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Set against the stunning backdrop of Barcelona’s maritime vista, the 37th America’s Cup is poised to make waves in sporting history.
Steeped in 173 years of maritime tradition, this year’s edition of the America’s Cup promises to be the most accessible yet, welcoming enthusiasts and travellers from around the globe to revel in the thrill of world-class yacht racing.
The America’s Cup, originating in honour of Queen Victoria in London in 1851, is the oldest sporting event worldwide – second only to the Olympics and the World Cup in terms of economic impact. As the defending champions, Emirates Team New Zealand will spar against giants of international sailing talent, including INEOS Britannia, Alinghi Red Bull Racing, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, NYYC American Magic, and Orient-Express Racing Team.
This year, the inaugural America’s Cup preliminary sailing regatta was held as a four-day event, spanning from September 14th to the 17th. The competition unfolded at the historic Vilanova i la Geltru port, located in the southern region of Barcelona. Nestled along Catalonia’s gorgeous Costa Dorada coastline, this hidden gem is just a 40-minute journey from the heart of Barcelona.
Although the thrill of the races will attract spectators from across the globe, it’s the rich culture, culinary excellence, and charming historical seaside villages and ports that will tempt you to extend your stay well after the boats have departed.
Mr Raül Guerra, Asia-Pacific Regional Director of the Catalan Tourism Board says, “Barcelona has already earned its sporting credentials following the 1992 Olympics and now the city that combines history, tradition and sport is preparing to welcome visitors from around the globe for the America’s Cup in 2024 against a beautiful Mediterranean backdrop. We can’t wait to share with the world Catalonia’s traditions and hospitality in one of Europe’s most unique capitals”.
This year marks more than one historic moment as we witness the first Women’s America’s Cup and Youth America’s Cup. The finals are scheduled to coincide with the key dates of the America’s Cup Challenger Series and Match, providing a sneak peek at the future stars of sailing.
The epicentre of all America’s Cup action is set to lie within the bustling America’s Cup Race Village. Located along the Moll de la Fusta in Port Vell, this lively and free-spirited hub acts as the ultimate point of connection between people, vessels, team bases, and events.
To watch the races, the beaches stretching between Port Vell and Port Olimpic offer prime (and free) viewing spots, ensuring an immersive and electrifying experience for all.
Barcelona’s Port Vell or ‘Old Harbour’ offers a picturesque venue for the Cup with large areas and viewing platforms for the public to enjoy the big race. Bathed in Mediterranean sunshine, Port Vell transforms into a vibrant hub of maritime excitement with its inviting promenades and picture-perfect waters complemented by the iconic Columbus Monument.
The port was built as a result of an urban rejuvenation initiative prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Presently, it stands as a captivating waterfront locale which blends history and modernity into a vibrant celebration of treasured tradition and contemporary amenities.
Accessible via metro or bus, Port Vell offers a scenic Mediterranean panorama perfect for dining along the waterside eateries, indulging in local seafood, and savouring Catalan delicacies. Moreover, it’s a shopping haven, housing upscale brands and boutiques along with attractions such as the Barcelona Aquarium and the iconic Columbus Monument.
The second base, Port Olímpic, is situated in the heart of Barcelona and stands as an emblematic waterfront haven. It beckons for leisurely strolls along the promenade, offering panoramic views of breathtaking azure water. The area features many significant city landmarks including the Torre Mapfre skyscraper, the luxurious Hotel Arts Barcelona, and the iconic golden-hued sculpture of Frank Gehry’s Fish, a symbol of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
For those who want to experience the water as well as marvel at it, a plethora of exhilarating water sports await – from sailing and jet skiing to paddleboarding and windsurfing. When it’s time to rejuvenate, an array of waterfront dining establishments await where one can taste traditional Catalan cuisine or savour rich international flavours. As twilight descends, embrace the vibrant nightlife with trendy bars, clubs, and lounges.
Moreover, Port Olímpic serves as a convenient launchpad for further exploration of Barcelona. Embark on ventures to the lively beaches of Barceloneta or delve into the labyrinthine medieval alleys of the Gothic Quarter to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and local culture.
Experience Catalonia: The Grand Tour
Beyond Barcelona, Catalonia beckons with its circular itinerary known as the Grand Tour—an epic 2000km odyssey that weaves through prehistoric cave paintings, splendid Roman ruins, vineyard-draped landscapes, and artisanal culinary treasures. Whether you explore the serene Delta de L’Ebre or the rugged Pyrenees, Catalonia offers a tapestry of experiences for travellers of all styles.
As we celebrate 172 years of sailing heritage, Catalonia invites you to indulge in purposeful travel, sustainability, and unforgettable moments on the high seas. Soak in the Mediterranean magic, savour the local flavours, and immerse yourself in this once-in-a-lifetime sporting extravaganza.
Join us in Barcelona in 2024 for the 37th America’s Cup; a celebration of tradition, excellence, and the sheer thrill of the open sea.