Barcelona's Province Blue Ways

River Tourism: Barcelona's Province Blue Ways

    Thomas Guillot
  • 19/11/2020

Blue Ways (Vies Blaves) is a project to convert almost 300km for bikers and hikers along the main rivers of the province of Barcelona: Llobregat, Anoia and Cardener. This good practice was presented at the occasion of Star Cities International Learning Session.

It deals with three main challenges: to create a network of sustainable local mobility, to improve the accessibility to the industrial, cultural and natural heritage of the territory and to promote the local development through the creation of new tourism products.

From the tourist perspective, Blue Ways go along 59 municipalities from 7 counties with a total population of 400.000 inhabitants but it must be highlighted the big area of influence since more than 5 million people live in less than half an hour. Besides the area already counts on an important offer of accommodation that will benefit form this complementary infrastructure.Thus, the project will contribute to the deconcentration of the tourism offer to the hinterlands and to break the seasonality with the creation of new tourism products, i.e. cycling tourism.

With regards to the mobility and accessibility aspects, Blue Ways have been designed to guarantee the accessibility of all kind of users (3m width, slopes up to 6%, near the river but outside the flooding areas and taking advantage of existing paths, if possible). The ways include also viewpoints along the path, rest areas in special sites, the improvement of green areas and inclusive sections near the municipalities to facilitate local leisure for residents. It also considers the connection paths with the municipalities along the ways and the connections with public transport.

Regional Information
Leading Region
Project Information
Results and Monitoring


One of the main innovative aspects of the project is that in Spain this kind of “green ways” have been constructed on former railways. In this case, it is an “ex-novo” investment that combines the challenge of promoting local mobility, accessibility to local resources and new tourist offer. For its dimension it is an unique investment in the South of Europe.

Some of the challenges encountered have been the accomplishment of legal requirements for urban planning to guarantee the public use, the agreement with municipalities and private owners, the difficult orography and the need to develop technical solutions to avoid floodable crossings and the connectivity with public transportation

Additional Information

In 2022, the project Blue Ways have been awarded 4,5 millions EUR from the Next Generation EU funds. The expected total budget is 54 million euros. This 4,5 millions will be invested in a first phase of the Blue Ways covering 19 km going through 5 municipalities of Anoia county: Jorba, Igualada, Santa Margarida de Montbui, Vilanova del Camí y la Pobla de Claramunt.

Some of the main actions foreseen in this first phase of the Blue Ways are: the creation and adaptation of non-motorized itineraries through cycling and pedestrian infrastructures, the installation of sustainable energy Systems, the installation of information and communication technology equipment, he development of marketing activities and digital tools, including a Sustainable Tourism Digital Marketing Plan.

Contact Information
First Name
Diputació de Barcelona