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Salou isn't your typical Spanish holiday destination. Yes, it has more sun, sand, siestas and sangria than you can shake a cocktail umbrella at, but that’s just one side of the resort. Away from the tourist hotspots lies an altogether different destination, one that’s quieter and more traditional.
The resort town is one of the key destinations on Catalonia’s Costa Dorada, otherwise known as the Golden Coast. True to its name, you’ll find plenty of sandy beaches here, and lots of sunshine too. Llevant Beach is the main sandy stretch in town and it’s extremely family-friendly with plenty of watersports and activities for all ages. If you’re after a more tranquil experience, quietude can be found at one of the pine-ensconced, off-the-radar coves.
Beaches aside, there's another reason why travellers flock to Salou: theme parks. The sprawling PortAventura resort is home to some of Europe’s most rollicking rollercoasters, including the loop-the-looping Dragon Khan. Also part of the complex is the Caribe Aquatic Park, where fun-seekers can splash in pools and slip down waterslides. Have a need for more speed? The recently opened Ferrari Land, themed on the supercar brand, has adrenaline-fuelled attractions.
History buff? There’s enough in Salou to get you up and away from your sun-lounger. This includes the Torre Vella (old tower), a traditional 16th-century tower that is still in extremely good nick – and repurposed to host art and cultural events – and the Catalan Farmhouse, which gives a glimpse of what life was once like here.
If you want to explore more of the Costa Dorada’s past, as well as visit its other beaches, you’re well-placed. The coastal city of Tarragona, known for its spectacular Roman ruins, and Reus, a lively town filled with modernist architecture, are both a short drive from Salou.
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