Salou is a city in the Spanish province of Tarragona, the unofficial center of the Costa Dorada. It is not rich in historical sights, but this disadvantage is more than offset by mild climate, awarded the “blue flag” beaches with rocky bays, miles of promenades, and countless sports fields. On the territory of Salou is located the largest in Europe in terms of the number of visitors to the theme park “PortAventura” with hotels, restaurants, water and theme rides, racing circuits.
Save on your trip to Salou!
Salou is warm in winter and hot in summer. There is not much rain, the most rain falls in the fall, after the bathing season is over. Tourists who can not stand the heat, prefer to come to Salou in late September or early October, when the water is still warm, you can sunbathe, but the crowds of tourists wiped out. Until February and March in the city is empty. Salou begins to come alive in the spring, especially after mid-May, when the water gets warmer.
The waterfront of Salou Screw from the ship Anchor
The history of Salou
Settlers from Phokida, a region in Middle Greece, arrived in the comfortable Mediterranean harbor in the 6th century B.C. Under the Romans Salouris became one of the most important centers of the province of Spain. With the arrival of the Moors the prosperous coast was deserted. Life in Salou revived in the XIII century, when the city became the starting point for the maritime campaigns to the Balearic Islands, led by King Jaime I of Aragon. This period of triumph was short-lived, as Majorca became a haven for the pirates who regularly raided the mainland, before being joined by brigands from North Africa. In the sixteenth century, the administration of the surviving coastal settlements decided that something had to be done about the constant threat and built a series of fortifications. This measure had no effect on the pirates: only the Castilians, who conquered Catalonia in the XVII century, stopped them. The towers were torn down so that the Catalans would not be tempted to rebel.
The most important harbor of the region Salou remained until the XIX century, then it could not withstand the competition with its neighbors and fell into decline. The city was revived after the appearance of the railroad in 1865. Since then, the development of the city was redirected to the tourists. In 20s of XX century the coast was built up with luxurious chalets, but the real tourist boom began in the 60s. In the 70-80-ies in Salou was a wave of local struggles for independence: the city was decided to join the municipality of Vila-Seca, but activists managed to defend it.
One of the most popular tourist centers of Catalonia, the center of the Costa Dorada, Salou became about 20 years ago, when he opened a giant amusement park “PortAventura”. In 2012, a project was approved to build a family entertainment complex Barcelona-World, which will be 4 times larger than PortAventura and will absorb it. To implement the project there were found investments of billions of dollars, were bought out the municipal land, but so far it remains on paper, and PortAventura thrives, annually presenting guests with new themed areas and attractions.
There are only a few monuments of historical architecture in Salou. From the Roman period remains Villa Barenis from the first century BC on the outskirts of the city. It is the ruins of a building in which ceramics were made for building and everyday life with the remains of a kiln with an aqueduct connected to it. During the time of Tiberius they made gigantic pots as high as a man, in which they stored olive oil, wine and grain, placing the pots in barns or partly buried them in the ground. Free guided tours of the villa are offered from May to September in the evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m., in Spanish and English.
Church of Santa Maria del Mar
A 15-minute walk southeast of the pottery workshops, in the historic center of Salou, next to the train station, is the fortress of Torre Vella, built for defense against pirates in 1530. Around her a small park with a sculptural group of dancing naked girls, joined hands raised to the sky, inside the building – a two-story art gallery, part of the local history museum. View the works of contemporary Spanish and foreign artists and collections of enamel and smalt for free from 6 to 9 p.m.
The Church of Santa Maria del Mar, north of the Monument to King Jaime I on the promenade of the same name, was built in 1766 especially for the sailors of ships entering the harbour. In the early twentieth century it was renovated, adding elements of constructivism. The restoration is still going on, but even today you can admire the frescoes inside the building and listen to the bells chiming every half hour from 8 to 11 pm.
