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5 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Summer Vacation Near Barcelona post image

5 Ideas for a Family-Friendly Summer Vacation Near Barcelona


Emma Kelly

May 13, 2019

Last updated on March 22, 2022 by the Explore-Share team


Did you know that Catalonia in Spain is rich with family-friendly outdoor activities? When we think of Catalonia, Barcelona, with its many attractions, often steals the spotlight. However, journey just a little bit outside of the city and you’ll be met with an abundance of things to do and see, many of which can be done in a day trip from Barcelona. 

Plus, there’s no need to exclude your kids! The Catalan Pyrenees are home, not only to spectacular scenery but also some pretty cool activities. There are plenty of options that are suitable for the whole family. Not only will your kids get to experience nature and the great outdoors, but they’ll also be exposed to a culture rich with history and traditions.

For the best possible experience, it’s always good to have the help of a certified guide, especially if the whole family is along for the ride.

Keep reading for five great activity ideas to help shape your family-friendly adventure near Barcelona.



1. Thrills for the whole family


Canyoning is an awesome fun-filled activity that involves rappelling down gorges, jumping off and climbing rocks as well as swimming in rivers. Your kids will love it and so will you.

Vall de Núria, in the Catalan Pyrenees, is an awesome place to enjoy a few hours canyoning. There, you'll find the Freser Inferior Canyon. This is a great spot for a family trip as it's not super technical but there are enough features to keep things interesting.


In brief:

  • Distance from Barcelona: The canyon itself is just 128km from Barcelona, that's a 1-hour 45-minute drive. The train journey takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

  • How to get there: To get there from Barcelona you can either drive or take the train to Queralbs. If you choose to drive, take the B-10,  the C-33, C-17 and GIV-5217 to Queralbs.

To take the train you’ll need to take the R3 from Barcelona Plaça Catalunya towards Latour-de-Carol, getting off at Ribes de Freser. There is no road access into the Val de Nuria, so from Ribes de Freser or Queralbs, you'll either need to walk or get the train to the canyoning spot.

Book your guided canyoning experience in Val de Nuria now and start making memories for you and your whole family.


2. Explore the coast and burn energy at the same time


Want to head to the coast but need something more active than just sunbathing? Well, then this is the option for you. Coasteering is an activity that combines hiking, high water jumps, cave exploration, swimming and more. It’s an awesome way for you and your family to discover the beauty of the Catalan coast while staying active. 


Sant Pol Beach in S'Agaró is an excellent coasteering location. It’s just up the coast from Barcelona but it’s calm and peaceful too. The excellent rocky landscape will be the perfect platform to jump into the aquamarine colored water! 

In brief:

  • Distance from Barcelona: This beach is around 50 km from Barcelona. It'll take roughly 45 minutes to get there in the car and one hour on the bus. These times are dependant on traffic. The journey is around 1 hour on the train.

  • How to get there: If you’re driving, take the AP-7, C-65, and  GIV-6621 to Passeig de Sant Pol. To get there on the train, take the R1 train line from Barcelona to the Sant Pol de Mar station.

You can also take the 603 bus from Barcelona Nord getting off at Plaça de Sant Crìstòfol & N-II, which is a five-minute walk from the beach.

This is the ultimate beach day out and you'll be hooked on coasteering when you're done! book your coasteering adventure on Sant Pol Beach today.


3. Reach exhilarating new heights in the mountains


A via ferrata is a great way to get you and your family climbing outside in a fun but controlled environment. Helped along with a system of steel ropes and steps attached to the rock, your kids will be able to climb to the top without problems. You won't need to worry about your children not having climbing experience, nor will you have to worry about their safety.

Here's our list of the best via ferratas around Barcelona


There are via ferrata all over Europe but you’ll find an excellent, family-friendly one just north of Lleida in Catalonia. It’s called the Teletubbies via ferrata and it gives you some pretty outstanding views of the turquoise waters of the Mont-Rebei Gorge.

This one is suitable for children from 12 years old and up. 

In brief:

  • Distance from Barcelona: The closest town to the via ferrata is Àger which is approximately 180 km from Barcelona. This is approximately a 2 hour and 15-minute drive.

  • How to get there: You can drive there via the A2 and C53 roads. There are also regular buses and trains going from Barcelona to Lleida from where you can connect on to Àger.

Your kids will love via ferrata. Don’t miss your chance to experience the beautiful scenery of Catalonia and enjoy a climb with them. Book a kid-friendly via ferrata trip in Lleida today

4. Aquatic adventures await in Girona


Aquatic trekking is a pretty awesome way to get everyone active while still keeping them fresh on a hot summers day. On a water trek, you get to explore rivers, rock pools and more. Plus, as well as hiking, you'll also get to jump, dive and swim!


The Canet d’Adri gorge is the ideal place for your aquatic fun. Not only does it have a beautiful river to explore, but it’s also home to a wonderful ecosystem of flora and fauna. On guided trips, your guide will be able to point all of this out to you and your family. This is not just an adventure destination for your kids, it’s also an educational one.

In brief:

  • Distance from Barcelona: Canet d’Adri is around 110 km from Barcelona.  That's around 1 hour and 15 minutes in the car.

  • How to get there: Take the AP-2  highway, the GI-531, and GIV-5313 before arriving at Canet d’Adri. You can also take one of the hourly trains to Girona or take the bus to Canet d'Adri.

So, get ready to take to the water. Book this guided aquatic trek in the Canet D'Adri gorge and get your family ready for an awesome day out.

5. Experience adrenaline, nature, and history, as you hike


The Catalunian landscape is simply beautiful. It’s also rich with amazing nature and the land holds centuries of interesting history. In a hike through the Catalonian countryside, you and your kids will be about to learn all about that nature and history.


Pont Tibetà, close to Solsona, Lleida is a great place to enjoy a family hike. Here you’ll find an 8 km trail that takes you across the impressive 35-meter long Pont Tibetà (Tibetan Bridge). This bridge is pretty high up, so you’ll definitely get an adrenaline rush here!  The trail takes you through greenery and even explore some Emboscats, which were used as refuges in the Spanish Civil War.

In brief:

  • Distance from Barcelona: Solsona is around 113 km from Barcelona which is about a 1 hour and 26 minutes drive in the car. This is the most direct route.

  • How to get there: From Barcelona, you’ll need to take highways C-58, C-16, and C-55 to Solsona. You can also take the bus towards Andora from Barcelona Nord, this will take around 2 hours and 10 minutes.

So, check out this hiking trip to the Pont Tibetà where as well as enjoying a good trek you’ll get to learn all about the region from an experienced guide.


So, now that you’ve seen the amazing opportunities on offer in Catalonia, it’s time to start your trip planning. Then, be sure to explore the rest of the adventure possibilities that await you across Spain.



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