Kayaking In Barcelona, Spain: The Only Guide For 2023

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If you are hunting for a spectacular touring spot with a combination of tourism, sport, fun and nature, why not consider kayaking in Spain? 

Spain is the ultimate kayaking and canoeing destination which comes into the mind of paddlers all across the globe when thinking about touring and kayaking at the same time. This European country is blessed with mesmerizing shorelines, islands for kayaking and UNSECO World heritage sites, breathtaking and diverse food, art and culture. Not to forget, they are famous for football too.

Altogether there are 5 major destinations for kayaking in Spain. Andalusia, Barcelona, Granada, Seville and Cordoba. These places are not only great for kayaking, but they are having much of tourist attraction sites as well. 

Spain won’t limit you with kayaking. It possesses some great architectural sites that depict the imperial charisma of the middle ages and the Roman Empire. Also, most of the part of this country has famous rock buildings and monuments just like Alhambra- the best examples of Moorish design. 

So, if you are looking for a perfect guide on kayaking in Barcelona or Spain, then you have landed at the right spot. 

Today, in this 5000+ words long blog post, I will walk you through each minute detail about kayaking in this country. 

Here’s what you are going to discover in this blog post. 

1. Is kayaking in Barcelona, Spain, safe?

2. Is kayaking allowed in Barcelona, Spain?

3. Where should you go kayaking in Barcelona, Spain?

4. What are the safety gadgets you need for kayaking in Spain

5. Where you can find kayak rentals in Spain and so much more.

All these things are covered totally in-depth so make sure you read this blog till the end and utilize it to the fullest. 

Is kayaking In Barcelona, Sapin Safe?

Is kayaking In Barcelona, Sapin Safe

Spain is one of the safest countries for kayaking, paddle boarding and boating in Europe. The crimes are very minimal and tourists from other parts of the world are always welcomed by Spanish people. There is absolutely no signs of heinous crimes in Spain and you can room anywhere and anypart of this country with confidence and without the fear of the unknown. 

The most common crime that happens in Spain is pickpocketing. Apart from this, Spain is 100% safe for kayaking. The public transportation system of Spain is also made safe and highly secure for tourists and the general public. However, you must be careful while taking any public transport, as it is the place where pickpockets operate.

Speaking of the water type on beaches, lakes, and rivers, Spain has got a combination of flatwater, whitewater, fast-moving river rapids, salt water and other water types, which will allow you to enjoy overall kayaking or canoeing experience here. 

Besides, scams with tourists and thugging are on the higher side in Spain. You should avoid talking to unknown people. They’ll either ask for help and money by taking you for the round. Also, be aware of women in Spain and their shell game where you might get scammed quickly. 

Don’t get into a honeytrap. 

Here are some other safety tips to follow that will help you while kayaking in Barcelona, Spain. 

1. Make sure you avoid kayaking at night on the lake or beaches where you are all alone. This can be dangerous. 

2. If you need cash, make sure you use ATM machines in a bank and not on the roadside. This is because a group of criminals might enter the ATM and grab all your money. 

3. Do not come in contact with any woman who is offering you flowers or rosemary. This is the biggest scan and you might get thugged or looted. 

4. While kayaking in Barcelona, make sure that you are loaded might all the safety gear and accessories. 

5. Try to bring your kayak with you if possible, because renting kayaking in Spain will be a costly affair. 

6. Before going for your kayaking adventure, do make sure that you have a relevant map of the area and that you are aware of the surroundings. 

7. Visit your kayaking spot in Spain a day before and take a complete walk-through of it, so there are no surprises on the day o kayaking. 

Why should you go kayaking in Spain & Barcelona?

Why should you go kayaking in Spain & Barcelona

1. Too many spots for canoeing in Spain

Whether you agree with me or not, this country has got ample of rivers, lakes, stunning beaches, small ponds and reservoirs where you can go either kayaking or canoeing. Spain has got a mesmerizing coastline of 8000+ kilometres, allowing you to explore some of the best lakes, rivers and beaches. 

