Best in show

As resorts go, Salou hasn’t really put a foot wrong. Set on Spain’s Costa Dorada between Cambrils and La Pineda, it’s the liveliest of the trio with a full-on nightlife and plenty of eating places. It’s cleverly got Europe’s biggest theme park right on its doorstep, too. But it’s the golden-sand beach that really sets this resort up for success.

A beach of 2 halves

Salou’s main beach comes in 2 parts either side of the port. There’s Playa Llevant on one side, and to the west is Playa Ponent, which stretches its way to next-door Cambrils. Both are fine, sandy numbers backed up by a palm-fringed prom, and come with pedalos and jet-skis. The jam-packed Levant side even serves up a gym, volleyball and kids’ play areas.

Family fun

Salou is a sucker for families. In the resort you’ve got Adrenaline Park – which true to its word deals up a bungee rocket along with a 900-metre go-kart track. Then there’s Aquapolis waterpark between the resort and La Pineda. And just down the road you’ve got PortAventura – a mega theme park that throws in another waterpark on the side. Local buses or the resort’s mini-train get you there in about 20 minutes.

Day trips to Tarragona and Barcelona

Ten minutes by car gets you to Tarragona. What you’ve got here is a Medieval citadel, an ampitheatre and a big cathedral. Or you can get on a train at Salou’s station and be in Barcelona in 90 minutes. This is real Gaudi territory and his must-see sights include the Sagrada Familia and Guell Park. Barcelona’s big on tapas, and there’s a swanky waterfront with haute-cuisine places if you’re staying for dinner.

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Where we go in Salou