Catalunya’s Costa Dorada has long been a favoured destination with UK families thanks to easy flights and train travel to Barcelona. John Lewisohn takes a closer look at the coast and finds lots to love beyond its fabulous weather, endless beaches, vibrant resorts and great seafood.
Discover award-winning INFINITUM on the Costa Dorada
Situated to the west of Barcelona, and only 10km from the beautiful city of Tarragona, is INFINITUM: recently voted, ‘Europe’s Leading Beach Club’, in the 29th annual World Travel Awards. Having visited in early September last year I’m not at all surprised as the club’s location alone is award-worthy: set behind towering pine trees and facing the golden sands of Playa Llarga beach, it seems like a genuine oasis of tranquillity on this bustling coast.
Eight swimming pools and views for miles
INFINITUM opens for summer on 19 June, so if you are heading for this part of the coast with your family, make a beeline for what’s bound to be one of the highlights of your holiday. With an amazing eight swimming pools there’s plenty of space to spread out. Some pools are just for children and there are two stunning infinity pools where you can gaze across the beach towards Majorca in the distance.
There’s no shortage of gastronomic outposts at INFINITUM either. Choose between The Flamma Beach Woodhouse and its cocktail bar or authentic tapas at Gusto. There’s also poolside service for Club members. And while your kids are happily splashing in the pool why not use the Wellness area of Pura and dig into a healthy Poke bowl?
If you yearn for a swim in the sea, surprisingly still warm in September when I visited, then it’s an attractive wander down meandering paths passing through the club’s lush vegetation to an access gate and within minutes your toes will be scrunching in the soft sand leading down to a gently deepening sea: ideal for younger children.
Play spectacular Costa Dorada golf courses
However, INFINITUM really comes into its own with the three golf courses they own and manage close to the beach club. The Lakes 18-hole course and the 9-hole Ruins course – which literally has Roman ruins between the holes – are designed by Greg Norman, alternatively there’s the challenging 18-hole Hills course. So, if one parent is a golfer they can enjoy their round knowing the rest of the family are have a fun day at the beach club. Or should both parents want to play, kids can benefit from some excellent lessons available at the academy.
Explore the ancient city of Tarragona
As you possibly gathered from the ‘Ruins’ golf course, this area was once a large Roman settlement, so another great day out can be had nearby in the ancient city of Tarragona.
Founded by the Romans in 280BC after they won the 2nd Punic war against the Carthaginians, “Tarraco” was built to stop any further attacks by Carthaginians from their North African strongholds. At its height the city had a population of 40,000 and was the main Roman administrative centre for the region. In fact, the Roman construction here is the oldest outside of Italy and contains no fewer than 13 UNESCO listed sites.
Take a guided tour of remarkable Roman ruins
Children love all things Roman, whether inspired by Asterix and Obelix or from school lessons, so this promises to be an especially interesting day out for them. I’d advise a tour with a specialist local guide who can answer kids’ endless questions and give you a breather to enjoy the experience of Tarragona too.
What I found especially interesting was the fact that this region was a border between Moorish and Christian Spain. Not a hard border, but rather a centuries-long understanding that no-one, neither Moor or Christian, would live in the ‘no-man’s land” between the two kingdoms. As a result, Tarragona was essentially deserted for hundreds for years. Today, the medieval city built over and around the old Roman settlement, is a delightful labyrinth of cobbled streets, artisan shops and shady plazas, perfect for a relaxing wander about.
Drop in on Salou for more Costa Dorada beaches
The more modern beach resort of Salou, where INFINITUM is located, has its own long Costa Dorada beach, as well as plenty of shops and it’s also just minutes away from Port Aventura, one of Europe’s leading theme parks.
There are some incredible restaurants along the beach promenade which is particularly atmospheric in the evening. Another boon for families is that this region is well-known for its rice dishes which always have kid-appeal. Valencia to the South might be the true home of Paella, in all its various forms, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find some amazing paella in Catalunya too, not to mention a huge variety of seafood such as calamari and other delicious fresh ingredients cooked with unusual flair. It’s worth remembering the Iberian peninsula tends to eat very late, both lunch and dinner, fortunately most kids adapt pretty quickly and enjoy staying up, even if parents prefer an earlier bedtime!
If you fall in the love with Costa Dorada you’re in luck as INFINITUM have built a wide range of award-winning residential units. Many are centred close to the beach club and come with membership, so what are you waiting for?
INFINITUM Beach Club
How to get there
Direct UK flights to Barcelona take from 2 hours, 15 minutes.
INFINITUM Beach Club is a 1 hour, 19 minute drive west of Barcelona.
When to go
INFINITUM Beach Club opens for summer on 19 June 2023