Spring and summer getaway to Vila-seca and La Pineda
Non-stop fun and water action
This getaway to Vila-seca and La Pineda is focused predominantly on leisure and relaxation. This is the land of the PortAventura amusement park, but of lots more besides - you can also enjoy a water park, spa centres, and, of course, the area's beaches. A lot of water is involved, as you can see. We will also explore some of the unknown corners of this town on the Costa Daurada.
Afternoon day 1: Well-being and relaxation
There'll be no complaints about how we begin this getaway. If you've just finished a very stressful week full of headaches, head straight for the l'Aquum Spa&Wellness, a new spa centre with two distinct areas, one of which has a range of innovative water therapies in different thermal spaces, while the other has all kinds of treatments for the body and the mind. In total, there are 4,000 square meters of facilities inspired by the seas and oceans with the aim of promoting harmony and wellness. And if you go with your family, Aquum also has a special spa for children over five years of age.
Morning day 2: On fine sand beaches
This morning we are going to explore La Pineda beach. We probably won't have time to explore it all, since there is a total of more than three kilometres of fine golden sand on this gently sloping beach which has flown a blue flag for more than a decade. But in any case, you won't go wrong wherever you decide to spread your towel.
But first of all, let's take a stroll along Passeig de Pau Casals, which follows the coastline and is well worth exploring. It is a modern space that is open to the sea, ideal for spending time with the family. where you will also find places of interest, such as the Parc de Pinar Perruquet by Prats beach, which is the ideal place to wander round and relax with the kids. It's a natural space but with design elements based on the elements: wind, light, earth, water, and, in this case, shade. Looking south it's impossible to miss the sculpture titled Pineda which bears the signature of the famous designer Xavier Mariscal. It consists of eight steel and copper pines stretching up to 24 meters, with a combined weight of 130 tons and is now the image of the logo of the Vila-seca Tourist Board. The eight metal pine trees, which were "planted" in two phases - the first four in 1999 and the other four just six years ago - are meant to symbolise sustainability and the urban development of large spaces. And if you go further south, now following Racó beach, you will find another sculpture, in this case called Marca d'Aigua by Sergi Aguilar. It is dedicated to the writer and publisher Carlos Barral, who died in 1989, and whose ashes were scattered not too far from here on the sea front at Calafell, where you will find his house-museum.
But now it's time for a swim and a spot of sunbathing!
Afternoon day 2: Dolphins and sea lions
You know just what you'll find at water parks - wave pools, lakes, water slides of all kinds (some only suitable for the bravest) ... and above all fun, a lot of fun! Within the municipal area of Vila-seca i la Pineda, very near the beach, you have the Aquopolis water park, where you'll find all of the above. The park is especially well-known for its exhibitions featuring dolphins and sea lions, which delight the public with their acrobatic displays. Even in the months when the water slides are closed, the activities in the park continue, drawing people to the area outside the summer season. And the park offers an especially unforgettable experience for those get to swim with the sea lions and act as a trainer. However, to do this activity you do need to book.
When night falls, we recommend that you stay in La Pineda to enjoy the area's nightlife, including restaurants, bars, terraces and leisure facilities.
Morning day 3: To Vila-seca via Raval de la Mar
July 2013 saw the official opening of Raval de la Mar, a path that links the two main urban areas in the town - la Pineda and Vila-seca - in a way that's safe for motorists and pedestrians. The path is three kilometres in length and starts from Plaça de la Unió Europea in la Pineda. You can also travel by bicycle, since the Raval has a bicycle lane. Along the way, you'll find 76,000 square metres of greenery and an emblematic 363 metre long red catwalk that makes you feel like you were coming face to face with Dragon Khan.
Once you arrive in Vila-seca, take time to explore its streets and its unique and historical buildings. For example, the gate of Sant Antoni, a symbol of the town's past as a walled city, and the castle to the north of town, which is neo-medieval in appearance, and which has the Olzina tower, which is possibly of Roman origin, as its most striking component. You should also call in at the Celler de la Cooperativa, a large building designed by the architect Pere Domènech, which dates from 1919.
Afternoon day 3: All the magic of PortAventura
You might think that it's impossible to enjoy everything that PortAventura has to offer in a single afternoon, and you're probably right. But we didn't want our getaway to Vila-seca i la Pineda to be focussed exclusively on the amusement park. So, we've left it for the end of our stay, though everybody is obviously free to decide how long they spend at each place during their visit. Most of you will already know lots about PortAventura. It's an immense amusement park divided into six main areas: (Mediterranea, Polynesia, China, Mexico, Far West and SésamoAventura), with plenty of attractions, many of them unique and spectacular. Here there's something for the young and the old, for the bravest and for those just looking for a laugh, together with a lot of top quality shows and plenty of themed restaurants and hotels. Dragon Khan is still the most iconic attraction, but others, such as Shambhala, the highest roller coaster in Europe, or the Furious Baco catapult, also enjoy huge popularity among the thousands of visitors who visit the park every year. If you haven't visited PortAventura for some time you'll find plenty to surprise you, since every year sees the opening of new attractions and shows. 2014 is no exception. The latest attraction is called Angkor and it's a boat ride inspired by the jungles of Asia. It's located in the area of China, next to Shambhala, and for a distance of 300 meters, while seated on a raft carrying a water gun, visitors are faced with a constant stream of surprises and interactive challenges. And there's yet another big surprise for this summer! Cirque du Soleil presents Kooza, an adventure packed with excitement and stunts, set in a world of fantasy, making PortAventura the first resort in Europe to host a show by the company.
If you prefer you can head for the recently renovated Costa Caribe Aquatic Park, PortAventura's water park, which has plenty of attractions for younger children, as well as King Khajuna, Europe's highest free fall water slide. Having aquatic fun at Costa Caribe or taking a daring ride on King Khajuna could be the icing on the cake for a weekend in which water has played a key part.
WITH THE SUPPORT OF PATRONAT MUNICIPAL DE TURISME DE VIA-SECA
Where to stay and where to eat
Located to the north of Vila-seca, the castle is neo-medieval in style and was acquired by the town council only a decade ago. Highlights include the Olzina Tower, which is believed to be of Roman origin. The tower is quadrangular and has an inner perimeter of 5.10 x 4.25 m. and its outer walls are built of large ashlars, with a thickness of six feet. The only way of seeing inside the building is to attend the acts that are held here since it isn’t usually open to the public.
- Carrer del Castell, s/n, (Tarragona)