No matter what you’re looking for in a Spanish getaway, you’ll be thoroughly spoilt for choice in this sun-blessed region. From child-friendly aquatic fun to tasting top local tipples, there are so many essential things to do in the Costa Dorada.
Come and take a peep at our top suggestions:
- PortAventura World
- Gaudí Centre
- Freixenet Winery
- Tarragona Cathedral
- Cambrils Beach
- Parc Samà
- Playa de la Pineda
- Museu del Cau Ferrat
- Tarragona Amphitheatre
- Salou Lighthouse
1. PortAventura World
Looking for full-throttle fun in the sun? Call off the search – PortAventura World is just the ticket. This all-thrills zone is split into three separate parks – PortAventura Theme Park, Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land.
Make a start at PortAventura Theme Park and take on six themed realms, which consist of more than 40 whopping rides. It’s home to Europe's tallest rollercoaster, Shambhala, and the white-knuckle Furius Baco. It’s all about getting splash happy in a Caribbean-style land at Caribe Aquatic Park, with whooshing rapids and an epic freefall slide.
On your marks, get set and go forth to Ferrari Land, an ode to the Italian bigwig of the automotive world! One ride has a vertical accelerator, plus there are various F1 car simulators and some delicious dining spots too.
2. Gaudí Centre
Prepare to be dazzled by a visit to the bewitching Gaudí Centre. Pay homage to the world-famous architect in his hometown. It’s broken down into three floors, which cover modernism, innovation and an audiovisual show of how Gaudí’s work has had a massive impact universally. It’s all been designed to open your senses to unearthing exactly what it takes to create his zany pieces.
3. Freixenet Winery
Fan of sparkling wine? Okay, who isn’t? Well, in the Costa Dorada, you can embark on a tour of the Freixenet Winery, learning about all things cava as you go. You’ll have to put your taste buds to the test too, but that’s no hardship…
First up on the tour, you’ll be given a talk about the history of its production and the family behind the vino. You’ll then pass through the dark tunnels that help to preserve the wine to see the oldest part of the cellar, which dates back to 1922! After that, you’ll be whisked off on a small train to see part of the factory.
It’s the ideal afternoon out, but you could even go one better and book a visit with a food pairing too and sample fresh Catalonian produce.
4. Tarragona Cathedral
The Roman Catholic Tarragona Cathedral is a fine example of Gothic and Romanesque architecture, which harks back to as early as the 12th century. These days, you can take a guided tour of the cathedral and cloister or simply explore the complex at your leisure. Learn all about how the cathedral was built on the site of the temple of the Emperor Augustus. The whole place is something of a religious art gallery, so it’s worth a wander around.
5. Cambrils Beach
Grab your caps, sun lotion and towels – it’s time to hit Cambrils Beach! It spans about 9km, so there’s plenty of room, whatever time of year you plan to visit Spain.
The calm waters make the beautiful beach here nice and safe for youngsters, which means sandcastle-building and paddling are both on the cards for families! Going with friends or your other half? The boulevard that backs the beach runs right down to the town of Salou, so you can enjoy a stroll after a good lounge on the sands.
6. Parc Samà
This serene botanical garden is a top choice for nature seekers. It’s a vast green expanse that combines forests with lakes and shows off remarkable Romantic-style gardening in between. It was put together by Salvador Samà in 1881 and has dazzled its visitors with quaint natural sites ever since. Watch out for pretty palm trees, rock formations and quirky hidden features.
7. Playa de la Pineda
This tip is a resort and beach rolled into one, as there’s a lot to discover in Playa de la Pineda. A long, lively promenade flanks the Blue Flag sands, so you’ll be able to enjoy light refreshments when you need to refuel, which means staying by the shore all day is doable. You’ll be able to hire sun loungers for total chill-out time or even eye-up the water sports offering.
8. Museu del Cau Ferrat
In 1893, the Museu del Cau Ferrat was founded by the artist Santiago Rusiñol as a workshop, but it later evolved into a public museum. If you’re into art, you’ll be stunned by the ancient works that span painting, ceramics, glass and furniture. Meanwhile, the modern pieces include hand-drawings and sculptures. It’s definitely a unique setup, with so many different mediums on show.
9. Tarragona Amphitheatre
Dig up a piece of Tarragona’s past right by the sea. This 2nd-century amphitheatre can hold as many as 14,000 spectators, so was quite the stage in its heyday. Gladiator and wild beast fights were shown here and the fates of some weren’t so fortunate! Though it doesn’t offer the same wow-factor it used to, it’s still a real interesting site to explore.
10. Salou Lighthouse
One last waterside recommendation is Salou Lighthouse. You’ll have the option to walk there and drink in all the views of the Med, asparagus plants and sea lilies as you go. You might even fancy doing something a little different and hopping on the tourist train to get to the lighthouse. The technology inside the building is all modern now, but it’s been said that the light was powered by olive oil originally!
As you can see, it’s not hard to get that to-do list rolling when you’re planning your Costa Dorada holiday. What will you opt for?
Posted: 15th Feb 2020.