Spain’s Costa Dorada translates literally as ‘golden coast’, and is inspired by the colour of its glorious sand when the sun shines. It spans Catalonia’s Mediterranean coast between Cunit and Alcanar and is the perfect holiday for active families on a modest budget.
Costa Dorada is easy to get to and has a temperate climate with plenty of nature to lose yourselves in plus activities to capture the attention of all ages. The area’s main towns are Salou, Cambrils and La Pineda, while the region is also home to the world-class theme park Port Aventura.
Culturally inquisitive families can explore the countryside discovering prehistoric caves, monasteries and ancient walled towns, but it’s the action packed fun that really captures the imagination of families with cycling, hiking, horseback riding, quad biking and four-wheel driving routes, not to mention a plethora of watersports, readily available here in beautiful surroundings.
Activities for families
If cycling is your family activity of choice, Cambrils makes a great base for a holiday in the saddle and the town itself has 27km of bike lanes, with a third of these running along the coast. Mont-roig del Camp is the region’s first mountain biking centre and offers circuits spanning a total of 143km. With 10 different routes and four difficulty levels, there is something for all abilities. The visitor centre offers a wide range of services related to the sport, including equipment hire and itineraries. Accommodation is certified to host cycling groups with services such as bicycle storage, bike repair and wash, special diets and flexible meal times.
Costa Dorada is also perfect for family trekking holidays, especially Montsant Massif and the Prades Mountains. Families can enjoy one of the finest coastal itineraries, The Castle and Monastery of Cornu Bovis’ trail where walkers ascent to the ancient Roman castle at Escornalbou from Duesaigues, returning via the picturesque village of L’Argentera.
The Depth of the Mediterranean Woodland itinerary takes travellers from the monastery of Poblet, the most important Cistercian monastery on the Iberian peninsula, before walking through the woods of the monks of St Benet. Families with younger children might want to follow the ‘short distance footpaths’ marked in yellow.
If your family just can’t get enough of seaside holidays and watersports, Costa Dorada’s 92km coastline is home to eight marinas. The Nautical Station is the biggest in Catalonia and spans nearly 60km including the coastal towns of Salou, Cambrils, Mont-roig del Camp, Miami Playa, Vandelios and l’Hospitalet del Infant and l’Ametila de Mar. Here families will discover long golden beaches and nautical stations offering kayaking, jet skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, kite surfing, paddle surfing, parasailing and fly-boarding where participants are propelled into the air with a jetpack style board. Another coastal highlight is the Tuna Tour experience, where confident swimmers can swim and snorkel in the sea amongst wild Bluefin tuna fish.
Where to stay:
1. Camping Resort Sanguli Salou
Located just outside Salou, Camping Resort Sanguli Salou offers a range of family-friendly options including camping, bungalows and mobile homes. Best of all, there are three swimming pools for you and your youngsters to let off steam, relax and enjoy the sunshine. The Happy Pool is located at the sports area and next to the Mini Club and has fun waterslides and a shallow pool for toddlers. The Fiesta Pool will be a real attraction for all the family with its slides, sunbeds and parasols and Bar Oasis. There’s plenty to keep families entertained here with mini golf, beach volleyball and trampolines as well as an amphitheatre with a full entertainment programme for kids and adults.
Don’t miss a day trip Tarragona, the capital of the region, just a 15-minute drive from the campsite. Perfect for kids studying ancient Rome, Tarragona has a Roman forum, walls, amphitheatre and Roman Circus where chariot races took place. Or head to Barcelona, 100 km away, to explore Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces, Picasso’s art, great shopping and tapas bars.
Price: Standard camping from £13, mobile homes from £36 and bungalows from £38 per night.
Find out more and book Camping Resort Sanguli Salou.
2. La Siesta Salou Camping Resort, Salou
Located near the heart of Salou, La Siesta is a great coastal campsite with plenty to offer visiting families. An extensive leisure pool complex and sports facilities provide plenty of ways to relax and keep the kids entertained, while the restaurant and bar serves meals, drinks and snacks. A fine, sandy beach is close by while nature lovers will relish the chance to explore Priorat, a wine region just 50km away with activities such as hiking and watersports on the Siurana reservoir.
Price: Pitches from £23, bungalows from £78 (for two nights) and mobile homes from £56 (for two nights)
Find out more and book La Siesta.
