Tarragona from Barcelona: Explore the Incredible South of Catalonia
Although Barcelona and the northern province of Girona are the most popular destinations in Catalonia, it’s a good idea to look South as well. The southern province of Catalonia is Tarragona, and it’s full of surprises waiting for you to discover. In this beautiful piece of land, there are some highlights that you should not miss. In the city of Tarragona, you can travel 2.000 years back in time to discover the Roman past of Spain. PortAventura is one of the most amazing theme parks in Europe. And the Ebro Delta, the southern tip of Catalunya, is a treasure of nature protected as Biosphere Reserve. In this week’s post, The Touring Pandas unveil some of the most impressive places to visit in the province of Tarragona from Barcelona. Keep reading and take your notes!
The unique legacy of Tarraco
When the Romans arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, they started founding colonies in several locations of the territory. The most important one in the Eastern coast of Hispania, the Roman name of Spain, was Tarraco. The colony was founded in the year 217 b.C. and it became an important center of power. As such, relevant buildings raised in this beautiful setting on the golden southern coast of Catalonia. Two-thousand years after its foundation, we can still admire these amazing pieces of heritage that have survived until our days. You can take a walk along the old roman walls, visit the forum, and walk inside the amphitheater, the gem of the city. With the blue colors of the Mediterranean Sea as a background, this Roman arena is one of the highlights of Tarragona, the modern name of the city. If you want to visit the old center of Tarragona from Barcelona, the easier way is to take a train from Sants station. The trains depart every hour and you can get a ticket for as little as 5,25€. The ride takes approximately one hour!
The Ebro Delta, a unique natural gem
If you prefer a day of food and nature outside the city, the Ebro Delta is a unique natural gem with excellent gastronomy. Situated at the southern tip of Catalonia, the delta is an extension of the territory dragged by the river Ebro during thousands of years. This vast extension of flooded land is famous for its rice plantations and tasteful oysters. Fresh mussels, oysters and paella are the typical dishes in the area, and they are just delicious! Also, the Ebro Delta is the perfect setting for kayak or bike excursions, birdwatching and other activities like paragliding. And of course, there are miles of sandy beaches if you just want to relax and enjoy a day by the sea. To reach the Ebro Delta, the best option is to rent a car from Barcelona and take the AP-7 road towards the south. The drive takes around two and a half hours that will be compensated with an amazing experience in an incomparable setting.
PortAventura: family fun and adrenaline
But hey, it’s not all about fun and culture! Sometimes, we just want to be kids for one day, have fun, and enjoy life. If that’s what you’re looking for, Tarragona has it too! If you haven’t heard about PortAventura World, start booking your tickets, or even a full weekend in one of its exclusive resorts! The main park is called PortAventura, a huge themed world full of crazy rides and unique shows. The park recreates five regions of our planet: China, the Far West, Mexico, the Polynesia, and the Mediterranean. In each of this zones, there are excellent restaurants and attractions for kids and adults. The Dragon Khan and the Shambala, the two most famous roller-coasters, are among the highest and fastest in Europe. Apart from Portaventura, there are two other parks next to each other. Ferrari Land is dedicated exclusively to lovers of speed and adrenaline. And Caribe Aquatic Park hosts the highest water slides in Spain and is ideal for a summer day out! PortAventura has its own train station, so it’s very easy to get there from Barcelona and trains depart often from Sant Station for less than 10€.
As you can see, the southern region of Catalonia is full of reasons to visit! Furthermore, it’s not that popular yet for international tourists, so it’s quieter and more relaxed than Barcelona and the North. If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-track experiences, Tarragona is a very good destination to explore. What of this three plans is more appealing for you? A day of admiring Roman ruins in Tarragona? A perfect cocktail of unique food and nature in the Ebro Delta? Or a crazy day with family or friends in PortAventura?
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