What to visit in Tarragona in a rural Gateway
Are you traveling around Catalonia and are you looking for a rural getaway? In other post we commented the best beaches and coves in Costa Brava.
In this article we are going to talk about one of the best locations on the opposite direction, Tarragona. Not far from Barcelona is this beautiful Catalan city with Roman history. Tarragona is located in the Costa Daurada and contains wonderful places where you can go on rural excursions and where you can discover the most charming towns in Catalonia.
Costa Dorada is made up of twenty towns that cover a marine littoral 216 kilometres long, and there it can be observed spacious beaches with transparent shallow water and with clean fine sand. There are wide areas with peaceful towns and lands, where olive groves, carobs, vineyards and almond trees grow, and sometimes even vegetable gardens. The whole area has an average of 3,500,000 visitors per year.
The different towns that are found, contribute to humanizing the environment and increasing the possibilities of amusement and the use of all kinds of services for tourists. This rustic climate contrasts with the urban measurement of the chronicle city of Tarragona, which sends its impressive collection that summarizes its culture evolution. Therefore, what we want to show you in this article, is the 5 most beautiful villages near this beautiful city and how tourism is there.
What to visit in Tarrragona: 5 most beautiful villages
Before talking about the most charming towns that surround Tarragona, we want to talk about this incredible city located in the Costa Dorada. It is located 100 kilometres south of Barcelona and it is not much difficult to reach this originally Roman city, from Barcelona to Tarragona it is an hour by train. One interesting thing you have to know is that you can still find several vestiges of Roman times, such as the amphitheater, the hippodrome, the forum, the aqueducts and the Roman walls.
Nowadays, Tarragona is primarily a harbour city with a fundamental chemical industry and an understudied city. The city is found on a 160 meter tall slope, from where you have a wonderful view of the Mediterranean from different places. The ancient center consists of narrow streets, many restaurants and bars and nice squares.
In the following sections we show you our selection of the best places to visit in Tarragona, some are from the mountains and others from the coast. If you like stone villages, with charming corners and an unbeatable natural environment, you cannot miss these places! So grab a pencil and paper and take notes!
Tortosa preserves significant examples of medieval, Renaissance, baroque and modernist architecture. It has been declared to be Historic-Artistic Heritage and some of its buildings, such as the castle of La Suda, are National Monuments. It is located next to the Ebro river, very close to the Delta.
The first thing to attract attention is the Arab castle of La Suda, perched on a hill. You can stay there if you want since it has been converted into a hotel. Near the river is the old part of the city, with its 14th century Gothic cathedral with a baroque façade, three naves and a cloister, in whose interior the high altarpiece of bright colors from the 14th century stands out. Undoubtedly, you would enjoy this town. Its artistic and historical heritage is impressive.
Do you know the legend of Sant Jordi? In Montblanc, you can visit the wall where, according to legend, the knight Sant Jordi killed the dragon. Apart from this well-known legend, Montblanc is one of the best preserved and most important medieval towns in the province of Tarragona. Its conservation and importance is such that both the wall and the old town of Montblanc, have been declared a Historic-Artistic Site. Also, you can find monuments such as the Gothic Church of Santa María la Mayor, the Convent of San Francisco, the Palacio de los Josa or the house of the Desclergue.
Tamarit is an old town near the sea, to the right of the mouth of the river Gaià. The walled enclosure and some remains of the old castle survive in the good condition of the old town. It is a group formed by the old municipal prisons, the romanesque church stands out, with three naves covered with barrel vaults and a straight head. It constitutes one of the purest and earliest examples of Romanesque architecture in Tarragona. The castle has been documented since the 11th century and was destroyed in the war of the Segadors.
L’Ametlla de Mar
L’Ametlla is a very picturesque destination and a place that we would undoubtedly recommend you go to if what you are looking for is a vacation for a total disconnection with nature. And the thing is that L’Ametlla de Mar is a small fishing village full of white alleys and a charming little traditional port.
Altafulla, a coastal town in Tarragona that perfectly combines a quiet environment for families with the highest level of tourist services. It has quiet beaches full of vegetation, an ideal promenade for a walk in the fresh air and charming white fishermen’s houses.
In addition to its scenic beauty, its Vila Romana and its architectural elements make Altafulla declared an Asset of National Interest by the Generalitat de Catalunya and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.