My Family Holiday in Salou (2023)

My family holiday in Salou thought me that there is a more to this sunshine resort than beautiful beaches and busy bars. Check out my review.

Busy built up resorts are not really my style, in fact normally I run a mile from them. However I really wanted to visit PortAventura and I had heard so many promising things about the Costa Dorada in general, that I thought I would go and see for myself what it was really like. We had an action packed four days and thankfully managed to see most of the highlights during our family holiday in Salou.

My Family Holiday in Salou (1)

Salou was pretty much as I expected, built up and busy! To be fair, the tree lined boulevard is impressive and spotless. The beach is also superb with lots of fancy sun bed offerings and an inflatable water park for kids. The fountain displays on the promenade are also a big hit at night-time for all the family. So although very lively, Salou has a nice happy atmosphere throughout. There are some excellent shops too and prices are very reasonable.

A family holiday in Salou is popular with Spanish holiday makers too who come from Barcelona and neighbouring cities, so there is a good mix of local and international shops to choose from. Similarly with dining options, don’t be put off by the rows of fast food outlets along the main road, if you walk along the promenade down by the area known as ‘The Rocks” there are some nice restaurants and bars to choose from.

Look out for the pointed metal sculpture that resembles a ship’s sail (its called Els Pilons) and you will not only find lots of tapas bars but also some great cocktail bars to watch the sunset. We ate in Bamboo, a typical family restaurant but the pizzas were great (€11.90) and the kids menu is only €6.90!

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Things to do on family holiday in Salou:

One of the best things about holidaying in Salou is that there is so much to see and do in the surrounding area. If you find Salou is too busy for you, there are numerous quieter resorts dotted along the coast, that are easily accessible. Cambrils is only 7km away or 10 minutes by bus, and this is definitely worth a visit, especially during the evening time.

The beachfront is lined with cafes and bars, perfect for a evening cocktail and there is a wide choice of top dining options. From tapas bars to Michelin star restaurants, you will be spoilt for choice in Cambrils. We ate in Meat Market, a good choice if you fancy a steak. They offer a choice of meats which are cooked on the stone and they even have fillet steak on the kids menu.

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(Video) SALOU 2022 - PART 1 of our family holiday last year

We also took the bus to nearby Tarragona, and this was a real treat. Walking down from the bus stop we came across the Monumento a los Castellers, which is a sculpture of the human pyramid, a famous Spanish tradition that has been celebrated since the 18th century.

The Concurs de Castell festival takes place in Tarragona every two years.Thirty twoteams (including children from 5 years of age) climb on top of each other to make the tallest human pyramid. It must be a fantastic sight to see! We had to settle for the sculpture instead!

Tarragona has a medieval centre packed with Roman ruins, including a seaside amphitheatre and a stunning cathedral. The kids enjoyed exploring the ancient ruins and I couldn’t help stopping constantly to take pictures, Tarragona is Instagram heaven!

We came across an old square where locals spilled out into the centre, enjoying lunch time tapas, we simply had to join in 🙂 There is a local train that you can take if you don’t fancy walking. It stops at all the high lights and I would definitely recommend it if you plan on spending the day here.

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PortAventura World is the other reason why a family holiday in Salou is a popular choice. There are now three parks, PortAventura, Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land. We spent two full days here and actually I would recommend three if you have the time. It is a great theme park that offers a fantastic variety of rides and shows for children of all ages.

(Video) SALOU 2022 - PART 2 of our family holiday last year

Don’t miss the fireworks and parade at night time! If you are planning a visit buy your tickets in advance from Attraction only are they cheaper but you may get 2 days for the price of 1 or free access to the water park or Ferrari Land. Read my review on PortAventura World before you go.

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Depending on how much time you have you can also pay a visit to Barcelona, it is only an hour by train from Salou. It is a great city to ramble around as well as being home to some of Europe’s most visited attractions.

