Welcome to Costa Dorada, where beaches are golden, villages are charming and nightlife is vibrating.
With a winning combination of places to see and athmospheres to experience, enjoy the Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters for a welcome, sunny break all year round.
Costa Dorada Weather
Costa Dorada is prime location on the Mediterranean and because of this its weather is always quite pleasant. Aesthetically, there are few places better. Bright blue skies, soft white beaches and beautiful mountains and hillsides are a daily occurrence. Temperature-wise, Costa Dorada is a real treat.
In the summer it does not get blistering hot, but instead is consistently around twenty-five to thirty degrees.
This means it is almost always perfect to be outside at the beach, shopping or just walking around the many spectacular towns. However, the summers are prone to some spontaneous rain that can come and go in only a couple of hours.
This should not discourage you from going to the area however, because there is plenty to do in those few hours of precipitation, and when it clears you will be very happy you came here. In the summer the sun can stay out for over ten hours, so there is plenty of daylight to spend time at the beach and do everything else scheduled for the day.
Spring and fall in Costa Dorada is characterized with plenty of rainfall and lots of beautiful foliage and flowers. There can still be many hot days where plenty of activities are enjoyable and many of the cities look quite striking out of summer.
Winter can get quite cool in this area, with the temperature dropping to around five degrees. However, they are rather mild for the most part and are quite enjoyable.
As you get more and more inland, strong snow in the mountains makes the conditions for skiing perfect and many tourists come to Costa Dorada in the winter months to hit the slopes.
Besides the odd rain storm, other tropical storms are rare here, and this area generally is very safe to visit.
Costa Dorada Nightlife
Just because Costa Dorada is an exciting place in the daytime does not mean that it has to rest at night. In fact, the southeast coast has some of the best cities in Spain when it comes to partying at nighttime.
Tons of Europeans flock to Costa Dorada for holidays on the coast in the sun, and it is in part due to this influx of tourists that the nightlife has expanded into one of the best around.
Although its reputation for partying is not as well known as Ibiza’s, Costa Dorada clubs can definitely hold their weight up against their water locked neighbour.
Two cities in particular are quite famous for their evening activities, Sitges and Salou. Sitges is Spain’s homosexual hotspot and tons of people of all sexual preferences come to this area for some of the best parting in Costa Dorada.
Sitges’ party scene remains ahead of its time, as it has for half a century, and parties here are always cutting edge. Salou has everything you could hope for, whether it is a hopping club or a bar with live music. Its tremendous number of options adds to its appeal and a night of bar hoping here is a night enjoyed.
But it is not only big parties that can be found in Costa Dorado. Actually, there are even more cafes, pubs and patios than there are clubs and these offer a much more relaxing atmosphere.
These havens of conversation can be found all over the coast, whether it is in the bigger cities, or smaller ones like Calafell and Garraf.
Order a couple of your favourite martinis and watch the sunset over the Mediterranean, then keep the drinks coming until the stars light the night’s sky and the beaches of Costa Dorada are illuminated.
Costa Dorada for Families
Costa Dorada is a magical place for people of all ages. But for tourists and locals alike, driving down to Costa Dorada is a family adventure none of you will soon forget.
With the perfect diversity of activities and close drives from destination to destination, this is a perfect place for a family trip of any length, whether it is a weekend or two weeks. Costa Dorada has an abundance of adventure parks that would make any kid scream with excitement.
Universal’s Port Aventura, Aqua Leon Safari and Water Park, and Aquopolis Aquatic Park are all fantastic places to spend at least one hot summer day.
But there is many other things to do in this beautiful area that do not involve an admission fee. The sands of golds and yellows are welcome to families all day long, and shallow waters make the beach a fairly safe and definitely fun activity.
Explore the different coves, sea creatures, beached pebbles and form your own Gaudi designs in castles made of sand. This is also a great place to introduce your children to a variety of water sports that are available at most beaches.
If you want to do a little educating without the kids even knowing then there are many gorgeous drives into the country and along the coast that features monasteries, monuments and churches which are packed with history. You can receive guided tours and visit numerous museums that make learning desirable, and most importantly fun.
There is also plenty of nature to explore as a family. Trails for hiking are practically everywhere, but there are also many beautiful parks that are perfect for picnics, catch and photography. Sama Park in Tarragona is quite fascinating, with its high walls built over two hundred years ago.
Costa Dorada Beaches
With over two hundred kilometers of coastline, and much of it beaches, Costa Dorada is one of the premiere spots in the world for great seashore.
Most of the beaches are composed on soft, very fine sand, but in certain beaches you can find coarser sand and beaches consisting of small pebbles.
