Once the sun goes down on the beaches of Salou, there’s still a lot more to see here: a proper magic show. Head to the House of Illusion, a fan-favorite for its evening performances packed with magicians, comedy, mind reading, audience participation, and loads of magic.
The show is more than just magic, too, as it begins in a pre-theater parlor before moving into a grand theater of candle-lit tables. It is there that you not only marvel at the wizardry but also chow down on an all-inclusive meal that comes with an unending flow of wine, beer, and soft drinks. Not hungry? Join the later show, which includes only the eternal supply of drinks, but still with all the entertainment.
This is a serious theme park, Spain's biggest and baddest, with a collection of wild rides - like Dragon Khan and Furios Baco, both clocking in at well over 100kph (65mph) - that will keep thrill junkies coming back for more. Port Aventura is the flagship park, divided into several "lands," such as the Wild West, Mexico, and China, with themed shows, restaurants, and gift shops. Though it could keep a family busy all day (or week), that's just the beginning.
In addition to Port Aventura, you could also visit several other parks - Port Aventura Aquatic Park, with dolphin shows and water slides; the Beach club, right on the Caribbean; and Golf PortAventura, with three premium golf courses. Savvy travelers can find packages that include several parks, special shows, and even discounts on hotels.
When Barcelona gets a little toasty, forgo the beach and head to the water wonderland at Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. It’s home to 50,000 square meters of splash-filled fun, and sits just over an hour away from Spain’s coastal metropolis.
The park boasts 16 different attractions and slides, the pinnacle of which is Europe’s tallest free-fall waterslide, reaching 31 meters in height! Those who wish to stay a little closer to dry land can tube their way down a river of rushing rapids and waterfalls, slip down the slides of the playground-meets-pirate ship, or dodge waves in the Bermuda Triangle. For a slightly less intrepid experience, take the little ones to Sésamo Beach, a tranquil children’s pool where you’ll find shallow, calm waters. Once you’ve had your fill of getting wet, you can escape to one of the park’s many green areas. Or, if you wish to get out of the sun, head to the indoor zone, where you’ll find all the outdoor fun, but in the cool shade.
Sitting peacefully on the rocky Mediterranean shoreline, El Roc de Sant Gaieta is a beautifully preserved Spanish town with Roman-Greco influences. Historically a fishing village, it now is uniquely characterized by its variety of distinctive architectural styles. Borrowing from Gothic, Sicilian, Romanesque, Moorish and Andalusian designs, it was constructed a mere 50 years ago but represents the many diverse styles from across Spain. It was built with materials collected from around the nation with items collected in private homes and estates.
A stroll around the charming town through archways, cloisters, courtyards and passageways leads to the discovery of all the architectural styles mentioned. There are also small streets with bakeries, shops, and galleries, even a local museum. Most impressively, all of this is located on a natural rock formation next to the Mediterranean Sea.
Situated in the coastal city of Salou, PortAventura Park is Barcelona’s go-to amusement park, and in fact one of the largest in Europe. Think big-kid roller coasters, children-friendly rides, and loads of adventure for folks of any age—all just minutes away from the shores of the Costa Dorada.
PortAventura is composed of six different themed lands, five of which transport visitors on an amusement-park-style excursion to historic civilizations. Among the most popular of these recreated destinations is Far West Land, the park’s largest area and home to the most rides. Then, there’s the China-themed land, where you’ll encounter some of PortAventura’s especially tummy-turning rides, including the Dragon Khan, with its once-record breaking eight inversions, and Shambhala, Europe’s fastest and tallest (76 meters!) roller coaster. There’s more fun to be had in Polynesia Land, as well as Mayan-inspired Mexico.