For water sports on the Costa Dorada, head to Salou. Also known as 'the beach of Europe', it received the title after receiving so many Blue Flags for the quality and cleanliness of its beaches and waters. The resort town has plenty of beaches, some quiet and relaxing, others lively. The busier beaches have facilities for water skiing and windsurfing, most have small canoes and paddle boats for hire. The more secluded beaches offer calmer activities, such as snorkelling and diving. Whichever beach you choose you will never be far from facilities allowing tourists to make the most out of their holiday.
The Costa Dorada region is filled with beautiful scenery and landscapes, varying from the mountainous terrain inland to the beautiful sandy beaches of the coast. The province of Catalonia is a wonderful place to walk providing diverse countryside from the borders of the Costa Brava in the north to Valencia further south. The area around Tarragona is wonderful for strolling along the beach and has many examples of historic Roman architecture.
If you are looking for something that will get the adrenaline pumping then why not try out rock climbing in the region? Costa Dorada makes an ideal location for rock climbing as it has plenty of mountainous Catalan countryside. The Sierra de Prades is a famous range of mountains that provide some of the finest rock climbing routes in Europe. The climate in the region is ideal for climbing - not too hot at midday, yet still mild and warm in the spring and autumn.
Costa Dorada has some of the finest golf courses in Spain - all are well maintained and welcoming to visitors. The warm weather and wonderful Mediterranean views make the courses in the area some of the most pleasant in Europe. It's advised to book in advance though to ensure you aren't disappointed. The Costa Dorada Members club has some of the longest holes in Spain, the clubhouse is typical of the area and the restaurant is well worth visiting.
The golf courses on the Costa Dorada are some of the most spectacular on the Spanish coast. The warm weather and wonderful Mediterranean views make the courses in the area very enjoyable. It's advised to book in advance to ensure you aren't disappointed, as the courses are very popular in the height of season.
The historic port of Tarragona has a wide selection of restaurants many of which serve fresh seafood caught from the harbour. There are also a number of local style tapas bars in the town, the majority of which will serve a selection of seafood dishes. For a variety of restaurants of varying styles of food, Salou is the ideal choice. The seaside resort has a large number of restaurants to choose from serving a selection of international cuisine as well as the traditional local dishes. Why not sample the famous Catalan paella at one of the seaside restaurants or further inland you can try a traditional Catalan stew?
Things to do
The Roman town of Tarragona is the capital of the Costa Dorada. The town that came under Roman rule in the third century B.C. is full of Roman architecture and ruins. There are also a number of examples of medieval Spanish architecture, making the town an interesting mix of historic landmarks. The Miravet Tower on the River Ebro is a medieval tower that was used by the Knights Templar in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The fascinating city of Barcelona is the perfect place to go for a day trip, the spectacle of the Gaudi cathedral and the bustle of Las Ramblas is not to be missed.
Tres Tombs Festival begins on January 13th and is a festival honouring Saint Antoni who is the patron saint of animals. Festivities continue throughout the week-long celebration with horse and animal parades that are blessed by priests. The Easter Holy Week processions are some of the most spectacular in the world. The week around Easter sees the Spanish take to the streets in their thousands to take part in enormous processions, while the fiesta of St. John held around June 23rd is celebrated by making huge wooden monuments which are then burnt. If you are going to the Costa Dorada in June it is a must.
Costa Dorada means 'Gold Coast' and the name couldn't be more accurate. The beautiful beaches that line the coastline in the region are famed for their golden sands and clear blue waters, the perfect romantic getaway destination. For more secluded beaches away from the families and tourists head to Salou. Here there are plenty of small bays and coves that make the ideal setting for a wonderful evening stroll. If it's fun activities you're after, head to the larger beaches for water skiing, canoeing and other water sports. There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied if sunbathing isn't enough.
For some excitement why not go to the PortAventura theme park? One of Europe's largest and most popular theme parks, this is a great way to spend a day. If you fancy something a little cooler on a hot day then why not take a trip to the Aquopolis waterpark? There's plenty of water-based fun to keep you entertained and cool in the heat, or for a more relaxing day out then check out the Pescador Park Zoo in the must see town of Cambrils.
For a variety of restaurants that are open late, Salou is the ideal choice. This seaside resort has plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, serving international cuisine as well as the local specials. The historic port of Tarragona has a wide selection of seafood restaurants serving fresh seafood caught locally. There are also a number of local style tapas bars in the town. Why not sample one of the area's famous seafood paellas at one of the seaside towns, or head inland for traditional stews of rabbit or wild boar.
Tarragona is a beautiful historic port that was ruled by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Much of the Roman architecture still stands such as the wall that used to surround the town and the aqueduct. Miravet Castle is perched above the River Ebro whose origins are still unknown though it was used by the Knights Templar from the 12th century onwards. Visitors can take tours of the castle and the surrounding areas. Visit the pirate defence tower of Torre Vella in Salou, a historic 16th century building that now houses art exhibitions.
Tarragona, the capital city of the Costa Dorada province is a historic city port that overlooks the Mediterranean, a perfect place for shopping and exploring. A must-see attraction of the region is the House of Illusion, a theatre experience with close up magicians, hypnotists, comedy shows and large scale illusions. El Pescador Park Zoo is also a great place to take a break from the beach, and has plenty to keep the children entertained. If you are seeking something more lively, head to the go-karting track in Salou and spend a day speeding round the purpose built track.
The name Costa Dorada means 'Gold Coast' and the beaches along this stretch of Spanish coastline don't disappoint. If it's a relaxing day in the sun you're after then La Mora Beach with its calm sheltered waters is the ideal spot to relax in peace and quiet. If you want beach activities and water sports then head over to the larger La Punta del Fangar Beach with its selection of water sports in the nearby harbour. The majority of beaches along the coast have a Blue Flag rating, meaning that the beaches are maintained and cleaned to the highest standard.
When on holiday in Spain, sampling some of the local tapas is a must. Most bars and restaurants will serve their own speciality tapas dishes; asking for the specials is the best way to sample some of Spain's iconic dishes. Most restaurants in the region will cater for children many having children's menus. For more variety head to the built-up areas such as Tarragona and Salou, where there is a larger range of restaurants and bars serving a selection of international dishes.
Adventure and Water Parks
The PortAventura theme park is a great attraction on a Costa Dorada holiday. Situated close to the beautiful beaches of the Costa Dorada, PortAventura is the largest family resort of the Mediterranean area, with two parks and four hotels. With plenty of restaurants and another great day out is the Aqualeon Aquapark and Open Air Safari near Tarragona. Here there are over 600 animals to see as well as a water park. Aquopolis in Vilaseca is a huge waterpark with rides and slides for people of all ages, an ideal family day out and Bosc Aventura Salou is an adventure park that has rock climbing, zip line and paintballing; perfect for those who are feeling adventurous.