While Tarragona has its own municipal beaches, the nearest W resort of international renown 4 is Saloon, about IO kilometers down the coast. This cosmoÂ¬politan centre calls itself Playa de Europa (beach of Europe). Salou’s good fortune is due to its twomilelong beach, borThe town of Salou (proÂ¬nounced Saloo) distinÂ¬guishes itself with almost uniÂ¬versal good taste: the villas and blocks of flats maintain high architectural standards, the gardens are well kept and even the modern monument to James I the Conqueror fits right into place. The beach at Salou was the port of embarkation for James’ armada which dered by a lavish promenade with solid rows of stubby palm trees and masses of colorfully arranged flowers. What’s more, swimmers who need more adÂ¬venture can desert the beach and opt for half hidden coves around rugged Cape Salou.
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Real life along the coast: fisherÂ¬men crouch over nets, while shopÂ¬pers exchange strong opinions. wrested Majorca from the Moors in 1229. Salou’s suburb of VILAFORÂ¬TUNY, with another long beach, consists primarily of exclusive , villas protected by high fences or hedges. The landscaping is exceptional. CAMBRILS, often described as a typical seafaring village, is a standard fishing port which happens to interrupt the solid , line of beaches down the coast.
Its charm centres on the large fleet of boussmall fishing boats carrying oversized lamps for night duty. Cambrils , can claim to be something of a gourmet town. Its waterfront counts more fine seafood resÂ¬taurants than many a metroÂ¬polis. Enthusiasts drive there from miles around, not for the water sports nor the scenery, but just for a meal. MIAMI PLATJA has plenty of sand and sea, yet doesn’t quite live up to the glamour of its name. It’s just a quiet resort community of villas and apartÂ¬ments and family hotels. But the setting is dramatic hills and cliffs push right onto the beaches. Â
L’AMETLLA, by happy conÂ¬trast, is a no nonsense, picture postcard fishing village. Four nearby beaches make it something of a tourist centre, but this hasn’t marred the town’s picturesque charm. With its solid seawall, Fishermen’s Guild, ice factory and a few cafes, it remains a genuine fishing port.
Just past the small port of L’ AMPOLLA, the remarkable Ebro Delta begins. This lush, tropical peninsula more than 100 square miles was created from the mud travelling down the River Ebro all the way from Zaragoza. The river continues its land reclamation work and the delta expands quite perÂ¬ceptibly each year.
A rich rice growing district, it’s all so flat that sometimes, with the reeds growing tall along the back roads, the level of the canals seems higher than the road. The delta is a rallying point for migratory birds and for birdwatchers with binoculars or cameras.
AMPOSTA, a town of nearly 15,000 people, dominates the delta. It is considered a key centre for sports fishing. In earlier times, Amposta guarÂ¬ded the river route and charged a toll on ships heading inland.TORTosA (population 50,000) commands both banks of the Ebro, which explains its straÂ¬tegic importance since ancient times. Julius Caesar awarded Tortosa the title of indepenÂ¬dent municipality. The elaboÂ¬rate fortress at the top of the town belonged to the Moors, who held out there at length during the Christian Recon quest in 1148. The castle of San Juan is still known by its Arabic name, La Zuda.
Tortosa’s cathedral, now a national monument, appears at first sight to be abandoned an menaced by the town around it. But you can enter through ) the cloister, which is well shaded by tall pines. The caÂ¬thedral, built during the 14th,Â 15th and 16th centuries, is a classic example of Catalan ‘ Gothic. Don’t miss the 14thÂ¬century triptych, painted on wood, and the two 15thcentury carved stone pulpits.
Attempts to make the River Ebro a major navigational channel Aragon’s ageol dream of an outlet to the seaÂ¬have been dormant for 50 years. But the river still permeates everyday life in Tortosa. It looks as if it’s carrying all the soil of Spain out to the Mediterranean not the sort of river you’d want to swim in.
The last town of any note along the coast, before the provincial boundary marks the end of the Costa Dorada and the beginning of the Costa del Azahar, is SANT CARLES DE LA RAPITA. Its huge natural harbor, supplemented by manÂ¬made seawalls, serves a prosÂ¬perous fishing fleet. A good deal of shipbuilding activity may be seen here, as well. But what makes Sant Carles(popuÂ¬lation a bout 10,000) different from all the other towns is its main square.
This gigantic plaza looks just the place for a coronation paÂ¬rade. It is so enormous, and the town itself so small, that there aren’t enough shops and offices to fill its perimeter; many of the buildings are just private houses. The square was a city planning brainstorm of Charles III, an eccentric 18thÂ¬century ruler who pictured Saint Carless as a port of internaÂ¬tional significance. The granÂ¬diose project died with him in 1788, but the legacy of his street plan and the melancholy square remain. Impertinently, the main road to Valencia goes right down the middle of Charles’s freakish plaza.
Pictures of Camping Sant Jordi and the adjacent Playa at L’Ampolla. Remember it is only May hence the few people about on the Campsite and in the Town. What a beautiful spot! From www.a-motorhome-on-tour.co.uk
Video Rating: 5 / 5
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