Costa Dorada lifestyle
You'll find plenty of tourist shops and boutiques in all Costa Dorada's main resorts, selling everything from beach gear to Spanish souvenirs like pretty ceramics, glass and traditional handmade fans. Make a beeline for the lively street markets that appear weekly in Cambrils and La Pineda - they're good bets for bagging handicrafts, cheap clothes and one-off trinkets. For more exciting shopping, Tarragona's main street is lined with swish boutiques, whilst for ultra-fashionable retail prowling, Barcelona obliges with its big brand name outlets and classy designer stores.
All along the Costa Dorada, you'll find plentiful Spanish eateries and tapas bars mingled in with British-style restaurants, fast food joints and pubs catering for tourist palates. For authentic Spanish eats, Cambrils offers some gourmet Catalan haunts and renowned fish restaurants, which specialise in the catch-of-the-day brought in by its fishing fleet. Expect lots of fresh fish grilled or oven-baked in salt, and don't miss specialities like suquet - a satisfying fish stew like bouillabaisse. Other popular regional dishes include butifarra sausages, bean casseroles, and speciality cheeses. And make sure you enjoy your fair share of Catalonia's sparkling wine, cava - it's perfect for summery sipping.
The Costa Dorada has something for everyone on the nightlife front, but generally the mood in places like Cambrils remains low-key with most people enjoying relaxed drinks and dinners in tapas bars and restaurants. For something livelier, take off for party-mad Salou, which jumps with pubs and music bars. For nightlife of a more Spanish kind, Tarragona's your place. Around the port, a wide array of hip bars and clubs attract a young crowd, pounding out pop and techno till very late.
Costa Dorada holiday resorts
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