Costa Dorada holidays are great at multi-tasking – you've got La Pineda's Blue Flag beach, Salou sorts the bars and clubs and PortAventura deals out the rip-roaring rides.

Bucket and spade territory

This stretch of Spain’s coast does things by the family-friendly book. And it’s a great read. The three biggest resorts sit in a triangle on a chunk of headland – you’ve got La Pineda and Salou by the sea and Spain’s biggest theme park, PortAventura, filling what’s in between. Plus, city slickers Barcelona and Tarragona are easy to reach.

Bubbly Salou

You’re not short of tanning options in Salou. There are two sandy beaches to flop out on. One of them’s a real beefcake – its golden sands are sprinkled all the way to the fishing village of Cambrils. And there’s a decent supply of loungers and watersports. On the flipside, nearby Cap de Salou is the sunbed-clear cove type.

Beachy La Pineda

La Pineda didn’t miss the golden beaches memo. It delivers a sizeable stretch with Blue Flag backing. And there’s more watery action in the form of Aquopolis waterpark. Plus, right behind the slides, you can party ‘til the early hours at top nightclub Pacha.

Packs-a-punch PortAventura

Beaches aren’t the only thing the Costa Dorada takes seriously – it serves up adrenaline in big portions, too. PortAventura takes over 300 acres of it. It’s a theme park-cum-mega resort, with restaurants, live shows and themed hotels. The guys behind Virginia’s Busch Gardens also helped design the rides. And it’s managed to nab the crown for Europe’s fastest rollercoaster.

At a Glance

  • Plant yourself on La Pineda’s winning sands
  • Take on PortAventura’s stomach-churning Shambhala coaster
  • Check out the Roman ruins in Tarragona

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