On safari... in Spain
Eurocamp regulars and family enjoy a European break with an African twist
AFTER 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