Tarragona - the provincial capital in southern Catalonia - encapsulates some breath-taking highlights of Spain's Mediterranean coast. Always under Barcelona's shadow, some would say that Tarragona is an underrated city in Catalonia, but owing to its proximity to the coast and history-rich Roman ruins, it's a worthy site to see. You might want to set aside more than a day to fully embrace the charm of this city, but if a day trip is all the time you have, we've got you covered on the top sites to visit.
With its exquisite setting in a steep slope between Roman walls, the Tarragona Amphitheater is the first highlight to visit. It was built in the late 100s, right next to the sea and measures about 359.3 by 283.8 feet with enough room to hold around 14,000 spectators! Since much of the original structure remains, you can easily make out the amphitheater’s arena floor, where gladiators and wild animals would have been hoisted up.
Tarragona's Romanesque and gothic cathedral will sneak up on you. The streets around it are compact alleys with traditional local amenities, colorful buildings and antiques shops and restaurants. Keep walking through these breathtaking alleys until you will arrive at the Plaça de Santiago Rossinyol, where everything opens up and you can see the regal gothic facade with its striking rose window.
Les Ferreres Aqueduct (Pont del diable) of Tarragona
If you walk about five minutes north of Tarragona, you will reach a 820-feet section of an aqueduct that channelled water from the Francolí River to Ancient Tarraco. The Les Ferreres Aqueduct has 36 arches and soars up to 89 feet from the valley floor. If you aren't scared of heights you can walk along the specus, where the water flowed!
Platja del Miracle in Tarragona
This beautiful beach stretches about 1640 feet along the edge of Tarragona and is ideal for swimming in the warmer months of the year. With its fine sand, facilities such as showers and changing rooms and numerous beachside cafes and restaurants, Platja del Miracle is an ideal escape from the city life!
Be sure to check out these iconic locations the next time you are planning a day trip to Tarragona!