Enjoy some tasty tapas and watch the local street artists perform on the Ramblas, take a tour of the Nou Camp, Barcelona’s football stadium, or visit the famous Sagrada Familia. There is so much to see and do in Barcelona, you will need to plan your day in advance!

Read: Top things to do in Barcelona

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Family holiday in Salou – where to stay:

Cambrils was where I originally wanted to stay. However I found it lacks a choice of good quality family apartments. I know Cambrils Park is a great family resort but it is enormous and personally I prefer a smaller complex. You also need to book it a year in advance, and I’m never that organised!

We decided to mix things up a bit and stay two nights in Camping La Siesta in Salou and two nights in the Gold River Hotel (one of PortAventura hotel’s) and check out the benefits of both.

Camping La Siesta is an ideal choice if you want to stay in Salou but want a quiet area to relax at the same time. In fact although it is only five minutes walk from the promenade you would think you were miles away. It is like an oasis in the middle of a busy resort.

(Video) Salou - A great family destination

Don’t get me wrong, the pool area is busy, but you can enjoy a quiet time at your bungalow if you feel like it. We stayed in the Caribe bungalows and I was really impressed. They are modern, brightly furnished and come with a huge BBQ, sun loungers and the biggest hit of all – a hammock!

We all loved the hammock and it was the first thing my kids did when they got up in the morning and when they came back from the pool. Luckily they could both fit into it as there would have been murder otherwise!

The swimming pools are great for children, there is a splash park for small children and a great choice of slides in the main pool which we all enjoyed. There is a regular day and evening entertainment program here too so it is ideal for families who are looking for a lively atmosphere. We booked it through Sunway Holidays who offer a wide range of family holidays in Salou.

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We also spent two days at one of the PortAventura hotels – the Gold River. The reason we moved hotels was because I was reviewing PortAventura World so I want to get the most out of our time at the park.

The Gold River is a great choice if you want to stay at the park. The family rooms are really spacious and come with a kitchenette. The Wild West theme was a big hit with my kids as they spent lots of time climbing in and out of props that were lying around!

(Video) Salou Spain Coastal Path 2019 4k Family Holiday

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We were staying on a half board basis but never ate in the buffet restaurant at all. Their dine around system means you can eat in any of the restaurants in the park (you need to prebook at reception) and use your dining credit. There may be a supplement to pay depending on which restaurant you choose.

We ate in the Gold River’s own a la carte restaurant, Opera. It has a lovely outdoor seating area which is beside the main square so we could relax and enjoy our meal while the kids played happily. The kids disco is on here too and the kids loved the dance lessons to Despacito!

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The main reason for staying in a PortAventura hotel is to have unlimited access to the park and being only a few minutes walk proved a God send. We were able to come and go as we pleased which was particularly good at night time. There are little or no queues during the evening. We were able to see the parade and fireworks display and then walk back to our hotel afterwards.

Read: My review on PortAventura World.

My overall feeling about the Costa Dorada in general is that it is a superb family holiday destination. Salou is busy, built up and not pretty, but it has so much to offer for families. The neighbouring resorts of Cambrils and La Pineda are more relaxed if that suits your style.

The Costa Dorada has some of Spain’s best beaches, fascinating cities and one of Europe’s largest theme parks on your door step. What more could you want?

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What is Salou like for holidays? ›

Sizzlingly hot in summer and pleasantly mild in autumn and winter, Salou is a great year-round holiday destination on the Costa Dorada (or Costa Daurada). With gorgeous weather for much of the year, holidays to Salou are perfect for outdoor adventures on both land and sea.

Why is Salou so popular? ›

Facing out across the Mediterranean, Salou is known for its beautiful sunset views. Beachgoers will be delighted at the range of options, from bustling seaside strips to hidden coves, while amusement park enthusiasts are spoilt for choice.

