Costa Dorada – Costa Daurada – Gold coast
The Costa Dorada (in Spanish) or Costa Daurada (in Catalan) is a 216 kilometer long coastal region in Catalonia. The coastal region covers the entire province of Tarragona up to the delta of the river Ebro.
Behind the name lies a large part of the coast of the province of Tarragona, which runs from Cunit to Alcanar. The ‘Gold Coast’, although owing its name to the color of its beaches, the widest in all of Catalonia, the area has, in addition to beaches, also mountains and flat inlands. It is a region with a beautiful landscape and a very rich history, with famous tourist centers such as Salou or Cambrills, the theme park Port Aventura, monumental inner cities like those of Tarragona, important monasteries such as Poblet and Santes Creu, and with some of the most important Roman treasures of Spain, including mosaics of the Centelles mausoleum, the Arco de Berà gate or the Torre de los Escipiones tomb.
In the southern part of the Costa Dorada lie the towns of El Perelló, L’Ametlla de Mar and L’Ampolla, where most houses of 123casitas are located. Around these villages you will find several bays and beaches of coarse sand surrounded by greenery. These spots are unspoilt and relatively quiet, even in high season.
In and around El Perelló traditional festivities and events take place every year, such as the blessing of all the animals at Sant Antoni in January, the large honey and oil fair Firabril in April, the Catifes (large tapistries made out of colored seeds in the streets of the village) in June , the festival of youth in July, the big beach party of Santa Llucia on August 15, the big paella festival on September 11, the national holiday of Catalonia, on the square of the Ermita and much more.
There is a beautiful car route from El Perelló past (the castle of) Miravet and along the Ebro, which takes you through several characteristic Catalan villages, where you can stop for beautiful views and panoramas, exquisite tapas and mouth-watering local wines.
A little further to the south lies the river delta of the river Ebro, which flows into one of the most interesting natural areas on the Spanish Mediterranean coast; National Park Delta del Ebre. The fertile lands of this delta now serve partly for rice culture and partly as a reserve for the conservation of the richly varied bird population. The reserve is foraging area for about 260 bird species and because of the sand barriers that form a horizon of nothing but sand and sea, this reserve is a true paradise for the bird watchers, hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers. From this reserve you can also make the crossing to the island of Buda. The Costa Dorada ends in Alcanar where you will find the restored and very interesting Iberian village of Moleta del Remei.
Furthermore, a half hour drive away is the national nature park ‘Els Ports’, with numerous hiking trails where you will find wild goats, eagles, bulls and all sorts of other flora and fauna.
The mountain villages such as Paüls, Arnes or Horta de Sant Joan, the natural paradise where Picasso found inspiration, are certainly worth a visit. In the villages of Mas de Barberans or Alfara de Carles, among other things, locals still perform an old craft in which daily objects are made from vegetable fibers, such as baskets or kitchen utensils.E
El Priorat belongs to Spain’s best wine regions. The grapes grow here on steep slopes up to 700 meters high and have to deal with cold winters and dry summers. It is a very beautiful area with small and seemingly quiet villages where, however, behind the scenes with great love, care and dedication work is being done on excellent wines and cavas such as Freixenet and Corendiù. In addition to wine tasting in the various wine cathedrals, a visit to the Serra del Montsant Natural Park is highly recommended. The park has a network of well-navigable paths where you decide how long and heavy the route will be. You hike along green hills, wooded with oaks, poplars, eucalyptus and strawberry trees. Deeply incised canyons alternate with vineyards and olive groves. 3 long hiking trails run through the park, one of which is also suitable for smaller children.
In the region especially hiking is very popular. The mountains are ideal for routes on foot, on horseback or on a bike and of course for mountaineering (on Montsant or the passes of Tortosa-Beceite) or adventure sports. Furthermore, in the region you will find plenty of opportunities for diving, windsurfing, surfing, water skiing, boat rentals etc..
Flora and Fauna
In this area the National Park Delta del Ebre stands out above all else in terms of beauty and the presence of the various animals. But also worth visiting is the park Sama, north of Cambrils. This park has 20 hectares of beautiful gardens and an artificial pond which is very picturesque and is particularly refreshing on hot summer afternoons. More inland, near Flix, we find some interesting natural areas, such as Lake Flix, suitable for fishing and water sports, or the area of Les Sebes, with poplar forests, reed beds and a great wealth of birds.
Things to do
During the day you can spend your day in the natural parks and zoos in addition to the swimming pool or the beach. But you can also visit the theme park and attraction park Port Aventura and the accompanying water park Costa Caribe. For shopping to souvenirs can go to various places: Tortosa, Reus, Tarragona, Barcelona and Valencia are all within easy reach. In the Costa Dorado especially the wine bag of goat leather, ironwork, pottery, embroidery and baskets are typical local products.
The Costa Dorada has a very complete and varied cuisine, characterized by both the ingredients from the sea and those from the inland, with delicious pastries and wines. The Tarragonese kitchen always has something festive, like the calçotades, a tender onion that is roasted on a large fire, and then with the fingers is being stripped of the outer shells, dipped in sauce and eaten immediately.Typical dishes and sauces are; xató (letuce with olives, anchovies, stockfish and tuna), all i oli (garlic sauce), paella (rice with fish or meat) and more inland, the food is firm and abundant, based on mutton or grilled sausage.