Tarragona was once the capital of Tarraconian Spain under the Roman Empire, and today is the “home” for a whole list of architectural monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This relatively calm, almost provincial city with a unique ancient history will be able to conquer everyone who loves national holidays and festivals, the golden beaches of the Costa Dorada and unique cuisine in the best Catalan traditions. And in Tarragona good shopping. See Andyeducation for education and training in Spain.
The position of the port city obliges – Tarragona is famous for its Mediterranean cuisine, most of the ingredients of which are caught on the day of preparation.
On the “golden coast” of the Costa Dorada in Tarragona, vacationers flock like flies to honey, both couples and families with children. You can understand them: the local beaches are considered among the best in the region. Wide and long, sandy and very clean, with a gentle entry into the water – almost all of them are equipped with changing cabins, toilets, showers and are surrounded by cafes and bars, under the canopies of which it is so pleasant to enjoy soft drinks.
The most famous (also central and crowded) beach of Tarragona is Platja Del Miracle, the most recommended are Platja De L’arrabassada and Platja De La Mora, over which the Blue Flag flutters, the most unconventional are Platja De La Savinosa and Cala De La Roca Plana, they are for nudists, especially sensitive natures have nothing to do here.
Buses No. 1, 9, 10, 97 run from the center and outskirts to the coastline. In addition to wild and remote beaches, sun loungers and umbrellas are rented everywhere at a price of 10-15 EUR. Volleyball nets are stretched on the central beaches, masks and fins for snorkeling are rented, children and adults are entertained by kayaking, catamarans and bananas.
Windsurfing and diving
All conditions have been created for the “catchers of the sea wind” in Tarragona: on the Platja Llarga beach, in the Las Palmas camping area, there is a yacht club and a surf school (off. site in insolent). Clients here are taught the tricks of windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding all year round, professional equipment is rented at average prices for Europe, and the experience promises an unforgettable experience.
Diving instructors have chosen the Puerto Deportivo de Tarragona marina (41.109678, 1.252935): there are rental points here, boats with lovers of deep diving leave from here. There is someone to stare at in the waters of the Balearic Sea: they are inhabited by dorado, barracuda, moray eels, squids, bizarre corals and flocks of colorful small fish. Visibility – from 12 m, the high season is the period from May to November.
The local waters are a paradise for fans of research diving: in the vicinity of the resort there are several sunken ships and bombers, as well as an underwater park, the development of which is managed by the Association of the Society for Underwater Research of Tarragona.
There is shopping in Tarragona, which cannot but please fans of this type of holiday. They can indulge in their favorite pastime in large shopping centers – El Corte Ingles and Parc Central, as well as in shops on Rambla Nova. The main attention – first of all, Spanish shoes and bags made of genuine leather, famous for its high quality. Models of Pikolinos, Callaghan, Fluchos, Marypaz and other brands will easily win the hearts of even the most inveterate fashionistas.
Pay attention to the jewelry of the Spanish brands Zaida and Joan Blazquez. The first is suitable for connoisseurs of calm classics, the second for lovers of innovative products created in the image and likeness of Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces. A more budgetary, but no less interesting option is UNO de 50 jewelry.
“Must-have” from Tarragona – face and body cosmetics with olive oil Belnatur and Natura Bisse, as well as professional hair care Kerastase and Perfume Giulia perfumes. It is better to buy such products in company stores or pharmacies.
Despite the almost limitless shopping opportunities in Tarragona, many bring only edible souvenirs from it: melt-in-your-mouth jamon, spicy chorrizo sausage, divine Manchego cheese, local olive oil and wine.
Cuisine and restaurants of Tarragona
The largest number of restaurants and cafes in Tarragona is concentrated around the main street of the city – Rambla Nova, but it is better to look for truly authentic establishments away from the beaten tourist trails. Landmark – a large number of local and divine flavor.
Specialization of local food – Mediterranean and Catalan cuisine. And this is an abundance of seafood (mussels, shrimp, fish), original sauces, unimaginably delicious tapas and meat in all forms. In the colorful fishing quarter of El Seraio, Tarragona’s specialty “cassola de romesco” – a casserole with peanut sauce, “arros negre” – rice cooked in squid ink, is served. Other popular dishes are cod salad “esqueisada”, pork sausages “buttifara”, the divine dessert “cream in Catalan”, meat soup “escudella” with bread and tomatoes.
Most of the ingredients of local dishes are caught on the day of preparation.
Snacks on the run are not held in high esteem here – the Spaniards make a cult out of food and prefer to turn every meal into long spiritual gatherings. Therefore, in the morning it is better to take your time to drink coffee with a croissant or a piece of fragrant pizza in a cafe on the coast or take a completely American breakfast. During the day, order a set lunch menu del dia, and in the evening arrange a romantic dinner or a thorough tasting of local dishes and wines in a cozy restaurant (from 90 EUR, but it’s worth it).
