August 24, 2016 1 Comment

Salou – Just Blackpool on Steroids?

Recently reading reviews on Tripadvisor, I was surprise to see one tourist described Salou as “Blackpool on steroids”. Well I haven’t been to Blackpool since the mid-80s, but I was in Salou last year, and see absolutely zero similarities, other than both are popular holiday destinations. Sure, there are parts of the town that are dedicated to pubs and nightlife, but if you don’t want that you are better going inland or to a very quite village. Pubs and clubs in Spanish resorts provide jobs to young locals who have to make a living. In this article we will take a look at Salou as a town to consider for relocation.

Salou is in the province of Tarragona, around 110 km to the south of Barcelona, and just 12 kilometres from Tarragona city. The town is very popular with holidaymakers and also with expats from the UK, Germany and Holland. Being within such easy reach of Tarragona, the resort is perfect for expats who want the ambience of a tourist resort combined with the work opportunities available in a city. Salou is known as the tourist capital of the Costa Dorada and has a population of around 30,000 permanent residents, which is made up of around 75 percent Spanish nationals and 25 percent expats.

Things to do and places to visit in Salou

Like many other Mediterranean beach resorts, the beaches of Salou are the main attraction for visitors to the town. The name “Costa Dorada” means “Golden Coast” and this description fits the coastline of Salou perfectly. The sand at Salou is fine and golden, and the main beach has very shallow waters which are ideal for children, as you can wade out for several hundred yards before you become anywhere near out of your depth. In Salou you have the choice of beaches with the usual tourist attractions such as water sports, beach bars and sun lounge hire; or you can opt for one of several more intimate coves in natural surroundings.

salou-beach

There are plenty of visitors in Salou to keep local businesses going during the summer months

Like in most Spanish resorts, bars and restaurants feature on every corner of Salou, and the Murillo and Carles Buigas streets are particularly popular for nightlife as they are home to many pubs and clubs that cater to all tastes from British pubs providing sports, quizzes and karaoke, to Hip Hop clubs that stay open until dawn.

The shops of Salou are more than adequate to satisfy even the most addicted shopaholic, as the entire town can be compared to a huge open-air shopper’s paradise. The range of merchandise available is immense; from old-fashioned traditional shops to cool contemporary concessions selling the latest and most trendy gear.

For those who like to spend time in nature, the Cap de Salou is a beautiful and geographically interesting rocky area that juts out to sea, and is inhabited for the main part by pine trees and other distinctive vegetation not usually seen on the coast of Spain. The headland has some magnificent coves with crystal clear waters; and once the busy summer season of July and August is over, it is the perfect place to find peace and solitude.

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PortAventura

PortAventura, situated on the outskirts of Salou, is the most popular theme park in Spain. This fabulous recreation area is visited by around 4 million people each year, and is within walking distance of Salou, or 8 minutes drive by car.

port-aventura-Aloha-Tahiti

Aloha Tahiti show at Port Aventura

PortAventura boosts water rides, Europe’s tallest roller coaster, a Wild West town, live entertainment and shows scheduled throughout the day, plus much more. There are plenty of pools, restaurants, bars, kid’s clubs; all ages will find something to enjoy at PortAventura.

Regardless of whether you live in Salou or visit the park as a tourist, a trip to PortAventura will be an experience that stays with you for a long time, and somewhere you will be sure to visit at least once a year when your friends and relatives visit from the UK, should you decide to relocate to Salou.

port-aventura-wild-west

Wild West section of PortAventura

The park also provides 4000 jobs to locals and temp workers each year. For maniy positions no skills are required as full training is given. While the wages may not be overly high, many of the positions offer full work contracts for six or even nine months, which is quite lengthy compared to many jobs in the Spanish tourism sector.

Getting to Salou from the Airport

Another great advantage of opting for Salou as a second or permanent home is the town is located just 9 miles from Reus airport. You can take a bus, taxi, or airport shuttle into Salou from Reus.

Salou Weather

Salou enjoys hot summers and mild winters. The yearly average temperature is 20.7°C, with the average high temperature in July and August reaching an average of 29°C. Daytime temperatures during the cold winter months average around 14°C. The region experiences 2,510 hours of sunshine a year, and only 64 days of rainfall.

Expat Life in Salou

Salou as a relocation spot is very suitable for most people’s requirements.

With the city of Tarragona being extremely close by, work opportunities are better than in most Spanish resorts of a similar size. Teenagers and unskilled workers from the UK also have the benefit of living on the doorstep of one of the most popular tourist attractions in Spain, and as native English speakers will have a fair chance of securing seasonal work at the park with a long-term contract.

Living so close to the airport is also a fabulous benefit particularly when you first relocate – even if you don’t visit the UK or have your friends over to visit you for a while, knowing you can without too much inconvenience is always a comfort should you feel homesick at any time.


Comments

  • Dan Thomas

    I went to Salou 10 years ago with my family. Lovely place but we went in the height of the summer months and it was heaving. Would like to visit in the quieter months when no one is there just to see the difference.

    January 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Reply

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