Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Holidays in Salou - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I buy baby milk in the Costa Dorada?
Local super markets sell baby foods and milks the most popular makes here in Salou is Nestlé, other baby milks and equivalents to UK brands can be purchased at local pharmacies.

Where can I exchange money?
The Villa Marina reception does exchange money and traveller’s cheques; the hotel is in an area with several banks where money can be withdrawn direct from your account or exchange. Banks are only open 08.00-14.00 Monday to Friday.

What do I do if I need Medical Treatment or Assistance?
Depending what insurance cover you have, depends on the best course of action for you. Both medical systems are very good.
If you have private holiday insurance cover, there are several medical companies that visit the hotel and have the call out facility these are recommended by Tour Operators, you will have to pay the first 70 euros for a doctor call out.
If you are only travelling with your E1-11 then you are covered by the National Clinic, which is a 5 mins walk from the Villa Marina. There will also be a 50 euro administration charge to see a doctor.
The response time and treatment is of a high standard here in the Costa Dorada.

How much is a Taxi from Reus Airport?
There are lots of taxis situated directly outside the airport and cost approx 30 euros to Salou. The Journey time from Reus Airport to the Villa Marina Hotel is 10 mins.
There is also a public bus service from the airport with Plana autocars; this would take you slightly longer.

What type of clothing do I need?

April, May are coolers months and would recommend bring your summer clothes and a few warmer clothes, these months can be prone to rain
June, the weather and temperature starts to increase and would recommend putting a light jacket in to your suitcase as could be a little cooler in an evening.
July and August – hottest months, light summer clothing.
September, October, start to cool down again as April and May.
You can never predict the weather and I would recommend that you always pack within reason for the good and bad weather.

Can I buy toiletries whilst I am there?
The Villamarina is a 2 min walk away from a large supermarket intermerche which sells all toiletries, from hair care, toothpastes, moisturisers, soaps, nappies, baby wipes etc
By purchasing products in resort helps you with your luggage weight allowance.

Can I get my Medication in Spain?
If you run out of your medication whilst here in the Costa Dorada you will require as note from your GP advising what medication it is you require and then would need to take this to the Medical centre.

What essentials will I need?
Sun cream, after sun, Insect repellent, 2 pin adaptor for plug sockets, however all these can be purchased in resort.

How much Spending money will I need?
The greatest thing about the Villa Marina been all inclusive is this cuts down the amount of money you need to bring with you, as all your food and drink is included.
It all depends on what you plan to do whilst you are here, if you want to go on trips and excursions well ensure you bring money for this. Excursions normally cost between 20 – 45 euros per adult and 15 – 35 euros for a child.
Average cost for a soft drink is 1.50 euros, half of beer is between 1.50-2.00 euros, and a pint beer is 3.50 – 4.50 euros, a meal out averages on 5-10 euros per person not including drinks.

How much duty free can I bring back?
There are no longer any duty-free allowances for journeys within the European Union (EU). Instead, you can bring back an unlimited amount of goods from travel in any EU country, as long as it is for your personal use or as a gift. In practice if you are over 17 you will be allowed up to 3200 cigarettes, 10 litres of spirits, 90 litres of wine and 110 litres of beer. If you bring in more you will have to persuade customs that it is for personal use. There are further allowances for different tobacco products and alcoholic drinks.

Do the shops close in an afternoon?
In the summer period the shops normally open 9-13 and 16-20 or even as late as 22.00. You will find that in the main tourist side that the majority of the shops stay open all day.
If you was to visit the near by cities such as Tarragona and Reus you will find that the shops do close for Siesta.

What religion is practised in Costa Dorada?
Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution, although the majority of the population is Catholic. Other religions also practised in Spain include Islam, Judaism, Protestantism, and Hinduism, all of which have places where to conduct their rituals.

What Language is spoken in Costa Dorada?
The language for the Catalonia area is Catalan; however the majority of the people do speak Spanish.

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Car Hire Costa Dorada

Driving overseas is a great way to explore, Salou and the Costa dorada you can hire a car any time. The rules of the road can be very different, so it is important that you obey them.
Hiring a car enables you to visit more towns, villages and attractions within the Costa Dorada area at your own leisure.

The Costa Dorada is famous for its beaches, resorts and theme parks. With its many exciting sites to explore and easy access too many more, this area has become one of the most popular vacation destinations in Spain.

Easily the largest tourist draw to Salou is Port Aventura, a theme park. This theme park is filled with restaurants, shows, games, and of course rides. Featured, and dominating the skyline for miles around, is one of the largest rollercoaster’s in Europe, the terrifying and exciting Dragon Khan.