Few of the places are paid, while most of the lakes and rivers will allow you to enjoy free kayaking in Barcelona, Spain. 

Also, thanks to an excellent network of waterways that can be easily found and allow you to navigate the rivers and lakes easily. You can also put your kayaking or padding skills on the challenge by navigating the whitewater and fast-moving river rapids in Spain. 

Most of the lakes, rivers and beaches are very easy to navigate and you might not need a kayaking GPS or map.  What’s more, Spain has beautiful marine reserves that will further take your fishing kayak experience to the level of awesomeness. All you need is the right kayaking gear and accessories

2. Stunning locations

From the dramatic, imposing mountains to the countless glistening beaches that dot its coastlines, Spain is a country full of natural beauty and inspiring landscapes. If breathtaking views and unique scenery captures your attention then our top suggestion is to experience a holiday to Tenerife where you can enjoy the inspiring volcanic views and panoramic scenery. 

Also, Spain is home to the largest Canary Islands, just to the south. This is Tenerife, which is a rugged volcanic landscape as well as over 200 miles of coastline boasting ample opportunities for kayaking, boating, and paddle boarding with rich flora and fauna.  That’s not all. 

The Los Gigantes, rising over 2000 feet above the sea level is the most visited tourist cliff with stunning natural beauty and gorgeous panoramic views. 

Another must-visit spot at Tenerife is Mount Teide, the third largest volcanic mountain in the world. If you are obsessed with hiking and camping, the scenery at this location is surely waiting for you. 

3. Beautiful beaches

check this out – Spain has A TON of coastline – over 5,000 miles to be exact, and an insane number of beaches (thousands!) No matter where you go in Spain, you’re never too far from a beach. And we’re not talking about any old beaches either – we’re talking about stunning, hidden alcoves to highly sought-after tourist resorts. In other words, there’s a beach for everyone in Spain. And with sunny weather all year round, you’re guaranteed perfect beach weather every time!

Spain is world-famous for its stunningly beautiful coastline, boasting more blue flag beaches than any other country. With thousands of gorgeous beaches to choose from, it’s no wonder beach holidays to Spain are so popular! If you’re looking for an idyllic spot to enjoy some relaxed beach time, look no further than Costa de la Luz. 

This picturesque region, located in Andalucía near the Portuguese border, is renowned for its unspoilt beaches, hidden coves and crystal-clear waters – a true paradise for sun worshippers! Costa de la Luz is still relatively unknown compared to some of Spain’s other popular tourist resorts, so you can enjoy a more authentic Spanish experience without the crowds.

Spain kayaking map

Best places for kayaking in Barcelona Spain

Until now, you might have come to know why you should visit Barcelona or Sapin for canoeing or kayaking, whether Spain is safe for kayaking or not. And, what are the benefits of kayaking in Spain?  Let us now walk through some of the most beautiful spots for kayaking in Barcelona & Spain. 

Best lakes for kayaking & Canoeing in Spain

1. Sanabria Lake

Sanabria Lake

The first on my list of best places for kayaking in Spain is Sanabria Lake which is located in northern Spain and features a stunning combination of outdoor recreational destinations with 42+ named mountains for camping and wilderness. The lake is known one of Spain’s largest lakes spending across 899 acres with a maximum depth of 173 feet. It is perfect for flatwater kayaking, camping kayaking or paddle boarding, recreational rides, hunting and fishing adventures as well. 

Surrounding the large lake, you’ll find mountains, small ponds and canyons which are an absolute treat to your eye. The main tributary of the lake is the river Tera, which itself is large and wide. 

The lake along with the surrounding peaks form a beautiful-looking landscape. Also, the critiques, values, lush green trees and peak in the region shows the historic culture and value of this place. 

If you are not here for kayaking, Sanabria Lake Natural Park is home to numerous trails. There are many short walking trails and beaches located along the shore of the lake, making them easily accessible to visitors. You can carry out picnics, outdoor sports activities, beach volleyball and lot more.

