A family favourite this Easter. Looking for a destination with something for everyone this Easter? Your search is over. Spain’s Costa Dorada has a treat in store for each and every member of the family...
Choosing where to go on a family holiday can sometimes seem an impossible task. Parents want to relax, teens want to do their own thing, youngsters just want have fun...and that’s before you’ve even asked grandparents along! Well the good news is that this Easter, your problems are solved. Running South from Barcelona, Costa Dorada offers a rich mix of beautiful beaches, sensational resorts, cultural hotspots and some of Spain’s best sightseeing.
Beaches abound on Costa Dorada, which is probably why it’s also known as the Gold Coast. So if you want to take it easy, you really are spoilt for choice. All beaches in the area have Blue Flag status and expanses of shimmering sand at resorts such as Salou and Cambrils, really make the Costa Dorada a sun-seeker’s paradise. Cambrils also boasts a proud reputation as the area’s gastronomic capital. Home to local delicacy romescos, which is a delicious Catalonian sauce usually served with fish, foodies will find plenty of palate pleasing treats in this picturesque fishing port. Eating out in general on the Costa Dorada offers an eclectic mix, with restaurants serving everything from Spanish paella to good old British grub and traditional cuisine – so there’s something to suit every taste come mealtimes.
Besides being able to spend quality time with the family on some of Spain’s best beaches, you can also spend a little me-time on some of their best golf courses. Perhaps the most well known on the Costa Dorada is the southern most course, Panoramica. Designed by Bernhard Langer, this championship course offers a real test for golfers. About one and a half hours from Barcelona is the Bonmont – a Robert Trent Jones Jr course – which caters for both scratch players and high handicappers. If golf’s not your cup of tee, a trip to Reus offers a never to be forgotten cultural journey. Surrounded by awe-inspiring modernist design, with the impressive Gaudi Centre at its heart, the town is an architectural gem. For a trip even further back in time, history buffs will adore the old Roman capital Tarragona – now a World Heritage Site –with its ancient and imposing amphitheatre. For wine lovers, there’s also an abundance of tempting tours available to the many vineyards flourishing in the Costa Dorada countryside.
You’ll be relieved to know that should the beach lose its appeal or even a trip to Barcelona can’t tempt your teens, there’s still lots that Costa Dorada can offer – namely Spain’s biggest amusement park, PortAventura. With five different worlds to explore, it offers infinite variety and enough thrills and spills to keep boredom well and truly at bay. One minute you can be exploring the Great Wall of China, the next taking a dip at the top of the Tutuki Splash volcano. Teens and children can take their pick from over 30 rides, ranging from white knuckle to family friendly. Only the truly daring may want to experience the Dragon Khan, Europe’s biggest roller coaster, with eight loops and speeds of up to 110kmph! There are also a staggering 90 shows each day, including a wild west shoot out and Chinese acrobats, so you’re never short of something to see or do here at Spain’s answer to Disneyland. For extreme sport teens, Costa Dorada also boasts one of the best climbing schools in Europe at Siurana, where impressive rock faces yield to spectacular views.
PortAventura offers lots for younger children to do as well. There aren’t many places little ones can go and explore a bamboo forest and meet a cuddly panda (don’t worry, not the real deal!) on the way. Or where else could you catch up with the Sesame street characters and watch them put on a show just for you? And the puppet show here really must be seen to be believed – a truly magical experience for children. Then there are the performing macaws, bubble artistry, a 4D sea odyssey...the list goes on and on. Of course, there’s much more to Costa Dorada. The resort of Salou which neighbours PortAventura offers some of the area’s most family friendly beaches, where children can play and bathe safely under the watchful eye of Mum and Dad.
A special time in Catalonia, Easter brings with it festivals and food. Wherever you are, keep an eye out for colourful and noisy processions as the locals continue the celebrations that have been passed down from generation to generation. Also don’t miss out on some delicious Easter only treats, such as Bunyols which are deep fried doughnuts and Torrijas, fried bread with sweet wine, milk and cinnamon. Mmmmm...