A spot of bird and plane watching right next to the city
So when I say you should take a day trip to the airport, hear me out. Close to Barcelona airport there’s a hidden nature reserve for over 350 bird species, called Delta del Llobregat.
It’s a nice break from the city without having to go miles out of your way. Plus, if you don’t have time to spend the whole day there you can visit the delta just for the afternoon.
What to do
The delta is an important natural area, especially for birds as it is a migratory route connecting Europe to Africa. It has one of the highest number of bird species in Spain and as a result has been named a Globally Important Bird Area (GIBA). Aside from bird watching, you can also catch a glimpse of other wildlife. When I visited I saw plenty of turtles in the water.
Not only can you spot birds flying overhead here, but planes too. As Delta del Llobregat is right next to the airport, it’s hard not to notice a continuous stream of planes coming in to land. They even have a plane spotting guide to help you identify each one. As you watch all the planes arrive, you can definitely begin to understand why Barcelona is Spain’s second biggest airport.
The planes offer a bit of excitement during your walk in the countryside. But if you were after a quiet walk don’t worry, as you continue along the path it does get less noisy and you still get a great view of planes landing amidst the natural landscape.
There are different walking routes available but I took the route from Parc Nou metro station all the way down to a virgin beach with two amazing viewpoints. It’s an easy route and flat all the way. If you know of any other good walking routes, let me know and feel free to share them by commenting below!
Along this route there is a spot where you can view planes arriving. If you keep going past the airport and down to the mouth of the river you reach viewpoints Torretta Mira Mare and Mirador del Semafor with great views of the delta. It’s a perfect route for a bike ride and don’t forget to bring a picnic! It’s also good to know that there are public toilets at Torretta Mira Mare, and bear in mind that the footpath is only open until 5pm.
How to get there
You can get to Delta del Llobregat from Barcelona centre by metro with the L9 line and get off at Parc Nou station. From here it is about a 5 minute walk to the start of the footpath to the Delta. If you go by car, there is plenty of parking nearby.
Know of any other unusual day trips near Barcelona? Where’s your favourite place to visit to escape the city? Share and comment below!