Salou contains several relics that stand as testament to its rich history. During the 13th century, King Jaume I conquered this city from the Moors and is still revered today. This beach town is awash in activities for holiday makers. Beyond the beautiful beach and its sunbathing and swimming options, Salou offers parasailing, golf, tennis, cycling, horseback riding in addition to its great restaurants, family Bars and clubs. Another option is the Aquopolis Water Park or Caribe Water Park. These parks have waterslides for all the family.

Salou is also well placed as a base for exploring other interesting places. Not far from Salou and easily reached by car is the town of Figueres which features the Salvador Dali Museum. It is also near the famous city of Barcelona just 1 hour by car with its magnificent Gaudi architecture and Montserrat spectacular mountain monastery. A bit closer to Salou you will find Tarragona which has many Roman ruins including the amphitheater.

You can also experience Cambrils a small fishing village just a 15 min drive away from Salou, and watch the fishermen bring home their live catch on an evening. By hiring a car you experience the Delta Ebro, with its fantastic scenery and fishing, just 25 mins down the coast.

Hiring a car gives you the freedom and choice of planning endless activities and sights for your trip to the Costa Dorada. Villa Marina is in the perfect location for you to go and explore the Costa Dorada by car.

3 well known car hire companies here in the Costa Dorada are Hertz, Europcar and Avis, and the average price for a small car for 1 week is from 230 – 300 euros.

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Friday, 21 November 2008

Tarragona Tourist Information

Tarragona is located on the Mediterranean coast, 100 KM south of Barcelona and 9 Km from salou, Spain, in the region of Catalunya and is part of the United Nation educational scientific and cultural organisation (UNESCO).
While earlier settlements may have inhabited the area, the first occupation of Tarragona is attributed to Gneus Scipio, who founded a Roman military camp here in 218 B.C. It grew quickly and was named a colony of Rome in 45 B.C. by Julius Ceasar. Tarragona is considered the most important Roman town in Spain.

Tarragona - Getting There by Train / Bus:
The Tarragona train station is in the Plaza Pedrera. There are many to from Salou and Barcelona. The station at Tarragona is close to the port and to the main street, the Rambla Nova.
The Bus station is situated at the bottom of the Rambla and bus run approx every 15-20 mins from salou

Tarragona Attractions:
Amphitheatre Romà - The Roman Amphitheatre is located near the sea, just off the Rambla Nova.
Tarragona’s has a 12th century cathedral. Inside is the Museum Diocesà, with a collection of Catalan art you can visit for 2.40 Euros.
The Archaeological Museum - At Plaça Del Rei 5, overlooking the sea. Free on Tuesdays.
Museum Necròpolis - The Necropolis Museum outside town is one of the most important Christian burial sites in Spain, used in the 3-5th centuries.

You will find some interesting bars and seafood restaurants in the Port area near the marina. A recommend place is the de la Font area for its lively cafe and tapas scene. Remember that Spaniards eat dinner very late in the evening. Often 9pm or later therefore may be quiet up till this point.

Tarragona is also a great place to get some shopping with many high street names on the Rambla and a commercial centre right next to the bus station in Tarragona, besides being a fine city full with Roman ruins and good restaurants, is a relatively cheap place to visit whilst staying at the Villa Marina in Salou, and is just 20 mins away.
Building human pyramids is a Catalonian sport. Castellers have been building human pyramids here, some as high as 5 story buildings, for hundreds of hears. You can see them in action in Tarragona during the Sant Magi festival in mid-August
Tarragona is a great place to visit whilst staying in Salou with a mountain of history and sights worth seeing

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Monday, 17 November 2008

Golf in the Costa Dorada

There are several golf courses in the Costa Dorada for you to enjoy at your leisure and still enjoy a family holiday at the same time.

The newest and nearest one been Port Aventura Golf which is just 10 mins away from the Villa marina Hotel.

The new 45 hole Port Aventura golf complex opened in June 2008 and officialy opened in september by the renowned Australian Golfer Greg Norman and was involved in the design and development of the North and Middle golf course along with Alfonso Vidar and Magi Sarda who designed the south course.

The North Course –
Has 18 holes and is a flat course with wet lands situated in a protected nature area, with fantastic lakes. It is the most technical course of the three and the biggest challenge for players. The course has a Mediterranean style club house.

The middle Course –
Also designed by Greg Norman has 9 holes. This is an easy course and perfect for intermediate players. Been the middle course this course can be compiled with 9 holes from eight the north or south course as well.

The South Course –
As mentioned was designed by Alfonso Vidar and Magi Sarda it has 18 holes with gently sloping grounds. It is made up of pinewood and has fantastic and beautiful sea views. Holes 13, 17 and 18 have been built in to nature quarries that make the scenario for Golf that is unique to this part of Spain. The South course also has a club house, changing rooms and buggy hire is situated on this course.

