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Tarragona: a trip to the past

On the streets and in the surroundings of Tarragona, it looks like we have taken a trip to the past, to the era of gladiators, emperors and sea conquests. This city offers a range of cultural activities and is the perfect spot for tourists. The list of things to do and explore is endless. 
 
In this article, we give you some of the best ideas for enjoying your holidays to the fullest. In Tarragona there is a wide variety of things to see and to do: it has the most beautiful beaches on the Costa Dorada, the best parties, outdoor sports, theme parks and the best hiking routes. Keep on reading and be enchanted by the beautiful city of Tarragona.
 

Travel to the archaeological grounds of Tarraco 

There was a time that the Romans once ruled the whole Mediterranean area and Spain was known as Hispania. During that era, Tarragona (formerly known as Tarraco) flourished on the shores of the sea, it had an amphitheatre, a circus and more. It´s not very surprising that this spot is on the World Heritage Lists by UNESCO

The Roman archaeological area of Tarragona stretches out over a huge area, so you will probably need a few more days to fully explore the whole area. The crown jewel of the city is without a doubt the impressive amphitheatre which is located next to the sea. It can fit approximately 14,000 people and once hosted big events like gladiator fights. 

 
In the suburbs of Tarragona, we find even more monuments that are worth paying a visit such as the Devil´s Bridge or Pont del Diable. It is a Roman aqueduct that stretches out over a valley close to the city. At its most central point, it has a height of 27 metres. The Torre de los Escipiones or the Escipiones Tower, is one of the most well-preserved monuments in the whole of Spain. 
 
Many of the remains from the Roman era in Tarraco, can nowadays be found in the Archeological Museum of Tarragona. You will find this museum on Plaça del Rey, where you can see the original monuments. Make sure to book your holiday home in Tarragona to discover all the wonders this old town has to offer. 
 
 
A great event to attend is the Festival of Tarracoviva, where you can relive the majestic history of Tarragona. A number of cultural activities are held throughout the month of May, giving us a taste of what the life in the Roman era was like. 

Discover the historic centre

You can combine the visit to Tarraco with an afternoon the fantastic historic centre of Tarragona. Terraces, restaurants and bars are abundant, so if you wanna sit down for a bit while you enjoy a good glass of wine, there´s plenty of options available. The town has loads of picturesque streets with cobbles, beautiful squares and a great overall medieval style combined with modern elements. 

An absolute must see is the Cathedral of Santa Tecla, a cathedral built in the twelfth century on the old Roman forum. Feel free to have a look and get lost in the gorgeous chapels, the monastery and the cathedral while you admire the pieces of art displayed here. Next to it, you will find ´La Calle de la Mercería´, a street that provides an entrance to the historic centre via gothic arches.  

 
The economic recovery of Tarragona in the nineteenth century drew the attention of important architects and artists such as Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The city was renovated and adopted a more modern style. An example of this can be seen at Casa Castellarnau, the current location of the Historic Museum of Tarragona which houses different spaces with art collections. According to the legend, piano sounds can be heard at midnight when the house is completely empty. It´s also worth mentioning that Tarragona´s Conservatory of Music is not far away from the museum. 
 
Another modern monument is Casa Canals, which is definitely worth a visit as well. Its main attractions are the beautiful garden and the elegant ballroom, enjoy the oriental influences and the breathtaking view. 
 
 
To find more modern monuments, you can go to the Rambla Nova: the main street of Tarragona that has many shops and beautiful buildings. At the end, you will find El Balcón del Meditrerráneo, also called the Mediterranean balcony. It is said that touching the iron handrail gives you luck, but whether it actually works or not, you will have a great view over the Costa Dorada either way.  
 
In Tarragona, festivals are organised all year round. Halfway through August the celebrations of Sant Magí, the patron saint of the city, take place and a month later Santa Tecla is celebrated. Both of these festivals celebrate have typical elements of the folkloric Catalan culture and promise to be fantastic experiences for everyone exploring the area! 
 
The ´Tarragona Ciutat de Castells´ or Human Towers Festival deserves a special mention, as this is one of the most spectacular festivities in Tarragona. The human towers are known all over the world and this festival is the biggest one worldwide! The human towers rise up metres and metres above the crowd and is a truly breathtaking spectacle. It is seen as a traditional art form of the region and is therefore on the World Heritage List. 
 

Beautiful beaches on the Costa Dorada

Tarragona is a beautiful holiday destination; there aren´t many destinations that have beaches with such beautiful golden sand, palm trees and crystal clear water. The sea is shallow, which makes it very child-friendly and thus ideal for a family holiday.
 
 
Tarragona´s coastline stretches 15 kilometres and boasts gorgeous beaches like Los Capellanes Beach, El Miracle Beach or La Abarrassada Beach. The majority of the beaches are very safe and have all the basic facilities. The beaches of Tarragona definitely deserve their spot in our list of best beaches on the Costa Dorada
 
 
At the end of June, the International Firework Competition of Tarragona is held on El Miracle Beach. This spectacular festival illuminates the summer nights with magic, lights and a rainbow of vibrant colours. 

Medieval beauty in the surroundings

Tarragona has so much to offer that you don´t even have to leave the town to enjoy amazing holidays in this area. The city is located very close to several historical spots and nature reserves, that are worth visiting if you are in the area. One of them is the scenic village of Montblanc, which is home to the Sant Jordi´s on the 23rd April. It is one of the best medieval-themed parties in all of Spain. 

 
Another experience you can´t miss out on is the Route of Císter. It is a magical route through the architecture, culture, history and nature of the Santes Creus, Poblet and Vallabona de los Monges´ monasteries which are located fairly close to Tarragona. These monasteries were built in the twelfth century and their medieval beauty has been conserved well. Since 1991, the monastery has been part of Santa María del Poblet and is even on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
 

A dose of adrenaline in the theme parks

We cannot finish this article without mentioning the best theme park in Spain: Port Aventura in Salou, which is just twelve kilometres from Tarragona. The perfect holiday consists of a good balance between culture, nature and fun activities and so Port Aventura has to be on your to-do list during your holiday in Tarragona.  

The park boasts six areas that each have a different theme, shows, roller coasters and more. In Port Aventura, there is no time to get bored! It´s also suitable for all ages as there are special zones and attractions for the little ones. 
 
 
At just ten minutes from Tarragona, you will also find Aquópolis, the perfect spot to cool down during a hot summer day. This water park has pools, water slides and a themed area which has Hawaiian-style beaches with pearly white sand, hammocks and straw parasols. To find some accommodation close by, make sure to check out our holiday homes in Salou
 
Tarragona is the perfect city to indulge in Mediterranean culture and history. Grab your suitcase, take off to Tarragona and discover all the beauty that the Costa Dorada has to offer. 

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