Salou parks and boulevards
Next to the station there is a miniature children’s park with areas for three ages – from toddlers to teens. While the kids frolic on the slides and swings, parents can sit quietly on the benches or in the nearby cafes. Nearby is an authentic steam train with a 150-year old train car – a symbol of the development of modern Salou. Noteworthy and city park with a pond with carp, creeks, paths and a playground with simulators. It is not very big, but very well maintained, on Fridays and Saturdays, it organizes concerts and dances.
The main place for walks of Salou citizens and visitors is the promenade Jaime I. In the western part of the promenade is a singing fountain with a half-hour light and music program, starting at 22 hours daily. In the middle is a monument to the conqueror of the Balearic Islands, after whom the boulevard is named. During the day because of the heat the promenade is deserted, but in the evening a crowd of strollers gathers here.
Steamer Monument Fountains on the Promenade
PortAventura Amusement Park
Opened in 1995 in the north of Salou, PortAventura has surpassed Disneyland in attractiveness, variety, originality and technical complexity of the attractions. Meals, accommodation, water activities, shopping, theatrical performances and festivals are all found in the dozens of hectares of the park. Accommodation in PortAventura includes free admission to the rides, but you can also stay outside the park and buy tickets separately. The cost of admission depends on the length of stay and season. Tickets start at 49 euros per day in the amusement park for adults and 41 euros for children. In comparison, 3 days in all three parks cost only 85 and 70 euros respectively. Discounts are available for children up to 10 years old, disabled and senior citizens from 60 years old; online ticket purchases and hot deals for night sessions from 7pm to midnight are usually 10-20% cheaper.
The Mediterranean zone begins at the entrance to the park – it is a traditional fishing village. The Catapult standing here reaches speeds of 135 km/h in 3 seconds. From here there is a waterway to Ancient China and a railroad to the Wild West. The route by water goes through Polynesia, the train with a separate easy entrance for wheelchair users – through the whole park. In China, guests will have dizzying adventures and relax in the children’s area with balloon and kite carousels, dragon slides with obstacle course. In Angkor armed with water pistols tourists boat through the jungle and fight off the forest creatures. It’s a realm of extreme Shambhala and Dragon Khan rides and the tranquil whirling of giant tea cups from the traditional Chinese service.
In the Polynesian zone, daredevils are swept up by volcanic eruptions on Tutuki Splash, hurricanes on Kontiki swings, and relaxing only during a fun canoe trip through the jungle. Mexico has a 175-meter labyrinth with special effects, guests will be offered a trip to a silver mine and a free fall from a hundred-meter tower, horses and funny armadillos are waiting for the kids. The Far West has the most rides, including a rodeo, a log ride through a sawmill, a Tomahawk and Stampoda roller coaster, cars, and a barrel-shaped carousel. Finally, the fabulous Sesame Street will bring kids’ dreams to life – intricate slides, flying butterflies and chairs, fish and dragons.
PortAventura theme park
Aqua Caribe Aquatic Park
The picturesque 50,000 square meters of Caribe Water Park is filled with rides and relaxation areas. The Bermuda Triangle pool with its unpredictable waves and the serene Bahama Beach with loungers by the still azure water are preferred by adult tourists. The little ones will find a giant paddling pool and a water fortress in the inner area under the roof. Outdoors, kids relax in the “Lagoon” and “Pirate Galleon”, the family pool “Paradise Beach” and the shallow “Sesame”.
Mambo Limbo is a tall but perfectly safe children’s slide with breathtaking turns and gentle descents, while the 15-meter Tiphon with two steep slides is a bigger challenge. The most terrifying option is King Khaiuna with a 31m drop. “Crazy River offers a fun ride downstream under the waterfalls. A step forward in the conquest of the water element is the descent on inflatable circles from El Torrente slide and steep “Barracuda”. Without turns, but with waves – that’s what a Rapid Race mat ride is like.
Aqua Caribe Aquatic Park
Ferrari Land Park
The latest innovation of PortAventura is the Ferrari Park, dedicated to the history of the famous racing brand, a hybrid of a museum and an extreme amusement park. The main building tells all about the cars, and there are simulators that simulate going around a Formula 1 track. In the open air is built extreme ride Red Force, 55-meter tower with a freefall and instant takeoff to the sky, a half-kilometer long race track. Children ride the Junior Championship cars and compete on the Children’s Podium slides for the youngest kids. All rides and simulators are decorated in the team’s distinctive red colors.
