The Costa Dorada (Costa Daurada in Catalan) has always been popular with Spanish holidaymakers from areas inland and to the west of the Costa Dorada – places such as Lleida and Zaragoza. However in the last 20 years, much like the rest of Spain, it has also become popular with Germans and other northern Europeans as a summer resort.
It has always been more uniformly a budget destination than places such as the Costa Brava and the Balearics, and this is reflected in the types of properties available, as well as in other ways such as the quality of restaurants and shops on the coast.
Apart from Tarragona, which due to its past as the capital of Roman Iberia has some stunningly beautiful parts to it and is an undeniably sophisticated city, many of the towns on this coast are modern and fairly tacky, though efforts are now underway to upgrade the attractions of this coast to bring in more discerning visitors.
Inland from the coast you are a world away from all the tawdry urbanisations and costal developments. The area is attractive in a rural and agricultural sort of way (almond and olive plantations are common), though not particularly verdant. There are villages to explore, and undulating countryside to walk and ride in. The Ebro river delta to the south is one of Spain’s most beautiful natural parks, and a paradise for twitchers.
However beyond the rural attractions there is not much else to do, so those looking for a stimulating and sophisticated social life should think twice before permanently locating to this area.
Having said that it is fairly easy to escape to Tarragona, Sitges, or even Barcelona for shopping and cultural binges and then retreat back to the quiet and tranquillity of the countryside.