Costa Dorada Holidays
Take a look at a selection of hotels in our guide to the Costas
At Directline Holidays we want you to find the perfect Spanish family holiday destination, where superb beaches abound. Pointing you in the direction of the ‘Golden Coast’ (the region’s name translated into English) is something we can do with confidence.
So, as well as having 150 miles of golden sand, what makes the locale’s resorts, such as Cambrils, Sitges, La Pineda, and Salou, so special? Welcoming local people, clear blue skies and glorious sunshine, a multitude of sports and leisure activities (including a world-class theme park for the kids: Port Aventura), fantastic dining and vibrant nightlife are just some of the attractions of the Costa Dorada.
This area is also Spain’s Festival Region so you’ve got a holiday location that offers a unique and irresistible blend of modern and traditional.
The region is located in Tarragona Province. Festivals and all sorts of other traditional celebrations and processions there make it a magnet for both foreigners and Spanish alike at different times of the year. For the living heritage main events, winter is best.
The famous winter carnivals make for an exciting but chaotic atmosphere in that part of Catalonia. If you’d prefer to avoid all that, opt to go in the summer time. Although it is still busy then, you can find room enough on the beach to spread out. The International Firework Competition (July 2012) is not to be missed. The weather is also hottest there then.
The region enjoys a Mediterranean climate: warm summers and mild winters. The summers also see very little rain, and the temperature can climb to 30°C in July and August. On Costa Dorada holidays you can look forward to enjoying up to 10 hours of sunshine daily during June and July.
The climate can also be described as seasonal. But the weather’s stability overall means a holiday that includes lots of outdoor leisure activities can be enjoyed there at any time of year. The average summer daytime temperature (June-September) is 27°C (18°C at night). Winter daytime temperatures level out at 14°C (7.5°C at night).
When it comes to booking a family holiday in Spain’s north-east, there are always bargains to be found. The cheapest deals usually become available outside of school holidays, when the resorts are quieter.
The numerous traditional festivals held locally throughout the year means it is always busy. The biggest of them all is undoubtedly the winter carnival (first Saturday in February), which can last up to a week and attract thousands. Flights usually cost a little more around then and finding accommodation can be difficult.
Find the best deals Directline Holidays have to offer by looking at the best deals below, or alternatively by visiting our late deals offers.
Flights from the UK to the region leave regularly from the following airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London Luton Airport, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Belfast. It’s a two-hour flight from London.
The nearest international airport is Reus Airport (REU), which is only a 25-minute drive away and includes a café, restaurant and duty-free. The major resorts are well served by taxis from there (average price is £8.50). The bus is best avoided.
Or, if you choose to fly out to the more developed Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) instead, you’re looking at a 1 hour 15 minute drive from there. The north-east coastal road journey is a wonderfully scenic route, but be prepared for a bit of a bumpy ride at times!
From Barcelona Airport take the Commuter Train to Barcelona Sants (20 min), and then catch the Regional Train. Purchase one ticket for the total journey 7.55 euro (approximately £6).
The beaches in Catalonia are famous for their fine golden sand, which is always litter-free. You’ll love how warm and soft the sand feels underfoot, and also how it glitters as the sun shines down on it hour after hour on long summer days.
When you consider that the region extends from the south of the Costa Brava to Tarragona, picking out the three best beaches there is quite a challenge! But, here goes…
Not everyone on a package holiday to Catalonia’s Golden Coast wants to be continually ‘holiday active’ – participating in as many different available sports and leisure activities as possible. If all you want to do on your break is lie back, completely relax and enjoy soaking up the rays, then the best beaches for lazing on a sun lounger are definitely at Cambrils.
The beaches there have gentle slopes, too, making them child-friendly. The water is shallow and crystal clear. The fine golden beaches do get busy, but, because they extend for 9 kilometres, you’ll find ample room to spread out.
For adrenaline junkies who feel in their element at a beach with a lively vibe during both day and night, the best resort in the region for activities is undoubtedly Salou. There, a whole host of sport and leisure pursuits can be enjoyed.
If you want to use your holiday to grab some much-needed me-time, and dream of finding beaches that offer complete isolation (remote hideaways), then also head for Salou. There you’ll find plenty of secluded rocky coves. Pebble, sand, and isolated cove beaches can also be found at L’Ampolla.
Costa Dorada theme parks feature some of Spain’s most exciting and best-known attractions for children: the Aquopolis waterpark at La Pineda and the thrills and non-stop entertainment at Universal Port Aventura near Salou.
Golden Costa Dorada beaches stretch south west from Barcelona to Tarragona. Lively Mediterranean resorts like Cambrils, La Pineda and Salou share a glorious 10 miles of superb sand. Don’t miss the charming small coves around Cap Salou. Costa Dorada watersports have an excellent reputation.
Catalan cuisine is renowned worldwide. Some of the best Costa Dorada restaurants are found in the characterful beach resort of Cambrils. Barcelona has some of the finest and trendiest restaurants in Spain.
Downtown Salou offers an inexhaustible choice of cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs and discos. Most Costa Dorada nightlife is enjoyably lively and cosmopolitan. Barcelona’s stylish nightclubs have a world-class reputation.
Regular, economical Costa Dorada trains are a great way to explore Costa Dorada beach resorts from Barcelona to Tarragona and even south to Valencia. Perfect for Barcelona.
There is no town anywhere in Spain quite like Sitges - A famously cosmopolitan resort popular with the gay community and trendy visitors from Barcelona. Elegant mansions, fine museums, film festivals, carnivals and famously vibrant nightlife. A must.
Any trip inland from the Costa Dorada will reveal gorgeous, rolling farmland with delightful vineyards, orchards, villages and mountains.
History and Culture
Worthwhile Costa Dorada excursions include the cathedral and Roman remains at Tarragona, Montserrat monastery, and Gaudi´s astonishing, unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. Of the beach resorts, Cambrils is perhaps more authentically Spanish, with attractive cobbled streets, a picturesque fishing harbour and renowned tapas bars.
All around the Costa Brava you will find restaurants and eateries that will suite all tastes. You will find international cuisine, to authentic Spanish food. Typical Spanish dishes to look out for are tapas, and fresh fish. Tarragona is famous for its grilled and fried fish. You can sample freshly caught baby octopus, sea bass cooked in salt and baby squid, usually sautéed with broad beans and see cucumbers.