This Christmas Day, hundreds of thrillseekers will leap into the cold Mediterranean sea for an invigorating, 200-metre race at the port by Maremagnum. Known as the Copa Nadal, the event is organised by the Club Natació Barcelona, this year celebrating their 113th edition in all its icy glory.
The benefits of cold water swimming have been praised since time immemorial: it leads to better circulation, a higher metabolism, a stronger immune system and clearer skin tone. Sudden changes of temperature also kick-start the release of serotonin and dopamine, our mood-boosting neurotransmitters.
Whether you can face plunging into the water or not, there are other ways to enjoy cold water immersion. Try plunge pools at spas across the city; enjoy a rub down with ice cubes at Aire de Barcelona; work yourself up to a swim in the ocean by taking cool showers to build tolerance. Or just sign up for the Copa Nadal and see the year out with an exhilarating, icy dip.