From the natural beauty of its countryside to the tempestuous political fabric of its past and present, Catalonia is always a fascinating visit. Beyond the obvious appeal of its capital, the region is home to many other cities where a more tranquil ambience makes for the perfect escape for some winter sun. Salou is a prime example. Situated along the north eastern Costa Daurada, and a mere hour’s drive from Barcelona airport, Salouis a charming town with as much to offer the culture loving historian as the sophisticated sun-worshipper. Here are some must-visit highlights for a break to remember.
Discover Ancient Catalonia
Although now a popular holiday destination with plenty of modern architecture, Salou still bears marks of its history. The Torre Vella, for example, dates back to 1530, and is a must-visit for anyone whose interest in the town’s culture runs deeper than a desire to sample the local sangría. Built by Archbishop Pere Cardona, it was originally designed to protect the town from the looting and attacks of mediterranean pirates. Nowadays, you will find it housing an enamel museum which showcases works by artists from all over the world.
Another historic attraction with a more recent turbulent past is the church of Santa Maria del Mar. Completed in 1776, it is the oldest chapel in the city, although much of what you see in the interior dates back to its more recent restoration, after its altars and decorations were destroyed in 1936. It is only open to visitors in the summer, although mass is held throughout the year in both English and Spanish.
Take a Stroll: At the Seafront, or Further Afield
It’s not really a holiday until you’re strolling down a wide, palm tree-lined promenade with the sun on your back. Avenida Jaume I is Salou’s answer to this feeling: the pavement is always teeming with locals and tourists on their way to the best shops, bars and restaurants of the resort. Pause at the end to admire the monument to James I the Conqueror, the 13th-century Catalan King famed for reclaiming Barcelona from the French.
There is more than enough to keep you occupied in Salou itself, but if you do decide to venture out for a day trip, Tarragona is an obvious choice - just ten minutes away by train. Built on the remains of the oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian peninsula, it is now home to a wealth of ancient ruins, like the impressive amphitheatre by the seafront.
How to Get There
The beauty of a holiday here is the ease with which you can reach the resort, with a multitude of airlines flying in to Barcelona Airport. Salou, whilst a little complicated to reach on public transport, is a breeze to get to if you opt for a private transfer service. From Barcelona airport, Salou is a relaxed hour’s drive, after the local driver picks you up and drops you off where you need to be. It’s the best way to be sure the holiday will get off to a relaxing start.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for an affordable transfer from Barcelona Airport, Salou is just one of the destinations we serve. Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.