A guide to the best beaches of Costa Dorada

This area wasn’t named ‘The Golden Coast’ by accident. Costa Dorada’s seemingly-endless honey coloured sands and clear, shallow waters are the stuff holidays are made of. 86 of them have Blue Flags, thanks to their beautifully clean beaches and water quality.

Salou – Costa Dorada’s beach capital

The most popular beach resort in Costa Dorada is undoubtedly Salou. Its 14 kilometres of coastline includes nearly half of the region’s Blue Flag beaches – 34 of them. They range from large, urban and well serviced beaches to small bays with a more exclusive feel. Watersports are popular here and there is access to jet-ski, windsurfing, parasailing and sailing equipment.

The best-loved beaches of Ponent and Llevant are split by Salou’s harbour. Blue Flag Llevant is the town’s main beach and has the most to do, with a gym and volleyball courts. It is edged by the wide Jaume Promenade, giving the area a smart look. Ponent is family-orientated and has beach bars, sports and water activities. Capellans beach, meanwhile, is in the heart of Salou but you’ll feel like you’re much further out of town. It is small and has a private feel because it’s surrounded by cliffs.

Cambrils – Strolling and sailing

Just along the coast from Salou, Cambrils’ sand-based offering is only slightly smaller, with a notable seven kilometres of Blue Flag beaches. Edged for a few kilometres by the Passeig Maritim, this promenade is ideal for strolling and is popular with cyclists. It also leads to Salou’s fuente luminosa or light show fountains. Head to the Estacio Nautica if you want to try some watersports because they manage the marina and can get you involved in sailing, scuba diving, canoeing, windsurfing, maritime outings, fishing and more.

Regueral beach in the heart of town and Cavet beach, slightly further along, both have kids’ clubs that run throughout the summer to keep little ones entertained – as if a bucket and spade isn’t enough! Other beaches worthy of a mention are L’Esquirol Beach with its sailing school, the rocky and quiet Cavet Beach and the beautiful El Raco, which is lined with pines providing shade.

Sitges – A liberal spread of beaches

For a relatively small town, Sitges has a whopping 17 beaches, making it a popular seaside getaway. The liberal resort of Sitges has nudist beaches as well as several equipped for families. A picturesque palm tree-edged promenade runs along the beaches, with a row of restaurants and bars beyond.

The largest and most central beaches of Platja de la Ribera and Platja de l’Estanyol are the most popular and appeal to all groups. A good choice for families is Platja de la Fragata, with plenty of space. Overlooked by a pretty whitewashed church, it has volleyball nets and pedalo hire to keep everyone entertained.

The further from Sitges you walk, the quieter the coves. The main nudist beach is a 15-minute walk from town.

La Pineda – Family fun

La Pineda’s calm waters and gently sloping sands are ideal for children but there’s lots for adults to do here too. Three Blue Flag beaches stretch for 2.5 kilometres and along the shore you’ll have the opportunity to try hire pedalos, jet skis and windsurfing equipment. During the summer, events include puppet and magic shows for the little ones, as well as dancing and performances for all to enjoy.

You might be tempted by the sight of Aquapolis – the massive seafront waterpark featuring slides, rides, pools and dolphin and sea lion shows.

Cap Salou – Away from it all

A succession of small sandy coves greets you at Cap Salou. You can bask on hidden beaches overlooked by cliffs covered with pine trees. The main beaches have sunbeds and parasols to rent, but even here you’ll find it suitably peaceful. Platja Larga is – as the name may suggest – a large beach that stretches all the way from Salou. It is big enough to find a quiet spot to chill out on with a book in hand and the soundtrack of waves.

PortAventura – Manmade paradise

If you’re staying in PortAventura, you’ll no doubt be visiting the huge theme park of the same name and its sister aquatic park Costa Caribe. Set slightly back from the coast, there’s a purpose-built, manmade beach and lagoon within Costa Caribe, so you feel like you’re by the sea. It has sunloungers, parasols and a beach bar and through your sunglasses you might even think you’re in the Caribbean. You’re so close to La Pineda, Capellans and Salou’s beaches at PortAventura that you have a great selection of natural beaches to enjoy too.