There is a healthy assortment, so no matter what your preference is you can find it here. In the north of this area, the beaches are wide, but as you go south they become narrower, due to the close proximity of mountains.
After you cross the Ebro delta, the beaches open up once again and stretch for long distances making the beach experience here second to none.
What is so great about these beaches is their natural practicality. The soft sand makes the perfect floor for many sporting activities like football, beach volleyball and anything else that can be played in the sand.
It is also comfortable for tanning, as a refreshing breeze often comes off of the sea and nearby mountain range to cool the warm temperatures that are privy to this area. The shallow water is also a great convenience for beach goers.
Down the entire coast, most of the beaches slowly ease into the deep, so there is lots of room to walk down the coast in knee-high water, or adventure a little further out for a full dip.
Salou, a town just south of Tarragona, has one of the most famous beaches in Europe. Golden sands, ideal temperatures and great accommodations make the beaches here a dream for anyone.
There is a great nightlife here, and many water sports are offered for affordable prices here. Cambrils’ atmosphere is very different than Salou’s and is much more relaxed.
The beaches here are equally beautiful, but walking is the primary mode of transportation with good reason; every way you look in Cambrils is another chance to be astounded.
Cambrils is the center point of Costa Dorada and because of this makes a great home base when exploring the area.
This town has a little bit of everything and captures the essence of the south coast in a nutshell. The surrounding cities are all close by and PostAventura, the famous adventure park, is only ten kilometers away.
The town dates back before the Roman Empire and the Cambrils Museum is a great place to understand the interesting history of Cambrils.
As far as soaking in the sun goes, Cambrils has many perfect beaches to get a tan and play in the water on a hot day. Their beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag, which means that they have been approved to be top quality facilities that are safe for everyone.
Also, bordering the beach is Passeid Maritim, a large boardwalk that makes walking the city easy, comfortable and allows you to breathe in its scenery and essence. The beaches de l’Ardiaca and de la Llosa are the two largest beaches in the city and they are great for sports on the beach.
There are also seven other beaches that you can explore and enjoy spread across the Mediterranean.
Walking around the city, you can feel the culture all around you. There are tons of things to see on every street, but some of the highlights include castles, churches, monasteries, the lighthouse and the museums. Cambrils is also famous for their gastronomy.
They make some of the most delicious Catalan food in the region and there are some incredible restaurants where you can indulge on a patio and watch the sun set. There are also two urban parks with beautiful flowers and paths for walks within nature.
This is also where lots of Cambrils’ famous festivals are held. Cambrils is a town that offers a little of everything in Costa Dorada so come check it out.
PortAventura is the most visited theme park in Spain for a good reason. It offers a variety of unique experiences for the entire family and people from all over Europe come to enjoy their facilities. PortAventura is an amusement park and also a water park so it is hard to try and do everything in one day, if not impossible.
The park is much more enjoyed over a long weekend, where a family can get to know all of the many facets of the park. Universal holds the majority stake in the park and therefore it is filled with many of the same rides that are in their other parks worldwide.
The adventure park is separated into six areas, each with their own elaborately developed theme: Mediterrania, Far West, Mexico, China, Polynesia and SesamoAventura.
There are rides in each of these areas that correspond with their theme and the only thing that all six areas have in common is that they are all incredibly fun.
Whether you like rollercoasters or not, PortAventura is an unforgettable experience for everyone.
The rollercoasters here are literally out of this atmosphere! Some of them go over eighty miles an hour, which is over a hundred and thirty kilometers and they can tower well over two hundred feet.
The Dragon Khan was the first rollercoaster in the world with over eight inversions and goes over a hundred kilometers an hour.
There are countless numbers of delicious restaurants scattered throughout the park and for children, SesamoAventura has all of their favourite Sesame Street characters. This is a weekend that you will never forget and is a dream come true for any child.
The aquatic park in PortAventura is also filled with rides for adults, kids and lots of other thrilling activities like the wave pool. The Mambo and Limbo are water slides that twist and bend and are sure to get you soaked. El Rio Loco is a lazy river where you can float down while you cool down on a hot day.
Barracudas is a two person tube that whips through tunnels and revolves over and over again until you splash into the water.
A cosmopolitan town on the Mediterranean, Salou is a popular tourist destination for partying and sunshine.
Salou never gets overwhelmingly hot, but always stays relatively warm, which means it is unlikely to disappoint when it comes to climate. Like many other places in the Southeast of Spain, there is a strong historical presence in Salou.