Entertainment and attractions
The modern Spanish resort of Tarragona in ancient times was part of the famous Roman Empire. Therefore, one should not be surprised to meet quite an ancient Roman amphitheater on the local streets – it really should be here. Tour guides will tell you about the events that unfolded in its arena for an additional fee. Without their participation, you can see the well-preserved building for free.
Another “fragment” of the Roman Empire is located 4 km from Tarragona – this is the Ferreres aqueduct, the “devil’s bridge”, located on the territory of an interesting eco-historical park. Looking at this outlandish construction, it is not difficult to believe in the legend that it was built by the Prince of Darkness himself.
The list of attractions of Tarragona and its environs was significantly replenished in the era of the formation and flourishing of Christianity. In the 12th century, the construction of the Cathedral began in the city center, it was consecrated only almost two centuries later. The ancient building pleases the curious with beautiful carved portals and relief paintings. The museum at the cathedral houses many artifacts from the time of the Roman Empire.
Other sanctuaries of the region are worthy of attention – the Abbey of Poblet and the Cisterian monasteries of Vallbona de les Monges and Santes Creus, marvelous examples of Gothic architecture, which are jealously protected by the state. But you will have to drive to them: there are facilities 20-50 km from Tarragona.
Tourists will find a lot of fascinating stories, amazing exhibits and original art objects in the numerous museums of the resort: the National Archaeological Museum (off. site in English), the Museum of Modern Art (off. site in English), the Center for the genius of architecture Antonio Gaudi (off. site in English). English), the Museum of the Port of Tarragona (off site), which tells about the maritime glory of the resort city, and many other local history institutions.
The most famous “sculptural” building in the city is the “Tower of People” on Rambla Nova, 129. Such towers of living participants are “built” every year on national holidays in Tarragona.
- What to see in Tarragona in half a day
4 things to do in Tarragona
- See the living pyramids that Tarragona likes to build during the holidays.
- Ride on a sightseeing train.
- Get around almost all local attractions in a couple of hours.
- Swim and sunbathe on the golden beaches of the resort.
Carnival (26.02-8.03) is the most popular holiday in Catalonia with city festivities and the solemn burning of the figure of the Carnival King on the last day of the festival. Tarragona International Dixieland Festival (11.04-17.04) – for a week, the city’s bars, markets and streets turn into concert venues for jazz performers from around the world.
In May, the Tarraco a Taula festival takes place in Tarragona with master classes in the preparation of national dishes – most of the recipes belong to the ancient Romans. Events take place in the gardens of Camp de Mart.
Saint George’s Day (Sant Jordi) – On April 23, the Catalans give each other roses and books in honor of love and gratitude to each other. “Tarraco Viva” (Tarraco Viva) – from May 5 to 15, a “feast for the whole world” with conferences, master classes, musical and theatrical performances in honor of the ancient Roman heritage.
Corpus Christi – On June 26, the aroma of pita bread with cherry tomatoes spreads around the city, and “egg dances” are held on the fountains – a national-traditional parade is held here with the participation of Magi de las Timbales (Magi de les Timbales) – a drummer who announces the beginning of the festival on horseback.
The feast day of the patron saint of the city of Santa Tecla (Santa Tecla) takes place in Tarragona from 16 to 25 September. This is the main city festival with folk dances, medieval performances and musical installations. The streets are filled with bizarrely dressed characters, the whole city is decorated with the colors of Catalonia – red and yellow, as well as ancient coats of arms, festive processions, dragon fights and other fun events take place.
Other events: On the night of June 23-24, bonfires and fireworks are kindled on the night of June 23-24 – Tarragona celebrates the summer solstice. International fireworks competitions – from July 5 to 8, on Miracle Beach, companies from all over the world compete in the ability to launch colorful fireworks.
Weather in Tarragona
Tourists in Tarragona fully enjoy all the charms of the Mediterranean climate: the winter is mild, the difference between day and night temperatures in all seasons is up to 10 degrees, there is little rainfall, and they fall mainly in late autumn and winter (October and November are the undisputed leaders).
“Tourist time” at the resort is May-October: there are high temperatures, reaching a peak by July-August, a warm jacket can come in handy only at the beginning and at the end of the season. By the way, you can also meet vacationers in Tarragona in December-February, however, they are more interested in sights than beaches.
The Mediterranean Sea in the season pleases with a pleasant breeze and heats up very readily: already in May even children swim in it with pleasure, and the water begins to cool at the end of October.