10+ Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain

Hola from Salou, a vibrant Spanish town that over the last dozens of years quickly became a very popular holiday resort on Costa Dorada. Sandy beaches, hidden coves, world-renowned theme park, vivid nightlife, and a wide range of activities… All of that attracts thousands of people every year and makes Salou the perfect place to unwind. Believe us, this town will keep you entertained, whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo. Stay with us and discover the best things to do in Salou, Spain. 

Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain
Happy Little Traveler Authors

Created by Sonia & Wojtek

One day, we packed our lives and slowly rushed into the unknown with smiles on our faces. We’re full-time digital nomads traveling in Europe who inspire to live, travel, and discover differently. Sunny coastal destinations are what we love most. We share travel guides, tips, and know-how to make planning your next trip a piece of cake. Real human experience and verified facts only!

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Salou, Spain FAQ

Where is Salou located? 

Salou is a small coastal town located in Catalonia in the Province of Tarragona on Costa Dorada in Spain. It lies only about 10km from Tarragona and 100km from Barcelona.

Is Salou worth visiting?

For strictly holiday purposes – yes. Chances are really very high that you’ll enjoy days spent on the beaches, and experiencing various attractions nearby. For a one-day trip, it’s not necessarily the best place, as there are not many things to explore. Unless you’re in a close neighborhood or have some free time on your hands. We think there are many better places in the area. For example, Cambrils, Sitges, Tarragona, Siurana, or Reus to name a few. However, we also found Salou as a good starting point for discovering Catalonia.

What is Salou best known for?

Salou is best known for being one of the most popular holiday resorts on Costa Dorada. It offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. There you’ll find beautiful landscapes, great sandy beaches, many exciting attractions, good food and lively nightlife. Holiday entertainment for people of all ages – guaranteed!

Salou Letters near Els Pilon monument
Fountains of Salou - Font dels cargols

Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain 

Beaches in Salou

One of the best things to do in Salou is definitely to hit the beach and soak up the Mediterranean sun. As befits a popular holiday destination, this town also boasts some pretty beaches. From long and wide sandy beaches to small, more secluded ones – there is something for everyone’s taste. Also, the beaches in Salou are known for their calm, shallow, and crystal-clear waters, which makes them perfect for holidays with small kids. 

The most popular beaches are Platja de Llevant, Platja de Ponent, Platja dels Capellans, and Platja dels Llenguadets. All of them get very crowded very quickly in the high season. If you prefer a little quieter and secluded spots, you can choose between smaller cove beaches located a little further from the town center, like Platja Llarga, Cala Penya Tallada, Cala Font, or Platja de la Cala Crancs. 

Discover The Best Things To Do In Salou
Beaches in Salou - Platja de Capellans

Platja de Llevant

Platja de Llevant, which stretches for over 1km, is the main Salou beach on which you’ll find various amenities like toilets, showers, volleyball pitches, kids’ playgrounds or umbrellas, and sunbeds to rent. Also, the street beyond it is lined with many shops, restaurants, and bars. There you’ll also be able to take advantage of many water sports opportunities like jet skiing, parasailing, paddleboarding, or riding on a banana boat. If you travel by car you’ll be glad to know that there are two huge parking lots right beside the beach. 

Photo tip. If you’re looking for colorful Salou letters for epic photos you’ll find two of them right next to the Platja de Llevant! The first is located in the middle of Passeig Jaume I near Fonts ornamentals fountain. The second one can be found at the end of the beach, on a small viewing platform, near the Els Pilon (giraffe-looking) monument. 

Platja de Ponent

Playa de Ponent is the second most popular beach in the city, located just a few steps from Platja de Llevant. It’s narrower, with fewer amenities, and usually also much quieter, offering a more tranquil vibe. There you’ll find places like a big kid’s play area, volleyball pitches, and some beach bars and restaurants. 

Platja dels Capellans

Platja dels Capellans is the third most popular beach in Salou. It’s fairly small and loved by the locals, offering a fairly quiet escape from the bustling town center. Soft golden sand, tranquil shallow waters, and watersports opportunities invite people of all ages to have a nice time on this beach. There you’ll also find some amenities like bars, restaurants, showers, or sunbeds to rent.

Beaches in Salou - Platja de Llevant
Discover the best things to do in Salou, Spain.jpg

Port de Salou

Port de Salou is located right between Platja de Llevant and Playa de Ponent. To be honest, it’s quite small and not too interesting but behind it, you’ll find a great viewpoint. To get there you need to turn right into a small and narrow passage next to Monumento al Pescador and a few boat rental booths. At first, it doesn’t seem that it’d be worth it but believe us – it will. 

