Things to Do in Tarragona
If there’s one sight that will successfully peel you away from the Tarragona beach, it will probably be the neighboring Tarragona Amphitheatre (Amfiteatre de Tarragona). The seaside stadium was constructed in the 2nd century AD and carved directly out of the bedrock below. It fit up to around 15,000 spectators, who came to watch grueling matches between gladiators and wild animals, and even to view public executions.
Your visit there today will be decidedly less dramatic. You can explore the theater, walking through the stadium’s center that is home to the remains of both a 6th-century Visigoth church and a later 12th-century Romanesque-Gothic church. Meanwhile, informative signage around the grounds will ensure that you get a better understanding of the ancient theater’s history and sights.
A short drive off into the hills of Tarragona, and alongside a busy highway, sits one of the region’s most prized and yet very unexpected sights: a proper Roman aqueduct: Les Ferreres Aqueduct (Pont del Diable). Though its construction date isn’t quite certain, it’s believed to have been built during the time of Augustus – from 27 BC to 14 AD – and used to cover a much longer distance.
Also called the Devil’s Bridge (after a legend that it was built by the Devil himself), the aqueduct resides among a forest of trees and greenery, which is crisscrossed by trails suitable for biking and walking. While there, wonder among the woodland, have lunch at the park restaurant’s outdoor terrace, and, best of all, go for a stroll atop the Roman aqueduct itself, which used to transport water to the ancient city of Tarraco (now Tarragona).
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.
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.
Go full throttle at Ferrari Land, the only theme park in Europe devoted to all things Ferrari. Located next to PortAventura theme park outside Barcelona and itself part of PortAventura World, Ferrari Land offers high-speed thrills—including Europe’s highest and fastest vertical accelerator—cutting-edge racing simulators, test tracks, and more.
Sitting peacefully on the rocky Mediterranean shoreline, El Roc de Sant Gaietà 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.
At the MónNatura Delta de l’Ebre Nature Reserve—one of Western Europe’s largest wetlands—you can see the restored La Tancada salt works, try your hand at traditional fishing, and, with luck, spot flamingos and other wetland birds. Plus, the observatory offers 360-degree views of the salt pans.
The Aquópolis Costa Dorada is a water park and dolphinarium in Tarragona, Spain. The park features high excitement water rides for adults like the Splash, Kamikaze, Hurricane, Surf Waimea, Boomerang and Black Hole, as well as more moderate rides like the Vulcano River, Wave Beach, Magic Oval and Blue Lagoon. For kids under 10, there is a Mini Park in the center of Children's Lake featuring a shallow pool, waterfalls, water jets and water pistols. The Funny Jungle gives slightly older kids the chance to test their agility and user their imagination.
The park’s dolphinarium has six pools, including one for young sea lions and one for exhibitions. The exhibition pool has a long glass screen that allows visitors to watch the dolphins and sea lions from under the water. The Dolphin Encounter experience gives guests a guided visit that includes an education talk and the opportunity to interact with dolphins in the water.
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