2. Lakes of Covadonga

Lakes of Covadonga

If you personally ask me which is the best lake for kayaking or canoeing in Spain, I would say it’s the Lakes of Covadonga. Located 20 kilometres from the village of Cangas De Onis, you’ll find this surrounded by beautiful high mountain landscapes, making it an absolute paradise for kayakers and paddlers.

You can simply visit this lake by road and public transportation network. Apart from kayaking, there are ample of trails in the area to explore if you are not having a knack for kayaking. So, whether you are mountaineering or kayaking, you have to visit this Green Spain location. 

For kayaking or canoeing, this region has got two largest lakes of Covadonga, which are Enol and Erina. They are located 1000 meters above the seat level and will surely give you the best kayaking experience of your life. The water flowing on the lakes is calm and less choppy, so beginners can also try kayaking or other water sports activities here. 

If you are not much into kayaking, this region has also got ample hiking and viewpoints in Picos de Europa national park. You can watch mesmerizing sunsets from this region and capture beautiful moments of yours. 

3. Estany de Sant Maurici

Estany de Sant Maurici

This is a national park located at north of Lleida where streams, rivers and lakes form a lush paradise. The area is surrounded by mountain peaks over 3000 meters from stunning landscaping, where you can kayak in the abundance of water that brings life to these lands. 

The water in this region comes from Pyrenean snow and ice creating a wonderful ecosystem for flora and fauna to thrive. The elevations start from 1200 to 3000 meters, while the park includes some valleys, alpine pastures and evergreen and deciduous forests, making it a perfect spot for hiking and camping as well. 

If you want to get a breathtaking view of the Pyrenees, you can visit Los Encantados featuring two identical peaks. The combination of stone and water over here also creates stunning formations like Valle Del Rio San Nicolas, a unique river valley that runs through high mountains. You can try whitewater kayaking in this area. 

4. Lake Enol

Lake Enol

This a small type of lake suited for short-distance kayaking and paddling. It is located next to lake Ercina and together they form the lake of Covadonga within the Picos de Europa National Park. 

Lake Enol has a depth of 20 meters which makes it a perfect spot for kayaking for beginners, newbies and kids as well, while the surrounding area around the lake is ideal for picnics, hiking and camping. 

Rock climbing, horse riding and canyoning are some other outdoor activities that you can try in this region. However, if you are looking for real adventure, take a paddle board or canoe down the famous river Sella, which is located in the city of Arriondas and Ribadesella. Maximum fun is guaranteed!

You could also try out the Cares Trail, which is only one hour away by car and is by far the most famous mountain route in the whole of Asturias.

5. Lake of Banyoles

Lake of Banyoles

Located 12 km away from Girona town, this is one of the largest freshwater lakes for kayaking in Spain. The lake is formed naturally by the subterranean channels, making it pure, clean and calm in nature. The lake attracts loads of paddlers across the local region and foreigners in the summer.

To start your kayaking on a beautiful lake, you can visit the local tourist office, which is located south of the lake. Some critical and great sources of information can be taken from the office for your day out. You can get maps, right direction, rules for kayaking and a lot more. 

Swimming and kayaking in this lake is allowed. However, there are some reasonable restrictions for swimming, which is allowed only in certain areas. For swimming, you need to find out designated zone which is mostly on the north side of the lake. This area is under the watch of lifeguards and is free for swimming. 

Right next to the local tourist office, there is a place where you can rent a boat or join a group on a cruise-like boat trip around the lake. Both activities are relaxing and a rewarding way of taking in some fresh air.

6. Lake Ercina

Lake Ercina

Lake Ercina is a small flatwater lake located in Asturias, Spain in the Cantabrian Mountains region, which is next to lake enol. Situated at an altitude of 1108 meters with a maximum depth of 7 feet, this lake is suited for kayaking for kids, beginners and newbies. 

The water of this lake is transparent and you can literally see through it and also try your hands at fishing. When there are strong winds flowing, the water might become a bit choppy and you need to be more cautious in this situation. 

