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Tarragona (Spain)

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Country: Spain / Country Region: Catalonia / World Region: Europe

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      13.10.2008 19:41
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      Great coastal city with lots of culture, yet close to Port Aventura theme park

      Tarragona is a city on the east coast of Spain. The nearest airport is Reus, approximately 20 minutes away, however a lot of visitors to the region prefer to fly into Barcelona which is only about 100 kilometres to the north.

      Tarragona is a city steeped in history. It has some of the best preserved Roman ruins in Spain, including an amphitheatre, which is worth a visit. The main street is called La Rambla Nova and it connects the old district to the new. As this street is positioned high over the town, you have a wonderful view of the harbour and sea beyond. The only down side of this view is the railway station and tracks that are between you and the sea.

      La Rambla Nova has lots of restaurants that will suit most people's taste buds, from fast food outlets to ā la carte. When going out for dinner at night we found it was best to be seated at a table before 9pm as that seemed to be when the locals and their extended families went out to eat. Prices are not cheap and we found dinner for two in a decent restaurant averaged about £50 whilst a mediocre lunch cost us £30, so choose where you eat carefully. There are also lots of café style places if you just want to sit outdoors with a coffee and watch the world go by. The shops in this street tend to be upmarket clothes and shoe stores. Make sure you take plenty euros with you if you want to do some shopping.

      The down side of visiting the city centre is the severe lack of parking. We were lucky to find a car park that we nicknamed the bat cave as it was hewn from rock three floors underground. Parking too, is expensive.

      The harbour is one of the largest in Europe and Serrallo harbour is where you will see the local fishermen. They return every day to sell their catch only a few minutes after docking their boats. The district has some of the best fish restaurant in the area.

      If you prefer to sunbathe rather than sightsee then you will not be disappointed as there are lots of nice beaches in the area. If you want to venture further afield but without going too far, Salou is only few miles from Tarragona. Be warned this is a very touristy destination and the beach can hardly be seen for rows and rows of sunbeds. However, it is very close to Universal's Port Aventura theme park if you want a rest from culture and history and want just a fun day out.

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