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A little distance away from the bright lights of Barcelona, lies a 130-mile stretch of beautiful golden coastline, the English translation of Costa Dorada. Stretching from Cunit in the north to Alcanar in the south, this largely unspoiled part of the Spanish coast is where those in the know come to savour authentic Catalan delights. Here you can visit sleepy towns and villages surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and castles. Or take a stroll around atmospheric little harbours, sample delicious and hearty plates of rustic breads, seafood and vegetables, accompanied by amazing wines and beers. The welcome you’ll receive is friendly and facilities for visitors more than adequate, despite the area’s tangible lack of mass tourism. Experience a Spanish holiday with a difference on the Costa Dorada.

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Top Resorts in Costa Dorada

Salou Costa Dorada Holidays
Deposit from £49 per person

Salou

from £95pp

La Pineda Costa Dorada Holidays
Deposit from £49 per person

La Pineda

from £123pp

Sitges Costa Dorada Holidays
Deposit from £49 per person

Sitges

from £124pp

Top Hotels in Costa Dorada

H.TOP Molinos Park Hotel
1
H.TOP Molinos Park Hotel

Salou, Costa Dorada

from £125pp
Santa Monica Playa Hotel
2
Santa Monica Playa Hotel

Salou, Costa Dorada

from £133pp
Ohtels Villa Dorada Hotel
3
Ohtels Villa Dorada Hotel

Salou, Costa Dorada

from £145pp
Ohtels Playa de Oro
4
Ohtels Playa de Oro

Salou, Costa Dorada

from £161pp
Sunway Playa Golf & Spa
5
Sunway Playa Golf & Spa

Sitges, Costa Dorada

from £203pp
Acqua Hotel (ex Ibersol Caspel Hotel)
6
Acqua Hotel (ex Ibersol Caspel Hotel)

Salou, Costa Dorada

from £161pp
Villamarina Club Hotel
7
Villamarina Club Hotel

Salou, Costa Dorada

from £229pp
Estival Park
8
Estival Park

La Pineda, Costa Dorada

from £191pp

At a Glance

  • Currency: Euro
  • Language: Spanish
  • Time Zone: GMT +1
  • Average flight time: 2h 10m

When to go

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Top Attractions

The area’s inland region is green and fertile yet rugged and rocky, dotted with lots of intriguing historical and cultural sights just waiting to be seen. Visit the likes of Reus, Tarragona and Tortosa for that small Spanish city vibe on your Costa Dorada holiday. The ancient monasteries at Santes Creus and Scala Dei are also highly recommended. The River Ebro near Alcanar is an amazing delta of lakes and waterways, not to mention refuge for spectacular wildlife. Or to truly get that local experience head to El Perello for a bustling market, homemade honey and caves of prehistoric paintings. On the coastal, modern side of things, Torredembarra offers up a beautiful stretch of beach, a cosmopolitan shopping scene and fashionable harbour area, all underpinned by a rich maritime heritage.

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Wine and Dine

Catalan food is simple, yet always fresh and delicious. Its favourable climate means that the Costa Dorada region is able to produce the sweetest tomatoes, the juiciest olives and most incredible wines. The warm Mediterranean is home to plenty of sustainable fish sources, so all the ingredients are in place for a pretty special culinary scene. Sometimes the mood might call simply for a plate of Pa Amb Tomaquet, rustic bread grilled and rubbed with tomatoes, oil and salt, alongside a glass of white Rioja. Or for a more elaborate occasion, Escudella I Carn D'olla may be served. This rich and warming fish, meat and vegetable broth is perfect for those cooler nights. If Cava is your thing then a visit to the Penedès wine region just north of Barcelona is a must, where most of the world’s Cava originates. Sample this true Catalan sparkling wine at the source, at one of many scenic vineyards, on your Costa Dorada holiday.

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For Families

Any mention of family-friendly attractions on the Costa Dorada should include PortAventura. Spain’s most popular theme park is an incredible and varied place of fun. It may be located in Salou, but it is separated into six different areas (Mediterrania, Far West, Mexico, China, Polynesia and SesamoAventura. Each tells its own tale of the region it pays tribute to, with lots of rides and attractions for all ages. Adventurous kids will want to explore the castle at Lleida, La Seu Vella, or the ruins of Tarragona that have been designated a UNESCO world heritage site.

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Action and Adventure

Make use of both the oceanic exterior and rocky interior of the Costa Dorada for that hit of action and adventure. Go kitesurfing at Riumar, bird watching at the Parc Natural del Delta de L’Ebre or rock climbing in the limestone mountains of Sierra de Prades. Then of course there’s PortAventura and its array of white-knuckle rides that are sure to get pulses racing on any Costa Dorada holiday.

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Life's a Beach

Costa Dorada translates as ‘golden coast’, an apt name for a stretch of land that radiates such a colour when met with the glow of that famous Mediterranean sunshine. If you like a bit of space, then the wide and open stretches of sand near Mont-Ruig Cunit are for you. The beach at Altufell flies the Blue Flag of high standard and even hosts international sailing championships, whereas if you love a bit of Frisbee (who doesn’t?) then Calafell beach hosts regular tournaments on its wide and long sands. For a spot of scenic kitesurfing on your holidays on the Costa Dorada, get yourself down to Riumar, a wild portion of coastline bordering the mouth of the Ebro River, with views of rugged mountains in the background.

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Nightlife

Much of the Costa Dorada’s nightlife centres on the town of Salou, just outside Tarragona. Here is the place for discos, late night bars and restaurants that line the beach. As you can imagine, it’s popular with the youthful crowd and is a great place to go and let your hair down after a long day of exploring. You won’t be able to party ‘till dawn in the neighbouring town of Cambrils, but you will get the chance to relax at one of the many ‘chiringuitos’, or beach bars. Sip on cocktails and cold beers with a great view of the ocean. They’re open till late in the summer months. Cambrils old town boasts plenty of incredible backstreet drinking dens and tapas bars, many of which don’t get going until well into the night; a great place for a party with the locals on your Costa Dorada holidays.

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For Couples

Whether it’s soaking up the sun on isolated beaches, exploring hidden towns or tucking into plates of grilled fish by the ocean at sunset, there’s plenty for couples visiting the Costa Dorada to get excited about. Take the beach at Tamarit, for example. An imposing castle towers over this quiet sandy beach that is surrounded by pine trees. It’s a picture postcard romantic spot, a great place for a swim in the calm seas, a picnic in the shade or afternoon relaxing in the sun.

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Culture

From classical architecture to the food and drink of the region, the Costa Dorada is rich in culture. Like much of Catalonia, the old and the new combine to create a unique atmosphere. Here you’ll find 14th century Roman Gothic cathedrals alongside modernist architecture by Gaudi. For a real cultural trip, it’s best to visit during one of the region’s many festivals and carnivals, such as Corpus Christi, the Fiesta Major or the Grape Harvest Festival. Tarragona is an enthralling place to soak up the cultural ambience of the Costa Dorada and is full of Roman architecture, monuments and fountains. You won’t go home empty handed from a cultural perspective after a holiday on the Costa Dorada.

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Top Costa Dorada Destinations

Check out some of our most popular cheap holiday destinations on the Costa Dorada