The color of the lake is very eye-captivating from light green to dark green. However, it keeps changing because of lightning and aquatic vegetation present in this region. 

Speaking about the vegetation, Lake Ercina has a very fertile environment which gives arise to micro vegetation in the region. Plant communities occupy most of the basin which adds to the natural flora and fauna of this lake. 

7. Ibones de Anayet

Located at a stunning height of 2.223 meters, Ibones De Anayet is one of the most popular hiking and camping spots in the Central Pyrenees. With a beautiful lake surrounding the region and iconic mountains, this place is perfect for kayaking or canoeing in Spain. 

Since the water in this region is very calm and composed, you can also try your luck with a stand or fly fishing. I won’t recommend swimming as there are ample leeches present and aquatic wildlife that might be dangerous and life-threatening. 

Overall, this lake is a treat for visitors, given its calm waters and lush surroundings. Many trails crisscross across the banks of the lakes which are frequently traversed by outdoor enthusiasts.

8. Reservoir of Ullíbarri-Gamboa

The Ullíbarri-Gamboa Reservoir is one of the popular spots for kayaking in Spain and the largest reservoir in the Basque Country. It is also popular for hiking, camping and touring purposes. This entire reservoir is surrounded by three major islands Zuhatza, The island of horses and Oren. 

Schatz: This island is best suited for kayaking, canoeing, boating and paddle boarding. It is also famous for large numbers of rabbits and is also called the island of rabbits in Spain. 

The island of horses: This is suited for camping and hiking purpose. There are no water bodies found on this island. 

Orenin: This is a small village that ended up being an isolated island before the reservoir was built.  Today has turned into a beautiful island where 1000+ bird colonies stay especially during the summer season. 

9. Lake Negratin – Granada Province

This is one of the largest lakes in Andalucias region, which is formed by Negratin Dam on the Guadiana Menor river. Once you reach this spot, you’ll find the dazzling sight of aquamarine or cobalt blue freshwater, making it the best place for kayaking in Barcelona, Spain. 

Depending on the time and location of the Sun, this lake offers a scenic view to give you the best experience ever. Canoeing, sailing, paddle boarding, wakeboarding and other water sports activities are 100% free and legal in this region.

10. Reservoir La Viñuela

Here’s another great reservoir in Spain for kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boarding purposes. This is not an ordinary reservoir in Spain. It is large and filled with choppy water type, making it ideal for professional-level kayakers, anglers and paddlers. 

There are ample of fishing species found in this region like bass, trout, salmon and many other aquatic and marine animals. You can also carry out duck hunting activities in this region. 

Best rivers for canoeing & kayaking in Barcelona

1. Tagus

Tagus river

The Tagus is the longest river of the Iberian Peninsula. It rises in Montes Universales near Teruel, in east Spain and flows to the west with two main sections into the Atlantic Ocean. 

The river is Toledo city, which depends on this river for its water resources and recreational purposes like kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and many other water sports activities. Not to mention the added beauty of the river also attracts loads of tourists and local visitors every summer. Along the banks of the river, you’ll also come across upper and lower fertile valleys, known as Veta Alta and Vega Baja.

You can carry out camping, hiking and backpacking activities in the valley. 

The tandem relationship between the countryside and the Toledo cityscape creates a remarkable landscape and enhances the overall natural beauty of this river. Alongside the river bank, you’ll get also get a chance of looking through heritage cultural architecture, mountains, trees and a stunning sunset view. 

2. Ebro


Do you want to sail across the most beautiful river in Spain? If yes, Ebro river is the place to be at. With a stunning combination of landscape, natural beauty and an immense amount of biological richness, river Ebro is perfect for canoeing in Spain.

To reach this spot for kayaking, you can board a jetty or sailboat at the very heart of Tortosa next to Nouveau Market. Taking a boat ride will be fun and enjoyable experience to you and your family as well. Yes, you can carry your kayak or canoe without any hassle.

