A short distance from Tarragona and only an hour from Barcelona by road, Altavola is a pretty town on the Costa Dorada that can boast sun and sand without the crowds and tourist pressure of other stretches of this entire strip of the Catalan coast.
A Mediterranean city with a fishing past and contains all the ingredients that captivate us if what we are looking for is to enjoy this coast, but it remains a secret corner of medieval character and great Roman wealth, thanks to the presence of Roman villa Els MontesUNESCO World Heritage.
Along the Mediterranean coast, we discover places that, although well-known locally, have passed relatively unnoticed regional borders and are now highly desirable destinations for those seeking quieter, less crowded environments.
It surprises Enclave of the Costa Doradanear a city like Tarragona or popular tourist spots like Salou, still far from the big crowds.
Excellently positioned for launching towards many other destinations of great tourist interest in Catalonia, whether along the coast or going inland, Altafulla shows us its charm as we descend from its highest point – where its medieval castle is – to the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The wide sandy beach in front of the town, which corresponds to the nucleus Altafulla Beach or Baixamarconsists of more than one kilometer of coastal enjoyment with all the advantages of the climate and the coast of the Costa Dorada.
The Club Marítimo de Altafulla sets the most dynamic notes by offering us all kinds of nautical activities at the end of the esteemed Boutigues de Mar, the waterfront of the city, where the row of white houses – many of which were built during the 18th century – make up a pretty coastal postcard. We can enjoy it sitting on one of the terraces.
Further, the sandy area leads us to the mouth of the Gaià River – Wild Fauna Nature Reserve – and in the distance, to the magnificent view of Tamarit Castle.
Between medieval walls and Roman villas
Between the center of Baixamar and the Briseis del Mar neighborhood is what forms the central and oldest core of the city of Altafulla. A beautiful medieval urban complex that arose under the protection of a thousand-year-old castle. the name of the Villa ClausAs this ancient part is known, it allows us to peek into its ancient walled features, several sections of which are still preserved along the perimeter of the enclosure.
Meanwhile, the slopes of Vila Closa inform us of a road created on a high point that served as a watchtower and defense of the coastal environment. The manor houses, left many centuries behind, such as the Maiden’s House, represent the later residential use that this sector would have adopted until it filled the interior space and made it necessary to extend the houses down to the sea.
Recognized as a Historic Artistic Site, its streets gently invite us to walk through it and discover corners full of charm and heritage value such as the Plaza del Po, where, in addition to the well that gives it its name, a monument to the “castells & rdquor;.
The legends about witches that surround Villa Clossa and are part of the local folklore do not prevent you from admiring this old town whose culmination point is the grouping of the parish church of St. Martí and the castle of Montserrat linked together.
But the medieval character of Altafulla would remain weak without paying attention to its Roman past, represented in the lower part, at a very short distance from the sea, by the Roman villa of Els Munts, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site two decades ago as part of the archaeological site of Roman Taracco. It is one of the best preserved aristocratic villas in Spain and one of the great demands of the inhabitants, both for its importance and for constituting an attraction quite different from what we would expect in this sunny destination on the Costa Dorada.