This is the holiday coast that extends south from Barcelona to the southern end of Catalonia, along the Mediterranean. The city Tarragona is right in the middle of this area. The area takes its name from the golden sands of the beaches that are contrasted by the deep blue of the Mediterranean. The coast is abundant with beaches, coves, villages and camp sites. The area swells during the summer months and you can almost hear the northern European flesh sizzling under the hot Iberian sun and bright Spanish skies.
Driving through the area, you notice that long ago the locals realised the potential wealth available to them from tourism and built monuments and shrines to the tourist in the form of towers of holiday units and acres and acres of campsites. The towns cater for your every need so you can make the most of your holiday with supermarkets of every item of beaching paraphernalia imaginable and chemist stores bulging with sun screams and sun burn lotions. Various eateries that represent most corners of the world are plentiful, but care should be taken if you’re hoping for the traditional fare these outlets represent, especially those claiming spicy Asian flavours to avoid disappointment.
The long summer days really are very conducive for an enjoyable holiday; the beaches are relaxed and well frequented. There really can be loads of people sharing your beach as they are very, very popular especially at weekends, with locals and tourists alike. Again as with the French beaches you will see people of all ages and variations of family and groups, including single people, especially young women. The social mindset of the Spanish seems to have moved in leaps and bounds, considering that about a generation or two ago a young women would have been likely to require an escort to leave her home. In any event nudity is well embraced by all and no one raises an eyelid, it’s all very acceptable.
Tarragona is a large city about an hour south of Barcelona by rail and car, however, on a Saturday morning if traveling by car you may find it takes a bit longer due to the holiday traffic. The city itself is a worthwhile place to spend some time. It dates back to the time of Romans and some of their architecture remains; the most prominent being the 2nd Century amphitheatre in the middle of town and the numerous walls, that still stand, despite the best efforts of various tourists throughout the ages including the likes of the Napoleonic troops among others, who thought the city would be best without them. The city is a palimpsest of architecture and there are numerous examples throughout the city. History buffs and foodies alike will find the city fascinating with the city offering a wide range of restaurants some of which are highly credentialed, and some located within old Roman buildings.
The area behind the coastal strip to the South-West is one of Spain’s major wine producing regions being the Priorat area, to North is the Penedes area that produces Spain’s version of Champaign called Cava. The region is a series of mountainous ranges with small villages perched usually on the highest and most awkward part of a mountain peak. Some of the villages haven’t had a new building since the 18th Century and most number a couple of hundred residents. The wines are divine and a morning or two driving around and heading to the beach in the afternoon is well worth considering.
The tourist office in Tarragona offers a pamphlet of the beaches of the area which also lists the nudist beaches. In fact they are promoted as an attraction for the area. They are great beaches, well serviced with showers, food and drink kiosks and usually easy to get to.
The beaches in this area include:
– Mar Belle (Barcelona)
– Platja dels Balmins. (Sitges)
– Playa de Savinosa
– Playa del Torn, Oques, L’Hospitalet de I’Infant
– Waikiki, Cala Fonda
– Playa de Calabeig, la Roca Plana (Waikiki 2)
The Resorts includes:
– El Templo del Sol