If you’re planning a visit to Spain to explore the lively Catalonian capital of Barcelona for a few days, prepare to have your cultural socks knocked off! But while Barcelona is most certainly the jewel in the sunny tiara of this region, it’s definitely not the only dazzling gem. (See what we did there?)
For those who choose to fly into Reus Airport, the 1 hour 15 minute transfer not only offers a pleasant way to get to your accommodation in Barcelona; it also provides the perfect opportunity to make your first acquaintance of the towns of the beautiful Costa Dorada. So, keep your eyes on the windows and make friends with your driver, because your transfer from Reus Airport to Barcelona could be the start of something wonderful…
Tarragona, which is only about 20 minutes from the airport, is an absolute delight for history lovers and home to a host of UNESCO-listed sites. The striking Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral is the religious heart of the town, while the stoic, elegant arches of the Roman aqueduct provide a thought-provoking touch point to the past and an outstanding architectural attraction.
The National Archaeological Museum offers a fantastic insight into the area through the vast array of exhibits that have been unearthed over the years. Displays include ancient Roman relics of coins, sculptures, ceramics and more.
A visit to the ruins of the mammoth 15,000-person capacity Tarragona amphitheatre, with its dramatic aspect overlooking the Mediterranean, transports you back in time to the macabre events that took place here in the third century and also provides some breathtaking views.
Recommended Visit Time: Those mentioned above are just a few of Tarragona’s attractions and you’ll really need a whole day to do them justice.
About 30 minutes further into the journey is the coastal town of Calafell – appealing not only for its beautiful beaches, but also its interesting cultural and historical mix. Its best-known attraction is the Iberian Citadel, which has been excavated over two decades to reveal some truly fascinating relics of Iberian culture. Careful reconstructions of some sections afford a well-rounded, authentic glimpse into the history of these ancient peoples.
While you can’t go inside, taking in the beautifully preserved architecture of St Michael’s Church is enough to impress. The church is a fine example of the Romanesque style and the eagle-eyed will also note its Gothic touches.
Another site of interest is the eleventh century Santa Creu Castle. Presiding over the surrounding landscape from its stunning hilltop vantage, the views are a wonderful addition to the interesting archaeological remains you can explore.
Recommended Visit Time: You could spend a few hours in Calafell simply lazing around on the beaches, but if you want to check out the historical attractions as well as top up your tan, allow for a full day.
If you’re looking for a party, you’ll find one in Sitges! This sun-soaked coastal town is famous for its festivals, nightlife and legendary beaches but, conversely, it also has a softer, more sophisticated side, with plenty of upmarket shopping, dining and cultural offerings.
In terms of museums, perhaps the most important is the Museu del Cau Ferrat, which is packed to the rafters with exhibits – including artwork from the Catalan Modernism pioneer Santiago Rusiñol, Picasso, and numerous ancient Greek relics. As a two-in-one, after you’ve finished you can explore the adjacent Museu Maricel del Mar, which is home to a massive collection of Catalan art.
The wonderful Església de Sant Bartomeu I Santa Tecla is the best-known landmark of Sitges. This lovely seventeenth-century church enjoys pride of place in the coastal landscape, sitting atop a rocky protrusion overlooking the ocean.
Recommended Visit Time: Make a day of it and do a bit of beach hopping! If you really want to immerse in the vibe of Sitges, do yourself a favour and don’t rush it. Come for lunch and stay for dinner.
Just before reaching Barcelona you’ll pass by Castelldefels, which you should definitely mark in your diary for a return visit. Being so close to the city, it’s a popular weekend getaway for the locals as well as great place for tourists. The stunning beaches provide the perfect place to sunbake, swim and enjoy those watersports you’ve always wanted to try, including paddle boarding, kite surfing and even canoeing.
Aside from the beach fun, the tenth-century Castle of Fels provides a worthwhile historical feather in Castelldefels’ cap. You can do a tour of the castle to learn its fascinating history as the town’s most vital fortification, then simply relax and soak up the gorgeous views.
Castelldefels also provides the perfect opportunity to get out and spend some time amongst nature in the beautiful 12,820-hectare Garraf Park. There are hiking trails of various lengths and, for those who want to get energetic, it’s the perfect way to let off some steam.
Recommended Visit Time: A half day visit is enough if you just want to enjoy the delights of the beach and the castle, but if you want to include a hike around Garraf Park you should allow for a full day.
From Reus to Barcelona
Make good use of the drive from Reus to Barcelona and plan your holiday itinerary! The transfer journey only takes around an hour and 15 minutes, but you’ll pass through a host of delightful towns and villages along the way. Chat to your driver and you might even get some secret local tips to help you make the most of this gorgeous region.
About Shuttle Direct
Get the fastest, friendliest and most convenient ride from Reus to Barcelona with Shuttle Direct. As the most trusted provider of shared and private airport transfer services in Europe, we’ve got something for everyone. All you need to do is make a simple online booking and a friendly driver will be waiting at the airport to take you to your final destination. Couldn’t be easier!
NB. This route guide has been compiled as an aid to visiting the region. Your airport transfer service from Reus to Barcelona does not include stops to these destinations.