This weekend visit to Vila-seca i La Pineda comes with all the delights of exploring its monuments and its seafront, as well as the wines that are produced in its natural setting, the Sequía Major. You'll even have time to hear some live music in the Josep Carreras Auditorium. The Costa Daurada is waiting.
IN COLLABORATION WITH PATRONAT DE TURISME DE VILA-SECA.
Start your visit with a peaceful stroll through the central streets of Vila-seca, an area that has been transformed over the past few years into a thriving commercial hub. Along the way you'll pass 11 information points that identify the town’s main monuments, each one bearing the name and year, and a QR code that lets you access information about the monument in five languages. Your walk starts at the Creu de la Beguda, at the Raval de la Mar, and will take you to the town’s medieval towers, the Ruidoms gate, the Vila-seca castle and the Noucentiste bodega.
In the evening, we recommend a visit to the innovative Josep Carreras Auditorium to hear one of the many concerts on their programme.
Even in autumn and winter, the days are sunny in Vila-seca i La Pineda, and you just need a little sunshine to enjoy a stroll along the shore. So on the first morning of your visit we recommend a walk along the nearly three-kilometre stretch of seafront of the Pineda Beach, one of the largest public urban spaces that opens to the sea. The walk takes you to the Raval de la Mar and on to the Torre d'en Dolça park, named after its 12th-century tower (renovated in the 16th century), that stands in the middle of the park. The councils of Vila-seca and Catalonia restored the tower in 2005, and on the day of the San Antonio traditional horse-races, part of the town’s festival held in January, the tower is open to the public. You can also visit the Pinar del Perruquet park, and the Pineda group of sculptures, by Xavier Mariscal, which are a landmark symbol of Vila-seca i La Pineda Platja.
This region is also famous for its grapes, which in this country means wine, and therefore bodegas. After lunch you can head to two of the area’s best, Clos Barenys and Vinyes del Terrer.
Clos Barenys is a family bodega and vineyard at the foot of the old Vía Augusta, and it's likely that the Romans themselves picked grapes from the same soil. Today, wines from Clos Barenys–Mas Bach bear a Tarragona denominación de origen label. The Vinyes del Terrer bodega produces 35,000 unique bottles, following a manual harvest, the reduction of the initial temperature of the grape before processing, and a diligent selection. If you enjoy the world of wine, this will be your favourite afternoon, and there will be plenty of opportunity for tasting after your tour.
The wetlands are full of reed beds, rushes and grasses, and provide shelter to a wide range of wildlife, including some endangered species, like the fartet fish and the European pond turtle. It's easy to see how this area is of great ecological importance, and it's been protected since 1992. Although the wetlands are in danger, it is possible to visit with a guide between August and February, outside the birds’ nesting season. The wetlands are called the Sequía Major, and provide the morning’s activity, with an area of 17.3 hectares that include a kilometre-long canal, remains of the old wetlands, and two floodplains. The alternating saltwater and freshwater in the area have resulted in notably diverse environments, making this an unmissable spot to visit for any nature lover or birdwatcher. Visits can be booked by calling the Vila-seca tourist office on 97 737 30 37.
To round off an already relaxing weekend, how about an afternoon dedicated specially to well-being and the relaxation of body and soul. The town has two places given over exclusively to such pursuits, at the Aquum Spa&Wellness, (4,000 square metres of ocean-inspired facilities, including a children’s spa for over-fives), and the Spalas Spa&Wellness, a water haven where your tension just flows away under the pressure jets or the different massage techniques on offer. You’ll leave feeling renewed and full of energy.
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.
Adjoining the Conservatory of Music, this auditorium bearing the name of Catalonia’s best known tenor has a diverse programme of classical and popular music concerts. It also occasionally hosts conventions and symposiums.