On sa­fari... in Spain

Euro­camp regulars STEVE WOLLASTON and fam­ily en­joy a Euro­pean break with an African twist

Accrington Observer - - TRAVEL -

A FTER three years of trav­el­ling var­i­ous parts of Brit­tany and South­ern France, I de­cided it was time for a change and headed for the Span­ish sun­shine for my an­nual Euro­pean va­ca­tion.

We de­cided that the Costa Do­rada area and in par­tic­u­lar Salou would be a great place for a change of pace and af­ter sev­eral pre­vi­ous suc­cesses with stays at Euro­camp des­ti­na­tions, we based our­selves at one of their coastal hol­i­day parks.

Our jour­ney started and in­deed ended at Birm­ing­ham Air­port where di­rect flights run to Reus Air­port on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

We booked valet park­ing with Hol­i­day Ex­tras to en­sure a quick and smooth ar­rival for our very early flight. An ex­tra ex­pense for trav­ellers but I can highly rec­om­mend this for a stress-free start to the hol­i­day.

Our des­ti­na­tion in Spain was just 11km from Reus Air­port, where we picked up our hire car from Europ­car.

Sit­ting just 200 me­tres from the sandy beaches of Salou is one of Euro­camp’s top fam­ily des­ti­na­tions, San­guli Campsite.

With four pools, end­less sports fa­cil­i­ties, kids ac­tiv­i­ties and an en­ter­tain­ment am­phithe­atre on site, it’s fair to say that there is plenty to do for all ages.

My first im­pres­sions of the parc cen­tred around its sheer size, it’s a sprawl­ing, well-spaced out and well main­tained site with a mix­ture of camp­ing and static ar­eas.

At the bot­tom end of the site it is a thriv­ing hive of ac­tiv­ity where Euro­pean fam­i­lies set up their mo­torhomes and tents in a big com­mu­nity en­vi­ron­ment

Ev­ery year I marvel at the scale of their hol­i­day plans, the fridge comes with them, arm­chairs, and of course their pets. This was the year I would wit­ness two caged bud­gies and a ta­ble with a gold­fish in a bowl on – talk about home from home.

The site is di­vided into dif­fer­ent ar­eas, we stayed in the new African vil­lage area in a swish Ma­sai Lodge. Chalets are com­pact but well equipped with a cooker, shower, ve­randa seat­ing area and that all-im­por­tant air con­di­tion­ing. They are de­signed in a style in keep­ing with the African theme, with giant lion pictures on the bed­room walls.

The restau­rant in the African vil­lage de­serves a men­tion, we went here for our wed­ding an­niver­sary and the food was gen­er­ous, ex­tremely tasty and rea­son­ably priced. Again, the Af­i­can theme in ev­i­dence, with ap­pro­pri­ate veg­e­ta­tion and a great view out over the ro­man­ti­cally lit pool.

If the won­der­ful ac­com­mo­da­tion, fa­cil­i­ties and clean­li­ness are not enough for you, you will cer­tainly be im­pressed with the lo­ca­tion.

You can get to the park’s own beach club within a mat­ter of min­utes, and it’s equally close to a host of lo­cal restau­rants, shops and bars.

A walk into the heart of Salou takes just 10 min­utes. Here you will find ev­ery­thing you need for a lively night out.

When we weren’t re­lax­ing at San­guli, we used it as a base to ex­plore the nearby towns and cities.

We caught the train up to Barcelona to ex­pe­ri­ence the won­der­ful ar­chi­tec­ture and cultural ex­pe­ri­ences that one of Europe’s busi­est cities has to of­fer.

We took in the ob­vi­ous sites of Las Ram­bla and the awe-in­spir­ing Gaudi-built Sagrada Fa­milia. We also vis­ited Parc Guell, an­other site with great Gaudi ar­chi­tec­ture and a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory. De­spite a very hot walk up a very big hill, it was pretty mem­o­rable.

The bustling city is only a train jour­ney of around one and a half hours away, and well worth do­ing if you have the time.

Closer to our base we en­joyed the for­mer Ro­man colony sites of Tar­rag­ona, a port that not only has breath­tak­ing views of the ocean but also houses the sec­ond cen­tury re­mains of an am­phithe­atre. It’s a World Her­itage Site, and it’s easy to see why. Walk­ing through the me­dieval town is like stepping back in his­tory.

An­other favourite was the pretty fish­ing vil­lage of Cam­brils, famed in the Costa Do­rada area for its cui­sine.

With a fan­tas­tic beach and an im­pres­sive port, it is awash with cy­clists, dog-walk­ers and tourists. Many come to eat and re­lax and it also has a de­cent town square and shop­ping cul­ture.

As you would ex­pect from some­where so re­liant on the ocean and its bounty, the seafood restau­rants are plen­ti­ful and great qual­ity.

That pro­duce is spread through­out the whole re­gion, from the su­per­mar­kets to cafes and restau­rants – we en­joyed many a tasty paella at our Euro­camp lo­ca­tion too.

Euro­camp are the spe­cial­ists in Euro­pean self-cater­ing hol­i­days and a stay at San­guli Campsite showed why they have been so suc­cess­ful.

Along with the fo­cus on en­sur­ing guests en­joy their hol­i­day, there is a real so­cial com­mit­ment to be­ing eco-friendly, with more than 40 dif­fer­ent shrubs, 30 dif­fer­ent trees and 17 species of birds on site. There is also a con­trolled cat colony within the grounds.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion units have so­lar pan­els, re­cy­cling points are prom­i­nent through­out the site, the swim­ming pools have also been changed from chlo­rine to salt­wa­ter.

I have stayed at a num­ber of parks in re­cent years, and while they have all been of a high qual­ity, the at­ten­tion to de­tail here made stay­ing and ex­plor­ing the Costa Do­rada area and its many coves and vil­lages a real plea­sure.

Pool ar­eas and din­ing op­tions main­tain the Ma­sai theme

Nearby Salou is a great day trip for beach fans

Euro­camp’s chalets are well equipped

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