Popular theme park
Three million visitors flock to PortAventura, on the Costa Dorada, each year. The giant theme park – the most popular in Spain – is what brings most of them, but the town also boasts an expansive sandy beach, and lively bars and restaurants. For more excitement, Salou is just 5 minutes’ drive away and Barcelona an hour on the train.
PortAventura has its own bespoke beach – a manmade one at the lagoon of the Bahamas Beach – with sunloungers, parasols and a beach bar. There’s a pick of other beaches nearby, though – try popular Salou for a buzz and watersports, and Cambrils for a quieter option. Salou is 5 minutes away by car, and Cambrils just 20 minutes.
The theme park’s huge, so just as well it’s been divided into 6 manageable themes. These include the Far West section, where you can take a white-knuckle whitewater raft along the Grand Canyon – and the Mediterranean section, where you can try the Furios Baco, the fastest rollercoaster in Europe. It’s not all high-adrenaline rides though – you’ve got can-can shows, fireworks displays and acrobatics, too.
Daytrips to Barcelona
A train will whisk you to iconic Barcelona within an hour. Here, in the capital of Catalonia, you can see Gaudí’s unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, plus modern architecture like Frank Gehry’s fish sculpture, its glass front glistening in the sunshine. After sightseeing, you can enjoy tapas along Las Ramblas, the famous pedestrianised street where street performers entertain diners.