Costa Dorada and Portaventura World on Newstalk

This week we are talking about Spain’s Costa Dorada given the name ‘Gold Coast’ because of the long stretch of Golden Beaches that sweep along the 92km south of Barcelona. Before travelling to Spain check out the Spanish Tourist Boards website for more information

Listen back to our podcast here from Newstalk The Hard Shoulder Podcast

How to get there? You can fly into Barcelona with Ryanair and Aer Lingus but the most direct route is with Ryanair to Reus

Theme Parks.

Number one attraction in Costa Dorada is Portaventura World check out the website here.

This weekend I was at the opening of a new ride in Portaventura World. One of Europe’s biggest theme parks, it is set close to the town of Salou, with a variety of choices to excite the whole family.

Sesamoventura is one of the worlds that specialises in rides for the younger members of the family.

New family-friendly ride
This year, the season kicks off with the arrival of Street Mission, PortAventura World’s first dark ride and the first of its kind to be inspired by Sesame Street®. The new ride is an interactive adventure for all ages where visitors have to help Detective Grover successfully complete a secret mission. The attraction consists of a pre-show and a 3D ride experience, featuring numerous animatronics and immersive experiences thanks to 3D video mapping technology.

Even Teens will love the Sesame Street Themed land in the park

With an investment of 15 million Euros, the project has been created in collaboration with Sesame Workshop®, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street®, and Sally Corporation, one of the leading international companies in the development of dark rides and the design of animatronics.

On 1 June 2019, PortAventura World will hold the grand opening of its new superior 4-star themed Hotel Colorado Creek, the sixth hotel in the resort. It has 150 rooms of 41 m2 distributed across three buildings, to which will be annexed another building for the restaurant and exclusive car park. The theme will be inspired by the gold rush era of the Wild West and will continue to delve into the history of the hotel complex made up by Hotel Gold River, Hotel Callaghan’s and Hotel Mansión de Lucy.

Hotel Colorado Creek will be the resort’s first zero-emission hotel. This line of strategy, driven by PortAventura World, will be extended to other facilities around the resort to minimise the resort’s carbon footprint.

Neighbouring park, Ferrariland is now open two years and has one of the fastest rides in Europe with the G Force of a formula one racing car at take off. Read my review of Ferrariland here

Click and Go Package

  • Caribe Hotel
  • Salou-PortAventura, Salou, Spain
  • Room: 1 x Twin room
    Board: Half Board

Holiday makers

Adults: 2 Children: 1, aged 10

Dates Sun, 9 Jun 2019 – Thu, 13 Jun 2019

4 nights Aer Lingus – EI564 Dublin – Barcelona Direct flight


Salou Salou-PortAventura Caribe Hotel 4 Star Yes Half Board 1339

Per family

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What else is there to do in the region?


Check out what to do in Tarragona on this website

Close by is the beautiful Roman Town of Tarragona is set against a backdrop of an old Roman amphitheatre overlooking the Mediterranean. An oval structure built in the 2nd century overlooking the sea, its stands were carved directly out of the underlying bedrock. The amphitheatre is 109.5 metres long by 86.5 metres wide and can hold up to 14,000 spectators. In its day, it was the scene of fights between gladiators and against wild beasts, as well as public executions. In the year 259 A.D., the Bishop Fructuosoand his deacons Augurio and Eulogio were burned alive within its confines. In the early 6th century, a Visigoth basilica was built on the site, which was eventually replaced by the mediaeval Santa Maria del Miracle (Our Lady of the Miracle) church. From 2-31 August see exciting journey to Tarragona’s Roman past through historical re-enactments daily. Many festivals are celebrated throughout the year. For more information see

Tapas lunch in the main square of the Old Town was €50 including tip for four people. We stopped off in another bar for a glass of wine and beer which came to €5.70 in the afternoon.

Get your bearings on the train which rides along the coast and circumnavigates the old town. Departures are every half hour April, October and November but more frequent in high season.

The tour with Tarraco Tren costs €7 for adults and €4 for under 12s.

