Nine beaches to choose from
Cambrils' nine long, clean and facilities-packed beaches are edged by a pretty promenade called Passeig Maritim, which is ideal for strolling and cycling. The most popular place to lay a towel is Regueral beach in the heart of town. Like nearby Cavet beach, it has a kids' club that runs throughout the summer to keep little ones entertained.
L'Esquirol Beach has a sailing school and the best selection of watersports. There are also options for a quiet escape, where you can enjoy the wild nature of the area, such as Cavet Beach. For some shade try the beautiful El Raco beach, which is lined with pines. Wherever you choose to sunbathe in Cambrils on your Costa Dorada holidays, all beaches have lifeguards and slope gently into the sea so are safe for taking a dip.
Tour the town
Wandering around Cambril's cobbled streets you'll come across many examples of the town's history and fishing heritage in the form of old buildings and modern sculptures. The History Museum of Cambrils is worth a trip if you want to find out more and is located within an old lighthouse in the port area.
Cambrils is still a working fishing village and the Moll de Ponent pier is an ideal place to watch the fishermen at work. It takes 10 minutes to stroll to the end, where you'll find a small red lighthouse, while the views of the town from out at sea are magnificent.
The townsfolk's pride and joy is El Pescador Park near the marina, which is full of Mediterranean and tropical plants and has a children's play area and a cafeteria. During July additional family activities are put on here. Newer and much larger, El Parc del Pinaret is great for a jog or cycle and also has a small play area.
A town of markets
Tourists and locals are well catered for in terms of shopping in Cambrils. You'll find it easy to pick up anything from an outfit to artisan chocolate, art or handmade souvenirs in its wide range of independent shops. However, what Cambrils does best is markets. It's hard not to be tempted by the wide range of local and very fresh foods on offer on a Wednesday. Then on Saturday afternoons the Place d'Espanya has jewellery, crafts and artwork, as well as plenty to eat.
There are a host of reasons why for cheap holidays Costa Dorada is a great shout, and bargain-hunting at the local markets is certainly on the list.
Eat and drink well
Although there are some English pubs and local bars, Cambrils evenings tend to be calm and comforting and centre around the numerous restaurants and tapas bars in town. Many stay open late so you can have a leisurely dinner and enjoy the night with quiet drinks. Eateries range from chiringuitos – basic restaurants that sit directly on the beach – to fine-dining Michelin Star restaurants. Even if you're eating at Michelin Star rated Rincon de Diego or Can Bosch, the atmosphere is pleasantly laid-back.
Chiringuitos can come in the form of daytime cafe-bars, restaurants serving the freshest seafood in town, or chill-out lounges playing music until late. Sometimes no more than a hut with an awning to keep the sun off, they give you a low-key setting from which get your food and drink then go back to sitting with your toes in the sand.
For more of a party atmosphere head to nearby Salou and La Pineda to sample their full-on nightlife including strips of bars and super-club Pacha.
The whole town is taken over by fiestas and festivals at various points throughout the year. The main event is at the end of June when the San Pedro Festival celebrates the patron saint of fishermen. Its dancing, drummers and parades culminate in the devil's dance, where a local in a huge, black, winged costume walks the streets waving flaming sticks.
Musicians from all over the world come to Cambrils' for the annual International Music Festival to perform jazz, flamenco, opera, gospel and more. During a fortnight in the height of summer, you can attend events from intimate gigs to huge concerts in the town.
Keep everyone entertained
There's fun for all the family in Cambrils. That's why it's been given the Family Holiday Destination seal of quality by the Catalan Government. As well as its large parks, family events calendar and buckets full of watersports, there is a mini train that kids will love. It will take you around the main tourist haunts of the town so you can get your bearings on your first day, drop you off at the Wednesday market, or show you some of the lesser known parts of town.
For older kids and daring adults, Jumpland Aventura Ecologica has zip wires and aerial assault courses. Alternatively, take to the water to try nautical activities such as boating, catamaran sailing or surf courses. If you're not sure where to go for a particular activity just ask at the tourist office or Estacio Nautica, which manages the marina.
On the glass-bottom catamaran, which runs from Cambrils to Salou, you can spot catfish and other creatures under the boat. Children and adults will be kept amused and informed by the compere and children's entertainer. The entertainment and the drinks are both included in the ticket price. On a hot day you might jump at the chance of taking a dip in the sea at the stop-off point.
Just inland from Cambrils is Park Sama botanical garden, which has water features and caves set in the grounds of a beautiful old house. The children will appreciate the play park and watching the small selection of birds and animals, including turtles.