A brief guide to tourism in Tarragona
The city and region has much more to offer than just Roman ruins
Home to this year’s edition of the Mediterranean Games, Tarragona is worth visiting all year round, with something to offer for everyone.
It was once a key part of the Roman empire, and ancient remains can still be seen there to this day. The Roman amphitheatre in Tarragona city is one highlight not to be missed, especially with its re-enactments of those ancient times every June in the Tarraco Viva festival.
But there is more to Tarragona than ruins. The city, and region, boasts long stretches of beaches and hidden coves. The golden sand giving the coastline its name: La Costa Daurada, or Golden Coast in English. Some of the more popular beach towns for holidaymakers include Salou, Vila-Seca, and Cambrils.
To get off the beaten track, though, Cala Fonda, more commonly known as Waikiki, is the perfect place to spend a day in the sun. Located near Altafulla, a popular town in itself, visitors must walk through a pine forest before descending to the golden cove.
When relaxing on the beach doesn’t cut it, more adventurous holidaymakers can head to PortAventura World. With the growing success of its latest attraction Ferrari Land, the park forecasts more than 5 million visitors this year. Among the attractions include a number of rollercoasters, as well as plenty of activities for the kids.
For something a bit calmer, how about discovering the region’s famous wines? The Priorat designation of origin covers 11 municipalities, with many vineyards offering tasting days and tours. There is even a wine festival in the city itself, celebrating the region’s products, held every year in June, but Priorat wine can be tasted all year round.
What trip to Catalonia would be complete without seeing castellers, or human towers? The town of Valls in Tarragona is well-known across the country for its castellers, a typical part of Catalan culture and a must-see for visitors.
Although tourism is positive for the Tarragona region, one project in the pipeline has caused controversy. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, will bring jobs and money to the region, but some people are worried about what the impact on the environment will be, as well as the effects of having a Las Vegas style casino just outside the city.