Craving winter sun? I know the feeling, which is why I highly recommend jetting off on a break to the mesmerising Spanish resort town of Salou. Located in the Tarragona province along Spain’s brilliant eastern coastline, this is the perfect destination for chilling out on the beach.
However, did you know that there are also dozens of excellent cultural activities and highlights to explore here? Let me give you a taste of Salou’s deeply embedded Catalan history and culture.
Not sure what to do in Salou? Check out this action-packed itinerary.
If you like to soak up culture as well as sun on your winter break, be sure to check out these easily accessible attractions.
The Kings Monument & Paseo Jaime
The palm tree lined Paseo Jaime is perfect for a leisurely stroll and coincides with the length of the picturesque Levante Beach. There are a number of beautiful flower gardens and fountains along the way, but the main attraction is The King’s Monument. This monument recognises the most important moment in Salou’s history – when King James I of Aragon left the port of Salou to conquer Mallorca way back in 1229.
The impressive and beloved monument depicts a stone figure of the king and a horse’s head covered with gold leaf, inaugurated in 1965 and created by architect and sculptor Salvador Ripoll Saumells Lluis Maria.
Erected in 1998 in memory of the much-loved Catalan historical politician from the 18th century, this monument is a representation of Catalan freedom and pride. Casanova fought during the “War of Succession” for the Habsburgs and people flock to the monument each September 11th (The Day of Catalonia) to lay wreaths of flowers and show their respect.
Barenys Roman Villa
A fascinating archaeological site which consists of the remains of a deposit dating back to the Roman era, Barenys Roman Villa is a must visit for anybody with an interest in history. Here you can see well-conserved remains of a ceramics workshop, including the rectangular building foundation, an impressive 3.5-metre circular oven and the workshop where the clay was crafted and shaped by potters.
You can also learn about Salou’s intriguing history at the museum – I highly recommend this if you plan on visiting the cultural attractions around town, as it provides plenty of context.
Coastlines do not come prettier than Salou’s, so take a walk along the lengthy promenade where you can see the different beaches and soak up the atmosphere. Along the way, you will find plenty of inviting cafes, shops and places to sit and take in the views. The area is scattered with flower gardens and lively fountains – be sure to check out the fountains at night, when they dance to the music accompanied by a laser show. This creates a magical atmosphere and is popular with tourists and locals alike.
I also highly recommend taking the short trip (11km) to Tarragona for the day. This wonderful historical city is the perfect blend of Roman history, beaches, museums, luxury shopping, atmosphere and tantalising cuisine. Simply navigating the weaving lanes throughout the alluring medieval city centre and taking in the sights and smells is a brilliant experience. Be sure to stop off for dinner at one of the many great seafood restaurants before heading back to Salou.
Salou hosts a number of important and fun annual festivals where you can get to see the heart and soul of the town. I think that this is an excellent way to experience a place, so consider coinciding your winter sun break with one of the many unique and colourful festivals where you can enjoy performances, parades, music, street food and plenty more.
Check online for dates, but you will want to keep an eye out for the magnificent Winter Festival, Golden Nights (during summer), Squid Festival and the Salou Segregation Fiesta.
How to Get to Salou
Another perk that Salou offers for a winter sun break is that it is very easy to reach, so you do not have to spend a large percentage of your trip travelling. The closest major airport is Barcelona El Prat, which is just a two-hour flight from London. Dozens of nonstop flights go to Barcelona each day with airlines including Ryanair, Norwegian Air and easyJet.
Upon arrival, the quickest way to get to the beautiful town of Salou is with a pre-booked Shuttle Direct transfer. It takes all the stress out of onwards travel and will get your trip off to a smooth and comfortable start.
Where to Stay:
Delfin Park – Brilliantly situated a stone’s throw from Levante Beach and all the action along the promenade, Delfin Park is an adult-only hotel that comes with spacious rooms and your own private balcony. You can chill out in the lovely outdoor pool, which also features a fountain, sun terrace and snack bar. Food is available at the buffet restaurant, plus you can unwind after a day of exploring with a drink at the hotel’s cool lobby bar.
H10 Salauris Palace – Looking for luxury during your stay? The Saularis Palace has a superb lagoon-style outdoor pool complete with a waterfall and hot tub, a Turkish bath and sauna and a heated indoor pool. You do not have to stray far for a good meal either, as food is served at the buffet restaurant, bar and the poolside snack bar. The rooms are big, spacious and brightly decorated and you will be perfectly located in the heart of Salou.
Hotel Best Negresco – If you are planning to spend some quality time on the beach, then this could be the accommodation for you. Just 100 yards from Playa Larga Beach, this hotel also has many great facilities for you to enjoy. This includes an outdoor pool and snack bar, a fully-equipped spa centre, buffet restaurant, terrace with spectacular views out to sea and a host of activities and entertainment. Each large room also comes with a private balcony and air-conditioning.
About Shuttle Direct:
Ensure comfortable, reliable and safe passage between airports, hotels, train stations and cruise terminals with Shuttle Direct. As Europe’s most trusted transfer provider, you know that you are in good hands and that your trip will get off to a smooth start.
Use their easy-to-use booking system today and one of their friendly local drivers will be there to pick you up and take you to the destination of your choosing.