As a Barcelona local, one of the top questions I get asked is where to find the best views of the city. And while I consider myself to be somewhat of a rooftop connoisseur, it never occurred to me that the best way to see the city might be from the sky!
Barcelona is famously known for its architecture and sandy beaches. And though the city might not have any notable skyscrapers, its skyline does include the Sagrada Familia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and other iconic buildings, like the W Hotel and the Agbar Tower.
A few days ago, I went parasailing off the coast of Barcelona, and I couldn’t believe I had never done it before.
Seeing the historical city and all its architectural landmarks from the sky gave me an unforgettable view not often seen outside of postcards. To my surprise, my favourite part wasn’t the views though; it was the soothing experience of getting to soar above the waters of the Mediterranean.
I hope that by reading this you too are inspired to try it. In this Adventure Seeker review, I will recount my experience, from booking to landing safely back on the boat and give you my full thoughts on this activity.
Why Go Parasailing in Barcelona
Barcelona is placed between the mountains of Sierra de Collserola and the Mediterranean sea, which means if you want a landscape view of the city you’re most likely going to see it from one of its viewpoints on the hills.
Parasailing in Barcelona allows you to see the city from a very unique perspective while soaring through the sky, and without any previous experience needed!
If you’ve ever wondered what it would like to fly but fear risky or high-speed activities, I promise this parasailing activity is for you. And because there is no direct contact with the water, you can do it through-out the year — weather permitting, of course.
Parasailing isn’t just about the scenery. Being able to sail the sky above the water is possibly one of the most surreal experiences you can have. It provides you with an unexpected sense of tranquility that I always imagined birds felt.
My Experience: Taking Flight Along the Barcelona Coast
Getting Ready for the Parasail
On the morning of my parasailing tour, I admit I was quite anxious as I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. My tour time was at 1.00pm so I made sure to eat a light breakfast and wear a lot of layers to shield myself from any potential cold winds.
Adventure Seeker Tip #1: Wear comfortable shoes that tie to your feet. If you plan on doing this activity during the colder seasons, make sure to wear layers to protect you from the wind.
The activity takes place by the Olympic Port. As it’s a touristy area, it is very accessible on all forms of transportation, including bus, metro, bike — even the city tour bus stops there.
The meeting point was at their designated ‘Chill Zone’, which I admittedly needed some assistance to find as I’m not familiar with the marina. Thankfully, Maria, the woman who assisted me with my reservation, was easy to reach via text and re-directed me correctly until I arrived at the precise location.
When I arrived at the Chill Zone, Dennis, my instructor, was there to welcome me. Located right next to the jetskis, speedboats and with a spectacular view of the marina, I imagine the Chill Zone must be a great area to hang out in the summertime.
While Dennis and his two-man crew finished setting up the parasail, another one of their colleagues had me read and sign a safety waiver. While you don’t need to bring a picture ID, you should have a copy of it on your phone because your ID number is required.
Dennis kindly explained that because of my small stature they might need someone else to accompany me during the parasailing to balance out the weight. I had no objection as I love sharing experiences with people, though ultimately it wasn’t necessary and I soared on my own.
After being fitted with a life jacket I made sure to take off any items from my pockets that could potentially fall off during my ‘flight’. Then, it was time to get on the boat and make our way to the coastline.
I couldn’t have been more excited!
Adventure Seeker Tip #2: Make sure to empty your pockets before take-off to prevent anything from falling into the water!
Parasailing the Coast of Barcelona
As the crewmembers and I made our way into the blue waters of the Meditteranean, I got to see the skyline of the city as I had never seen it before. It looked spectacular!
The crew made sure that all the ropes were secured and fastened before setting me up with the harness that would hold me up. Because Murphy’s Law is a common occurrence in my life, my GoPro, which had been working fine all morning, decided to malfunction just seconds before my take-off. This left me with the tough decision to use my phone instead.
Adventure Seeker Tip #3: I took my phone up with me, 100% aware of the possible consequences. However, my case has a ring holder which made me feel comfortable enough to do this. I do not recommend anyone take their phone or camera without having some safety measure (such as a strap) on it.
As soon as we were at the appropriate distance from other boats and the conditions for take-off were perfect, it was my time to soar through the skies.
I had confidence in the crew who had clearly explained to me all the procedures – how to hold onto the sides of my harness, how I should sit first and then stand up as the parasail goes up, and lean back once it was fully up. The launch was seamless and exciting all at once.
