Tarragona is a province steeped in history and natural beauty, from golden sandy beaches to ancient Roman and medieval monuments. If you are looking to get away from Barcelona or simply explore the region, these are the best excursions to consider.
The Monumental Complex of Tarraco
The Monumental Complex of Tarraco is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the main attractions of Tarragona. The set includes an impressive Roman amphitheater, a wall, a circus and an aqueduct. Stroll through the ancient streets of the city and admire the Roman and medieval architecture. As for gastronomy, Tarragona is famous for its seafood and olive oil, so you cannot miss dishes such as zarzuela, suquet de peix and bread with tomato and oil.
Montblanc is a charming medieval town located in the center of the province of Tarragona. It is a pleasure to walk through its narrow cobbled streets and admire its walls and towers. The Gothic church of Santa María stands out, which is located in the center of the city. As for gastronomy, Montblanc is known for its sausages and wine, so don’t miss the opportunity to try fuet, butifarra and Montsant wine.
Siurana is a small inland town, located in the Sierra de Montsant and offers impressive panoramic views. The town is surrounded by an impressive 200 meter cliff and is located on top of a hill. Stroll through the narrow cobbled streets of the town and discover its 13th century Romanesque church. As for gastronomy, Siurana is famous for its olives and its wines, so don’t miss the opportunity to try its olive oil and Priorat wine.
The Cistercian Route
The Cistercian Route is a tourist route that connects the three most important Cistercian monasteries in Catalonia: Santes Creus, Poblet and Vallbona de les Monges. Discover the history and architecture of these impressive monasteries, which date back to the 12th century. As for gastronomy, the Cistercian Route is located in the heart of the wine region of Catalonia, so do not miss the opportunity to try its wines and cavas.
The Ebro Delta is an impressive protected natural area located on the southern coast of the province of Tarragona and is one of the most important places in Europe for migratory bird watching. The delta is made up of an extensive area of wetlands, dunes and pristine beaches, and is home to numerous species of animals and plants.
To explore the Ebro Delta you can do various activities, such as hiking, cycling, boat trips or kayaking. You can also visit some of the towns in the area, such as Deltebre or Sant Carles de la Ràpita, where you can enjoy the typical gastronomy of the area.
The cuisine of the Ebro Delta is characterized by its wide variety of dishes made with fresh fish and shellfish, such as the famous delta eel or monkfish and galley rice. Also noteworthy are the rice dishes and fideuás, as well as the rice salads and seafood stews.
The Monastery of Poblet
The Poblet Monastery is one of the largest and most important monasteries in Europe. It is located in the Conca de Barberà region, about 40 minutes by car from Tarragona. The monastery was founded in the 12th century by Cistercian monks and is known for its impressive Gothic architecture and history.
The visit to the Poblet Monastery includes a tour of its different rooms, cloisters and the church, where you can see works of art and tombs of the kings of the Crown of Aragon. In addition, you can walk through the gardens of the monastery and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.
As for the gastronomy of the area, we cannot fail to mention the wines of the D.O. Conca de Barberà, which are produced in the vicinity of the monastery. These are high-quality wines, made with autochthonous varieties such as Trepat and Garnacha, and which can be tasted in the area’s wineries.
The city of Reus
Reus is a city located about 15 km from Tarragona and is known for its modernist heritage and its lively commercial atmosphere. In the city you can visit modernist buildings such as Casa Navàs, Casa Rull and the Institut Pere Mata.
Another of Reus’ strong points is its gastronomic offer, which stands out for the quality of its fresh and seasonal products. In the city you can taste typical dishes such as suquet de rap, arroz caldoso or xató, an endive salad with cod and a special sauce.
The Sierra del Montsant
The Sierra del Montsant is a mountain range found in the interior of the province of Tarragona and is an ideal place for hiking and enjoying nature. In addition, in this area is the Escaladei Charterhouse, an old house of Carthusian monks that was founded in the 12th century and that today can be visited to learn about its history and architecture.
To get to the Sierra del Montsant and the Cartuja de Escaladei it is advisable to have a car as there is no public transport available in the area. Once there, you can find hiking trails of different levels of difficulty, all of them surrounded by impressive natural landscapes.
As for gastronomy, in the Sierra del Montsant you can find numerous wineries that produce high quality wine. In addition, in the nearby towns you can try typical dishes such as olla de tros or snails a la llauna.
The Cathedral of Santa María de Tortosa
The Cathedral of Santa María de Tortosa is one of the most emblematic and representative places of the city. This majestic cathedral, in the Catalan Gothic style, was built in the 14th and 15th centuries, and is considered one of the architectural jewels of the province of Tarragona.
The Cathedral of Santa María de Tortosa is a must-see if you are in the area, as it is one of the most outstanding monuments of Tarragona’s cultural heritage. In addition, it is located in a privileged place in the city, in the historic center, surrounded by medieval streets and charming squares.
Inside, you will find numerous works of art and decorative elements of great value, such as the altarpieces by Jaume Cascalls or the frescoes on the main altar. Also noteworthy is the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, which houses an image of the Virgen de la Cinta, patron saint of Tortosa.
Another of the attractions of the Cathedral of Santa María de Tortosa is its bell tower, from where you can enjoy impressive views of the city and its surroundings. Climbing the tower is a unique experience that will allow you to contemplate the landscape of the area from a different perspective.
As for gastronomy, Tortosa has a rich culinary tradition, where local products such as rice from the Ebro Delta, eel or citrus fruits are the main stars. You cannot miss trying the soupy rice with lobster, one of the most emblematic dishes of the area’s cuisine. Other typical Tortosa dishes are cod with samfaina, stuffed artichokes or Tortosa cake.
If you are planning a visit to Tarragona, you cannot fail to include the Cathedral of Santa María de Tortosa in your list of excursions. Discover the beauty and charm of this impressive Gothic cathedral, and be surprised by the rich gastronomy of the area.
Bike route along the Vía Verde del Baix Ebre
The Vía Verde del Baix Ebre is one of the most spectacular routes to cycle in the province of Tarragona. With a length of 49 kilometers, this route runs along the old route of the Val de Zafán railway and allows you to enjoy unique landscapes while you pedal.
The start of the route is at the La Pobla de Massaluca station, from where you can rent a bicycle if you don’t have your own. Along the route, you can find several charming towns, such as La Pobla de Massaluca itself, Benifallet or Xerta, among others. In addition, the route crosses some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the area, such as the Els Ports Natural Park or the Ebro river.
One of the most impressive sections of the route is known as “El Carrilet”, a 10-kilometer section between Tortosa and Roquetes that runs through an old railway tunnel. This section is quite a spectacle for bicycle lovers and allows you to enjoy a unique experience.
Along the route, you can also find various points of interest, such as the Devil’s Bridge, an impressive stone construction found at the entrance to Benifallet, or the Els Ports Natural Park, which is one of the most spectacular in the area.
In short, the Vía Verde del Baix Ebre Bicycle Route is a unique experience for those seeking to enjoy nature, sports and culture in a privileged environment. It is a route suitable for all levels, making it an excellent option for both the most experienced cyclists and those who are new to the world of cycling.
The province of Tarragona is a place full of history, culture and nature that offers a wide variety of activities for all tastes. From beaches and coves to mountains and hiking trails and bike rides, passing through important monuments and archaeological sites, the province of Tarragona is a place that leaves no one indifferent.
In addition, its rich gastronomy, based on high-quality products and made with traditional techniques, is a fundamental part of its cultural heritage. Without a doubt, visiting the province of Tarragona is an experience that you cannot miss.