Another way to discover this river is by kayaking yourself, all the way from Riba-Roja d’Ebre down to the Delta, by taking a few breaks in between. If you don’t have your own kayak or canoe, no worries. Kayaking rental is available throughout the river instead, as it is a very common watersport carried out here. 

If you prefer another option, then you can opt for a motorboat ride and reach the spot more quickly. 

3. Duero

Duero river

When speaking about the best river for kayaking in Spain, how can we forget about Duero? this is the third longest river in the Iberian peninsula whose name has been derived from gold. It flows westward from Spain and cuts through northern Portugal all the way upto the Atlantic Ocean.

The portion of the river in Spain flows through five provinces of Castile and Leon, while the river in Portugal forms the heart of the Douri River Valle Pinheiro, the most famous and oldest wine-producing region in the world and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This river also cruises across many exotic islands in Spain allowing you to experience in-deth sightseeing to cultural visits behind the scenes.

4. Guadiana

Guadiana river

The banks of river Guadiana are a great combination of beauty and peace. With splendid natural beauty, stunning cliffs, cork oak forests and river beaches, this is surely a perfect spot for kayaking in Spain. You can enjoy a refreshing kayaking session on the river or observe the majestic prey birds. There are ample fishing varieties on the river, making it a spot for fly or stand-up fishing as well. 

Cost of kayaking in Barcelona

The cost of kayaking in Barcelona and Spain depends on several factors and the following are the few.

1. Type of kayak:  Which type of kayak you own greatly influences the cost of kayaks in Spain. If you are having your own kayak then the cost of kayaking in Spain would be not more than $100 or $200. If you don’t have your own kayak the cost would go up. 

2. Location: Kayaking in nearby locations would be relatively cheaper as compared to kayaking in long distances because of transportation costs and all. 

3. Distance: Long-distance kayaking In Barcelona or Spain is expensive. You might need to pay a few extra dollars and the total cost would go up to $200 or $500 per day, provided that you have your own kayak. 

4. Rentals: Kayaking rentals in Spain are pretty cheap and affordable. It would cost not more than $25 per hour to $50 per hour for a solo ride on a kayak. Tandem kayaks would cost anywhere between $80 to $100 per hour. 

Accessories you need for kayaking in Barcelona

1. Best Kayak

Best Kayak

The very first thing that you need for kayaking in Barcelona is a stunning kayak that will take your kayaking experience next level. If you already own an inflatable kayak that is exceptionally well. You can stuff it inside the carry backpack and bring it along with you. Also, carry and transportation will become hassle-free for you. 

In case, you own a hardshell or rigid kayak then you might need a kayaking cart or trailer to carry and transport your watercraft from one place to another. Also, this is only applicable when you are living in Barcelona. 

What if you are touring?

You need to rent a kayak in Barcelona from any store or rental shop near me. You can opt for a fishing kayak if you are looking for a perfect angling experience or a tandem kayak if you are with your friends, family and partner. 

2. Life jacket

Life Jacket

When going out kayaking and canoeing in Barcelona, your first priority should be safety. Without this, you cannot think of enjoying an awesome ride with confidence. Of course, there are 100+ different types of kayak life safety jackets available in the market. 

Therefore, you should always choose a life jacket that is approved by US Coastal Guards, international standards, European standards or commercial standards. Apart from these certifications, you also need to look at the overall fitting of your jacket. 

Generally, a life jacket for kayaking should be lightweight, easy to fit and should give you comfortable paddling and rowing experience. Also, make sure that your life jacket is made with durable and hard construction material, making it long serving in life. 

3. Cooler


If you are planning for a long-distance kayaking experience in Barcelona, then you shouldn’t miss out on food supplies and beverages. If you think that you can survive on the water without food and supplies – think again. There is a wide range of kayaking coolers available in the market that will allow you to stuff your food and drinks and keep them fresh for your long-distance ride. 

Buy a kayak cooler that is lightweight, compact and gets easily stuffed inside your kayak cockpit or on the deck if you have got a stand-up fishing kayak. Also, your cooler must have a carry handle, a perfect insulation system and be built with durable construction material.