Reus Aiguesverds Gold Course

This golf course has 18 holes and is a rather flat course set in Olive groves and holm oaks.
This course is made up of placed greens and water hazards, one green been almost entirely surrounded by water.
The course has a beautiful club house which was converted from a Masia and is ideal for people who may have walking difficulties.
This golf course is approx 20 mins away from the Hotel Villa Marina.

Golf Bonmont terres Noves

Wonderful Mediterranean views and a mountainous backdrop have made this into one of the finest courses in Catalonia with 18 holes. Founded in 1990 & designed by Robert Trent Jones, Bonmont Championship Golf Course is a joy to play and a real challenge for any golfer due to the natural landscape, 90 bunkers and some testing water hazards.
This course is located in Mont Roig just 30 mins away from the Hotel Villa Marina.

Costa Dorada Gold Club

This the Costa Dorada golf course offers 18 holes and is a challenge, variety and beauty to any golfer. Founded in 1983 it was the first club in the Tarragona region and is rated as one of the finest in Catalonia. It blends beautifully with the scenic valley of olive trees, pine, willows and palm trees.
This golf course is situated 10 mins away from Tarragona and approx 20-25 mins from the Hotel Villa Marina.
The clubhouse is designed in traditional Catalan style.

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Friday, 14 November 2008

Salou tourist information

Salou is particularly favoured by British tourists. Salou is served by Reus airport which is only 15 minutes drive away. Salou is located in the Spanish region of Catalunya on the Costa Dorada.

Salou is now one of the main tourist centres in Spain. Along its extensive coast you will find beautiful beaches and coves with fine sand. Salou offers an exceptional climate and is the ideal place with its shallow waters for enjoying the sea in a family holiday. Many different kinds of water sports are on offer in Salou, such as jet skiing, banana boat rides and paragliding.

Salou's Levante beach is one of the most well known on the Costa Dorada. The Blue Flag Levante Beach in Salou has showers and toilets, loungers, parasols several large car parks and snack bars on the beach. There is a big promenade with shops and restaurants surrounded by palm trees. The sailing club separates it from Poniente Beach. This promenade is also home to the amazing magical fountains. This beach is just a 10 min walk away from the Hotel Villa Marina.

In Salou you can discover lovely landscapes or spend an exciting day at Port Aventura theme park. Local cuisine is based on excellent sea food and is well worth a try. If you are not a sea food lover there are plenty of British restaurants offering you the taste of home. If you are looking for nightlife Salou is home to many family bars, late night bars and Disco's.

Salou is situated a few kilometres from the Tarragona which is also well worth a visit. Salou spreads over a broad coastal strip in which wide beaches, like those of Llevant or Platja Llarga, alternate with quiet coves of fine, golden sand. Salou is ideal for a sun and beach family holidays.

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A unique way to see Barcelona - By Helicopter

Been to the Costa Dorada or the Villa Marina before? Well you will know the Villa Marina all inclusive hotel is only 1 hour 30 mins away from Barcelona by train. The train station is a 5 mins walk away from the hotel.

There is no better way to see Barcelona the capital of Catalunya from a different and exciting view for all the family.

Cathelicopters and Barcelona Helicopters are helicopter service companies in Barcelona, that offers a unique opportunity to see the city from a different perspective. This is a fantastic day for you to take home those different photos and enjoy the thrill of flying above Barcelona.
At least 4 persons minimum, 5 maximum, must reserve in order that the trip is carried out, it needs to be reserved with time.

BCN Costa Tour:
Helipad, WTC, Commercial Port, Olympic Port, Olympic Villa, Barcelona Beach, Forum, Besos River and back to the Helipad.

Approx 45.00 euros

BCN Skytour:
Helipad, WTC, Commercial Port, Olympic Port, Olympic Village, Barcelona Beach, Forum, Agbar Tower, Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Tibidabo, Camp Nou, Olympic Ring of Montjuïc and Helipad

Approx 80.00 euros

BCNSkytour + Montserrat:
Tour: Recorrido: Helipad, WTC, Commercial Port, Olympic Port, Olympic Villa, Barceloneta Beach, Forum, Agbar Tower, Sagrada Familia, Eixample, Park Güell, Tibidabo, Montserrat, Camp Nou, Olympic Ring of Montjuïc and Helipad.

Approx 240.00 euros

The Villa Marina is the ideal location for you to go off and explore attractions at your own leisure in the area of Costa Dorada and we will give you the help and information you require for you to experience new and exciting adventures.

What better way than to have an all inclusive holiday here in this all inclusive hotel and save your spending money for exciting trips like this one.

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Wednesday, 12 November 2008

See Catalunya at a different level !

