Even though it is a holiday town, there’s a feeling of simplicity. Altafulla seems to have somehow escaped the kind of mass tourism that some of the other seaside towns of the Costa Dorada enjoy. This charming seaside town, that is drenched in artistic and historic heritage, has plenty of facilities to keep a savvy traveller happy, yet enough peace and tranquility to ensure a relaxing holiday on the Costa Dorada.
1. Go to the beach
Altafulla Beach: The beach of Altafulla is a golden, sandy, blue flag family beach, with crystal clear water. The length of the sand strip by the sea is just over one kilometer and offers ideal conditions for a family holiday on the beach. During summer there’s plenty of watersports to choose from at the sailing club (Club Maritim) and a lifeguard service. The beach is accessible for those with reduced mobility and offers services like sunbed and umbrella rentals, showers and toilets. Free parking available in the neighbouring area.
Canyadell Beach: Small, sandy beach, located in a cove, between Altafulla and it's neighbouring town of Torredembarra. It tends to be peaceful normally, and is a semi urban beach.
2. Explore the promenade - Botigues de Mar
The sea part of town features a wonderful, authentic promenade, stretching out for several hundreds of meters, making a nice afternoon walk admiring the sea as well as the old Botigues de Mar. These small buildings were used by traders used to store their products, and the fishermen to leave their tools and nets. In the early 20th century they took on a new reason of life, and they were converted into family holiday homes, but the traditional feel still exists.
The Altafulla promenade has an authentic, rustic charm, with a kind of fishing village feel. There are a few cafes and restaurants to tempt you to sit down for a while and listen to the lovely, lapping sound of the waves.
3. Hike from Altafulla to Torredembarra
On the beach, the old Roman Villa del Munts is signalized. Go northwards to the impressive red rock cliffs. Continue walking until you reach a small cove, the Canyadell Beach, and a cliff called Bramadora Rock, that will lead you to the famous Torredembarra lighthouse, from where you can already see the town´s marina. Inside, there is the well-known Roca Foradada from which hot water springs and where, years ago, the locals went to bathe. Cross the marina to the beginning of the promenade Passeig Marítim de Torredembarra. Right there, at the same roundabout, you will find the La Guadalupe boat. The promenade is wide and full of beach bars and restaurants to eat or have a good vermouth. Just in front of the promenade is the large Platja de la Paella beach in Torredembarra, where you can have a good swim. This hike is not difficult, although it might get a bit tricky at some point.
4. Visit the old Roman Villa del Munts
Built during the 1st century A.D., Els Munts, the Roman Villa, was one of a number of Roman towns that were built around Tarraco, the great Roman city that today is known as Tarragona. Els Munts is close to the beach of Altafulla, and was the residence of the governor of Tarraco, Caius Valerius Avitus and his wife Faustina.
It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2000 as part of the Roman remains of Tarraco. It's fantastic location, on a hill overlooking the sea, makes it a must-see attraction when you visit Altafulla. A great family activity are the interactive tours that take place, in which Caius and Faustina, the old hosts of the Roman villa, will welcome you and tell you everything about how life used to be like here over 2,000 years ago. Visits are possible all year around, except on Mondays.
5. Sail on a Catamaran
Cruise the Mediterranean waters on a catamaran along the coast of Altafulla. Crystal clear waters, rocks and a bit of snorkelling! Spend your afternoon relaxing on the swaying of the waves and enjoy! Sunbathe on the deck or take a dip in the Mediterranean turquoise waters. Do you need a little more fun? Grab your mask and dive into the water to do some snorkelling. Ask about this fantastic activity at the Club Marítim Altafulla (they are right on the beach). They offer loads of fun water sports from Paddle surf, kayak, windsurf, kite surf to an initiation to sail a traditional Patí (Catalan vessel). There is also a restaurant and a bar on site.
UHC Tip: Put on a lot of sunscreen and a hat!
6. Vila Closa - Old town + Montserrat Castle
Today, the old town is known as Vila Closa, a well-preserved structure of medieval, narrow and winding cobbled streets lined up with 300-year-old buildings. It is of great artistic and historic importance.
Vila Closa is crowned by Montserrat Castle, also known as Altafulla Castle, a fortress of close to 1,000 years of age with a triangular-shaped floor which is part of the enthralling Gaià Castles Route. From the castle you can also enjoy fantastic views of the Baix Gaià area. Vila Closa was declared a Historic-Artistic Architectural Complex by the Government of Catalonia in 1998. Guided tours are available at the town hall.
7. Enjoy nature at the mouth of the river Gaia
At the Tamarit beach beside Altafulla, the Gaia river joins the sea. You might want to visit this wildlife nature reserve with abundant fauna. It has a big rabbit population, plenty of badgers, foxes, squirrels, moles and weasels, as well as an impressive variety of bird species. Watch out for the squirrels that have their homes on the top of the pine trees, near the mouth of the Gaia River. Many walking trails are available along the riverbank, through fields of wheat and on to the beach with amazing views of the Tamarit castle perched on the rocky cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean sea. You can have a drink at the lounge bar of the Tamarit Beach Resort. The walk is easy and flat. The walking path starts at the Club Maritim of Altafulla. You can't miss it.
This is a fun afternoon activity for the whole family!
8. Delightful Tamarit Castle
Overlooking the beach of the same name, is the delightful Tamarit Castle, which dates as far back as the 11th century. Tamarit Castle is around a 3.5 km drive from Altafulla town, but it belongs to the municipality. It includes both residential and defensive elements, including a prison, watchtowers and a church, which, with its three naves, barrel-vault ceiling and straight chavet, is one of the purest and earliest examples of Romanesque architecture within the Tarragona municipal boundaries. In the early 20th century, an American collector bought it and restored it. The castle and its superb location make it very special. You can only see this amazing castle from the outside. It's used for weddings and special events.
9. Get a ride on the Trenet
A fun and comfortable way to discover Altafulla is to get aboard the hybrid Trenet (Little Tourist Train). It connects the sea area with the urban centre old town of Altafulla. The train hop on hop off ride starts at the Plaza de los Vents and runs daily during summer months at 11:00, 12:00 and 13:00am. If you prefer an afternoon or evening trip, you can start the tour at 18:00, 19:00, 20:00 and 21:00pm. The tour lasts 1 hour. Buy your tickets at the start of the trip from the driver. A ticket costs €3,30. Special prices for kids under 12.
10. Interesting day trips to
The short distances with other towns and other places of interest like the wonderful city of Tarragona, Salou, Cambrils, Torredembarra or Hospitalet de L'Infant make Altafulla an excellent starting point and destination for a fantastic holiday on the Costa Dorada.
Get a closer look at the essence of Catalonia and visit the Route of the Geniuses (Picasso, Gaudí, Miró,...) or the Cistercian Route. Of course if you have children with you, it may be difficult to avoid a day out to Europe’s biggest theme park - PortAventura WORLD, which is in Salou, located 25 km away. Must do: a day trip to Barcelona! Take the train from Altafulla and get off at the Paseo de Gracia in the city centre of Barcelona.
If you want to spend your family holiday in Altafulla or any other neighbouring destination, we can suggest a few Holiday Rentals in Altafulla. Don't miss our destination guide with more and plenty of nice accommodations on the Costa Dorada. Enjoy a stress-free holiday with our FREE cancellation policy and 24/7 support.