Costa Dorada translates as Golden Coast and that is exactly what you get in the glorious slice of Spanish mainland south of Barcelona; the main resort Salou offering one of the most popular of all British tourist destinations, the numerous beaches and coves along the coastline making this the perfect escape for a sun drenched summer holiday.
Home to PortAventura, fast becoming known as the fun capital of Spain, and a resort that combines the very best of theme parks with a family friendly vibe and superb modern hotels that will suit even the most discerning traveller, Costa Dorada has remained a favourite destination for very good reason – quality, affordable breaks that ensure that every moment is used to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Salou is the resort of choice for most visitors and the accommodation options are extensive, from basic self catering apartments to higher end luxury, although much of the resort is filled with large mid price hotels that are perfectly geared up to the family market. H10 Delfin Park has a great central location close to the beach; Hotel California Palace offers a peaceful old town vibe, whilst Las Vegas Hotel boasts spacious rooms and incredible service, yet all offer exceptional value for money.
If you opt to stay in PortAventura you will find yourself spoiled for choice, opt for Hotel El Paso for that all inclusive break with a difference, styled as a Mexican hacienda, this is almost like stepping into colonial Mexico, Hotel PortAventura offers a Mediterranean feel of beautiful pools surrounded magnificent gardens, and rooms that have recently been upgraded; if the wild west is more your thing try Hotel Gold River, everything is styled to perfection and even includes those all important mines!
Spain is well known for its fabulous food and drink and although he resorts of Costa Dorada may at first appear to be filled with fast food look a little deeper and you will discover the Spanish culinary heart beating below the surface – don’t miss tapas selections with excellent red wines for that regional experience that never costs the earth.
La Morera nay not have achieved Michelin star status but those that visit compare this little gem favourably to any Michelin experience, order from the a la carte menu or experience the changing tasting menu that takes the very best from the region and turns it into something exquisite; if you requite something a little more casual look no further than Caffe di Mare, set right by the sea this is the place to kick back and enjoy a few cocktails whilst sampling the quality fare on offer. As you would expect in Salou there are some offbeat culinary experiences to be had, enjoy Japanese food cooked in front of you at Sakura, or head to The Knights Inn for a medieval experience complete with entertainment, go with the flow and just enjoy the moment.
All along the Costa Dorada coast lies the fantastic beaches, if you want lively fun then Playa Levante is the place to be, just beyond the promenade and almost a mile long it offers all the water sports that you associate with a Spanish beach holiday, whilst those wanting a little more tranquillity can opt for Playa Poniente, the golden sands backed by pine trees having a secluded and restful feel.
If you want to immerse yourself in the Spanish culture head to Tarragona a few miles north of Salou, the Cathedral is a particular highpoint but the medieval and Roman remains are also well worth visiting, don’t miss the amphitheatre or Pont del Diable aqueduct, perfectly preserved and giving fantastic views down into the Spanish countryside.
The climate across Costa Dorada is typically Mediterranean, the summer are long and warm with July enjoying average temperatures of 25C and a very respectable 10 hours a day of sunshine, these temperatures are slightly cooler than more southerly resorts making Salou particularly a great choice for families who want the sun and warmth without the extremes.
Visiting the region during the autumn months right through to late spring gives visitors plenty of opportunity to experience mild weather with the bonus of avoiding the crowds that flood into the region during the peak season, making the Costa Dorada a winning choice whatever the time of year that you opt to travel.