Beach life

We thought long and hard whether we should even mention that the Priorate is “only” 40 kilometres away from the beach, and we, who barely ever go there at all, simply disregarded this fact for years. Until we realized that many of our guests do love driving ”down to the sea“ every now and then. Well then, here are our helpful hints. If you are keen on “getting your feet wet“, you should definitely do so in Altafulla or on one of the little beaches on the way there, instead of going straight to Tarragona (before of after the beach, you can go there on a sightseeing tour of the many relics left behind by the Romans all over the place). So please don’t mind passing right by Reus and keep going on R.N. 420, past Tarragona, from where you’ll only have another 12 kilometres or so to Altafulla. On the way there, you will come across a Roman aqueduct, a Roman quarry containing the “dimension stone”, used for standardizing all rocks delivered to the construction sites of Imperial Tarraco, and, last but not least, the Tower of the Scipiones, the founders and benefactors of this town. Altafulla itself is divided in two, so-to-speak. This little town by the mountainside boasts a very beautiful old town with a fortress and is lovely to walk around in. Further down the hill you will find two beaches: a gorgeous long, sandy beach without high-rises, but typical single-story beach villas. At the end of the long beach (i.e. when walking to the right) you will find another fortress, and the beach will become more and more lonely. When walking (or driving) to the left, you will have to negotiate a very steep coastal stretch to reach the small sandy beach with its pine forest and precious shaded areas. You will even come across a lighthouse if you continue on foot to Torredembarra. Here is where young daredevils can be found jumping off the cliffs into the sea (from a height of at least 10 meters), and picnics taste just great in the shade under the pines. Even the Romans knew it way back then, and not far from this little treasure visitors can go on a tour of a Roman villa, together with a small museum and all the works. In summary, Altafulla offers everything anybody could wish for: an old town for strolling around and, good restaurants, ruins, pine forests, a long beach to walk along, a small beach for snorkelling (with a steep cliff line on both sides). What else could anybody wish for!? Well, you surely have our blessings if you wish to leave the reclusiveness of the Priorate, although we can barely find the time! And another thing I nearly forgot! In the opposite direction, next to La Ampolla, very close to the Ebro Delta, several small beaches (large pebbles, no sand) have recently been linked up to a hiking trail. Best to be reached via Falset, Mora, Perelló, Amposta, La Ampolla. This hiking trail, which runs consistently along the sea, will ultimately take hikers from the French border (near Colliure) all the way down to the Ebro Delta. Hundreds of kilometres are already finished (or is the trail already running straight through? We are not quite sure ourselves. At any rate, this new trail makes the Camino de Santiago positively look like a promenade.