If you're after sun, sea and sand, Salou is the place to go. Tucked against the intense blues of the Mediterranean Sea, this Costa Dorada town has everything from beautiful beaches to traditional beach-shack restaurants. You can spend your time relaxing on the beach or living it up with Salou's nightlife, or even trying out some of the biggest roller coasters in Spain. Whether you're looking for a romantic couple's getaway or a fun-filled family holiday, Salou has plenty on offer.
There are two main beaches in Salou and they both have European Blue Flags. Like so many other beaches in the Costa Dorada region, you'll find powder-soft sand, bright-blue seas and plenty of facilities. Playa de Llevant and Playa de Ponent both have clusters of cafes, ice-cream parlours and restaurants, as well as a range of watersports to try.
If you want more secluded coves, venture up the coast. Fort Cove is great for snorkellers, while Penya Tallada includes a picturesque walk. These beaches are less crowded and have gorgeous backdrops of craggy mountains and dense pine forests.
Salou is close to two huge theme parks, including Spain's biggest, PortAventura. This giant park has everything from huge roller coasters to rides for the little ones. Split into six themed areas, you can explore different rides and attractions in Mediterrania, the Far West, Mexico, China and Polynesia – plus a visit to Sesame Street for younger visitors!
PortAventura is home to Europe's tallest and fastest hyper-coaster, Shambhala. Families should definitely visit Bosc Aventura – this big adventure playground has zip lines, sky-high swings, trampolines, paint-balling and rock climbing for the kids to enjoy.
Whether you're on a budget break or a luxurious escape, you'll find something to suit among Salou's vast range of bars and clubs. The majority of Salou's nightlife happens in Avinguda de Carles Buigas, where there's everything from karaoke and live entertainment, to themed pubs and all-night clubs.
If you want a special evening, head to the famous House of Illusion. It's a mystery theatre show with magic, comedy and mind-reading! Most bars and pubs host evening entertainment too, ranging from traditional Spanish bands and flamenco dancing, to modern tribute acts.
With over 250 restaurants and cafes to choose from, you're spoilt for choice in Salou. The traditional Spanish dishes are popular, and you'll find tapas and paella served everywhere. However, you can also find Italian and British restaurants too. The more authentic restaurants sit closer to the waterfront, so you can enjoy great views along with great food.
Seafood is always fresh – look out for the catch of the day, for the most delectable dishes. Likewise, the beach shacks (known as chiringuitos) do excellent seafood for you to snack on through the day – from skewered sardines to prawns in garlic and chilli.
Salou is the perfect place to revamp your wardrobe, stock up on gorgeous handicrafts and pick out some great holiday souvenirs. Opposite Llevant Beach is Avenida Jaume I. Wander down a kilometre-long stretch for authentic craft shops, fashion boutiques and stalls selling fun souvenirs. Once you've finished shopping, the promenade's coastal views and illuminated fountains are perfect for evening strolls.
For classier, big-name designers head down to the station where you can browse through the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Missoni. Salou's traditional markets are fun to visit too. Both Bonavista and Via Roma sell art and trinkets.
Salou is just 90 minutes from Barcelona by train, so buy a ticket and explore the wonderful, cultural city. Admire the intense architecture, like the Sagrada Família. Walk around the historic Gothic quarter here, join the locals and tourists and walk down Las Ramblas, or laze on the beach and enjoy the sights of the splendid marina. You could even visit Barcelona Zoo and its huge collection of animals. With high-quality restaurants and a huge number of tourist attractions, you can easily fill up an entire day.