Nestled on the Costa Dorada, a string of sandy beaches and rocky coves make up Salou – a Spanish hotspot and firm favourite among families looking for a sunny summer holiday. If you haven’t yet considered Catalonia as an area to explore, this is the perfect place to start. With its beautiful landscaped promenade, miles of sandy beaches and PortAventura theme park, Salou caters for all ages and never disappoints.
Whether you’re already heading there this summer, or just looking for some destination inspiration, we’ve pulled together the top ten attractions in Salou to take the planning off your hands!
It’s safe to say, this is why Salou is such a favourite with so many families. The theme park boasts six exciting worlds to explore, complete with roller coasters, parades, talent shows, restaurants… and so much more! Sitting inside is also the 34,000 m2 Aquatic Park where the whole family can cool off and experience a world of fun, either relaxing in the water beds or hurtling down the dizzyingly high slides. The whole park is surrounded by five family friendly hotels where you can expect the highest standards of accommodation, entertainment and food. If you’re looking to schedule a spot of shopping into your trip, there’s still no need to leave the park! Salou, here we come.
The Font Lluminosa (Cibernetic Fountain)
An evening in Salou isn’t complete without experiencing this stunning display. With around 210 different combinations of light and water jet choreography, it doesn’t fail to amaze. The fountain opened in 1973 and has attracted the evening crowds to Plaza de Francesc Germà ever since.
With seven kilometres of beaches, you couldn’t wish for a more relaxing place to sit and soak up some sunshine. Take a dip in the azure Mediterranean Sea, or grab yourself an ice cream to make the most of this sun-filled getaway. Salou’s beaches have earned their Family Tourist Destination award, with expanses of golden sand inviting children to build those sandcastles! Definitely check out Llevant beach, Ponent beach and Capellans beach during your stay.
Jumping into a refreshing pool of water after lounging in the sun has got to be one of the best feelings in the world. For those who want to take it that step further, watersports are a must and Salou doesn’t disappoint. Along the kilometres of beaches you’ll be spoilt for choice: sailing, scuba diving, jet skiing, kite surfing, windsurfing, water skiing… it’s all there. Why not tackle fishing if you’re looking to try something different? Carp, bass and catfish are popular catches.
Dating back to 1857, the Reus-Salou Railway was a narrow-gauge railway run by the Reus Tram Company. For many years, it was the only public link between Salou and Reus. Carrying goods from the coast, it also gradually began serving the inhabitants of Reus during the summer months, giving them a quick link to Salou’s beaches. This steam train travelled continuously between the towns until 1975, when it was replaced by the arrival of the motorcar and bus. This local train is now displayed near the railway station in Salou.
Make like Mario and get go-karting at Karting Salou Adrenaline Park. It makes a great family day out, offering both an adult and junior circuit. You can also tackle a tandem kart if you want to team up (if you’re taller than 140cm you can join an adult on the big track). That’s not all – the park also offers a Bungee Rocket which will fling you 90 metres into the air and will catch the whole experience on video! An amusement arcade also caters to families, with a bar to relax in if you’re in need of a cold drink, sandwich, chips or ice cream (holiday essentials!)
Jump on board the tourist train, which offers a whole new perspective of Salou’s central city sites as well as its more distant coves. Passengers feel like they’re on an adventure as they take in the sights and get to know the city train-style. Painted in blue and white, these quirky trains are fun for all the family (plus it gives parents the chance to put their feet up and not worry where the kids have wandered off to!) Train timetables are available online and tickets are very reasonably priced.
Coastal Path Stroll
The beautiful coastal path of Salou stretches 5.5 kilometres and joins Salou’s award winning beaches; you can enjoy the stunning sea views and tourist areas while breathing in the fresh sea air. Check out historical sites such as the remains of the quarantine station (built in 1829) at Capellans Beach or the wartime bunkers from the Spanish Civil War, which sit in Llenguadets Cove. The last section takes you by Llarga Beach, an ideal place to set up camp out of the wind, with watersports available for those who want to keep active. Historically, these paths were used for sea surveillance and fishermen. Now, it’s been completely revamped and allows visitors to see sites that were impossible to reach in the past. Reaching a maximum height of 77 metres above sea level, there are a couple of path sections that are a bit difficult but the majority of the route can be enjoyed by everyone.
For a break from the bustle, try the path of Camino de Rhonda, which will take you past the lighthouse of Salou. This coastal attraction has been part of Salou’s history since 1858 and still lights the gulf of San Jordi to this day. It’s surrounded by native tree and plant life, as well as a path that allows visitors to appreciate its architecture from every angle. Enjoy the incredible sea views away from the buzz of the city centre – you might even spot some of the 20 different sea birds that love the quiet, too. Learn the history of the lighthouse itself (when olive oil used to fuel its beam) and see the way it works today after its impressive restoration.
If you’re looking for evening entertainment – this is it. Without giving too much away (where’s the fun in that?) this show will take you on a journey through time, taking a look at the life and time of Sylvester Oscar Scary. On arrival, you will be escorted to the Houdini Bar and treated to a close up parlour show before the doors open to reveal a candlelit theatre! Table entertainment is followed by variety and comedy before the main attraction in the second half. Be prepared to be amazed by performers flying and twisting through the air and experience truly spectacular happenings.