From parasailing over the Salou coastline, to screaming your way around some of the world’s biggest rollercoasters, and paddle boarding to mysterious caves, these excursions on the Costa Dorada are guaranteed to give you your adventure fix!
If you read my recent post about my trip to Catalonia in Spain, you’ll have seen that this was no ordinary trip. Rather than receive an hour-by-hour itinerary of activities, meals and hotels organised by the tourist board, they invited me on a ‘mystery trip’.
I’ll admit I LOVE planning and researching, and out of all of my friends, it’s often me who is in charge of logistics! It comes naturally to me.
On this trip I found the feeling of ‘not knowing’ an interesting one. In some ways it was liberating. I’d arrive somewhere, take part in an activity, and then head off to the next spot. I didn’t have to plan or think ahead.
Yet, when you don’t know what you’re doing, you start feeling anxious about what lies ahead. What if the tourist board thought it’d be good to really push me outside of my comfort zone with a bungy jump or skydive? Would I go ahead with it out of politeness or have a total meltdown?!
I needn’t have worried. They selected excursions on the Costa Dorada that fit with my passions, interests and none of them were a million miles from my comfort zone!
If you’re looking for a general guide to the best things to do on the Costa Dorada, don’t forget to read my guide. For now, it’s time to reveal more about the adventure activities I took part in. Buckle up, and prepare for some serious adrenaline!
Four amazing adventure excursions on the Costa Dorada, Spain
Parasailing in Salou
Nothing beats the feeling of flying through the air attached to a parachute, but with the security of a boat below that is in control of your movements. I’ve been parasailing a few times before (in Mexico and the UAE) and it’s one of my favourite beach activities.
For those of you thinking I must be really brave… I’d say it looks much scarier than it is! When you’re on the beach and see people reaching dizzy heights, with their little legs dangling down as they parasail over the water, it looks pretty terrifying. In reality, the experience is relaxing and enjoyable, like floating along with the clouds.
This activity was organised via Estació Nàutica. Once on the main parasailing boat you’ll be put in a harness and then attached securely to the parasail. Then it’s a case of the captain moving the boat forward so as to catch the wind in the sail, as the rope is let out. Gradually you rise up, and in moments you’ll be at a height of around 50 metres, looking out over the beautiful Catalan coastline.
From up there I could see the shape of the land and take in why the region is known as the ‘golden coast’. Little rows of houses and hotels lined the seafront, as the silhouettes of the mountains loomed behind. I could even see the outline of the huge rollercoasters at PortAventura World (more on that below!) I loved the experience, and would definitely recommend trying parasailing during your holiday on the Costa Dorada.
Parasailing Excursion On The Costa Dorada
Price: 60 Euros for 1 person, 100 Euros for 2 people or 140 Euros for 3.
Duration: 10 – 15 minutes in the air
Find out more about parasailing in Salou.
Jet Skiing in Salou
I’ve been on the back of a jet ski a few times before, but this was the first time I had the chance to drive one. A little way from the beach in Salou is a jet ski circuit, marked by four buoys in a large rectangle. As there are no obstacles, boats or people in the water here, it’s the perfect place to try jet skiing for the first time.
I was a little nervous before as I was aware of just how fast a jet ski can go! Would I be able to control it? Would I be brave enough to go fast? Would I fall off?
I’m happy to say it was REALLY good fun. As I picked up speed I screamed with excitement, crashing down on the waves and taking the corners at a seriously acute angle!
Jet Ski Excursion On The Costa Dorada
Price: 50 Euros
Duration: 15 minutes
Important info: You can fit two people per jet ski. The main driver should be 18 or over, and kids can ride on the back from the age of 7.
Find out more about jet skiing in Salou.
Stand up paddle boarding in l’Hospitalet de l’Infant
I’ve been paddle boarding all over the world now, from Sicily to Florida and Barbados to Croatia, and I genuinely think it’s my favourite water activity of the lot. There’s something so special about gliding on top of the water, taking in your surroundings, while you use your own core strength and energy to propel yourself along.
