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Costa Dorada Holidays

Gorgeous golden beaches galore

Heading on a summer escape to the Costa Dorada from Luton or Manchester airport? Fly direct to Reus instead of Barcelona and cut down the transfer time between the airport and your hotel. With flights from Luton and Manchester to Reus twice a week between April and October, it’s now even easier to holiday on the Costa Dorada.

Costa Dorada means ‘Golden Coast’ in Spanish, so if it’s a beach break you’re looking for, you’ve picked the right place. With 50 miles of honey-hued sands and 36 Blue Flag beaches along the Catalonian coastline, Costa Dorada holidays are seaside bliss. Lying to the southwest of Barcelona the region is a great family holiday destination, with a mix of buzzing resorts, charming fishing villages, pristine waters, palm-lined promenades and cobblestone towns rich in cultural heritage.

Holidays to Costa Dorada can satisfy all tastes. Keep the kids entertained in Salou – a beach town that’s also home to Spain’s biggest theme park, PortAventura. For something more low-key, pretty La Pineda is known for its silver sands and calm, shallow waters. Searching for culture? Head to the Unesco World Heritage port city of Tarragona – once the capital of this ancient Roman province – where you’ll discover a remarkable Roman amphitheatre and centuries-old aqueducts, as well as sociable, café-lined squares. Food and drink aficionados are well-served, too. The fishing village of Cambrils boasts two Michelin-starred restaurants, while the whole coastline is famous for its seafood, and much of Spain’s Cava is grown in the vineyards peppered around the area. Drink up, chill out or party on – it’s all happening on the Costa Dorada.

All resorts in Costa Dorada

Explore our map of Costa Dorada

Your Costa Dorada questions, answered

Sun-seekers should look to book between June and September, when the days are beautifully hot and the average sea temperature reaches a balmy 25 degrees.
Reus is the closest airport to the main resorts in the Costa Dorada, being around a 10-minute drive from Salou and Tarragona. Barcelona is also just an hour away.
The Costa Dorada is located on Spain’s east coast in the country’s Catalonia region. This section of coast runs all the way from Cunit to L'Hospitalet de l'Infant and it’s about 200 kilometres from Andorra and the French border. It’s positioned roughly midway between Barcelona and Valencia which makes it a fine base for exploring these two cities. The Costa Dorada overlooks the Balearic Sea, home to Spain’s Balearic Islands. In clear conditions, you can see Majorca’s Serra de Tramuntana mountains.
With sun-bleached beaches, secluded coves, cycle and hiking trails, water sports and fabulous food, Costa Dorada holidays offer the ideal trip for everyone.
Everywhere! The Costa Dorada has several Blue Flag beaches that are not only beautiful but also really well maintained. They tend to be shallow and sandy, too, making them ideal for children. There are quite a few in the wider Salou area. You may want to try out Capellans Beach in Salou town, Llevant Beach in Cap Salou and Vilaseca in La Pineda, which have all been awarded Blue Flag status. Cavet beach in Cambrils is another Blue Flag recipient, while south of Cambrils, L'Hospitalet de l'Infant is worth seeking out. And if you head north from Tarragona towards Barcelona, there’s Blue Flag beach after Blue Flag beach for you to enjoy. Altafulla, Torredembarra and Coma-ruga all deserve a visit.
It only takes one and a half hours to drive the 81 kilometres of Costa Dorada's coastline so, no matter where you stay, you’ll have easy access to the main sights. If you want to be in the heart of the action, consider making the Salou area your base. From here, it’s just a 15-minute drive to Cambrils. Or you could walk it in just over an hour. It’s a lovely walk that takes you right along the coast. You could also walk to Port Aventura in about 30 minutes, or drive it in less than 10.
The Costa Dorada is located in Spain’s Catalonia region, so the traditional cuisine is based on local Catalan flavours. Think fresh Mediterranean vegetables, local olive oils and wines, legumes, and plenty of bread, rice, and pasta. However, the Costa Dorada is a popular tourist destination, so much of the food here is designed to appeal to visitors from all over the world. You won’t have any trouble finding fast food, international restaurant chains, easy-going cafes, British pubs, and cosy tapas bars.
It’s very varied. For example, while Salou is known for its lively bars and clubs, there’s also a family-friendly side to the town. In the evenings, while partygoers are hitting the pubs, families with young children can gather around the illuminated fountains, and couples can head to the local theatre shows. Outside of the Salou area, in places like Cambrils, the nightlife is very quiet and relaxed.
Tarragona is the best place to visit if you want to catch a glimpse into the region's past. The entire city is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tarragona was the first Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula and today you can see many old Roman remains, including the Circ Roma chariot racetrack, the old Roman walls, and the remains of the amphitheatre. Around 50km inland, meanwhile, is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Poblet Monastery – a 12th-century Cistercian monastery featuring spectacular Gothic architecture.