Hands down, my favorite memory in Barcelona was our sunrise running tour with Robin, the owner of Running Tours Barcelona.
As soon as we booked our trip to Barcelona, I started researching running tours. In large cities such as Paris, Barcelona and London running tours are a great way to remove the intimidation factor, learn a great deal and squeeze in a great workout. While we’ve had a tough time finding running tours in smaller cities during the off-season, we thoroughly enjoyed our Paris running tour last November.
Running Tours Barcelona offers 7 private to semi-private tour options as well as 4 group tour options for those who are looking for less expensive options. Since each of our three days in Barcelona would be quite full, we booked the Early Bird 10km tour which starts before sunrise, at 7am and finishes by 8:30. The early hour of the tour allowed us to experience Barcelona in a whole new way – without the distraction of people.
We met Robin, our guide, outside our hotel at 7am, just before the sun rose, ready for an hour of exploration. He quickly explained that the tour would lead us through many parts of Barcelona including many of the top sights but also including smaller, lesser explored areas such as the Olympic athletes village and Parc de la Ciutadella.
As you can see from the pictures, the streets were empty of people except the stragglers leaving the late night clubs when we started and a few people walking their dogs as we ended. As we ran through the streets, Robin shared history and facts with us, many of which we didn’t learn the previous day during our walking tour. While that tour focused more on Barcelona’s history and Gaudi, our running tour focused on modern Barcelona such as the impacts of tourism, government changes, the future of Barcelona’s port, the impact the 1992 Olympics had on Barcelona, as well as what it is like to live in Barcelona.
We sprinted to the beach to ensure we made it in time to watch the sunrise.
We were able to learn about the increasing demand for mega yacht space in the Barcelona harbor while ogling the huge, gorgeous boats.
We followed the beach front path through Barcoleneta towards Port Olimpic while enjoying views of Frank Gehry’s Golden Fish and Peix Hotel d’Arts.
We marveled in the now empty Place del Rei, as we learned about Christopher Columbus ties to Barcelona.
We enjoyed the beauty of Ciutadella Park, home to the Barcelona Zoo, Parliament of Catalonia, and a large fountain designed by Josep Fontsere.
The 12 kilometer or 7.5 mile run flew by and before we knew it we were entering Las Ramblas and stopping for a final selfie at our hotel.
While the running tour wasn’t cheap, at 75 euros, it allowed us to see new parts of the city and as well as enjoy the gorgeous sunrise views and Robin’s extensive knowledge. Thank you Robin and Running Tours Barcelona for the amazing start to our day!
I was not compensated or provided a complimentary tour in exchange for this post. All opinions are our own; we really just LOVED the tour and love supporting small companies!