Is Salou in Spain a good place for a holiday? ›

Why Visit Salou? Salou is a town on the sunny Costa Dorada, located in the northeast of Spain. Famous for its gold sand beaches, it's rocky coves, and of course, the famous PortAventura World resort. The beauty, good weather and relaxed atmosphere of Salou is what makes it so popular among British and Irish tourists.

What Spanish region is Salou in? ›

The town of Salou is a favourite destination with British tourists; it's located on the Costa Dorada, or 'the Gold Coast', in the Catalonia region of Spain.

What is the meaning of Salou? ›

Proper noun

Salou. A city and popular tourist resort on the Costa Dorada, Spain.

Do people speak English in Salou? ›

As the town is in Catalonia, the main language is Catalan, but there is also a wide usage of Spanish, English, German and French. Sometimes, in certain areas of Salou, you can hear Russian, Czech and Polish being spoken too. All shops and restaurants should speak fluent Spanish, English and German.

What is an interesting fact about Salou? ›

Used as a port by Greeks (who named it Salauris) and Romans, it appeared again in an important historic event, when in 1229 the fleet of James I of Aragon departed from the port of Salou to conquer the Balearic Islands, thus creating the Kingdom of Majorca.

Is Salou close to Madrid? ›

Salou is approximately 257 miles (414 km) away from Madrid.

How far is Salou from airport? ›

Taxi. The distance from Barcelona Airport to Salou is approximately 100 km. This will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes in a taxi.

What month is best to go to Salou? ›

Salou has a mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. If you enjoy hot perfect sunny days the best time to visit Salou is between June and August. The hottest month of the year is July with an average daily maximum of 31 C and an average low of 21 C.

Is Salou a party resort? ›

In the evening, all the clubs and bars of the city are waiting for you for unforgettable evenings. Internationnally known for being the meeting place for young travelers in summer, Salou offers one of the best spots in Spain for party people looking for a festive holiday under the sun and on a budget.

What's crime like in Salou? ›

Salou Safety

Salou is known for its low crime rates. The only main point to note is to keep an eye on your belongings when on the beach and not leave them unattended.

What language do they speak in Salou? ›

In Spain many regions have their own language. In addition the people speak Castilian Spanish, but in Salou they also speak Catalan.

What is the closest airport to Salou? ›

Reus Airport is the closest airport to Salou, and you can fly there from London in just over two hours.

Are there mosquitoes in Salou? ›

The risk for mosquito activity is high.

Is Barcelona near Salou? ›

Salou is a popular family beach destination which is 68.61 Miles (110 km) South West of Barcelona and 11km south of Tarragona. Many people travelling to Salou want to also know how to get to Barcelona and the following information details the main methods of transfer between the two cities.

What is the closest city to Salou? ›

Salou (Catalan pronunciation: [səˈlɔw]) is a municipality of the comarca of Tarragonès, in the province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. The city is approximately 10 km from Tarragona and Reus on the Costa Daurada and 112 km from Barcelona.

What sea is Salou on? ›

Salou is a unique city on the coast of the Mediterranean.

Is Salou a good place to live? ›

salou is a very nice place, its family friendly . . on the prom there are maize fountains that the kids can run through.. and the fountains light up at nite and dance to music its a nice walk along he prom . there is only ONE arcade centre on the prom front . the beach area is lovely .!! .

What city in Spain speaks the most English? ›

It will come as no surprise to learn that Benidorm IS the most concentrated population of native-English speaking residents. The coastal resort is the epicentre of English speaking residents and forms part of a cluster of towns on the Costa Blanca where English-speakers - mostly Brits - call home.

Why do Spanish hotels take your passport? ›

Holidaymakers headed for Spain have been issued a warning about leaving their passports in a hotel reception when checking in. In the European country, hotels have a legal duty to register the passport details of visitors who check-in. They do this to ensure that customers don't leave without first settling their bill.

What is the capital of Salou? ›

Salou is considered the capital of the Costa Dorada and the most visited population in this region thanks to its wide range of leisure and entertainment. The Costa Dorada runs from Cunit to Alcanar, to the south of Catalonia's main city Barcelona in the province of Tarragona.

