ITTN’s Carrie Day and Shane Cullen met with Hèctor Maiquez Forcada (Vice President, Salou Tourist Board) and Pere Granados (Mayor of Salou) to find out the trends from Fitur 2023. They shared stories of the capital of Costa Dorada plus the positive news that the Salou season is expanding.
Carrie & Shane, both former travel agents, commented how Salou was one of the biggest destinations year-on-year for Killiney and Kilkenny. The Irish love it and their numbers have further increased due to a successful targeted campaign last year.
Connectivity to Costa Dorada
Salou captured the hearts of the Irish seeking sun and sandy shores decades ago. We as a nation have travelled on masse to this Spanish town and seaside resort. It has blue flag beaches with over 14 km of coastline. Nestled in the region of Tarragona it is easily reached by air with an abundance of flights to Reus (20-minute transfer) and Barcelona (1-hour transfer) airports.
Season Stretches from April to November
The tourist season in Salou, typically synonymous with the summer months, now spans from spring through to late autumn. Expanding the tourist season benefits both those travelling to Salou.
It is likely the off-peak season will prove popular with those looking for cheaper flights or lower accommodation rates. Equally, off-peak temperatures are still very attractive compared with our rainy climate. In addition, it takes some of the pressure off the area during the peak summer months in terms of tourist population. Furthermore, it spreads the revenue throughout the year which benefits the businesses and locals working in the tourism industry. Of course, it benefits the environment too so it’s good for everyone.
A Stroll from Salou to Cambrils
Stroll the beachfront promenade from Salou and it will lead you to the charming, neighbouring town of Cambrils. Having enjoyed both fam trips and family holidays here, it’s well worth a day trip by foot or bike.
Families looking to entertain the kids en route can take a dip in the sea or a diversion to the many playgrounds dotted along the family-friendly beaches. In Cambrils, visitors are rewarded with fantastic seafood and fresh tapas in this quieter spot largely populated by locals.
High-end boutiques lay almost hidden just back from the main street which is largely eateries catering for every taste but fashionistas and grandparents looking to spend a pretty penny won’t be disappointed with the designer offering for adults down to infants. Keep an eye out for the markets which set up stalls along the promenade, selling local produce, crafts and artisan goods.
Coastal Path along Salou’s Shores
This 6.5km route runs around the coastline from Els Pylon’s monument, in the most northern point of Llevant Beach, to Replanells (2km) and then, using the original path, all the way to the Salou Lighthouse (4.5km more). At its highest point, the Path is 77 metres over sea level, providing visitors with some privileged viewpoints of Costa Dorada’s coastline and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. For more on this, check out ITTN’s feature here.
Saunter through these streets for shopping or a glass of sangria in the shade from the Spanish sun. I remember a family holiday. We stopped for a drink in a quaint cobbled town square. The streets were filled with little boutiques and stunning architecture. Given the surroundings of the historic quarter, we thought a coffee and glass of wine at a parasol-covered table in the courtyard would set us back a tidy sum. The total was under €3 and needless to say, we stayed for the afternoon and ordered delicious tapas while we watched the hustle and bustle of life pass by.
PortAventura World is not just for the young but packs a punch for thrill seekers and the adrenalin-inducing attractions are enough to entertain even teenagers’ attention spans.
Carnival of Carnivals
Salou in Fitur 2023 treated the audience to a carnival of costumed dancers – promoting the newest event in PortAVentura World. Hector shared the inaugural Carnival of Carnivals will be held this year at the resort. It runs from 17th February to 26th March. This celebration will have singing, dance, acrobatics and more. The event brings together the carnivals of Rio de Janeiro and Venice in a kaleidoscope of colour, music, dancing and parades. PortAventura describes it as “Street entertainment, parades of troupes, batucadas… Everything your body needs to keep the party going so that you can experience a different and unique Carnival that you’ll always remember.”
Tickets can be purchased on the website and start from €40 per person – Carnival of Carnivals (see below for agent & supplier login links).
Uncharted Launches Mid-2023
Also new for 2023 is the launch of Uncharted, named after the recent Sony Pictures film starring Tom Holland. This is a new rollercoaster ride in PortAventura World in the Far West area. For rollercoaster fans, this is a dark ride. It will feature 5 launches with up to 1G acceleration. The attraction is expected to open in mid-2023!
The summer season offers three experiences to keep all ages entertained. Included are retail prices for tickets. See here for Supplier & Travel Agent login pages.
Snapshot Summary of PortAventura World
|Park||Description||Adult / Junior & Senior (aged 4-10 or 60+)*|
|PortAventura Park||Theme park with 6 separate worlds and 40 attractions plus daily shows||from €40 / €35|
|Ferrari Land||An adrenaline rush from 16 rides and games in a theme park dedicated to the Italian motor racing team||from €18 / €16|
|Caribe Aquatic Park||a water park with huge pools, waterfalls and an oasis of lush vegetation and palm trees. Themed on Caribbean pirates with 16 attractions and pools for all ages it has over 2km of slides!||from €31 / €27|
Price Packages for PortAventura World
Multi-day tickets offer great value. For example, 2-day passes to 2 parks start from €52/ €46 (adult/child). 3-day passes to 3 parks from €82/€72 (adult/child). Note, prices are correct at time of print and are subject to change. Check out the Port Aventura World website for more details. It includes options to pair with transport, express passes as well as ticket and hotel stay packages.
A handy link is the list of activities through the seasons of PortAventura World which can help plan itineraries. Remember, early bookings offer great discounts on the PortAventura World hotels – see hotel promotions.