Stretching for 216 kilometres along Spains east coast, in the south of the Catalonia region, Costa Dorada offers all the pleasures of a traditional Spanish holiday. For decades holidaymakers including the Spanish themselves have been drawn to its long sandy beaches and reliably warm summers. Costa Dorada, meaning Golden Coast, is brimming with activities and entertainment, from mammoth theme parks and waterparks to sophisticated, upmarket dining. There are innumerable resorts to choose from, catering to a range of tastes and budgets.
Places to stay in Costa Dorada
The resort town of Salou is a popular choice for family holidays in Costa Dorada. It has two beaches with plenty of facilities and water sports on offer. Other entertainment options here include the Aquapolis water park, a go-kart track, and a huge choice of restaurants and bars.
A short drive from Salou is PortAventura, boasting two theme parks with exhilarating rides including Europe's tallest and faster rollercoaster. Here you'll also find a tropical-themed waterpark, a choice of international restaurants, and a beautiful sandy beach. The nearby town of Pineda is home to three Blue Flag beaches and a giant waterpark right next to the sea.
For a quieter Costa Dorada holiday, consider the traditional fishing port of Cambrils. Here you can choose from no less than nine Blue Flag beaches. Cambrils also has a charming old town, some scenic walking routes, and a great selection of upscale restaurants, several of which have Michelin Stars.
Visit the city of Tarragona for a dose of historical sites. Known for its Roman ruins, the city also has a Medieval citadel and an impressive 12th-century cathedral. A short drive inland will take you to the town of Reus, birthplace of architect Antoni Gaud. The town is chock-full of historic buildings, pavement cafes and all kinds of shops.
Day trips from Costa Dorada
Barcelona can be easily reached from this region of Spain. A train journey of less than 90 minutes will take you to the city centre, where you can admire the distinctive architecture of Antoni Gaud and pay a visit to the Picasso Museum. While in Barcelona you can explore the atmospheric alleys of the Gothic Quarter, take a stroll in one of the city's many parks, and meander down Las Ramblas, a vibrant pedestrian street teeming with tapas restaurants and shops.
Consider taking a day trip to Montserrat Monastery; set high in the mountains around 45 kilometres northwest of Barcelona, the impressive Benedictine monastery offers spectacular views over Catalonia.