On Spain's Costa Dorada, holidays are about relaxing on the glorious beaches, splashing about in the Mediterranean, chasing thrills at theme park PortAventura, savouring fresh seafood, daydreaming in pretty marinas, and exploring delightful old towns. In short, it's the ideal sun, sea and sand holiday destination, with a few choice extras thrown in.
Holidays on the Costa Dorada can be enjoyed in any of the many resorts located on this wonderful stretch of Spanish coast.
Holidaymakers reach their destination in just two hours from the UK, with flights arriving at Reus Airport (REU). And from the arrivals terminal, it's a quick hop to spirited Salou, stunning Sitges or shoppers' heaven Tarragona, among other well-known resorts.
There is a lot more to explore on the coast, which runs from the beautiful, medieval city of Valencia in the south to modern, vibrant Barcelona in the north, there. If you choose a holiday in resorts near either of these cities, for example, a daytrip is a must.
To the north of the Costa Dorada, which can also be spelled Costa Daurada and means “golden coast”, is the popular Costa Brava, while the Costa Blanca further south is famous for its party towns.
Tranquility is easier to find on the Costa Dorada, however, with the golden beaches proving the real allure for visitors, rather than the bars and pubs of some livelier destinations elsewhere on the sparkling shoreline.
Holiday accommodation in this sun-baked part of Spain also comes in all kinds. Luxury beachside and all-inclusive hotels offer fuss-free comfort, while self-catering accommodation means you can eat when and where you want. Wherever you stay, be sure to sample the mouthwatering seafood and local cuisine at the welcoming restaurants and cafés that pepper the waterfront.
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Days start to really heat up on the Costa Dorada in May and don't cool down until October. Expect average highs in the top 20Cs in July and August, with very little rain in July, but still cooler temperatures than come more southerly resorts. September and October experience a few more rainy days, though the temperatures remain pleasant.
Winter daytime temperatures average at around 10C, with evening coats required when night-time temperatures drop into single figures between December and March.
Sitges Carnival; February/March: One of the most colourful events on the Costa Dorada's calendar, the annual carnival in the pretty city of Sitges has an infectious party atmosphere. Visitors are encouraged to take part in the fun.
Fire Festival (Las Fallas); March: This spectacular event sees “ninots”, which are giant papier mache figures, stuffed with fireworks and set alight. That might sound a bit dangerous, but it's a fun event with plenty to see and do. Events take place around the Costa Dorada, but the city of Valencia puts on the best show.
La Merce Festival; September: Visit beautiful Barcelona in September to see the locals celebrate their patron saint. The event is held to mark the end of summer and involves thousands of incredible street performances and activities. The “castells”, or human towers, are a must-see if you're lucky enough to be in the city at this time.
Best of Costa Dorada holidays for...
Kids & teens: Children of all ages adore PortAventura, a huge theme park with thrills and spills for everyone.
Nightlife: Salou is the perfect place to party with night away in both British and Spanish bars and clubs.
Babies & toddlers: Away from the nightlife, Salou's Levante Beach is great for toddlers, with calm waters and flat sands making for a safe paddling experience.