Draped along more than 100 miles of Mediterranean coastline, the Costa Dorada is dotted with an intriguing combination of pretty fishing villages, charming towns steeped in history and lively holiday resorts, each with a personality of their own.
Living up to its name of the ‘Golden Coast’, the Costa Dorada is renowned for the quality of its beaches— 84 of them have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag for their cleanliness and safety. Here you’ll find a wealth of fascinating heritage to explore. Once a major part of the Roman Empire, you’ll see the evidence everywhere you look, particularly in the beautifully preserved aqueduct and amphitheatre of the former capital city of Tarragona.
Looking for the ultimate in family entertainment? Head to Salou, home of Spain’s biggest theme park, Port Aventura. 300 sprawling acres of terrifying rollercoasters, stomach-dropping free-fall water slides and dazzling stage shows await you.
If you want something a bit more low-key, the little seafaring village of Cambrils has retained much of its old town charm, as well as being home to two Michelin-starred restaurants.
Lovers of the great outdoors, however, will be content to explore the town of L’Ampolla, situated at the entrance to one of the Costa Dorada’s most important and diverse nature reserves, Delta del Ebro. The area’s wetlands, sand dunes, lagoons and marshes contain a huge variety of flora and fauna.
Lying just an hour from Barcelona, and with so much to see and do, the Costa Dorada is the ideal holiday destination for the whole family.
With its amazing theme parks and 24-hour party vibe, Salou is definitely the most vibrant town along the Costa Dorada coast. Dance the night away in the dozens of bars and clubs that line the main strip, or kick back for a spot of sun worshipping on one of the palm-fringed golden beaches. With Port Aventura and the incredible Aquopolis water park right on the doorstep, Salou has enough excitement to keep the whole family entertained.
Once called ‘Little Rome’ and the capital of the Roman Empire on the Iberian Peninsula, Tarragona’s captivating history has given it UNESCO World Heritage status. The remnants of the Roman occupation are still here, with a host of well-preserved temples, aqueducts and an immense amphitheatre. Also home to beautiful medieval and Modernist architecture, Tarragona is a feast for the senses, and its laid-back feel makes exploring its secrets a real pleasure.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Costa Dorada, this former fishing village is the proud recipient of the Catalan authorities’ Family Holiday Destination award, offering a getaway for young families easy and enjoyable. Among them are a Children’s Club, family-friendly restaurants and hotels and special play areas on their five miles of golden sandy beaches. Home to an Iberian Citadel, a Roman villa and a medieval castle, Calafell’s rich heritage makes it a fascinating destination.
Exploring the Costa Dorada…
Work on your swing
The Costa Dorada is a dream location for any serious golf enthusiast. Although less well-known than the other Spanish destinations, it makes it simple to secure a good tee-time, and the mild Mediterranean climate means you can play all year round. There are seven top-class courses to choose from, designed by some of the top names in golf, such as Bernhard Langer and Greg Norman. Each course has its own set of unique characteristics; play amongst the Roman ruins of the Lumine course at La Pineda or against the magnificent backdrop of the Llaberian mountains at Bonmont, near Tarragona.
Visit a Bodega
The Costa Dorada is home to a thriving wine producing culture and in particular, the country’s sparkling wine, cava. Most of Spain’s cava comes from the vineyards along this stretch of coast, among them big names brands like Freixenet and Codorniu. Many of these larger producers hold daily tours of their vineyards and bodegas where you can learn all about the centuries-old processes and, of course, try out a few samples. A great place to stock up with a few bottles to take home.
Experience the Camp Nou
Just an hour from the Costa Dorada lies the shrine to European football, Barcelona FC’s stadium, the Camp Nou. The biggest names in the sports play here—Messi, Suarez, Neymar— and it’s a must-see for any fan of the beautiful game. The Camp Nou Experience is a behind the scenes tour that lets you experience first-hand life at one of the world’s biggest clubs. You can visit the museum that houses their five Champion’s League Trophies and even run onto the pitch and imagine the roar of nearly 100,000 adoring fans.
Costa Dorada cuisine
Don’t forget to bring a hearty appetite on your Costa Dorada holiday. The cuisine in this part of Spain world-famous, with its rich and varied Mediterranean influences, exquisite seafood and innovative recipes. The lush farmland in the area provides the tastiest produce, and the well-known Catalan concept of ‘Mar i Mantanya’ or ‘sea and mountains’, blends meat and fish together in distinctive and mouth-watering dishes.
Costa Dorada restaurants
Eating out in any of the outstanding restaurants in the Costa Dorada is a very special experience. The sea influences much of the cuisine along the coast, and in many places, you can watch the daily catch arrive in the morning and be feasting on it the same evening.
Whatever you taste buds crave and whatever your budget, from a simple beachfront café to one of the numerous Michelin star-awarded restaurants, this stretch of sun-warmed coastline delivers some unforgettable dining.
Holidays in the Costa Dorada are perfect for families and couples looking for a taste of authentic Spain. The towns and villages along its beautiful coastline have retained their traditional, friendly vibe while still having all the facilities and amenities to make for a hassle-free holiday.
Within easy reach of Barcelona airport, getting here is a breeze. Book your flights and hotel together with easyJet holidays and save.