Is Salou in Greece? ›

Salou is located on on Spain's Costa Dorada, just south of Barcelona, and has Europe's biggest theme park on the doorstep.

Is Salou in Portugal? ›

Salou is on the east coast of Spain, on Catalonia's Costa Dorada (golden coast).

How far is the train from Salou to Barcelona? ›

It takes an average of 1h 23m to travel from Salou to Barcelona Sants by train, over a distance of around 57 miles (91 km). There are normally 9 trains per day travelling from Salou to Barcelona Sants and tickets for this journey start from €7.70 when you book in advance.

How long is the transfer from Barcelona to Salou? ›

Transfers for everyone

Our most budget-friendly option to Salou from Barcelona Airport (BCN) is shared shuttles. If you're watching the pennies, then this is a great value service that get you to your destination. The journey has up to 8 stops on it and will take around 180 minutes.

Do you fly to Barcelona to Salou? ›

There is no major airport in Salou. It is instead served by Barcelona-El Prat Airport. Book at least 3 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price for flights to Salou.

How much is a taxi from Salou to Barcelona? ›

You can now book your Salou private transfer to Barcelona airport, city and Sants station online. Best fixed and cheap taxi price from 109€ per private vehicle.

How much is a taxi from Salou to airport? ›

Welcome Pickups€31Book

How much would a taxi be Barcelona to Salou? ›

Our cheap taxi prices from Barcelona Airport to Salou start from just 18.66eur per passenger one way. We provide taxis, minibus or coach transfers with meet and greet services included.

What is the coldest month in Salou? ›

July is the hottest month in Salou with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F) and the coldest is January at 9°C (48°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 11 in July. The wettest month is September with an average of 50mm of rain.

Is the water warm in Salou? ›

The warmest water temperature is in August with an average around 76.8°F / 24.9°C. The coldest month is February with an average water temperature of 55.6°F / 13.1°C.

Does it rain a lot in Salou? ›

Temperatures are low but with a lot of sunshine. The average rainfall is around 22 inches, for 27 days without rain.

Is Salou good for a girls holiday? ›

Salou. The popular beach resort of Salou has just as much going on during the day as at night time. If you want an active holiday, it could be the spot for your girls' break as the massive PortAventura theme park is right on the doorstep, which has been likened to Disneyland.

What day is the market in Salou? ›

Weekly market in Salou

The tradition has survived and in Salou it is popularly known as "mercadillo". Every Monday morning, multiple stalls on the 30 October Promenade are waiting for you!

What is the big party city in Spain? ›

Madrid. Madrid comes alive at night, and especially at the weekend. You'll find nightlife in the various leisure areas and districts with an endless array of clubs, bars, cafés and fashionable venues to choose from. Its lively nightlife is famous worldwide.

Can you drink tap water in Salou? ›

Under cooked food and poor food hygiene in general has also been reported as the cause of many holiday illnesses in the region and all holidaymakers must be sure to follow these guidelines when travelling to Salou: Use only bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Frequently use an alcohol-based hand gel.

Can you swim in the sea in Salou? ›

The beaches in Salou are great for families as they are sandy and spacious and have lots of facilities such as play areas. There's plenty to do for people who like sport, and the sea is great for swimming. The flag system means that you can rest assured you will only enter the water when it is safe to do so.

What is the safest big city in Spain? ›

1. Barcelona, Spain. One of the most popular and largest cities on the list is none other than Barcelona, Spain.

How far is Salou from the French border? ›

How far is it from Salou to France? The distance between Salou and France is 617 km. The road distance is 1135.4 km. How do I travel from Salou to France without a car?

Do I have to pay tourist tax in Salou? ›

The tourist tax is applied to stays in tourist establishments –hotels, tourist apartments, campgrounds, rural lodging, youth hostels, designated overnight sleeping areas for mobile homes and cruise ships- in Catalonia.

Is everything open in Salou in September? ›

All the bars, nightclubs and restaurants will be open.

How much is bus from Salou to Barcelona Airport? ›

Overview: Bus from Salou to Barcelona El Prat Airport
Distance50 miles (81 km)
Average bus duration1 h 55 min
Average bus ticket price$21 (€18)
Bus frequency11 a day
Direct busYes, there are 7 direct buses a day
1 more row

How far is Salou from the beach? ›

Located within a 20-minute walk from the centre of Salou, the 675-metre-long beach is made up of fine white sand and clear blue water. This is Cape Salou's sportiest beach, with rollerblades available for rent, jet skis for the more adventurous, and pedalo rentals for a more sedate ride.

Can you fly into Salou? ›

How to fly to Salou? You cannot fly directly to Salou. KAYAK recommends you fly to Barcelona-El Prat (BCN) (82.5 km from Salou). From there you can hire a car or take a taxi.

What time of year are mosquitoes most active in Spain? ›

The female mosquitoes are those that need more blood, especially in the period of egg laying, the time when most active are between August and September, although this factor also depends on the weather.

Are flies a problem in Spain? ›

Numbers of the insects have reportedly risen in Andalusia, Aragon, Catalonia, Madrid, Murcia and Valencia. Health leaders say that the flies are "very close to becoming a major public health problem in Spain" with some severe cases causing hospitalisation.

What is the weather like in Salou at Christmas? ›

Average daily temperatures

It can be quite cool at this time of year, so visitors are recommended to take warmer clothes especially for venturing out after dark. The average daily maximum is 16 C and the average daily minimum is 5 C.

Is Salou or Lloret de Mar better? ›

Lloret is by far the largest and most touristic place. In high season, life in Lloret goes on 24/7. Salou is smaller and relatively quieter. This is not only reflected in the amount of nightlife, but also in the activities and sights.

How cold is Spain at Christmas? ›

Average daily temperatures

It can be quite cool at this time of year, so visitors are recommended to take warmer clothes especially for venturing out after dark. The average daily maximum is 15 C and the average daily minimum is 1 C.

Is Salou warm in December? ›

Cap Salou weather in December isn't as warm or sunny as the summer months but the resort still experiences mild temperatures throughout winter. It has an average high of 14°C with chilly lows of 4°C. Wind speeds reach up to 8 mph in December, with humidity levels hovering around 74% for most of the month.

How warm is Spain at Christmas? ›

You can expect Madrid to be particularly chilly, with highs around 50°F (10°C) and lows in the high 30s (Fahrenheit).

Does Salou have mosquitoes? ›

The risk for mosquito activity is extremely high.

What is the main part of Salou? ›

Salou's main promenade is the Passeig Jaume I, which runs along the coast adjacent to the Llevant Beach, the longest beach in the town. Other beaches include Platja de Ponent, Platja dels Capellans, Platja Llarga and Platja Cala Crancs.

What month is Salou hottest? ›

To make the most of the long hot sunny days visit Salou is between June and August. The hottest month of the year is July with an average daily maximum of 31 C and an average low of 21 C. The coolest month of the year is January with an average daily maximum of 15 C and an average low of 4 C.

Which airport is best near Salou? ›

What airports are near Salou? The closest airport is Reus (REU) (5.06 mi). Other nearby airports are Barcelona-El Prat (BCN) (51.26 mi), Lleida-Alguaire (ILD) (54.83 mi) or Castellón de la Plana (CDT) (82.08 mi). KAYAK recommends you fly to Barcelona-El Prat.

Is the sea warm in Salou? ›

Average annual water temperature on the coast in Salou is 66°F, by the seasons: in winter 57°F, in spring 60°F, in summer 75°F, in autumn 70°F. Minimum water temperature (55°F) in Salou it happens in February, maximum (79°F) in July.


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