Solo or with family – Why to consider Costa Dorada holidays
For decades, we’ve been shouting ‘Viva España’ as we jet off on cheap holidays to sunny Spain. Indeed, the Spanish coastline has much to offer. From the Costa Brava to the Costa Blanca; the weather is fine, the beaches are beautiful and the Sangria (or fresh juices for the healthier ones) flow freely. There are plenty of savings on holidays to be had, and the tourists are lapping them up.
But amidst these better known locations lies a hidden gem, one Spain’s best kept secrets. When holidaying close to home, Spanish families favour the Costa Dorada, which is relatively unspoiled and less heavily populated with tourists.
Spanning the country’s north eastern coast, the region has much to offer solo travellers and families alike, providing an interesting alternative to more traditional Spanish destinations. Visitors from the UK and Ireland might feel particularly welcome on discovering the abundance of Irish themed pubs serving favourite drinks and meals, all in the sparkling Spanish sunshine.
The Golden Coast
The Golden Coast (Costa Dorada in Spanish) lives up to its name, boasting over 200km of coastline made up of vast stretches of golden beach and crystal clear turquoise waters. The Costa Dorada‘s beaches are too numerous to name individually and too uniformly beautiful to rank in order – though highlights include 5,000-metre-long, blue-flagged ‘Calufell’ and the pristine sand dunes of ‘Riumar.’
The pretty natural port of Salou makes a fun day trip — but there’s certainly enough to keep families entertained on longer visits. The city has several clean and safe beaches, packed with facilities and activities. For a spot of sightseeing, hop on the sweet little tourist train for a city tour, or stretch your legs with a stroll down the ‘Cami de Ronda’ (a coastal path meandering through pine groves and past numerous coves.)
Kids of all ages can easily be entertained in Salou. ‘Bosc Aventura’ (Adventure Forest) is centrally located and offers a range of activities including zip-lines and paintball, set within a surprising nature haven. Adventurous pursuits can be enjoyed throughout the city; from horse-riding to go-karting. There’s also plenty of natural scenery if you prefer some peace and quiet!
Retail therapy is provided by a range of fashionable boutiques and shops filled with gifts and beach essentials. Dining is a doddle too; visitors being spoilt for choice with over 200 restaurants, most of which offer al-fresco dining. For more info, check out 10 things to do in Salou.
The second most significant Roman site in Spain, Tarragona is an eccentric blend of ancient history and vibrant modern beach-life. Known as ‘Tarraco’ during the 700 years it was under Roman rule, the city is now home to a multitude of magnificent ancient ruins, including an amphitheatre that faces the Mediterranean Sea along with later Medieval city walls and an impressive Gothic cathedral.
Also boasting a wealth of museums which display artefacts from its rich cultural history, Tarragona specialises in thrilling historical re-enactment events including the ‘Tarraco Viva Festival,’ taking place in May each year.
After exploring the picturesque ruins, visitors can relax on one of the cities beaches or immerse themselves in its buzzing nightlife and thriving restaurant scene.
Solo travelers might enjoy a visit to the remote, secluded bay of Sa Tuna — with its clear waters peppered by colourful bobbing boats. Reach the pretty gravel beach by taking a coastal path that winds its way lazily down to the shore through quaint, whitewashed cottages inhabited by friendly locals. This quiet slice of paradise has a handful of excellent restaurants and provides a relaxing setting for those who prefer life off the beaten track.
These highlights are just a small selection of what the Costa Dorada holidays in Spain has to offer — a perfect mixture of traditional beach holiday and action packed, cultural city break.