Salou is the tourist capital of the Spanish Costa Daurada. During the summer, the city attracts herds of tourists, mainly young people, who come to enjoy the sun, sea and the beach and who paint the town red at night in the discos and nightclubs. Families with children, however, also spend their holidays here. Salou's other big attraction is the theme park PortAventura.
The city has 30,000 permanent inhabitants, but during summer months many more people stay in and around this seaside resort.
Salou is located in the northeast of Spain, on the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast). The city lies 10 kilometers from the provincial capital of Tarragona and over 110 kilometers from Barcelona. The picturesque town of Reus lies just north of Salou.
Salou's economy almost solely revolves around tourism. Most money is earned during summer months; in the winter many restaurants and hotels are closed.
The nearest airport is Reus Airport, which is mainly used by budget airline Ryanair. It's situated over 12 kilometers north of Salou and is easily reachable by rental car. From the center you take the C-14 which runs to the airport. You can also take freeway AP-7. The way to the airport is clearly signposted on both roads.
Salou has good public bus transport, both within the city and to surrounding places, like Cambrils, La Pineda, PortAventura, Reus, Tarragona and Barcelona. There are also train connections with places along the Spanish east coast.
During summer months it's very busy in and around Salou, but you will still not have many problems finding your way around, as the city isn't that big. There are also more than sufficient parking facilities, for example near the beach. You do have to pay to park here, but it's one of the most centrally located parking lots, between the beach and the streets with the bars, restaurants and shops. If you want to avoid the bustle of Salou, you can drive in your rental car to Reus which has a small, but pleasant historical center and where you can do good shopping.
Being the tourist capital of the Costa Daurada, Salou has no shortage of accommodation. On the beach you'll find tourist hotels, holiday resorts and apartment buildings. Without exception these are practically all booked up during summer months and you'll therefore need to have a reservation, if you want to stay in Salou. There are also many hotels and guesthouses in the much quieter Reus; ideal for those who want to enjoy the beach in Salou, but are not really merrymakers.
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