We had heard mixed reviews about taking in the beach scene while in Barcelona, but with two teenage sons and an otherwise full schedule we decided to make it work. My research suggested within the city limits that Nova Icaria was the beach of choice for locals and families and our two visits during our vacation didn't disappoint.
We arrived on the early side, which is definitely advisable, by 11am both times. We easily were able to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas (2 chairs and umbrella 30 euro, but hey, you are on vacation) We were able to order food and drinks from an on the beach bar/restaurant as well. The prices were fairly reasonable. There are some vendors who wander around the beach selling wraps, massage and water, but nothing you can't politely wave off. We didn't feel intimidated or pressured in any way, but we can really say that about Barcelona as a whole.
We travel often, but we did love this beach and the experience. The water was comfortable, easily swim friendly, and quite clean overall. We are so happy to have chosen it over Barceloneta, although our next visits we'll hope to make it out to one of the other coastal towns which by all accounts are amazing too.
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