Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Quick, Essential Giude to The Tarragona coastline

What's to like?
1. Tarragona coast lovely.... city beach beautiful to look at despite railway and commercial Port. Especially if you look at it from above the Roman Amphitheatre where they just did a re-enactment of Gladiator fighting for Roman Week. (see above) But five minutes to the north are my ideal kind of beach. They are populated, but not at all commercial. Golden sandy coves protected by wild rock headlands at each end. Local families in moderate numbers (see below). A great chiringuito at Savinosa and Platja Llarga. Wonderful.

2.North. La mora and Altafulla i Tamarit.
La Mora ....beach nice. Town a bit forgettable. But the best bit is the wild pine forest which hugs the precipitous cliffline. Take a walk on the wild side and follow the barely discernable paths into the woods and discover drop-away cliffs with turquoise seas below, sometime calm, sometimes crashing with waves. Continue the nature walk and you stumble across Tamarit Castle which these days is a wedding venue. Lunch at the beach is also great.

3. What to avoid.
Salou to the South. Unless you're looking for Blackpool-in-the-sun. Also you have to go past the chemical works which despite providing so many jobs and so much wealth to the area are a real eyesore. I'm afraid I couldn't stomach taking any pictures of Salou.....use your imagination. Overweight, pink Brits in football kit, little girls with hideous hairbraids and flamenco outfits etc....

4. Southern gem.
Once passed Salou and you have resisted the charms of "full english breakfast and karaoke" you can breath easier, safe in the knowledge that a little gem is not far away.
Cambrils is also a seaside resort town, but it oozes style and class. The superyachts glisten and wink at you from the marina, the front-line terraced restaurants include a couple of Michelin-starred ones. And I recently discovered these new pieces of public sculpture which were thrilling. There's also a great park (Parc dels Pescadors) for kids.

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