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Costa Dorada (Costa Daurada) Hotels and Apartments
Costa Dorada Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Costa Dorada
One of the most popular places to holiday in Spain, the Costa Dorada (Catalonia’s ‘gold coast’) has over 200km of beachy shoreline, and it’s worth its name in natural and cultural riches. Couples’ getaways, family holidays, a cheap beach break for topping up your tan: there are hotels and resorts to suit all, including plentiful budget options. Wherever you stay, you’ll be a short hop from the sea.
Salou is where resorts pack in vast pools, sizeable sea-view roms, tennis courts, golf courses and more. There are restful apartments and adults-only choices too. Stay in port city, Tarragona, to dive deep into its Roman heritage, before diving into the sparkling azure waters. Alternatively, Sitges, shaded by the Garraf Mountain range, has its own microclimate and packed calendar of yearly festivals, plus stylish boutique hotels and apartments to pick from.
Where to stay
Salou knows how to party, but this coastal hotspot will also keep your kids entertained for days, whilst providing a romantic backdrop for couples. Beaches beckon with their calm, clear waters and peaceful stretches. On Llevant beach, you’re likely to find day-tripping families and teens snoozing off the night before. Platja Ponent and Capellans are both more laidback, and Penya Tallada cove is overseen by rugged rock formations. Beyond beaching, Salou is home to Spain’s largest amusement park, Port Aventura, split into six, adrenaline-fuelled worlds.
Protected from trade winds by the Garraf Massif mountains, Sitges’ clement climate draws holidaymakers to its lively cultured centre. Home to art museums celebrating Catalan modernists such as Santiago Rusiñol, a bijou yet charming old town, and chiringuito bars along the Passeig Maritim – the area is worthy of a visit during your holiday. Sitges is also renowned for its glamorous after-dark exploits and immensely LGBTQ-friendly bar scene.
This beachy green spot has two parks alongside its coastal lures. El Pescador has climbing frames, tropical flowerbeds and a petanque court; and, El Parc del Pinaret hosts packed concerts. For a taste of the Spanish culture, see how wine and olive oil was made locally in the Agricultural Museum or relax on llosa Beach and admire its historic beauties: churches dating back to the Renaissance and Roman ruins.
What to see
The Romans made a lasting impression on the costa, especially in Tarragona (formerly ancient settlement, Tarraco). They left behind an amphitheatre and circus, walls and towers and an assortment of grand columns and masonry (a necropolis and the praetorium to name a few). For a more up-to-date daytrip, take a stroll through sunny Rambla Nova, lined with modernist statues and often market stalls, too. Close by, Reus is home to the Gaudí Centre. Sitges also has an eye for aesthetics, with the Cap Ferrat and Maricel modern art galleries.
Calafell has a hilltop castle and botanical gardens with some rather imposing water features at Parc Samà. History lessons aside, Salou’s beachy relaxation is countered by high-octane theme parks, including Spain’s largest, Port Aventura. Mega-rides, racetracks, paintballing and waterslides can also be found at Ferrari World, Sesamo Aventura and Bosc Aventura. Cambrils is another spot offering watersports for wave-riders and scuba-divers alike.
Where to eat
The delicious spoils of the sea are served along the coast in beachy chiringuito shacks and fine-diners. In Sitges, there are a number of sushi joints, too. However, you’ll be sated whether you want Irish stew or surf ‘n’ turf, thanks to the pan-global restaurants in Salou and beyond.
Many restaurants are family-owned and homey in style. Look beyond the simple decor and tightly edited menus to find some of the best, most authentic food here. For Michelin meals on your sun-kissed holiday, take your pick in Cambrils, with many restaurants boasting extremely dish-y fare.
The Costa Dorada dances ‘till dawn at clubs like Kiss in Salou and Pacha in La Pineda. These decadent venues often have cage dancers, superstar DJs and plenty of neon. A younger crowd gathers close to Carrer de Carles Buïgas in Salou, to enjoy the lively scene in the area known as ‘slammers’. In Cambrils, try the bars by the marina for a 2–3am bedtime and around Avenida de la Diputació for a late, late night.
More local bars can be found in the old towns along the coast. La Casa del Vermut is a friendly place with a great selection of pintxos in Tarragona, and the Passeig Miramar is lined with welcoming local bars. With names like El Homo and Bears’ Bar, Sitges nightlife scene is certainly out and proud. It’s inclusive, but some gay bars aren’t open to women, and any scene newcomers should note that some clubs are a little more risqué than others.
Along the costa, shopping is as laidback an affair as the living. Shops tend to open around brunch-lunchtime, then close until the evening when they open for a few more hours. There are some large shopping centres here, but you’re well served for sweet local boutiques too. Plus, Barcelona’s cosmopolitan Avenidas are also a car ride away, should you want a wider selection for your holiday spends.
Salou’s shopping options range from large shopping arcades, such as Port Halley, to artisanal boutiques and even the official FC Barcelona store… Flea markets and the Municipal Market are worth browsing too. In Tarragona, try the Parc Central mall and the Mercat Central – a colourful fruit and veg market with some craft stalls.
Fast Facts about Costa Dorada
- Direct flight time: 2.5 hours from London
- Transfer time from Barcelona El-Prat Airport to Salou: One hour
- Time Zone: CET (+1 hour)
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Average price of a domestic beer: €1–2
- Average price of a bottle of wine: €5–6
- Number of Brit tourists per year: 1,478,927
Destinations in Costa Dorada (Costa Daurada)
Costa Dorada (Costa Daurada) Reviews
09 September 2010
L'Hospitalet D'infanta charming historic town
Richard Dixon, London
L'hospitalet is a small Spanish town and resort. The second week-end in September it hosts a medieval weekend centrered on the 15th Century Hospitalet in the town. The town centre is only 2 blocks from the sea. A great place for a quiet holiday.
The best thing about my stay was ...
Short flight from the UK and much to explore south of Reus