Things to do in Costa Dorada

Apart from the obvious appeal of the turquoise Mediterranean sea and stretches of golden sand, the Costa Dorada boasts a number of interesting cultural and historical sightseeing attractions for holidaymakers. Salou is a very popular resort, as are its neighbouring resorts of La Pineda and Cambrils, and Sitges is another great favourite on the Costa Dorada. All of these lovely beach destinations are conveniently close to Barcelona and the ancient Roman stronghold of Tarragona. If the myriad attractions of these coastal cities are not sufficient for day trippers, excursions should be taken a little way inland to the fortified medieval village of Montblanc, and the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Poblet Monastery. Another historic monastery nearby is the Royal Monastery of Santes Creus, which is also definitely worth a visit for culture vultures. For less culture and more physical thrills, holidaymakers can spend the day at PortAventura Theme Park, a massive, and massively popular, amusement park, very near La Pineda.

There are good local bus services connecting the main towns and resorts along the Costa Dorada, and a reliable train service connecting Salou, Tarragona, Sitges and Barcelona. Car rental is a good option for those who want to explore the interior.

Tarragona photo

Tarragona

The Costa Dorada's main city, Tarragona, was originally built on a rocky bluff and can trace its roots back to 218 BC, when it was founded by the ancient Romans as a military base.…

Tarragona

The Costa Dorada's main city, Tarragona, was originally built on a rocky bluff and can trace its roots back to 218 BC, when it was founded by the ancient Romans as a military base. Impressive vestiges of its ancient past still remain in the form of ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, aqueduct, forum, and other buildings situated on the Paseo Arqueologico (Archaeological Promenade), which leads to some panoramic viewpoints. A wide boulevard called the Rambla Nova represents the modern main street outside the old city walls. A popular outing for visitors is to explore the old harbour, known as El Serrallo, and watch the fishing boats arrive and auction their catch.

Montblanc photo

Montblanc

The fortified medieval centre of Montblanc is gloriously well preserved. The historic old quarter is best explored on foot and notable sights include the Church of Santa Maria la M…

Montblanc

The fortified medieval centre of Montblanc is gloriously well preserved. The historic old quarter is best explored on foot and notable sights include the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, the Sant Miguel Church, the Sant Marcal Church, the Royal Palace, and the Castla Palace, all dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The picturesque village celebrates its medieval heritage every year in April with a two-week festival filled with parades and fireworks, which commemorates the legend of Saint George killing the dragon. Montblanc is inland from the port city of Tarragona and very close to the UNESCO-listed Poblet Monastery, which is one of the most famous attractions in the Costa Dorada. The kings of Aragon and Catalonia were buried here.

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