Salou (Greek: Salauris) is a municipality of the comarca of Tarragonès, in the province of Tarragona, in Catalonia, Spain. The city is approximately 10km from Tarragona and Reus on the Costa Daurada and 112km from Barcelona. Salou is the tourist capital of the Costa Dorada, due to its many tourist facilities and its beautiful beaches; it is a popular holiday destination due to its Mediterranean climate. Aside from its string of beaches interrupted by rocky coves, and its landscaped promenade, one of its main attractions is the Port Aventura resort, formerly owned by Universal Parks & Resorts, the theme park division of NBCUniversal. Salou was famous for its permanent fairground at the end of the promenade. Salou is used as the base for the Catalunyan round of the World Rally Championship. The Dutch movie, Costa! and the television series with the same title were both filmed in Salou.
Used as a port by Greeks and Romans, it appeared again in an important historic event, when in 1229 the fleet of James I of Aragon departed from the port of Salou to conquer the Balearic islands, thus creating the Kingdom of Majorca and in 1286 Alfons III of Aragon also departed from this port to conquer Minorca, the last muslim territory of the Balearic Islands. Later, Salou became a nest of pirates. After that it was considered an unsafe place, so in 1530 Archbishop of Tarragona decided to erect a new defence tower, now called Torre Vella. In 1865 the railway station began to operate, opening a new development time, that led one hundred years later to a tourist boom that has brought prosperity to the town. Salou was segregated from Vila-seca on 30 October 1989 by a decision of the Supreme Court of Spain. It is considered the capital and most popular destination of the Costa Daurada.
 Get in
 Get around
As the town is in Catalonia, the main language is Catalan, but there is also a wide usage of Spanish, English, German and French. Sometimes, in certain areas of Salou, you can hear Russian, Czech and Polish being spoke too. All shops and restaurants should speak fluent Spanish, English and German.
[add listing] See
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[add listing] Buy
There are plenty of small souvenir shops in Salou, specially in the streets along the beach and in Barcelona street. You can find some upmarket boutiques further up the promenade, near the station and marina, this is accompanied by a few upmarket restaurants. More upmarket shopping is also located in the old town with a market also located their every Monday. A shopping centre is located in Vila-Seca across the road from PortAventura called Port Halley. Barcelona and Tarragona can be reached by using the many transport services for more extensive shopping.
Most shops and businesses take advantage of the lively night-time atmosphere and are open until quite late. Indeed, you can expect to see streets thronged with tourists shopping for souvenirs and gifts along with more practical items at 10pm in the evening, even in April.
[add listing] Eat
In Salou you can find a high variety of international restaurants, including many Mediterranean restaurants serving Paella as their main dish, although the standard of cuisine is of the "non-Gourmet" type therefore very casual. For more upmarket and quality cuisine, walk up the promenade towards the Marina where many good restaurants surround the area or close to the Spanish mansions along the seafront where there is a upmarket restaurant called Villa Alexander. For local cuisine there is a lovely restaurant called las Brasas.
The area also serves for those wanting fast food such as McDonalds, Telepizza, Burger king, Pans&Company, and Subway.
The neighbouring town of Cambrils is famous throughout Spain for its seafood restaurants and therefore well worth taking a visit.
[add listing] Drink
Salou is a package holiday destination for many different age groups, and is mainly known for its nightlife during the summer time. There are many clubs and discos in Salou many of them crowded they include Snoepy's, Bus Stop, Tropical Salou and the famous nightclub chain called Pacha in the neighbouring resort of La Pineda. During these months, the number of foreigners is higher than the number of locals, which justifies the high number of international bars and pubs that you can find in Salou.
[add listing] Sleep
Salou is a tourist resort and thus has many hotels and apartment blocks located there. Quality varies greatly and can be judged by the number of stars (i.e 3-Star, 4-Star) displayed outside the premises. In the past decade the accommodation on offer has improved dramatically and is no longer relied upon cheap 1/2 star accommodation with major international chains such as H10 and Sol located in Salou.
There are many contact centres in and around Salou to connect to the Internet including many hotels and apartments, which have internet access in their reception area. There are also phone boxes up and down Salou if you want to contact home. WI-FI is also available in the resort of Salou in designated areas which are clearly marked.
 Get out
Salou is a base for tourists, but is also used by young people and families as a place to relax and enjoy the sun and beach. For those who wish to see more of the surrounding Catalonia and Spain, consider these day trips.