The beaches of Salou
All 34 beaches of Salou are clean, well-maintained, covered with fine yellow sand, but some of them are difficult to descend because of the steep coastal cliffs. The most compact beach with a rocky descent with railing is Llenguades, the longest is Lievant, stretching along the promenade of Jaime I. There are no jellyfish and no waves, you can rent a variety of sports equipment. Ljargu is characterized by a gentle descent into the water, though it is difficult to get to it because of the steep shore.
Locals prefer the beach of Ponient, located near the residential area, away from the hotels. Ponyent’s strip of sand stretches to Cambrils, it is shallow – optimal for bathing small children. A very picturesque, but inaccessible and deprived of entertainment beach is Cala Crank. To go down to Cala Font, next to the lighthouse, by the stairs between the thickets of rosemary and thyme, you will need good shoes. All beaches are free, renting a sun lounger will cost an average of 5 euros, an umbrella 7 euros. If you vacation a week or longer, it is cheaper to buy in shops Salou beach towels, mats and folding umbrella.
Events in Salou
Like everywhere else in Spain, Salou celebrates many holidays – national, regional and local. In January, the Cavalcade of the Three Kings, dedicated to the three wise men who welcomed the infant Jesus, walks through the streets of the city. In June Salou holds a festival of children, from June 23 to 24, the eve of St. John’s Day, in the Russian folklore tradition – Ivan Kupala, arranging a grand fireworks display and night entertainment. King Jaime I is commemorated on September 7, and September 11 is Catalonia Day.
Of the events of the world scale it is worth noting the May championship in international a checkers. Since 1998, he won six times the representatives of Russia, another 12 times they were among the winners. Since 2005 Salou has become the capital of the Rally of Catalonia, the most popular section of the World Rally for TV viewers. The autumn sporting event was moved from the Costa Brava to the outskirts of Salou due to the developed infrastructure of the city and the excellent quality of roads.
Fireworks in the sky over Salou International chess tournament in Salou
The neighboring towns to Salou have firmly established a niche for year-round family and youth recreation. Not limited to the opening of the park “PortAventura” to attract tourists in the low season, it was decided to develop a sports destination. In the capital of the Costa Dorada has already managed to open 6 soccer fields with locker rooms and bars, including 2 fields with natural turf.
If the walk along Boulevard Jaime I is accessible to everyone, Paseo Maritima will especially appeal to athletes. This 7-kilometer promenade, which in some places turns into a mountain path, stretches to neighboring Cambrils. There are basketball and volleyball courts along the way. Along the coast there are bicycle paths, ordinary bikes cost about 10 euros a day for rent, you can also rent electric bikes. Waterskiing costs about 70 euros for half an hour for two, a bonus – free videos and photos. From Salou experienced guides accompany groups of tourists into the mountains. Routes cost about 40 euros per person pass by mountain lakes in which you can swim, caves, abandoned villages.
The rope park, located near the eastern end of the promenade, offers several routes for 9-35 €, minigolf for 4-5 €, paintball for 15-20 €, archery for 12-20 €. Children’s and adult go-kart tracks are laid out on the northern edge of Salou. The fee for an 8-minute ride is €15. There is a cycle track leading to the karting track and a free bus goes there once an hour from Plaça Europa. Accompanying riders are waiting in a covered room with a bar and billiards.
Bike rentals at Salou Hotels Kayak tours along the coast
Golf Club Salou
Lumine Golf Club, formerly known as Port Aventura, was renamed after the opening of the same name amusement park. It has three courses – south, north and central. The last two were designed by Greg Norman, the famous Australian golfer. Lumine has two clubhouses, a restaurant, an equipment store, with plans to build nearby 5-star hotels, cottage quarters and an international golf school designed to accommodate 1,200 students at a time. The club is visited not only by golfers: its pine park has 8 swimming pools with sun loungers. A ticket to Lumine costs from 15 euros.
