Costa Dorada Holidays

Gorgeous golden beaches galore

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 100 miles of honey-hued sands and 84 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. After hours, the electric party scene takes over, with dozens of bars open until the small hours. 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.

Three tips for a top trip

Hop on the bus

Affordable travel around the Costa Dorada is easy – just use the local BusPlana bus service, which covers most of the region’s resorts and airports.

Shop till you drop

Don’t miss the Masia Catalana of Salou – a sprawling craft market on the plot of a Catalan farmhouse – which boasts a wide collection of stalls and is open every day from June to September.

Go out for tee time

With seven top-notch courses, the Costa Dorada is a golf enthusiast’s paradise. Practise your swing within Roman ruins at La Pineda, or against a captivating mountainous backdrop at Bonmont.

Best attractions to see in Costa Dorada

Punta del Cavall

For a picture-perfect vista, head up to Salou’s Punta del Cavall at sunset and look out over the Cala Font cove, once a hotspot for pirate activity.

Tarragona Roman ruins

Tarragona’s well-preserved Roman architecture includes a huge waterfront amphitheatre, the Devil’s Bridge aqueduct and the Forum. The impressive 13th-century cathedral is also well worth a visit.

Sama Park

In the botanical gardens of Parc Sama in Cambrils you can swoon over exotic plants, amazing flowers, glassy lakes and picturesque waterfalls. You may even get to spot the resident turtles.

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 Alcanar 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, vibrant nightlife, 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. There’s 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. And if you head north from Tarragona towards Barcelona, there’s Blue Flag beach after Blue Flag beach for you to enjoy.
It only takes one and a half hours to drive the 150 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.