Views over Platja de Ponent from Port de Salou
Views over Playa de Ponent from Port de Salou

Passeig Jaume I de Salou

Passeig Jaume I is about a 1km long promenade that runs alongside Salou’s main beach, Platja de Llevant. It’s a perfect place for lazy strolls in the shades of many palm trees while admiring the sea in the background. Along it, you’ll find points of interest like four Salou fountains, a huge monument of Jaume I, and Salou letters. 

On the street behind Passeig Jaume I there is a Tourist Office, Casa Bonet (a historical villa featuring a magnificent ornate facade and decorations) as well as many restaurants, bars, and small souvenir shops.

Interesting fact. Promenade, as its name suggests, is dedicated to James I of Aragon, a 13th-century king who reclaimed the County of Barcelona and other Catalan counties from the French. 

Passeig Jaume I de Salou with Jame I monument
Things to do in Salou, Spain - stroll in Passeig Jaume I de Salou

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Fountains of Salou

Another great thing to do in Salou is to watch the light spectacle of the town’s fountains located on Passeig Jaume I. In total, there are 4 fountains on the promenade but only two of them, Font Cibernetica and Font Lluminosa, offer synchronized light and sound shows on summer nights. For current show hours please visit visitsalou.eu website. 

Interesting fact. Font Lluminosa is the oldest fountain in Salou, built in 1973. 

Note. Sometimes fountains don’t work even during high season. For example in 2023 due to the drought alert protocol, fountains were out of use and we didn’t have a chance to see any show.

Torre Vella

Torre Vella, or Old Tower in English, is a 16th-century stone defense tower built to protect the area against pirate attacks. Nowadays it serves as an art gallery with various exhibitions. Entrance to Torre Vella is free (September 2023). For current opening hours visit visitsalou.eu website.

Cami de Ronda

Cami de Ronda is a 5.5km long coastal path. It starts at the end of Platja de Llevant, near Els Pilon (a huge giraffe-looking monument), and ends at Salou lighthouse. It offers beautiful views over the sea, beaches, bays, and coves. In some parts, you’ll find wooden walkways but overall it’s not a path for people with mobility difficulties. We would also advise you to wear more sturdy shoes than flip-flops!

During the hot days, we advise you to walk this path early in the morning or in the late afternoon/evening when the sun isn’t too strong. Overall, walking Cami de Ronda is definitely a great thing to do in Salou for active travelers. 

Cami de Ronda coastal path starting point near Els Pilon
Cami de Ronda Coastal Path in Salou Spain

PortAventura World – Theme & Leisure Park

PortAventura World is another amazing thing to do in Salou, especially for those looking for some thrill and adrenaline rush. It’s a world-renowned theme park and resort complex featuring a diverse array of attractions from heart-pounding roller coasters to captivating live shows. It’s divided into multiple zones, each with its own unique theme, including Ferrari Land, inspired by the iconic Italian car brand, or Caribe Aquatic Park where slides and pools are the main attraction. There are also many restaurants and theme hotels in the park to choose from.

PortAventura World is located just a few steps from Salou town center. There are various ticket options available to choose from – one-day or multi-day tickets, and to one or more theme parks. Visit the portaventuraworld.com website to check out all options and choose the best one for you. 

Other things to do in Salou, Spain

Salou tourist train

Do you want to see Salou without tiring your legs? Then you might want to take advantage of the Salou tourist train that will take you on a leisurely ride through the town’s most important spots. Train starts its journey on Plaça Europa and the ride lasts for about an hour. The ticket costs €6 for adults and €4 for children (September 2023) and the audio guide is included. For current timetable and prices visit visitsalou.eu website. 

Karting Salou

Another quite popular thing to do in Salou is to race at Karting Salou, an adrenaline-pumping haven for racing enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Here visitors of all ages and experience levels can put their racing skills to the test on various circuits. It’s a great activity for friends and whole families. 

Ticket prices depend on various factors like season, chosen circuit or kart, or number of races. For current prices and opening hours please visit kartingsalou.com website. 

Nits Daurades

Nits Daurades, which literally means “Golden Nights,” is a vibrant annual event in Salou that adds a sparkling touch to the summer nights along Costa Dorada. This lively festival which is usually held in mid-August is a celebration of music, culture, and entertainment that lights up the town’s streets and beaches. The Nits Daurades features a diverse program of events, including live music performances, dance shows, street parades, and fireworks displays. 

