With its enviable location on the Catalan coast, Salou has long been a popular holiday destination. Visitors from all over Europe enjoy the town’s beaches, its sights and its enviable sports scene – but it is also home to a few attractions that make it especially suitable for family trips.
PortAventura Theme Park
Located a short distance northwest of Salou, PortAventura is very easy to get to from the town centre. It’s only half an hour on foot, although you can cut the travel time in half by taking the R. Express from Salou to the theme park’s dedicated stop. Alternatively, drive it in seven or eight minutes: take the C-31B, turn onto Av. Batlle del Pere Molas, and follow the signs. We wouldn’t recommend driving unless you have to, however – if all members of your party are able to walk or take public transport it won’t be worth the hassle of parking.
PortAventura is Spain’s most popular theme park in terms of visitors (some four million people enjoy the park’s attractions every year), and the sixth most visited theme park in the whole of Europe. It’s well worth popping over for a day if you’re in the region, and theme park fanatics may want to consider staying at the on-site facilities for a little longer.
The park is spread over five areas, with each one having a theme based on a particular civilisation. The civilisations featured are Mediterranean, Mexico, Polynesia, China and the Far West, and each has its own unique feel and rides.
PortAventura has seven rollercoasters and three water rides, along with myriad other attractions, slides and events. It’s also home to the Costa Caribe waterpark, which is ideal for younger holidaymakers.
Entrance tickets from €39.
The Illuminated Fountain
Located on Passeig de Jaume I, on the southern edge of Salou, the Illuminated Fountain is easily reached by pedestrians staying in Salou.
Salou’s illuminated fountain is one of those simple pleasures that appeals to all ages. Wait until nightfall and watch as an aurora of jets, lit by coloured lights, pulses and morphs before your eyes, all carefully choreographed to a soundtrack. Suitable for all ages, the illuminated fountain is a lovely, relaxing way to end a fun-filled day.
You’ll find Bosc Aventura on Carrer de Barbastre. Again, those staying in Salou should be able to reach it quite easily.
If adventure sports are your thing, you’ll be well-served at Bosc Aventura. Whether paintball or zip-lining is your poison, there’s fun to be had for you and the kids at this adventure park. For those after some slightly more laid-back action, there’s a mini-golf course that’s challenging enough to keep adults and children alike entertained.
Paintball from €20
Mini-golf from €4
Zip-lining from €9
How to Get to Salou
Direct flights to Barcelona Airport from London are operated by a large number of airlines. All direct flights take around two hours.
After touching down, we suggest booking a Barcelona airport shuttle to get you to your destination with minimum fuss. It’s only about an hour’s drive along the coast to Salou – you’ll be taking the C-23 and the AP-7, but bear in mind that there are tolls along the way.
You could also take public transport. Take the R2n towards Sant Celoni, then change for the R. Express 18259 towards Tortosa at Barcelona-Sants station. It usually takes a little shy of two hours in total.
Where to stay
Hotel Niza – This charming low-cost hotel is located in the very heart of Salou, only a few minutes away from all the beaches and shops you could wish for. Hotel Niza’s outdoor terrace is sure to be a hit with all the family, and the rooms are bright and pleasant, ensuring that you and the kids get a solid night’s rest. What’s more, the checkout time isn’t until midday, easing off some of the stress of getting the whole family packed and out the door.
Hotel Marinada – If you prefer to base yourself somewhere with a few more facilities, try Hotel Marinada. The hotel is rife with diversions, including its own mini-golf course, two pools, a buffet restaurant and a poolside bar. It’s also great if you’re hoping for some adults-only time, as the hotel offers a kids club to keep the little ones entertained, and there’s also a beautiful play area.
Hotel H10 Saularis Palace – With its luxury rooms, private balconies and truly gorgeous pool area, the Saularis Palace promises to be a hit with guests of all ages. The elegantly decorated rooms and spa area are a treat for adults, while kids can avail themselves of the pool and hotel-provided entertainments.