Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Catalan Pre-costal range, the Roman Empire settled in 217 BC the capital of the Roman Province Hispania Tarraconenses, nowadays called Tarragona. This spot, an hour long drive by train* from the main city of Catalonia hosts the most impressive Roman heritage in the region, which was included in the list of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2000, several awe-inspiring sand beaches and a vivid city inhabited by 150.000 people. Do you want to discover this city which, according to the poet Lucio Anneo Floro, is “the eternal spring town”?
Places of interest
As we said, Tarragona hosts the most spectacular and well-preserved Roman remains in Catalonia. From the amphitheater nearby the sea-shore to the aqueduct known as El Pont del Diable, Tarragona’s downtown hides magic corners, lively squares and majestic buildings. La Placa de la Font, where the Roman Circus was placed, is now the main square of the town. Dominated by the city hall building, this big rectangular which is full of restaurants and bars with terraces to drink local vermouth (vermut) or eat an ice-cream is one of the main entrances of to the old town.
From there the visitor can walk through the Carrer del Cos del Bou – if you are lucky you can see la Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona building a human tower – to the Pretorium, a tower with an underground connection between the lower to the upper side of the city, which was also the residence of the Governor. La Placa del Rey (The King Square), behind the Pretorium, hosts el Museu Nacional Arqueologic de Tarragona (30% discount for Ej!kartica-EYCA cardholders).
Passing by La Placa del Forum (The Forum Square), a nice place to rest and enjoy the local life, the visitor will arrive at the Romanic-Gothic Cathedral, located on the highest spot of the city and circled around with diocesan dwellings and palaces. Next to the temple there is el Museu Biblic Tarraconense (free for Ej!kartica-EYCA cardholders).
What to do?
If you are a beach person, you are in the right place! Tarragona and its surrounding villages have beautiful sand beaches. Not let the whole world know that you are a tourist, so please do not go to Miracles’s beach, the closest one. La Rabassada, La Savinosa, Cala Romana or La Platja Llarga are well connected beaches and coves by bus and are located in more natural environment. You can also enjoy the landscape strolling. All beaches are connected to each other through paths which cross the pines forests and the sea-shore. On the contrary, if you enjoy hicking or biking in the hills, you can go to El Llorito, where there is a picnic and barbeque area; or La ruta secreta (the secret route) where there is El Pont del Diable. All Ej!kartica-EYCA holders have 10% discount on renting bikes in Biking Point!
The article continues in part II. 😉
*Ej!kartica-EYCA cardholders (14-26 years old) have 20% discount in all trains of the Spanish Railway Network (Renfe).