Costa Dorada Holidays
Costa Dorada covers the entire coastline of Tarragona province. Its long, sandy beaches give it its name (the Golden Coast) and there are many active ports such as El Vendrell and Vilanova i la Geltru which add cultural and historic interest for visitors on Costa Dorada holidays. The Cellist Casals lived here and there’s a museum dedicated to him in El Vendrell. The Port Aventura just to the south of Tarragona is one of Europe’s biggest theme parks, great for family days out. Cambrils and Salou are the liveliest resorts here, and along the rest of the coastline are more chilled out family holiday locations.
From June to September temperatures average 29°C, with July hottest and sunniest and reaching 32°C. During November to February this drops to an average of 14°C. January is coldest, with a daily sunshine average of 5 hours.
Reus Airport: The main airport for Costa Dorada.
Barcelona Airport: Then by minibus or private transport to Costa Dorada.
Book a cheap holiday to Costa Dorada with Airtours and enjoy some of Spain’s best sandy beaches, high summer temperatures and plenty of cultural attractions and entertainment for all the family.
What is included ?
This part of Spain offers plenty for you to do, whether you’re travelling as a couple, family or group. Beach holidays in Costa Dorada wouldn’t be complete without a few days spent by the sea, but you could also enjoy a day trip to the monastery of Montserrat, visit the Roman ruins at Tarraco or just go wild at the amazing PortAventura theme park.
Tarragona, capital of Catalonia, started out as an ancient Roman colony and is now an important UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s one of the most popular Spanish tourist destinations, especially for history and archaeology buffs. The Roman remains of ancient Tarraco date from the second century and include a fine amphitheatre and aqueduct, and the parts of the old Aurelian Way which survive would originally have continued all the way to Rome. The Romans had a marked influence on the whole of Spain, leaving aqueducts, amphitheatres and forums right across the countryside, and several emperors had their origins here. The alleyways of Old City and Las Ramblas are lined with cafés, tapas bars and boutique outlets and offer some great views across the city. For a break from the history, the huge PortAventura amusement park is close by for family fun.
The best nightlife is to be found in the bars, clubs, discos and spilling out onto the streets of Salou, the Costa Dorada’s party capital. There’s also a more chilled out buzz to be found in La Pineda and Tarragona after dark, with a number of salsa clubs and a few modern nightspots that stay open till the early hours, including a La Pineda super club. Sitges also has a flamboyant nightlife and is popular with the party people of Barcelona at weekends. The carnival season in February or March is especially popular. Religious festivals and partying often overlap, and in towns like Sitges especially the party atmosphere seems to prevail throughout the year.
It takes just over an hour to drive from Salou to the monastery of Montserrat high in the mountains. This is Catalonia’s spiritual heart and is reached via cable car. The buildings are a lovely collection of courtyards, towers and cloisters, with views of the distant Balearic Islands. The revered Black Madonna is housed here in a special shrine, and the local boys’ choir is the oldest in Spain and can be seen performing in the monastery every day around noon. On beach holidays in Costa Dorada, a visit to the mountain monastery of Montserrat is a must.
Cultural attractions: Visit the mountain monastery of Montserrat, close to Salou, or the historic and cultural gems of Barcelona on a day’s excursion.
Family beaches: Ponent beach is popular with families and has Tapas bars and fish and chip shops. La Pineda beach slopes gently into the water and is perfect for paddling.
Bird watching: The Ebro Delta in the south is a popular wetland reserve that attracts kestrels and herons each year to its saltpans and marshes, and flamingos breed in its lagoons.
Language: Catalan and Spanish.
Currency: The Euro.
Local time: One hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Barcelona Airport or Reus Airport.
Flight time from the UK: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes from London.
Temperature: Temperatures are mild in the spring and autumn but can reach 32°C in July and August.
Best time to visit: The Costa Dorada is a year round destination, although if you’re a sun worshipper you’ll prefer July for All Inclusive deals because of the higher temperatures. Others like the more comfortable conditions of late summer, but in winter, the temperatures plummet. Rainfall is highest in January and October and sporadic at other times.
By train: A good rail service operates all along the coast, with a trip from Barcelona to Tarragona taking 2 hours 30 minutes. There’s also a high speed train from Tarragona to Madrid which gets there in 3 hours.
By hire car: Car hire is readily available both in Reus and Barcelona airports and right along the Tarragona coast.
By bus: Bus services are regular between the bigger towns, and even the larger villages have at least one bus stop with local travel information displayed.
For movie buffs: The prestigious International Film Festival of Catalonia is held in Sitges in October and features the latest short films, especially in the horror genre.
For the fast track: In Salou, the penultimate event of the World Rally Championship competition takes place in October, amid a carnival atmosphere.
For festivals fun: Costa Dorada has regular celebrations throughout the year. Most high-profile is the 23 rd June Festival of St Joan. On the shortest night of the year there are bonfires and street parties, and the June Sant Pere Festival and Tarragona’s Santa Tecla Festival in September are other calendar highlights.