Holidays to Tarragona take you to a city that’s stuffed full of historic sites and bordered by a string of smashing beaches.
Sights, sand and seafood
Tarragona sprawls out along the seafront in Costa Dorada, around an hour’s drive from Barcelona. It’s a dinky city, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in history. The city’s Roman relics are its crowning glories, but first-class dining scene and syrup-tinted beaches are the icing on the cake.
A grand total of 13 UNESCO-listed sites are scattered across Tarragona like sprinkles on a birthday cake. The ancient Roman amphitheatre draws in a big chunk of the crowds – it played host to gladiator contests back in the second century AD. The Roman Circus is worth a special mention, too. Most of it’s hidden underground, but parts of the walls and tunnels, which once led to the stands, can still be seen.
History and culture give Tarragona most of its appeal, but the city’s beaches give it some bonus brownie points. The 15-kilometre coastline is dotted with a handful of sand-carpeted coves. Most of them are within strolling distance of the centre, and are kitted out with must-haves like showers and restaurants. Others are more out-of-the-way, so make great options for those who fancy dodging the crowds.
With a long seafaring history behind it, Tarragona’s dining scene is dominated by seafood. The catch of the day makes its way into loads of the city’s restaurants, so you can expect ever-changing menus full of stuff like seafood paella and grilled fish. The real must-try, though, is cassola de romesco – a mussel-stuffed casserole made with a nutty sauce.