Locals and tourists alike gather to revel in the festivities, enjoying open-air concerts and sampling delicious Mediterranean cuisine from street vendors. Nits Daurades is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, soak up the joyful ambiance, and make lasting memories during your visit to Salou.

How to get to Salou, Spain
Other things to do in Salou, Spain - Watersports activities

How to get to Salou, Spain?

Salou is located about 20km from Tarragona, 10km from Reus or Cambrils, and 100km from Barcelona. The most convenient way to get to town is by car, bus, or train.

Where to park in Salou?

If you’re traveling by car you can choose from many parking lots in town. We recommend leaving a car in this parking lot right next to the promenade. It’s paid in the high season, between June and September, and free in all other months. 

Airports near Salou

The closest airport to Salou is located in Reus (15km away) but it looks like it’s used mostly by travelers from the UK, Ireland, and Netherlands. The next airports, the more popular ones, are located in Barcelona and Girona. All airports offer bus connections to Salou. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.

To Salou by bus

You can easily reach Salou by bus. For example, a trip from Tarragona will take about 25min (€1-3), 10min from Reus (€1-4) or 2.5h from Barcelona (€18). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.

To Salou by train

From some places like Tarragona, Girona, Barcelona, or Castellón de la Plana you can also easily get to Salou by train. You can check out a map of available train connections on the acprail.com website. 

To Salou by taxi 

The most expensive option, but also the fastest one if you care about time. For example, a trip from Cambrils will take only about 10min (€13-16) and 12min from Tarragona (€18-22). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.

Camping Salou

If you’re traveling by camper, campings like Camping & Resort Sangulí Salou, Camping Cambrils Caban, or Camping La Llosa might interest you. All are located in or near Salou.

Sunbathing in Salou, Spain
Watersports activities in Salou, Spain

Things to do in Salou, Spain – Summing up

Without a doubt, Salou is a great holiday destination for those who are looking for sun, great beaches, and lots of holiday activities. If you’re a traveler or digital nomad currently living in the area and you’ve already seen great places nearby like Tarragona, Reus, Siurana, Sitges, or Barcelona and still have time for more – you can make a short trip to Salou (best connected with Cambrils) as well. In other cases, we’d recommend skipping it as overall there aren’t too many things to do in Salou. 

Our video from Salou

Our opinion about Salou, Spain

We lived in Salou for 6 weeks (May to mid-June) during our second season of digital nomad life. During that time the town was already fairly busy with holidaymakers. As a big holiday destination, Salou itself didn’t steal our hearts at all, but we found it a good starting point for discovering Catalonia

We can understand why this place is a popular holiday spot but for us, it got quite boring after two or three weeks. Beaches are indeed good, but we think that much better ones can be found all over Spain. Also, it was unbelievable how crowded and busy they got even in early June when the temperatures got to around 30°C. We don’t want to even think about what was happening there in July/August. 

Happy Little Traveler opinion about Salou, Spain

Restaurants, accommodations, and map

Check out various recommended places below.

Where to sleep in Salou?

Arquus Little Hawaii Apartment in Salou, Spain

Arquus Little Hawaii

Arquus Little Hawaii is a modern and stylish air-conditioned apartment situated in the heart of Salou. It features a kitchen, bedroom, living room with a flat-screen TV, terrace with an amazing view, and a seasonal outdoor pool. Famous PortAventura is located only 1.5km away from the apartment.

Sol Costa Daurada Hotel in Salou, Spain

Sol Costa Daurada

Sol Costa Daurada is a beachfront resort in Salou offering guests a memorable Mediterranean experience. With its modern and comfortable accommodations, multiple swimming pools, and a wide range of amenities and activities, it's an ideal choice for families and couples looking for a fun and relaxing vacation.

Capellans Vista Mar Apartamentos in Salou Spain

Capellans Vista Mar Apartamentos

"Capellans Vista Mar Apartamentos" in Salou offers stunning sea views and a convenient location just a short walk from the beautiful Playa Capellans. The apartments provide a comfortable and relaxing stay, with spacious rooms and modern amenities. With its proximity to the beach and various entertainment options, it's an excellent choice for travelers looking for a beachside holiday in Salou.

Regente Aragón Gastronómico in Salou Spain

Regente Aragon Gastronomico

Regente Aragon Gastronomico hotel features many comfortable bright rooms, a heated rooftop pool, an outdoor pool area, a gym, a terrace, and a restaurant that serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Its central location provides easy access to Salou's beaches, shops, and entertainment options.

Accommodations photos source: booking.com

Salou, Spain - Map of places

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10+ Best Things To Do In Salou, Spain

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