Transport in Salou
For close distances to La Pineda, Cambrils, Reus, Tarragona, the most convenient and cheapest way to travel on a strict schedule bus company Bus Plana. The same company organizes tours with Russian-speaking guides cheaper than tour operators. Blue kiosks are open throughout Salou.
Where to stay
PortAventura has themed 4-5-star hotels with excellent restaurants. The Wild West is realized in Gold River and Mansion de Lucy, the Mediterranean in PortAventura, luxury islands in Caribe, and Mexico in El Paso. In high season lodging costs from 150 euros per person for two, a room should be booked in advance due to high demand. In addition to PortAventura Park, many hotels are open along the coast of Salou. Staying during the season will cost from 60 euros per night.
Cafes and Restaurants
In PortAventura there are many self-service cafes with cuisines of the world, but also restaurants with a full menu: Mediterranean cuisine is presented in Port Regata near the main fountain, Mexican cuisine is in Hacienda el Charro, American home cooking is in “The Iron Horse”. In Salou itself, popular are La Morera with a Michelin star, Xantar with excellent fish dishes and dozens of inexpensive bars and cafes found at every turn, especially near the train station and on the promenade Jaime I.
Shopping in Salou
Do not shop in Salou – Barcelona is the best place for that – but you can find good clothes and accessories in Salou. The main stores are located along the promenade and perpendicular to the musical fountain, they close late at night. The Mercadona department store with a large selection of branded goods at average prices is open 5 minutes walk east of Torre Vella, on the level of the dancing fountain. Of local produce, you can buy jamon from 20 euros and sangria from 10-15 euros per bottle.
Mercadona Supermarket Jamón for sale in the Mercadona supermarket
How to get there
Foreign tourists prefer air transport. A 20-minute drive north of Salou is Reus airport, which receives direct charter flights by the lowcoster Ryanair, mostly local and Irish-British destinations – from Glasgow, London, Dublin, and the Dutch Eindhoven. Most tourists arrive via Barcelona International Airport by regular routes, including direct flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The best way to get from Barcelona to Salou is to take the Bus Plana, which leaves from the airport, or the train. In the latter case, take the subway to Central Station and get on the high-speed train TALGO, which leaves for Salou every two hours. Tickets start at 14 euros. The capital of the province, the city of Tarragona, is only 12 km from Salou. There are 5 buses a day from Tarragona to Salou, the fare is up to 5 euros; a trip by train costs 2-10 euros.
Holidays in Salou (Spain, Costa Dorada) – reviews
Hello dear readers! Today my review will be about the popular town of Salou in Spain. Many people associate this little town in the Costa Dorada with a youth hangout, but I assure you that the rest with children here is not less comfortable and interesting.
A small town that has everything for a good holiday!
Very much: a variety of beaches, cafes, a lot of attractions, a rich excursion program
Good afternoon, I want to share my impressions about my vacation in Salou, I vacationed 2 years in a row – in 2015 and 2016. Often Salou is compared to the Spanish Gelendzhik, saying that it is Catalonia, not the real Spain. But to me.
Chic nature, lots of entertainment, beautiful sandy beach, lots of stores, positive impressions
Good day dear readers and guests of the site “otzovik”. We spent one of our next summer vacations in Spain. We chose Salou as the vacation destination. The beach in the city is wonderful. The area is clean.
Salou is a place that everyone will love.
Summertime-a time of vacations, and maybe someone after reading my review, will immediately go and buy tickets to the wonderful town of Salou, which is located on the Costa Dorada in Spain. Salou – the tourist center of the autonomous community of Catalonia. Popular.
Swanky beach vacation for every taste.
In the summer of 2017 we vacationed in Spain. Our tour operator picked us a beautiful resort and we came to Salou. To my shame I had not heard of this city before. We left home in love with Spain and in.
The golden shores of Catalonia.
