Costa Daurada – The Golden Coast of Opportunity
Attachment to one place of rest – unless, of course, it is connected with neophobia (fear of everything new), without irony, let’s say, commendable devotion. What could be wrong with the fact that a person has found an ideal corner for himself on Earth? And if he can give practical advice to others and thoroughly talk about why he has found peace of mind anywhere, namely here – such an experience is invaluable! Imagine, season after season, Russian tourists flock to the resorts of Costa Daurada (this is the name used in Catalan) and every year many of them repeat their trip, replenishing the number of loyal fans of it – today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. And, it would seem, with each season it’s becoming more and more difficult to diversify their leisure time, breaking away (literally) from the “Gold Coast” – everything has been investigated, everything has been worn out. But definitely not! Costa Daurada is always ready to offer its guests something new, unknown! And who will tell the inexperienced compatriots about this? Of course, those who loved this earth with all their souls (and with their whole bodies). And if in this article you will not find anything new for yourself, it means that, like us, you have long become devoted fans of Catalonia!
Let’s assume that the starting point of your trip is Salou – the most popular resort center of the coast, recognized as the “tourist capital” of Costa Daurada. Possessing the wonderful charm of the coastal city, Salou offers its guests a lot of interesting things: clean beaches, beautiful promenades stretching along the coastline, luxurious tropical vegetation, developed infrastructure of the city, represented by numerous shops, bars, restaurants and cafes designed for every taste – undoubtedly, Salou earned the title of ideal vacation spot. But if you can’t sit still …
Oysters and dunes
To the south of Salou, the Ebro River, the deepest river in Spain, flowing into the Mediterranean Sea, is divided into many branches and forms a large delta. In 1986, the Delta del Ebro National Park was created on this vast territory. In this one of the most beautiful places in Catalonia you can see rare migratory birds and more than 400 species of fish (literally see in clear water!), Lush coastal vegetation, rice fields and orchards, and for relaxation choose wide snow-white beaches with sand dunes.
You can explore the reserve on foot, by horse, by car or by bicycle, and if you are a lover of water walks, then swim along the river before it flows into the sea and back to one of the nearby towns, or go canoeing. For fishing enthusiasts, local agencies conduct fishing trips with a guaranteed catch.
For those who do not have self-catering skills, local fish restaurants offer a wide range of fish dishes. The most interesting food absorption experience you can get at the Musclarium. This is a real mussel and oyster farm located directly in the sea near the town of San Carlos de la Rapita, with its own restaurant on the water. The farm is a rectangular structure made of wood and concrete, which are fixed on the seabed. Concrete beams support a network of pillars, mainly wooden, to which the ropes are suspended, on the ropes, literally, mussels and Pacific oysters propagated by cement mortar multiply there. And if after fishing in the delta, the fishermen are forced to release their catch back into the river, or to return to the local farm, then in the Musklarium exactly everything is set! The farm workers themselves will catch oysters and mussels and serve them with sparkling wine.
Wines of Priory
The Priorat wine-making tradition dates back thousands of years and dates back to the times when Greek colonies appeared on the shores of the Iberian Peninsula. Later, during the heyday of the Roman Empire, the ancient Romans stimulated the development of local winemaking in order to provide officials with high-quality wine in the occupied territories – Italian wines could not endure lengthy transportation. So on the wine list of the turn of the millennium appeared the centers of winemaking: Cadiz, Malaga and Tarragona, and their wines began to be exported throughout the empire.
During the Arab conquest of the peninsula, the wineries, for obvious reasons, were destroyed, but the vineyards were almost not affected, which helped during the reconquest to quickly restore winemaking in Spain to its previous level. The “golden age” of Spanish winemaking has come – wine was delivered to the colonies, to neighboring countries, odes and treatises were written about it, it was glorified by poets of the Elizabethan era.
The new history of Priory began in the late 70s, when a group of enthusiasts decided to revive local winemaking – as a result of incredible work in 2000, Priory was awarded the highest level of quality for Spanish wines and is certified for DOC (Denominació d’Origen Calificada). Prior to this, in Spain, in addition to Priorat, only the Rioja wine region received this category of quality.