an excursion aboard the Golondrinas, the emblematic motorboats that set sail daily from Port Vell, the oldest port in the city, at the foot of the statue of Christopher Columbus. 

The Golondrinas fleet has been, since its origins, the scene of memorable stories. They have maintained the same aesthetics for more than a century: two-story wooden boats with an open roof that sail around the city, allowing the sailor to enjoy the skyline of the city in one of the most pleasant outdoor terraces of Barcelona in good weather.

The legend still survives today for many couples who fall in love on board the Golondrinas, when they were an attraction for the locals and served as public transport, or for old people who remember them as their first direct contact with the sea. 

When they were unveiled 130 years ago, the Golondrinas provided access to the now defunct Sant Sebastià baths, and to take visitors to the breakwater, the famous harbor promenade that led to the iconic Porta Coeli restaurant, famous for its mussels.    Now the Golondrinas no longer stop in front of the breakwater, but allow riders to have a vermouth, a soft drink or glass of wine while sailing off the coast of the city. The Golondrinas are also a great spot for selfies.

Currently, they offer two unique excursions from Port Vell:

1. Barcelona Port Route 45': This route will take riders to discover the port of Barcelona, get to know its facilities and enjoy the views of the northern part of the city, with emblematic buildings such as the World Trade Center, the Puerta de Europa Bridge, the International Maritime Station, the Levante and Poniente docks, the Nueva Bocana, the fishing port and the Clock Tower.

2. Barcelona Port and Coastal Route 60': Nine miles sailing along the coast of Barcelona, the port and the beaches. This is a tour where riders can see the icons that stand out from the skyline of Barcelona from Port Vell to Port Fòrum, enjoying the navigation and the sea.

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