Once I got to the desired height of 85 meters, all I could feel was ease.
I’m no adrenaline junkie — in fact, heights and speed are no friends of mine. But at no point throughout this experience did I feel scared. Being up there was quiet and surprisingly soothing! It wasn’t as fast or cold as I had imagined.
In fact, something about it made the whole thing feel natural. Getting to see the city that I have studied and admired for years now from this angle felt magical. All I could really hear was my own breathing, and I kept looking down at my legs dangling over the dark blue water, wondering if this was all real.
My home for the past three years suddenly looked so peaceful and tiny, like I could pluck it out from the scenery and take it home with me. I had never seen the famous Hotel W from its back, as it’s always photographed from its side because of its sail-like shape.
I was up there no longer than 15 minutes, but it felt like the perfect amount of time to truly take it all in.
When it was time to come down, it suddenly hit me that I was over actual cold water. As I approached the boat, I joked to the crew that I wasn’t prepared to go swimming, but thankfully they are pros and my landing back on the boat was as smooth as the takeoff.
When I got back on the boat, I felt my legs feel a little shaky but it went away within seconds, and I couldn’t stop smiling. They took off my harness and we were finally ready to get back to dry land!
But of course, nothing I do ever comes easy. Turns out that because of some unexpected wind conditions, when I landed back on the boat, the crew wasn’t able to get the whole parasail onto the boat in time. This, unfortunately, caused part of it to get stuck under the propeller, making us have to stop the boat to stop the propeller from shredding the parasail.
The crew explained to me that while it rarely happens, it also highlights just how important it is to collect the parasail in time. We all took it in stride though, and joked about who would be the one diving in and untangling it. Dennis was kind enough to call someone from land to come get me back to shore while they fixed it.
I had just had such an incredible experience that nothing could bring me down at that moment — I only felt sorry for whichever one of them would have to dive in!
When the rescue boat showed up, the lovely man helped me get into his boat and off I went, speeding through the waters back to shore. I didn’t realize how far away off the coast we had gone
But we quickly made our back. I was still in such awe from the experience I almost left with the lifevest on!
Parasailing in Barcelona Review
Parasailing in Barcelona certainly has a WOW factor as it’s truly an invigorating experience that allows you to enjoy a panoramic scene of Barcelona in a very unique way.
While those who are adrenaline junkies may find this activity too relaxing for them, this is the perfect experience for someone who wants to step out of the comfort zone while still maintaining their sense of safety.
The crew was clear with their instructions and ensured that every safety precaution was taken, which made me feel incredibly safe throughout the entire activity. There is minimal instruction needed which makes it a great activity for anyone regardless of previous experience!
The price may seem a tad high for an activity of 15 minutes but it certainly makes up for it in experience. It’s also a relatively low cost when you compare it to other thrilling activities in the city and when you factor in the boat time, which is an experience itself!
Overall, parasailing was a remarkable experience that I would greatly recommend to locals and visitors alike.
Overall, parasailing in Barcelona is an incredible experience and is something we recommend doing for those who are looking for something unique and different. The views from the top are amazing and it is such a thrilling experience.
Booking Parasailing in Barcelona: What You Need to Know
To go on this parasailing tour, all you have to do is book via Manawa and choose an available time slot. Manawa is a platform that lists adventure activities around the world, and booking with them is convenient and easy!
Adventure Seeker Tip #4: Make sure to check the weather conditions for the desired date and allot about an hour for the whole activity, including preparation and boat ride, to be safe.
Update: This activity is no longer available on Manawa so I linked to other well-rated ones.
The cost of this activity is 90€ per person, though it can go down to 60€ per person if you’re joined by three other friends. The price includes fuel for the boat ride, skipper, and insurance. For this particular experience, you don’t need to bring any special equipment or clothes as there is no direct contact with the water.
For an additional cost of 30€, they also give you the option of renting a GoPro so that you can take the memories of parasailing home with you!
Once booked, you will get a confirmation email with the exact meeting point. Don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with the area as they are easy to contact and the marina is also equipped with an easy-to-find information center. I recommend arriving 15 minutes early to be on the safe side.
If you’re planning on going with your kids, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a recommended height of 1 meter. The number of people who can fly at the same time also depends on the weather conditions and weight distribution. So if you go alone, there’s a possibility they’ll send an instructor with you to compensate for the weight.
Parasailing in Barcelona is a great activity for all ages and it’s something out of the norm from the usual things to do in the city. This is a truly special experience really worth doing while you’re in Barcelona.