Salou is the ultimate 2018 / 2019 getaway, and the Costa Dorada is a fine location to spend your summer holidays.
From the perpetually sunny Playa Ponent and Playa Llevant, to the Cami De Ronda (coastal path) that wraps itself around the Costa Dorada, and the largest theme park in the world, beating even its rival Lanzarote to the top spot, PortAventura World, there’s no shortage of activities on this slice of Spain’s Mediterranean coastline. Plus, you can't beat our cheap holiday to Salou prices or our top Salou hotels.
Don’t forget the delicious Spanish cuisine available on the Costa Dorada and in Salou. There’s a veritable host of restaurants, with estimates of over 200+ in the nearby cobbled area of Cambrils, all serving a range of Mediterranean cuisine with Catalan twists and a variety of international cuisines. If you prefer an all inclusive holiday to Salou, check out your hotel's offerings.
If you want to explore, just a 90-minute drive up the coast from Salou and you’ll reach Barcelona, with its famous Gaudi architecture and the glorious Las Ramblas.
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There’s a lot to see in Costa Dorada and Salou is a good base to explore from. The best way to get to grips with Salou, and take in all its lovely sights, is to walk the Camino de Ronda, the coastal path that wraps itself around the coastline. The path is the comprehensive way to experience the Costa Dorada: spanning all the way from Pilons in the North, past Capellans, down into Llenguaders Cove and then on to Llarga Beach, and eventually Cambrils.
This walk takes you from the quaint, beautiful region of Pilons, past the bustling main beaches of Salou, back onto the beautiful sands at Cambrils. On the way, you’ll pass Salou Lighthouse, an iconic feature of the Costa Dorada, and keep your eyes peeled for magnificent sea-birds! It’s an incredible way to spend a day in Salou.
Off the coast, when you’ve had your fill of beautiful coastline, head into town and visit the Avenida Jaime, the best place to shop and to people watch in Salou, and a good place to seek out some nightlife. Don’t forget! If you’re staying in Salou it’s likely you’re going to want to visit PortAventura World, one of the most popular theme parks in Europe.
Local Costa Dorada cuisine combines fresh seafood and local farm products, including freshly caught fish and vegetables from Catalan’s sun-soaked fields. Some of the popular dishes to come out of the region are Rossejat noodles, which are sort of reminiscent of paella, but with noodles instead of rice, or Reus blancmange, a creamy, almond mix perfect as a light dessert. To accompany these dishes, you should try some of the Costa Dorada’s fantastic wines.
The best Spanish wine regions surround Salou, and because of the constant sun, they are deliciously palatable and famous worldwide. There are such names as DO Montsant, Do Conca de Barbera and DO Penedes, just to name a small selection. If you’re big on wine then a holiday to Salou should, at this point, be right at the top of your list. The nearby town of Cambrils is considered the gastronomic capital of the region, and as we mentioned before, boasts over 200 restaurants!
Salou is a great family getaway. All inclusive holidays to Salou were practically designed with families in mind. Fantastic hotels cater for families with lots of kid-friendly activities, swimming pools and family rooms on offer. The beaches, Playa Ponent and Playa Llevant, cater perfectly for families, with beach activities, shallow seas, and a children’s playground each.
The kids will love PortAventura’s water park and will enjoy the Caribe Aquatic Park, too. Venture up the coast to Cambrils, where the water is clear and there’s plenty of opportunities for an impromptu fishing trip in the marina. Take a glass-bottomed boat ride from Cambrils back into Salou.
If you’re still looking for excitement, the Bosc Aventura is a woodland adventure bonanza, with zip-lines, Rock-o-drome and paintball.
Salou boasts a plethora of both action and adventure. Head to the Salou Nautical Club for all things nautical, including diving and boating. There are some fantastic scuba diving spots and the Nautical Club caters for all skill levels, from those first-timers to the fifty-first divers. There’s plenty of sporting activity available too, including tennis at Salou Tennis, Cross Country (mostly biking!) and the Lumine Golf Club, which has 3 stunning courses. If you’re looking for adventure then head into the district of Priorat, which offers some beautiful natural parks with rolling, sunny hills and Mediterranean flora. We can’t miss PortAventura off this list: this theme park, with its massive water park and roller-coasters, is the perfect offering of an action-packed day.
Salou’s two main beaches are the Playa Ponent and the Playa Llevant. Playa Ponent lies to the west of the port and boasts a long strip of cafes, restaurants and bars. To the east lies Playa Llevant, which is slightly longer and larger, and has better access to a gym, sports courts and a kid’s playground. Water-sports are available on either side, with a quick run around in the shallow sea in a pedalo being the most popular.
Both beaches are very suitable for a family day out, with flat sands and shallow seas, overlooked by lifeguards. In Salou’s peak summer months, Llevant Beach has a full-on Kiddies Club to keep the young ones entertained whilst you lounge and read a book, or have a snooze in the warm sun. If you’re keen for more seclusion, then Cambrils and its beach is slightly further off the beaten track and provides the same warm sands and blue seas.
To get from the beach to the next beach you can take the Tourist Train, which runs along the coastline. It’s great for the kids, and the best way to see all the hidden coves and sandy beaches that lie along the Costa Dorada.
Salou has no shortage of clubs, bars and restaurants available. In true Spanish partying tradition, the night often starts early and ends late. There are lots of haunts aimed at British tourists, including several Irish bars and pubs, but there are plenty of Spanish hang-outs, too. If you start at the Plaza Europa then the strip stretches on from there.
Salou is a popular resort for young Brits and other Europeans and in the summer the area is flooded with people looking for a good time. PortAventura also offers night-tickets, which can make for a fun way to spend an evening. It’s much cooler, and the queues are much shorter!
If you're looking for an equivalent of a Majorca holiday, Salou holidays offer up the same Mediterranean vibes but with a slightly different setting, perfect if you want to experiment in 2018 / 2019.
There’s plenty to do in Salou for couples of all ages. There’s a great mix of nightlife, chilled out day-time activities, and chances to explore and discover your own experiences in the Costa Dorada. If you like lounging on the beach, the Costa Dorada has several on offer, and if you like history and culture then the town of Tarragona is just up the road and boasts medieval and ancient history for a bit of romantic wandering.
Stroll along the Cami de Ronda and find a hidden cove to settle down for an afternoon, or hit the slides in PortAventura. For couples looking for similar vibes to that of Majorca’s Magaluf and Ibiza, and cheaper than Lanzarote, with a focus on relaxation rather than all-night partying, Salou is the perfect place for a quick romantic getaway.
Salou’s history goes far, far back, to the Roman’s and beyond. Spain’s history is rich in a mix of different cultures and there’s plenty of that on show in the Costa Dorada. There’s beautiful architecture in Salou, and we recommend checking out the Church of Santa Maria del Mar for a tranquil moment of peace, the Torre Villa, which was built to protect the coastline and the Harbormaster's office.
Salou’s Illuminated Fountains are getting on, they were built in 1978 and at the time the fountains were an example of groundbreaking engineering – still worth a visit! A lot of the fountains have been brought up to date with a modern light show.
Up the coast, you can visit Tarragona, where you can visit the Puente del Diablo (a stunning bridge, spanning aqueduct-like across a valley) and the beautiful architecture of the Catedral Basilica Metropolitana Primada de Tarragona. Likewise, just a bit further up the coast lies Barcelona, home to stunning Gaudi buildings and the Las Ramblas.
Want to explore the area even further? Check out our top destinations near Salou below: