Salou is the ultimate beach destination for families! Family friendly beaches, hotels, restaurants, a huge theme park and a wild water park - what more could a family want? The small town of Salou in Costa Dorada is clean and well-maintained. The numerous water fountains are the icing on the cake.
The PortAventura World and the water park Caribe are located just outside the town. Both, the PortAventura World and the Caribe, are among the biggest theme & water parks in Europe, offering plenty of fun for the whole family. The newly opened Ferrari Land is the newest addition to the area, inviting you to the world of Ferrari through attractions and simulations.
Where to stay in Salou
As the beach is an essential element in Salou, it's better to stay somewhere close to it. There’s a good selection of restaurants near the promenades Passeig de Miramar and Passeig de Jaume I. The landscape behind Capellans beach is quite hilly, which is good to bear in mind if you have mobility restrictions. Behind the main beach, the landscape is flat.
Things to do in Salou
After idling for days at the beach, you might want to do something else. Salou and nearby locations have various things on offer. Just choose between laughing and screaming at a theme park, strolling along the beach promenade, or enjoying the culture and history at the Roman ruins. All of the above is to be found just around the corner.
Port Aventura World
PortAventura World is the biggest and most famous theme park in Spain, and among the best theme parks in the whole of Europe. PortAventura World consists of two theme parks, the PortAventura & the Ferrari Land. It also contains a water park, PortAventura Caribe.
There’s time to visit the PortAventura and the Ferrari land in one day, but the Caribe water park requires an additional day. In the high season, however, booking a room at PortAventura might be a good idea if you’re planning to visit more than one park; the queues are long, and time flies when you're having fun.
The theme park is divided into themes by regions - Mediterrània, Mexico, China, Polynesia, Far West and Sesamo Aventura. Sesamo Avetura is aiming for smaller children. The highlight rides are the 100-meter-tall free fall Huracan Condor, the Shambhala which is the ex-record holder of the tallest roller coaster in Europe, and the speedy Dragon Khan that dashes you to 110 km/h. There are 5 hotels to choose from in the park, and many restaurants offering food characteristic to the corresponding area.
Containing the Red Force roller coaster, the tallest and the fastest in Europe, the newly opened Ferrari Land is a must attraction for all Ferrari fanatics and roller coaster enthusiasts. The roller coaster accelerates to 180 km/h in 5 seconds, slinging you to the height of 112 meters. The resulting g-forces reach a whopping 1,3. However, this roller coaster is the only amazing ride in Ferrari Land. In fact, the theme park is more of a homage to Ferrari, and will please you more, if you are a Ferrari fan. Ferrari Land has different attractions and simulators introducing the world of Ferrari to the visitors of the park.
The aquatic park PortAventura Caribe is a Caribbean themed water park right next to Port Aventura and Ferrari Land. The water park is one of the biggest in Europe, and it offers fun and fast slides even for the most daring people. King Khajuna is a 31-meter tall slide at a 55-degree angle, reaching over 20 km/h. Ciclón Tropical is a 100-meter-long, multi-bump ride.
- Location: Avinguda de l'Alcalde Pere Molas, km 2, 43840 Vila-seca
- Website: portaventuraworld.com
- How to arrive: Port Aventura has a train station next to it, which is the easiest way to arrive. There are several daily services to PortAventura station from Barcelona and Salou train stations. For exact timetables, please check the website of the Spanish Rail: renfe.com.
The Go-Kart track is over 900-meters in length and one of the longest in Spain. The adults drive with 270cc Go-Karts. The Go-Kart track is a nice option, if you’re spending time in Salou with a group of friends or your family. For 4-13 years old, there’s another 300-meter track.
- Address: Autovia Reus-Salou Km 2,1
- Website: kartingsalou.com
- How to get there: By taxi or walking. There is also a free shuttle bus service. Please check the schedules on their website.
Visiting Font Lluminosa, an illuminated fountain located at the end of Paseo Jaume I, is a great way to end a stroll at the seaside promenade of Salou. From Easter to November, they have astonishing light shows combined with different music genres. The fountain was created in 1973 by engineer Carles Buigas, who also created the Magic Fountain in Montjuïc in Barcelona. The lights and the jets have up to 210 combinations. A visit to the show is a must-do thing in Salou.
- Address: Carrer de Carles Buïgas, 1
- Website: visitsalou.eu
- How to get there: By taxi or walking
Beaches in Salou
For decades, Salou has been one of the most popular beach resorts on Costa Dorada, Golden Coast. Fine sand, varied services and well-preserved beaches are the reasons for the popularity of Salou.
The main beaches of Salou are Ponent and Llevant, which are located in front of the center. These beaches, with the combined length of more than 2 kilometers, get crowded by sun worshipers during the high season in July and August. The shoreline has a gentle drop off, which is ideal for families with small children. The beaches have been certified by Blue Flag.
The 3-kilometer-long Pineda Beach in eastern Salou is also popular among families. The area offers a large selection of family friendly hotels.
Salou - shopping
Salou is not much of a shopping town, although there are some possibilities in the village. The largest Spanish clothing chains such as Zara or Mango do not have a shop in Salou, which already is an indicator.
Most of the clothing stores are located along the Carrer de Barcelona and its side streets. Carrer de Barcelona joins into Passeig de Jaume I near the beach, with some selection as well. The FC Barcelona official fan shop is located by the Font Lluminosa.
At the eastern end of Passeig de Jaume, there's a short covered pedestrian zone Carrer de Saragossa, where you can find souvenirs.
For better shopping possibilities, a visit to Tarragona is recommended. The Parc Central Shopping Center is located about 11 km from the center of Salou. The shopping center has a wide selection of stores, including clothing, jewelry and electronics stores.
Prices in Salou
The prices of restaurant and hotels services in Salou are at a similar level than in the rest of the European Union. There’s a big gap in hotel prices between the low and the high seasons. In June, the prices of hotel rooms begin to increase towards to the peak in July and August.
Below, there are some examples of restaurant and hotel prices in Salou. Costs of hotel rooms are median prices at Booking.com.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
How to get from Barcelona Airport to Salou
- By bus: You can take a direct bus to Salou by the company Bus Plana. The journey takes from 1 h 45 minutes to 2 hours and costs around 17 euros. The bus leaves from Terminal 1 and makes several stops. To search for the bus stop closest to your hotel in Salou, visit the website of the bus company.
- By train: There are no direct trains from the Barcelona El Prat airport to Salou. First, take a local train from Terminal 2 to station Barcelona-Sants, which takes 20 minutes and costs 2,50 euros. There are ticket machines at the train station of Barcelona El Prat airport. From Barcelona-Sants station, there are several daily trains to Salou, taking from 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. The price varies from 8 euros to 20 euros, depending on the type of train.
Weather in Salou
Winter: The winter months from December to February are often rainy and the daily high temperatures vary between 10-15 °C.
Spring: It rains less frequently the further the spring goes, and the sun is out more often. In March, the average daily high temperature climbs to around 15-20°C, but in May, the average is already at 20 °C. Usually in May, there’s beach weather for the first time.
Summer: From June to August, it rains seldom, and sunshine is pretty much guaranteed. The temperature rises to 30 °C and above. June isn't as hot a month as July and August.
Autumn: September is still a warm month and it’s often beach weather throughout the month. In September, the temperature stays clearly above 20 °C. In mid-October, the weather cools down to under 20 °C, and it starts to rain more often. In November, the temperature is already around 10°C.
Text: Ville Ryynänen
Images: Jussi Ryynänen, Adobe Stock
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