Convenient location; blue flag beaches; affordable housing prices; entertainment for every taste and purse
A small resort town of Salou is located 100 km from Barcelona. Its golden beaches, washed by the waters of the Balearic Sea, have long been popular with tourists. Here you can find entertainment for all categories of tourists: young people, families with children, shopaholics.
A city for outdoor activities
The city of Salou is located in Spain on the Costa Dorada. This is a modern tourist town with lots of hotels, cafes and stores. Hotels in Salou are mostly all city-type, that is, without a huge area. A typical hotel in Salou.
The real “Gold Coast” of Catalonia is here!
The town has more than 3 beaches, a musical fountain, the largest amusement park – PortAventura, the best location, excellent service, developed infrastructure
Salou – a seaside resort town in Catalonia on the Mediterranean Sea, located 92 kilometers from Barcelona, with many hotels, stores, restaurants, cafes, three large beaches, color-music singing fountain, a huge theme park – PortAventura.
A beautiful European resort town.
In the city of Salou were with my husband in April 2017, quite spontaneously, as there is always confusion with vacation, originally planned another coast, but luckily for us Natalie Tours did not confirm the reservation on the Costa Brava and was.
Salou in “off season” is much more pleasant city.
Pretty dirty, little entertainment for children, dirty and old public playgrounds, mosquitoes
My review is more suitable for those who are going to Salou with children and in “off season”. I will tell you right away that the opinion is ambiguous, and there is a lot to compare, given that we at one time izvestili.
Salou – a cozy town with stunning beaches!
In warm hospitable Spain on the Mediterranean Sea coast stretches a small cozy town of Salou – a paradise for tourists who want to combine beach vacation with cognitive. Among the many resorts in Spain, we chose Salou.
A quiet town for a family vacation
Salou is one of the cities where those who are going to have a rest on the Costa Dorada or the Gold Coast of Spain, more precisely, the tourist capital of this coast. We lived in the hotel Medplaya Piramide Salou, 700 meters to the beach.
Holidays in Spain in Salou in October.
Great beach, excellent location, a great place for a relaxing holiday with a child.
We had a holiday in Salou with our family in early October when our daughter was 11 months old. We flew to Spain with a child twice and I wrote a detailed review about vacation with a child in Spain.
Very nice vacation, great beaches and sea
We had a rest in Salou in September, +28-30 degrees, it was warm but not hot, the sea + 24. The city consists of hotels, mostly. Hotel from the sea 5-7 minutes slow walk, Larga beach is big and spacious, a lot of people, but.
If you think where to relax with children, this is g.. Salou in Spain.
Warm shallow sea, silky sand, a lot of entertainment for children and adults, close to PortAventura, great food and service.
Hello! Last year I wondered where to spend my summer vacation with my 7 year old child. I would have loved Salou. If I can do it this year, I will definitely do it again. What is he beautiful? Well one of its main advantages.
Sunny Spain just can not help but please and delight, 10/10!
First of all, we want to note that we were in Spain for the first time. However this fact did not prevent us to fully explore the culture, nature and many other features of this country. The travel agency advised us a wonderful town.
A cozy little town on the Costa Dorada!
If you are going to relax in Spain, then look at the place Salou – you will certainly recommend it in any travel agency, when you buy a tour to Spain). The town is small, located on the Mediterranean coast.
I recommend to visit.
On the waterfront there is a two-storey carousel and a lot of fountains. Not far from the city there is a giant amusement park Port Aventura. Large central beach, a lot of hotels. A great central beach with lots of hotels. The only disadvantages are the big grocery stores.
All coast of the resort town is recognized as environmentally friendly and awarded the Blue Flag. The main beach is covered with soft fine sand and stretches along the boulevard of King Jaime I for 1.2 km. The sea water is very clear, and the entrance to the sea.
Not a professional hotel guide.
We had a holiday from June 10 to 21 in Salou, Spain. Our guide Maxim was very nice and knowledgeable young man. All very interesting and informative guide, told us about the country and excursions, in general, gave us complete information. It was a pleasure to meet you on the following day.