Spain has some of the most scenic coastline in Europe, with thousands of beautiful beaches and coves to explore. There are boat trips all along the coast that take you to picturesque ports and allow you to spend time out on the sea, enjoying gorgeous views of the Spanish countryside. These are eight boat trips in Spain that every traveler should experience before they leave the country.
1. The Bilbao Tour
The Bilbao boat trip is a tourist’s dream. It takes you from Bilbao, one of Spain’s coolest cities, across a winding river filled with gorgeous nature and rich culture for about two hours. Although it’s not that long, you’ll get a much better picture of what Bilbao is like than if you just landed there, saw some buildings, went shopping at some stores and headed back home—which is exactly why tourists love it so much. There are multiple boat trips that take place throughout an afternoon or evening; just remember to book ahead of time because they tend to sell out pretty quickly!
2. Barcelona Sailing Cruise
Barcelona is one of those cities where a boat cruise is practically a requirement. The city’s Catalan residents take great pride in their waterfront and make excellent use of it by hosting boat cruises that go up and down it. If you want to see Barcelona from a unique perspective, get on board one of these public ferries and sit back with a glass of bubbly. It’s easy to choose which tour fits your needs based on how much time you have: thirty minutes or two hours, by night or by day.
3. Ibiza Beach Hopping Cruise
Taking a sunset tour through Ibiza’s famous canals is a quintessential way to experience both local culture and stunning Mediterranean views. Just make sure you go with an experienced captain. The beach hopping tour can be found on TripAdvisor’s list of the best things to do in Ibiza and things not to miss when visiting Ibiza – even being nominated as one of eight top activities by NatGeo Traveler magazine. The tour takes you past some of Ibiza’s most amazing beaches, including Sant Antoni beach, where Part 2 of Sex and the City was filmed.
4. The Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) is one of Europe’s most historic walking trails, leading pilgrims from France to Spain. In 2016, more than 100,000 people walked all or part of its 800-year-old trail. If you’re not looking for such a serious undertaking but still want to immerse yourself in Spanish culture, consider joining a small-group tour along its route. There are many reputable operators who will tailor your itinerary based on your interests and budget.
5. To Irati Falls
Nestled within a beautiful national park, San Pedro de Irati Falls are an incredible sight that shouldn’t be missed by any nature lover. The 15-meter-high falls are one of many beautiful waterfalls found along this region’s river and stream beds. The area surrounding San Pedro is perfect for hiking, canoeing, and rock climbing—if you’re lucky enough to stay nearby during peak season, you can even spot some of Spain’s elusive brown bears! After your visit here, make sure to stop by Luzardo National Park—another stunningly picturesque area where you can hike through meadows full of flowers or climb over rocky cliffs until sunset.
6. San Sebastián’s Bay of Biscay Ferry Trip
For a beautiful view of the area, take a short trip across San Sebastián’s Bay of Biscay. The bay’s surrounding cliffs offer up a stunning coastline and provide an easy opportunity for hiking or sightseeing on one side and fun water activities on the other. San Sebastián is also renowned for its culinary offerings, especially seafood. So make sure you indulge while there! The bay is just 20 minutes from San Sebastián, making it an easy day trip—but it’s so popular that many travel agencies offer multiple daily ferry trips during high season.
7. Galicia’s Coast
Galicia’s coast offers some of Europe’s most stunning beaches. From its most northwest corner to its southern end, it’s a pleasant walk with long stretches of sand, beautiful sea cliffs, and lively coastal towns. People come here for sunshine, fish, and seafood but also for culture; Santiago de Compostela is Galicia’s main attraction. It’s easy to get around by rental car or bus. Travelers can spend days along Pontevedra’s coast on itineraries that take them from beach towns like La Coruña north towards Vigo or south past Santiago de Compostela and into Palma de Mallorca—islands that are an easy ferry ride away.
Marbella is known for having a lot of fun, so it’s not surprising that it has a boat tour along its coastline. There are different times and options for getting out on the water, making it easy to fit one into your trip regardless of your schedule. Marbella is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with its gorgeous ocean views and fresh air that makes people feel like they’re on vacation when they visit. Hiring a boat tour allows you to see everything from an even better vantage point while enjoying some sunshine and getting a nice tan. If you want to do something out of your comfort zone but still have everything planned out already (because you did research), try going on a boat tour during your next vacation!