When we arrived in the small beach town of l’Hospitalet de l’Infant I could see kayaks and paddle boards laid out on the sand. I was SO happy to discover that not only would we be going paddle boarding, we’d be visiting somewhere very special. This activity was also organised via Estació Nàutica.
La Cova del Llop is a small cave a few km along the coast, and the only way to reach it is from the water. We’d be stand up paddle boarding to a cave! How incredible was this as an activity?
In a group of five, with a boat close by (which would pick us up when we got tired!) we set off from the beach, gradually finding our balance and moving to the standing position. Views were lovely, the sun was warm and I was pretty mesmerised by the bright turquoise shade of the water.
After around 45 minutes we hopped off our boards and onto the boat, picking up a bit of speed to get to the edge of the cave. Then we hopped back on our boards and made our way inside. Brave cliff jumpers dived from above our heads, while swimmers made their way from a nearby bay to the entrance of the cave.
My eyes adjusted to the cave’s darkness, and I started to make out the domed shape above. The water was calm, and a few people were splashing around. We shone a torch and made our way into the cave a little deeper, spotting stalagmites and stalactites. Bats flapped around overhead, adding to the mysterious atmosphere.
Then it was back to the boat, and finally back on our paddle boards to make our way back to shore, where we enjoyed a refreshing drink and a snack. I really loved this experience, and can’t recommend it enough!
Price: 35 Euros
Duration: 3 hours
Important info: You don’t need to have paddle boarded before, so it’s suitable for first timers.
Find out more about this paddle boarding excursion.
Enjoy the rides at PortAventura World
The most popular place to visit in this region of Catalonia is PortAventura World. A totally different excursion on the Costa Dorada to the water activities I’ve already mentioned, at PortAventura World you’re guaranteed an adrenaline-filled adventure as you acquaint yourself with one of the biggest and best theme parks in Europe!
Visiting this theme park is like going on a mini-tour of the world. Start in the Mediterranean, passing cute tapas bars and the super speedy rollercoaster Furius Baco, before making your way to China for some tasty Asian cuisine and the park’s biggest rides Shambhala and Dragon Khan, before relaxing in the lush Polynesian area and finishing your day marvelling at the great pyramid in Mexico.
There are over 40 rides to choose from, suitable for all levels and ages. We started with Furius Baco, which reaches a speed of 135 km/h in just 3 seconds. I was propelled upwards, screaming my way as we followed the track! There was no going back…
My favourite ride was Shambhala, which kicked off with an 80m drop, then went insanely fast, with serious G-force kicks throughout. I also enjoyed Tutuki Splash – a water ride that drenched me when I least expected it.
It’s worth noting that there’s plenty for kids too, with the Sesame Street themed Sesamo Aventura area my top pick for little ones. There are also shows and displays throughout the day, including a Wild West re-enactment, a Mexican fiesta with music and dancing, plus a soap bubble magician performing some mysterious tricks, so be sure to check the schedule so you don’t miss anything!
Next to PortAventura World you’ll find Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land. These are all located on the same complex, but require separate tickets. Caribe Aquatic Park is a water park with 17 rides and slides, and plenty of areas to enjoy the water (perfect on a hot day!) Meanwhile, at Ferrari Land you’ll find a mix of rides, games and experiences, including the impressive Vertical Accelerator ride – the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in Europe.
PortAventura World Excursion On The Costa Dorada
Price: 55 Euros for adults / 48 Euros for under 11s (if bought in advance online) which gets you into Ferrari Land too. Prices start at 29 Euros for adults at Caribe Aquatic Park.
Important info: If you’re short on time, or have a little extra money to spend, I’d recommend getting an Express Pass, which allows you to skip the queues on the most popular rides. I’d also recommend arriving when the park opens, or staying until late to avoid long queues.
Check latest prices and book your ticket to PortAventura World here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my favourite adventurous excursions on the Costa Dorada. If I had to pick a favourite, it’d probably be the paddle boarding as I loved the experience of visiting the cave! Don’t forget to read my top things to do on the Costa Dorada before your trip.
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