The well known Costa Dorada region of mainland Spain is loud, exhilarating and exciting and everyone loves it. One of the most popular of holiday destinations, the area has beautiful golden beaches, fabulous water sports and resorts ranging from lively and extreme to quiet and sedate.

The literal translation of Costa Dorada is ‘coast of gold’ and with it’s miles of sand and the clear azure Mediterranean sea it is apparent why. These gorgeous family friendly beaches are not the only allure of this coastal region, there are great theme parks, shopping, beautiful rural areas and excellent golf facilities all easily reached from the busy main resort of Salou.

Salou is the vibrant holiday capital of Costa Dorada and there are no shortage of good quality hotels, but the one that consistently receives reviews just a cut above the others is the H10 Salaurus Palace. With its fitness centre and rooftop jacuzzi, friendly family atmosphere and clean, comfortable large rooms this hotel is a great all round place to stay.

For something completely different, fall in love with the rustic charm of the Casa Rural Ce Calbet in Tarragona. This beautifully converted 15th century stone building is set in the natural mountainous environment of the Serra de Monsant national park. With exposed wooden beams and a farmhouse feel, this hidden gem is the place to explore the true wild beauty of the Costa Dorada region.

There are plenty of family orientated budget accommodations available in the busy resort of Salou and the self catering Apartments CYE in the resort centre offers a great holiday without breaking the bank. Clean with good facilities these apartments are great for their proximity to the beach, shops and the PortAventura theme parks.

The regional food is as rich and vibrant as the Spanish resort itself, with seafood, olives, tomatoes and vegetables featuring heavily on the menu. The must taste experience is Coca – a thin dough baked with a selectional of seasonal vegetables and served as an accompaniment to the meal.

There are hundreds of places to eat in Salou and the surrounding region catering for all tastes from fast food to traditional tapas but one or two restaurants really stand out amongst the myriad of choices. Albatros in the heart of Salou is a hidden gem, serving fresh local produce with atmosphere and ambience. Set in a quiet, cove most people would never realise that this jewel of a restaurant even exists.

Once you leave Salou the choice of restaurants becomes less commercialised and some of the countries best eateries can be found. Famous not just in the region but nationally is the Can Bosch restaurant. Just 5 minutes from Salou in Cambrils expect a heady mix of the traditional and the innovative using only the finest of ingredients.

If you haven’t booked to stay at the PortAventura resort be sure to set a day or two aside to visit. With both a large fun filled theme park and a tropical styled waterpark this is the perfect place in Costa Dorada for a fun filled family day out.

If culture is more your thing then take a day trip to Barcelona, visit the historic city with it’s amazing architecture, it’s beautiful streets and it’s cosmopolitan feel. Make sure you take the time to see Gaudi’s amazing Sagrada church and then relax in the evening with a great meal and a traditional Spanish show.

The Costa Dorada region is known for it’s sporting activities, the fabulous beaches providing fun filled or more serious water activities. Travel inland to the beautiful countryside with access to great golf courses, beautiful hill walking, horse riding and guided tours.

The Costa Dorada is blessed with a temperate climate and a year round low rainfall giving it greenery without compromising the pleasant conditions.

Mild winters give way to extremely hot summers, however the cooling Mediterranean breeze makes these summers pleasant rather than overbearing. The larger tourist areas tend to remain mainly open all year round but the availability of water activities is weather reliant.