3. Camping La Unión, Salou
Located just 750m from the beach, Camping La Unión has plenty to offer families, including two outdoor pools, a playground and a bar/café for guests. It’s close to a range of attractions with PortAventura just 1km away and a golf course adjacent to the site. Both pitches and Bungalow accommodation is available. Beaches are a big draw for those visiting Salou, with endless stretches of sand and a lively atmosphere along the coastline.
4. Camping La Pineda de Salou, La Pineda
Just north of Salou, Camping La Pineda is a medium sized site that’s attractive and neatly kept. The pitches are shaded by mature trees and two swimming pools, a paddling pool and an outdoor spa provide plenty to entertain all ages. The site is just 300m from an aqua park and 2.5km PortAventura. There is also a beautiful sandy beach nearby. Bungalows and pitches are available. La Pineda is a small town providing a wealth of facilities for visitors looking for a smaller resort feel.
Price: Camping from £11 and bungalows from £51
5. Camping Joan, Cambrils
A friendly, family run site to the south of Cambrils, Camping Joan has direct access to a lovely beach and a comprehensive range of facilities. It’s a lively site in high season, offering a varied entertainment programme, swimming and paddling pools and bike and kayak hire. Guests are encouraged to sample authentic Spanish cuisine at the Palmera Restaurant.
The campsite has both standard and prestige plots, one-room flats, bungalows and mobile homes, as well as supermarket, bar-restaurant, Wi-Fi zones, cybercafe, swimming-pool and entertainment club. It also has direct access to both it and a bike path to Cambrils by the Passeig Maritim. Cambrils is a small fishing village with heaps of traditional Spanish charm. The village has a beautiful marina and many tempting family-friendly seafood restaurants.
Price: Pitches begin from £10, bungalows start from £43.
Find out more and book Camping Joan.
6. Camping La Llosa
The family run campsite La Llosa is situated near the attractive seaside town of Cambrils and has a fun yet laid back atmosphere. Pitches are level and shaded by trees and the pleasant pool has a separate paddling area for small children. The beach is just a short walk from the site and there are plenty of opportunities close by to try water sports.
Cambrils in Tarragona makes a great base for a cycling holiday and the town itself has 27km of bike lanes, with 9km of these running alongside the coast. Cambrils is a Sports Tourism Destination specialising in cycling and has been officially certified by the Catalan Tourist Board.
Price: Camping from £11.60 and bungalows from £47
7. Camping Playa Cambrils Don Camilo
A well-maintained campsite with a wide range of flat touring pitches, Playa Cambrils Don Camillo is just 300m from the beach and close to the attractions of Barcelona and Port Aventura. Its pleasant pool complex has a glassed restaurant and bar that serves tapas all day, and entertainment and activities are provided in high season.
The sea is central to life in Costa Dorada and the region’s 92km coastline is home to eight different marinas. The coast is characterised for it’s long beaches of fine, golden sand and the nautical station offers more than 40 activities for different ages and abilities. Activities include kayak tours, jet-skiing, scuba diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddle surfing, parasailing and flyboarding, where participants are propelled into the air with a ‘jet-pack’ style board.
Price: Camping starts from £11 with bungalows from £39.
Find out more and book Playa Cambrils Don Camillo.
8. Camping La Corona
Near to both the sea and the mountains, La Corona offers comfortable camping for all ages. The site has two large pools, one for adults and one for children, with an adjacent bar open till late and a fine restaurant. Sports activities include football and basketball and there is a playground for children.
Cambrils is extremely well connected to the inland area of the Costa Dorada and has become the point of departure and arrival of numerous road bike routes. Ranging from more level or flat routes, to more challenging outings, all of the trails are highly varied and offer beautiful natural surroundings.
Price: Camping from £5 and bungalows from £43
9. Camping Baix Camp
Located in the fishing village of Cambrils, Camping Baix Camp offers camping pitches as well as bungalows set over two acres of land. The campsite has 180 pitches with electricity and water, whilst bungalows are fully equipped with a seating and/or dining area or terrace as well as a kitchenette. The beach is just 800 metres away from this campsite and family-friendly facilities include a pool and a children’s pool, restaurant, bar and mini-market.
Price: Bungalows available from £92 (for two nights)
To find out more and book call +34 977 36 12 42
For more information visit www.campingandbeach.com