Parks of blue and green

  • Boy getting on a bicycle
  • Woman looking at the sculpture in the lake at Parc del Litoral
  • Two women walking through  Parc del Litoral
  • Grass in Parc del Litoral

From one park to another

The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona represented one of the city's most significant urban regeneration schemes. On the seafront five parks were created on old industrial land in Poblenou: Carles I Park on the new urban plot and, on the coast, Les Cascades Park, Port Olímpic Park, Nova Icària Park and Poblenou Park. 

At the moment, we can almost go from one end of Barcelona's seafront to the other completely through parks. This is a very pleasant combination of blue and green that has been growing over the years. This month's proposal leads us through the gardens, almost touching the sea, crossing four of the five parks that make up those which, in 1992, were given the name Coastal Parks.

The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona represented one of the city's most significant urban regeneration schemes. On the seafront, while the Olympic Village and the Cinturó del Litoral ("Coastal belt") were being built, five parks were created on old industrial land in Poblenou: Carles I Park on the new urban plot and, on the coast, Les Cascades Park, Port Olímpic Park, Nova Icària Park and Poblenou Park. These last four parks make it possible for us to go along the seafront, whether on foot or by bicycle, without leaving the garden areas.

Les Cascades Park

This park, where our tour begins, is an open walkway, a gateway to the Olympic Village and a passageway that leads us to the beaches - the closest being Barceloneta beach - in the middle of dense, typically Mediterranean vegetation.

The park's name comes from the waterfall that descends from a pond where the group of sculptures El poder de la paraula ("The power of words") by Auke de Vries stands out, and just before entering another park a large mask looks down on us from the sky. This is David i Goliat ("David and Goliath") by Antoni Llena. A few steps - or pedals - more and we arrive at the Plaça dels Voluntaris ("Volunteers' square"). On the other side of the square, the next park on the tour awaits us.

Port Olímpic Park

Located in front of the Olympic Port, this green space advances towards the sea in a large curve, offering expansive views of the seafront. At the Plaça dels Voluntaris, the flagpoles where the flags of the countries that participated in the 1992 Olympic Games flew and a sculpture of Cobi, the mascot of the games, recall this great sports event in different areas of the park.

At the beginning of the rows of flagpoles is Marc, a sculpture full of colour, created by painter Robert Llimós in memory of his son Marc, who died in a car accident.

On one side of the walkway, a large pergola becomes a rest area, with benches, a children's play area and terracotta pots in which ornamental plants shine. On the other side, looking out towards the sea, a wide parterre begins, filled with trees, shrubs and palm trees. As we advance through it, it opens up generously to give way to a large semicircular space with pathways, small squares, large expanses of grass and a very long and winding ceramic bench. At the end of the park, after crossing Carrer Arquitecte Sert, we arrive at the third park on our tour.

Nova Icària Park

Nova Icària Park, with the beach of the same name running alongside, is a space that breathes calmness and contrasts with the bustle of the Ronda del Litoral, which at this point emerges from the tunnel that began at Les Cascades Park. The entrance to this park is completely Olympic: the Plaça dels Campions ("Champions' square"), which is a rectangular and slightly elevated space that is accessed by ramp.

This is a family park, which is very busy with people when the sun comes out on the Barcelona coast. Five large wooden bridges for pedestrians and one for vehicles cross the road and connect the Olympic Village to the beaches and soft slopes of grass with Irises, Elders and Weeping Willows, reaching a large lake with the outline of the mythical island of Icaria.

Next to the last bridge, once we have crossed Carrer Jaume Vicens Vives, the last park on the tour begins. At one side Nova Icària beach ends and Bogatell beach begins, which will accompany us until the end of our tour.

Poblenou Park

This park is one of the coastal green spaces with the most direct access to the beach. In all parts of the park there are pathways that take us to the sand, passing by a shaded area provided by the typical Mediterranean vegetation. A place that recreates the landscape of some spots where the sea meets the land: beaches, dunes and groves, especially of Aleppo Pine trees. When the weather is good, many users look for a space in the shade - or in the sun to get a tan - to stretch out and enjoy the smell of the pine trees and the sea, which is an exceptionally pleasant mix.

The dunes are mostly found in an area somewhat separated from the park by the Avinguda Litoral. The larger of the dunes end in the sand, where the park and Mar Bella beach merge. It is a very sunny space, covered with the little vegetation that is capable of withstanding the salt water from the nearby sea. The other two beaches parallel to Poblenou Park are the Nova Icària and Bogatell beaches. Spread out between the dunes of the park, we find the wreckage of a boat.

How to get there

Arriving at Les Cascades Park, the beginning of the route, and doing the tour on bicycle is an excellent option. If you use the Bicing service, at the end of the tour there are Bicing stations where you can leave the bicycle, if you so wish.

If you prefer to walk, you can get to Les Cascades Park by bus (lines 10, 14, 36, 45, 57, 59, 71, 92 and 157), Metro (L4-Ciutadella) and tram (T4-Ciutadella/Vila Olímpica). At the end of the tour, in Poblenou Park, there are buses (lines 14, 26, 36 and 41), Metro stations (L4-Poblenou and Llacuna) and four Bicing stations on the Avinguda Litoral.

From one park to another

The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona represented one of the city's most significant urban regeneration schemes. On the seafront five parks were created on old industrial land in Poblenou: Carles I Park on the new urban plot and, on the coast, Les Cascades Park, Port Olímpic Park, Nova Icària Park and Poblenou Park. 

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