Tarragona has been given the name of The City of Human Towers

Equilibrium between smartness and emotion

The seconds lasted forever, he was at his limit. He couldn’t see anything, surrounded by dozens of tense bodies, worrying and sweating like him. The sound of flageolets and the shouts from the team leader, he knew he had to hold on. Heat, a lot of heat. That corpulent body, with a few winter layers on top, bravely endured. It was his brain that kept him going. Sure. On top of his shoulders the nine floor tower was being built. He didn’t want to even think about the weight on top of him. If it hadn’t been for the two girls acting like crutches under his arms he would have folded like crumpled paper…

The castles —the human tower constructions— originated in Tarragona and in Penedès and their origin comes from Valencian dances. Tarragona has four groups and the city lives and breathes the tower building spirit and ambience like never before. To build towers everyone is needed and in the right place, from the oldest to the youngest. If one is missing, it doesn’t get built, without bravery, neither.

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Art and Culture

The Town of Reus is birthplace to most notably Antonio Gaudi who is responsible for much of the most applauded architecture in Catalonia, especially Parc Guell, Casa Battlo and The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

The Landscape of the Geniuses is a tourist attraction that lets you discover the essence of the landscape that inspired the works and influenced the personalities of Antoni Gaudí, Joan Miró, Pau Casals and Pablo Picasso on the Costa Daurada and in the Terres de l’Ebre region

Gaudí Centre Reus

Interpretation centre

Museum centre dedicated to Antoni Gaudí, the city’s beloved son. The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the artist’s life and his relationship with Reus and gives insight into his creative method. Moreover, it offers the possibility of interacting with his work thanks to state-of-the-art audiovisual technology.

Equipped with modern infrastructures and the most advanced audiovisual technology, the Gaudí Centre Museum aims to give its visitors a closer look at the work of Antoni Gaudí via the use of their five senses. Visitors can experience the physiognomy of Gaudi’s shapes through touch, sound and sight, and enter into the personal concept of reality that inspired this artist’s works.

Nature, as the main source of inspiration for his work, is present in each one of the shapes that can be seen and touched so as to represent this master artist’s imagination. The museum thus intends to attract childrenyoung people and adults and make them into participants in the most unique and representative works in all of Catalonian art.

The three-storey building gathers all the elements needed to understand the work of this artist from Reus. The first floor deals with the relationship he had with the city of his birth. Here some of his manuscripts and drafts are displayed. It also provides a journey through the Modernist works left by Gaudí as a legacy.

The second floor is wholly dedicated to his artistic ideas. Visitors can discover the secrets of his visual imagination through interactive models and equipment. Lastly and on the third floor, we can see a multi-screen audiovisual show and touch models of the key works that have made the artist such a universal icon.

Furthermore to these facilities, the museum has a temporary exhibition hall, the Bassegoda room, a gift shop and the Gaudí Gaudir restaurant, on the top floor and with splendid views of the old quarter of Reus.

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Salou is popular for hen and stag parties, there were several there this weekend although it is still very early in the season and many of the pubs and restaurants are shut.

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Sport is popular in this region too. Especially Golf and Water Sports

This package is with Cassidy Golf Holidays

4 Passengers 0n 2nd Sept – 05 Nights & 3 Golf

Return flights with Ryan Air in to Barcelona

2 x hand luggage, Pre booked seat, Priority boarding Included

Mercure Atenea Aventura Twin share

Bed & Breakfast

Golf: Lumine Hills, Lumine Lakes & Bonmont

Airport transfers Included, Golf course transfers Included Price €599pp


Extras Golf club Carriage €60pp 20 Kilo luggage €70pp

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Packages to stay in the Costa Dorada


If you’d like to mix it up and just visit the parks for the day and maybe tour around the culture in the area or relax by the pool, then I suggest Cambrils as a lovely town close to lots of activity but at a slower pace than Salou

This package from Tui is for June and this property is in a great location nice and quiet on the long sandy beach.

Tui Holidays  Stay at Estival Centurion Playa June 4th for one week fly from Cork Flying with Ryanair to reus

  • Cambrils, Costa Dorada, Spain
  • 7 Nights
  • 2 Adults


  • Double Room with Balcony Included
  • Half Board Included


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