4. Dry bag

Dry nag

If going anywhere on the water without your favourite digital device or cell phone makes you cringe buy a kayak dry storage bag and carry all your accessories, gear and extras with confidence and without worrying about getting them damaged with a splash of water.  

5. Backpack


Of course, without having a proper backpack stuffed with your kayaking gear and essentials, you cannot think of going kayaking in Barcelona. In the backpack, you can carry your small-sized gear like sunglasses, kayaking hat, kayaking fish or depth finder, light, knife and loads of essentials. 

6. Sunglasses


When planning a kayak or canoe trip in Barcelona most of kayakers and paddlers carry all the relevant paddling essentials. However, they overlook the importance of kayaking sunglasses. This is an essential kayak gear that will keep your eye protected from UV rays, fast-blowing wind and from the splash of water if you are kayaking on river rapids. 

Therefore, make sure that you are equipped with the perfect kayak sunglasses to enjoy hassle-free canoeing in Barcelona. 

7. Speaker 


The next important gear while kayaking, canoeing or boating in Barcelona is a waterproof speaker. I am pretty much sure that you might get tired in the middle of your kayaking or paddling journey. Hence, you need something to unwind and make up your mood in the middle of the water. And nothing beats the ability of good music to take your energy next level and refresh your mind. 

8. Map 

If you are going canoeing or boating in Barcelona for the first time, you might not be aware of the map and directions very well. That’s why you must be equipped with a local kayak map that clearly depicts the places and locations for your safety and smooth kayaking experience. 

9. GPS system

GPS system

Kayaking, canoeing or boating in Barcelona is not just gliding on calm water types and enjoying a leisurely paddle. It is something more than that because with the right kayak you can explore the unexplored and paddle out to a remote location on the coastline of Barcelona. You can head upstream or go downstream and see the beautiful lakeside, beaches, rivers and calm water. 

That’s what true kayaking and canoeing in Barcelona, UK, is all about.

But in order to ensure safety and hassle-free navigation, you must have a kayak GPS system, especially if you are a tourist kayaker in UK. A GPS system will allow you to track and navigate smoothly without fear of getting lost in the middle of the waterways. 

10. Watch


If you are an adventure kayaker in Barcelona who loves to explore tight spots and unexplored locations on water, a GPS and waterproof kayaking watch is a must-have accessory for you. This gear will not only give you a safe paddling experience but also comes with health benefits like tracking for performance, calories burned while kayaking and more. 

All you have to do is to ensure that you choose a perfect GPS watch that will show you time, track your health and also can be used as GPS or navigation system. 

11. Fish Finder

Fish Finder

If you are planning a kayak fishing adventure in Barcelona, you also need a fish finder or depth finder that will allow you to locate the fish and let them know about the depth of water. 

FAQs About Kayaking And Canoeing In Spain

Do you need a license for kayaking in Spain?

When you are using your own kayak, you must be aware of restrictions and licenses required at specific locations. In Spain, you can paddle anywhere in a non-tidal location with a Spanish canoe union license or license from the local environmental agency.  For kayaking at some places, you must join a locally guided tour because of the tide and busy shipping lanes.

Can you kayak in Spain at night?

Yes, you can also kayak in Spain at night without worrying about any accidents. For kayaking at night, you need to make sure you are equipped with the latest kayaking gear, gadgets and tools which include light, GPS system, depth finder, wireless cell phone and safety jacket. 

Is kayaking legal in Spain?

Yes, kayaking is 100% legal in Spain. You can kayak anywhere by taking relevant permission from the local authorities. Some places allow free kayaking, while some are paid. 

Where can you go kayaking in Spain?

There are a variety of lakes, rivers, seas and beaches available in Spain for kayaking. However, some areas might require a specific skill, or license and some areas may be free to kayak or canoe anywhere in Spain. Canals and inland rivers are also great spots for kayaking in Spain.

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