Tarragona is one of the provinces that makes up the Autonomous Catalan Region. It is also the capital of the 'Costa Dorada' with over 160 kms of coastline. Spain's largest theme park, Port Aventura, is in Salou, just south of Tarragona (see Hotels in Salou).
Tarragona city is situated on a hill next to the sea,
something which as well as being important strategically, gives it excellent views
over the mediterranean. It is principally a port city which has evolved and adapted
over time. The petrochemical industry is an important industry for this province,
the port is used for its transportation. Infact it is the second most used port
in the whole of Spain.
One of the most outstanding features of Tarragona city is its important monumental heritage which is currently being evaluated by UNESCO to see whether it can be awarded world heritage status.
In 218 B.C. the city was invaded by the Romans who established themselves there and converted it into the capital of 'Hispania Citerior' calling it 'Tarraconenses'. In 45 B.C. Julio Caesar made it into a colony. Most of the monuments which form the city´s cultural heritage were built during the Roman occupation: the ampitheatre, the aquaduct, the city wall, the Escipions Tower and much more.
Following the Roman occupation it was recovered by the Christians, then it was invaded by the French, the Germans and later much of the city was destroyed by the Muslims in 716 A.D. a period of decadence followed this. Thanks to the Catalan-Aragonese kingdom and maritime trade the city quickly recovered. In the 12th and 13th centuries, following some years of conflict wine-growing, agriculture and fishing emerged as its main industries contributing further to its recovery.
Things to do and see in Tarragona city:
remains include: the 'Forum de la Colonia' (3rd century) and the Provincial Forum
(1st century), theamphitheatre (2nd century), the Circus (81 - 96 A.D.), the Cathedral
Walking around Tarragona: You can find almost eveything of interest within the old city walls. The most important street is 'Las Ramblas' which leads to a great viewing point called the 'Balcón de Europa' where you can get great views of the lower part of the city (the fishing neighbourhood of Serrallo).
The Roman Wall: It was built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C.
A good part of it still remains as do 3 towers from the same period.
Cathedrals and Churches:
Churches in Tarragona Amphitheatre:
Ferreres Aquaduct (also known as the devil´s bridge): It was built in
the 2nd century to transport water from Gaiá river in an area called Alt
Campo some 30 kms north of Tarragona. It is 217 metres long and 26 metres high.
Located on the A7 road into the city.
The Barà Arch: Located on the N-340 road, 20 Kms from Tarragona. It is a monumental Arch built in the 1st century.
CANALS House: Located on the Granada road. It was built in the second half of the 2nd century B.C. It is connected to the city wall and was used to transport weapons to the city walls if the city was under attack. In the 15th century a 2 storey house was built. Charles 4th stayed there in 1802. It is currently used as the City´s Historical Museum and Archive Centre.
Castellarnau House: A 15th century mansion which is used as the Tarragona History Museum.
The Cister Route: This not only takes you to 3 monasteries, but also offers the opportunity to see interesting scenery and make cultural and historical visits along the way. It is 104 kms long and can be done on foot, bicycle or even on horseback, it covers 3 areas: Alt Camp, Conca de Barberá and Urgell (this last one being in the province of Lérida):
The Mèdol Quarry: A Roman quarry 9 kms north of Tarragona,
near the old Roman road 'Vía Augusta' which links Rome with Tarragona.
Centcelles Mausoleum: It has some outstanding mosaics.
Compras: You can buy many products from the province such as olive oil and wine - we recommend the Conca del Barberà, Priorat-Montsant, Penedès, Priorat, Tarragonès and Terra Alta wines.
Tarragona Province: See also Hotels
in Salou if you are planning on visiting Port Aventura (see video of
roller coaster in Port Aventura Theme Park at bottom of page).It has a lot
to offer tourists. As well as 216 kms of golden beaches, small coves and marinas,
it has some natural areas ideal for hiking, mountaineering and canoeing. There
are 4 golf courses and 4 Pitch & Putt courses; water parks and Portaventura
a well known theme park. Most outstanding is the number of historical monuments,
medieval villages, prehistoric caves with wall paintings, Roman churches, monasteries
(Roman and Cistercian) and other remains. There is a Parador in Tortosa (see photo
on the right).
EL EBRE NATIONAL PARK: It has World heritage status. It consists of 320 square kilometres of Mediterranean marshland, making it the second largest marsh in Europe. There are both fresh water and salt water lakes, rice fields, salt mines and forests. It has an ideal ecosystem for flowers and plants. There are over 300 types of birds and beautiful natural beaches.
MONTANYES DE PRADES: Mountain range consisting of ravines and pine and oak and forests. The Francolí, Brugent, Ciurana, Glorieta rivers start from here. An outstanding natural area.
MONTSANT MOUNTAIN RANGE: Within the area known as el Priorat. It is 20km long. A beautiful area it has:mountian peaks (the highest being 1163 metres high), ravines, you can do a wide range of adventure sports here such as bungee jumping...The Montsant river starts here.
MERAVELLES CAVES: in Benifallet: Exceptional formation.
FONT MAJOR CAVES: in l'Espluga del Francolí: prehistoric caves, interesting geology.
ABRICS RUPESTRES de
Ulldecona: Picturesque 8000 year old caves. World heritage site
Towns and villages in Tarragona:
|Travelling to Tarragona? The following links may also be useful|
|Guides provinces bordering with Tarragona and beautiful places in Spain nearby|
|Travel guides to Spain|
|Guide to Alicante||Guide to Almeria|
|Guide to Avila||Guide to Barcelona|
|Guide to Caceres||Guide to Castellon|
|Guide to Cuenca||Guide to Girona|
|Guide to Guipuzcoa||Guide to Lerida|
|Guide to Murcia||Guide to Tarragona|
|Guide to Valencia||Guide to Zamora|