There are monuments that date back many centuries, along with modernist inspired buildings that gives the city many layers of history through its varied infrastructure and architecture.
Salou has become a modern city, especially when compared to most of the other towns in Costa Dorada. It attracts lots of young people for its great beaches and exciting nightlife.
Polent and Llevant beaches are long, sandy beaches on the edge of the city, where as Llenguadets beach and Penya Tallada beach are rocky coves that are much smaller in size, but just as beautiful.
These beaches are great for spending a hot day close to the water to easily cool down.
If you are venturing down the southern coast and want to have a partying experience, then Salou is definitely a worthy stop. Some of the best clubs south of Barcelona are in this city and the clubbing district is bumping well into the morning most nights.
Flash Back, Papillon and Pachito are some of the best clubs in Salou right now, playing a variety of house and techno music and having guest DJs most nights. There are well over fifty bars and pubs that flood the streets of this town and each one offers a different experience.
Some are perfect to share a pitcher of beer and watch football, others are great to meet travelers and others are great to get to know the locals. A walk around the downtown area will give you plenty of fun options every night and there is always something new no more than a block away.
Sitges is the most popular city in Costa Dorada with good reason. It has two different faces: the gorgeous city with a charged history and the party crazed nightlife that is known worldwide.
Whether you are looking to experience one of these things or both, chances are you will do it in beautiful weather. Sitges has over three hundred days of sun a year, which makes it a popular destination through all four seasons. In summer, Sitges is jam-packed and is extremely lively, however as fall comes around it becomes less crowded, yet still warm enough to swim.
The city is filled with castles, monuments, monasteries and museums that make for great sightseeing and cultural education. With a history that dates back over a thousand years, when walking through the streets, you are actually walking on the past and the present.
However, today Sitges is one of the most trendy and expensive places to own property, as the town has tried to gentrify many areas, while holding on to its historical presence.
This is not only because of the beautiful weather and scenery, but also because Sitges is a city where something is always happening.
There are many festivals and parades throughout the year that are always a memorable time; the Sitges Film Festival is renowned worldwide and brings in some of the biggest stars every year.
As far as beaches go, Sitges has some of the best.
There are the huge beaches that are very popular in the summer, but there are also more exclusive, smaller ones that add some privacy to the beaching experience. Like most of Spain, nudity is allowed, but not mandatory, on almost all beaches in Sitges.
But there is also the second side of Sitges, the side of mayhem, partying and sometimes even some debauchery. Carrer del Pecat is the place to be when the moon rises. Filled with bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants this street literally shakes all night long.
However, like Barcelona, some of the best parties do not start until well after midnight so be sure to pace yourself so you can last the entire night.
Sitges is also one of the homosexual capitals of the world.
The city has opened its arms to people of all sexual orientations and offers a diverse scene at night to accommodate everyone’s desires. There is one gay beach and over twenty gay bars to check out, along with the countless other number of parties spread around the city.
Sitges has truly been ahead of its time when it comes to homosexual rights and for the past twenty-five years, continues to be a leader in the quest for sexual equality.
Tarragona is an astounding city about an hour’s drive south of Barcelona.
This town has the most historical importance in Costa Dorada, as it was a popular town in the Roman Empire, known then as Imperial Torraco. At first a military town, it later became a place of politics and administration for the Roman Empire. Outside of Rome, Tarragona is one of the best places to see Roman ruins that have been well preserved.
There are countless places to visit like the Amphitheatre, the many monuments almost two thousand years old, and remains of the harbor. Also, some of the stores and buildings were built right on top of Roman ruins, which can still be seen today.
If you want to experience this city’s unbelievable past then you should check any of the three top museums, The Archaeological Museum, The Diocese Museum and the Tarragona Museum. But if museums are not for you, all you have to do is walk around the city and Roman remains will surround you.
But it is not just history here; there are tons of other fun things to experience in Tarragona. There are many beautiful beaches like the surrounding areas, and they are not as busy as the beaches in Sitges. There are also many markets where you can explore and find some great bargains, getting to know the locals.
Perhaps best of all is the spectacular aqua and safari park, AquaLeon. This amusement park is one of the best in Spain and is assured to be an amazing time for children and adults alike. With death defying slides, a water park for younger children and a rafting experience, the water park is the perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.
But if you aren’t a fan of the water, or want to stay for a couple of days then you should definitely check out the Safari. You can drive through their huge park and interact with a variety of exotic animals like zebras, elephants, bulls, llamas, antelopes and many other rare creatures.
Or you can check out the African lions and Siberian tigers, or the miniature zoo that is full of all sorts of fun animals.