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Cruising Cataluña: France to Barcelona

By SY ChaliVentures III — last modified Jul 08, 2016 11:04 PM
On our cruise BACK from France in 2011, we stopped in several spots along the Spanish coast between the French border and Barcelona (our destination). Some updates from 2014 as well.

Published: 2014-06-24 23:00:00
Countries: Spain

Cruising Cataluña: France to Barcelona

Badalona Beach: © SY ChaliVentures III

NOTE: THE MANY ANCHORAGES DESCRIBED IN THE IMRAY PILOT FOR THIS COAST ARE NOW ALL FULL OF MOORING BUOYS.  WE OBSERVED THAT MOST OF THE MOST POPULAR CALAS HAD BUOYS…. EVEN IN EARLY OCTOBER.

Cadaques:
Not NEARLY as lovely as we were led to believe.  The whole protected area of the bay is full of mooring buoys at 40 Euros/night;  30 Euros in late Sept.  To pay 30 Euros and STILL have to use fuel to run our generator 2x a day is just WRONG and just HURTS.   Unfortunately, we prepaid 2 nights, otherwise we would have left after 1.  We dinghy’d into town twice.  It’s 100% touristy.  The setting isn’t that great.  Slightly reminiscent of Greece with all the white buildings;  some even had blue doors.  We must just be spoiled by the free anchorages with the gorgeous pastel surroundings in France. We’ll definitely give this place a miss the next time.

(Editor's Note: See Alison's report on Cruising the South of France).

Roses Anchorage:  
We anchored off the beach just to the NW of the double breakwaters, which are NW of the marina.  There were several mooring balls around, but also space to anchor (at least in late Sept.) We stayed 1 night.  There didn’t appear to be any place reliable to take our dinghy to see the town, so….. we didn’t. Good anchorage and not rolly.

LATER: May 2014: We went into the marina this time.  Very reasonably priced (low season was 23 euros til the end of May, then 39.)  We really liked the town.  Great washer and dryer, too.   Using a bike makes life a lot easier!

L’Escala:
37euros in Sept.  Good and modern marina, but as a holiday village in spain, in September, it was deserted and fairly depressing.  The lady in the office was very unfriendly.  Free wifi though!  We only came here because we had to change the fuel filter.  Give it a miss.

Palamos anchorage:
Just NW of the old harbour. Both harbours were pretty pricey, but the anchorage off the beach, near the jetty was good. Not rolly.  It looked like a nice town.  But we didn’t take the dinghy in.  At least it was free.  With the harbour, I think we could have found a place to leave the dinghy. We kept going the next day instead.

LATER:  June 2014: Couldn’t use the anchorage this time.  Wind from the wrong direction, so we went into the fishing harbor.  A guy from the Club Nautica on the fuel dock said we could tie up along the high wall.  44 euros.  Nice town!

Blanes
32 euros/night over on the quay across from the fuel dock (I think that’s cheaper than the normal berth). Except from being as far as possible from town, it was a decent mooring.  Although we DID worry about rats, being along a quay. The town is great!  Going several blocks back from the waterfront opens up to all the stores you could want, and vet and petstore too.  Plus there’s a beautiful old gothic-era church there.  I was very pleasantly surprised.   When we stopped here in May, I never went into town.  We should have stayed here longer instead of going to….

Badalona:
23 euros/night.  Friends had been here and recommended it.  I don’t think they’d ever stayed in Port Vell, centre of Barcelona city.  We read that they had a WIFI, so we decided to “kill some time here” before proceeding to Barcelona, which is a stone’s throw from here.  Unfortunately, we prepaid for 4 nights…. Before we discovered that 1, it’s in the middle of nowhere, and 2, our berth is so far away that we can’t access the free WIFI.  Oh well.  It’s definitely a bicycle place. Nice town with a good Candis supermarket that’s walkable.

The only reason we haven’t gone into Port Vell early is because we were worried about “the 6 month tax” and didn’t want to be in port vell longer than 6 months (oct 15-april 15).   But, I’ve since read that this “matriculation tax” only applies to PEOPLE being in spain for 6 months, and since we’re flying back to the states for 2 months in nov. and dec, we shouldn’t have a problem.

LATER: June 2014:  This time we’re on Pontoon B in Badalona – on the marina office side of the harbor.  Seems nicer.  The WIFI is good and reliable this time.  Also, since we got the bike down, we don’t feel quite so “in the middle of nowhere” as we did the last time.

Alison Spinney
SY ChaliVentures III (USA)
www.sailblogs.com/member/chaliventures

Barcelona, Badalona: Cruisers report on winter storage and berthing

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