Things to do in Salou
Salou has everything a beach resort should have – endless sunshine, a beautiful palm tree lined promenade, a string of blue flag beaches, activities to suit all age groups and a vibrant nightlife. There are so many things to do in Salou, you’d need at least a week, preferably two, to experience all this holiday haven on the Costa Daurada has to offer.
The most popular family attraction in Salou is PortAventura theme park, which is visited by around 4 million people every year. As well as its wide range of thrill rides, it now has a Caribbean themed water park, Costa Caribe, right alongside providing somewhere to cool down and have some fun when you’ve had enough of being scared witless!
On a hot summer’s day you can’t beat a trip to a water park for a good soaking!
An alternative, Aquapolis, in nearby La Pinada has some great extreme slides, family rides, a watery playground for little ones plus sea lion and dolphin shows and for an extra charge you can swim with sea lions, but advance booking is advised.
Aqualeon is a combined nature reserve and water park and will please both the animal lovers and water ride fans in the family. There is a bus to take you round the enclosures where the larger animals are kept and there is also a mini zoo where the cute ones, like meerkats and Vietnamese pigs reside.
Tickets that include transport from the nearby area are available, and there are also several combination offers for theme parks that are great value for money.
A trip up into the mountains is an unforgettable experience and a chance to see some remote Spanish villages and beautiful scenery.
Jeep Adventure Safaris use off road vehicles with experienced English speaking driver/guides who know the area well.
You will travel through deep valleys, along a dried up riverbed and high into the mountains, stopping for refreshments and lunch in tranquil ancient villages (well, tranquil until a jeep safari group comes along!) The ride can be bumpy and the road dusty, so the trip is not really suitable for small children though there are two stops for refreshing swims, one under a waterfall, the other in a lake, so don’t forget your swimming costumes and towels! The company will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel free of charge on this excursion, and its fine to take your own food along for a picnic lunch.
Another popular group activity is downhill mountain biking – all the fun of cycling without the huffing and puffing up hills! On your 25 minute drive into the mountains, your guide will tell you all about the district you are travelling through, so you’ll know what you are looking at on the way down. Bikes and helmets are provided and so are child seats and trailer bikes for younger children. You will have time to get accustomed to your bikes and then its all downhill after that! Enjoy the fresh air and stunning scenery as you glide down the smooth tarmac road passing almond and olive groves, vineyards and rustic mountain villages on the way, and the minibuses that take you up lead and follow the group to make sure everyone is ok.
A big hit with stag parties (let’s not be sexist, hens and couples might like it too!) and for team building trips is the Maxibuggy Driving Experience excursion.
You get to drive a beast of an off road vehicle through forests, across rivers and up mountains and totally destroy the tranquillity of quaint villages though they don’t mind really, since they will be selling you food and drink!
On this trip you will have an opportunity to swim in a lake or go kayaking, so bring a change of clothes (you’ll get muddy!) and your swimming gear whilst the company provides helmets and gloves for the drive. Your trip finishes at a vineyard where you can sample the wine of the region, before reluctantly putting your buggy away, all fired up for a night on the town!
More conventional excursions from Salou are provided by Bus Plana, who operate sightseeing trips to Barcelona and Valencia, duty-free shopping trips to Andorra, excursions to Montserrat and night tours to flamenco shows All are good value and combination tours are available.
A Cataventure catamaran cruise is a great way to see the Costa Daurada coastline, soak up the sun and meet new friends.
The cruises are on high performance well maintained boats staffed by experienced crews and are suitable for all age groups. A 3 hour trip leave from nearby Cambrils harbour twice daily at 12.30 and 15.30 and included in the price is unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, tapas and canapés and return transport to the harbour from various pick up points in Salou.
You can also do a 6hr cruise with a barbeque lunch, or a 3hr sunset cruise with a DJ or live music, to get you in the mood for a night on the town.
On all of the cruises the boat drops anchor for one hour in shallow water for swimming, snorkelling and banana boat rides.
Salou Golf and Leisure
Salou has become a popular destination for a golfing holiday for its good choice of scenic championship courses, sunny climate and smart modern clubhouses.
Good discounts on green fees at Aigues Verdes, Bon Mont, Costa Daurada, Lumine Lakes and Lumine Hills course are available.
Hiring a buggy is recommended at Bon Mont and Lumine Hills unless you are super fit whilst the Lumine Golf Resort also has a unique 9 hole course known as The Ruins, since the green runs through a series of Roman archaeological remains.
Lumine Beach Club is a great place to relax after your game, though you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy this luxurious retreat away from the crowds.
Set in beautiful landscaped gardens facing the sea, Lumine Beach club has a 5 star restaurant, cocktail bar, a self service buffet and 8 different pools to cool off in, including the new Volcano pool area for over 18’s which has a sandy beach, barbeque, bar and DJ.
New for 2013 is the mini club to keep children occupied – they’ve thought of everything!
Included with your ticket are sun beds, towels and lockers, and even better news is that this year 365 Tickets are offering 2 days for the price of 1 and 7 days for 4 tickets – go on, spoil yourself!
The best thing about long hot summer nights is that you can enjoy a meal or a few drinks outdoors, rather than be stuck inside a stuffy, crowded restaurant. There are menus that cater for even the fussiest of eaters in Salou as well as those offering traditional regional dishes. After dinner maybe take a stroll along the promenade to see the colourful dancing fountains in action whilst many bars provide free entertainment and late night clubs are easy to find all over Salou.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Salou between the 10th and 15th of August, you can join in with the lively Summer Fiesta.
House of Illusion
If you’re looking for a great evening show Salou’s House of Illusion is the most talked about (In a good way!) at the moment.
Even if you think you don’t like magic shows give this one a try. Arrive early for a pre-show drink in the bar and you will be entertained with amazing close up card, coin and sleight of hand tricks. These guys could make a good living as pickpockets, but luckily they’re far too nice to do that! That’s the thing about the House of Illusion staff and cast – they’re all so welcoming and approachable and they actively encourage audience participation.
Kid’s will love it – they may even be chosen to “help” on stage! A vocalist, comedy magic act, a mind reading/hypnosis act and some close up magic by your table, as well as some baffling illusions make this great family entertainment.
The early show at 18.00 includes a child friendly 3 course dinner plus, for adults, unlimited wine and beer and soft drinks for the children.
The later show is drinks only and there is also a late show on Saturday nights, beginning at 22.00, for over 18’s only.
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, they say, but at Decades you can enjoy a trip back in time and a good old sing-along to the popular songs from the fifties through to the present day. The first act is usually a singer who has been on the X-factor or Britain’s Got Talent show, then the regular cast come on to sing and dance to the music of the last five decades, alongside fire-breathers and stilt walkers!
Feel free to get up and dance after the performance to all the old favourites whilst the younger children are kept busy in a separate room by a children’s’ entertainer and the latest kid’s films.
Unlimited lager, sangria and soft drinks are included with your ticket, so it’s a good alternative to going to places where drinks are charged for but entertainment is free, and the “babysitting” element is definitely a plus for parents.
Why chose Salou?
If you’re feeling a bit “been there, done that” about Benidorm, Salou has more of a laid back, grown up atmosphere, less intense, but the mad stuff is still out there if you want it. If you’ve been to both, let us know how you think the two compare.