Catalunya in Miniature - Be bigger than Barcelona !

This is a unique different way to see all the sights of Barcelona and Catalunya whilst staying at the Villa Marina. Catalunya in Miniature is the worlds largest tourist and cultural complex in miniature in the world, and the only one in Spain. lets the visitors know the monuments, buildings and the most representative achievements of the Princedom.

This is the ideal day out for all the family having everything close to hand and within easy walking distance. Catalunya in Miniature gives you the history and the education on the area without having to walk too far.

The easiest way to get to Catalunya in Minature from the Villa Marina would be by means of a hire car or the train in to Barcelona then a public bus. The majority of customers who stay in the Villa Marina are traveling with children and will find that by visitng Catalunya in Minature it is a more relaxing experience then travelling around Barcelona city to see all the sights.

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Barcelona Tour Bus


Fancy coming to the Villa Marina in salou but want to visit Barcelona?, The best and most independent way to do this is by utilizing the Barcelona City Hop-on Hop-off Tour which has three different tour routes to explore the city! See the major sights aboard an open-top double-decker bus, and with over 44 stops to choose from.

You decide where to hop on and hop off around the city depending on which attraction / sight you want to visit. Spend as much or as little time at places of interest before jumping aboard for the next stop - the choice is yours!

You are given a printed information guide about each stop when you buy your ticket as well as a discount voucher for entrance to museums and main sights which is always a bonus. You can hop-on and off as many times as you like at any of the 44 stops. Tickets cost approx 20 euros for 1 day and 26 euros for 2 days , childrens (4-12) 12 and 16 euros.

The easiest access to get to Barcelona from the Villa Marina hotel would be by train. Train takes 1.30 mins and costs 12 euros return. The train station is a 5 min walk away from the Villa Marina Hotel. If you are not confident if going to Barcelona independently, then ask your representative for organised trips. Majority of people say by doing this independently you get to see a lot more of Barcelona, and specifically you choose what you do and do not want to visit.

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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Fishing Spots not far from the Villa Marina in the Costa Dorada

Fancy going fishing for the Day whilst here in the Villa Marina

The river Ebro is Spain’s longest river rising approx 50 miles and flowing 400 miles and emerges at a large delta 100 miles south of Barcelona.

There are several locations for fishing such as Tortosa, Amposta and the Deltebre, and there are organisations where you can hire a boat for the day with a guide to ensure you get a great catch, all areas within 30-40 mins drive from the Villa Marina Hotel.
Prices vary from 100-200 euros for a boat and guide for 8 hours (boats normally accept 3 anglers) . Catfish is very popular in these areas and can weigh up to an incredible 160 lbs.

The easiest access to the fishing points would by hiring a car from the Villa Marina or taking part in an organised excursion where you would be collected from the Villa Marina.

This is the ideal out for the boys or ladies whilst the rest of your family sit back and enjoy their all inclusive facilities at the Villa Marina

To enable you to fish in the Ebro you will be required to get a fishing licence which can be obtained online on the following web page www.gencat.cat cost of the licence is approx 15 euros.

Tortosa – Fishing here is concentrated in a number of pools and eddy’s created by fast flowing waters, along with some slacks and slow margin drifts.

Amposta – The water in this area is deeper, sluggish and more coloured but has been known for specimens over 160lbs.

Deltebre – An area of river which is wide, deep and nearly untapped, and the fish are mainly concentrated in the reed lines. There are some really monsters to be caught in this river.

Weather and best time to go fishing

Low season March / April the river will run high and coloured which makes catfish relatively easy to catch and locate water temperature will be cool 10 degrees rising gradually throughout April. This is the time of season when the female catfish are carrying masses of spawn.

Mid season May/ June the river is often still running high, the water will start to drop gradually with lovely sunny days and the water temperature hitting 20 degrees.

High season – July / August provides a consistent sport even in the heat of the day with water temperatures around 25 degrees.

If you like fishing and beautiful scenery then this is a great opportunity to relax and participate in this sporting event.

For more information please do not hesitate in contacting the Villa Marina who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

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Why choose The Costa Dorada and the Hotel Villamarina

In the south of Catalonia, Costa Dorada, dotted with seaside villages such as La Pineda, Salou, and Cambrils, is an area of long fishing tradition and Salou is home to the Hotel Villa Marina Club.

The long beaches are filled with fine sand. The Costa Dorada is the most popular family holiday destination. Suitable for families, and couples the Hotel Villa Marina Club making no exceptions, it offers an ideal tranquil, restful holiday ASWELL AS FUN, ACTIVITY HOLIDAYS. This 3* All inclusive hotel is the only hotel in the Costa dorada which is 100% all inclusive and has 100% occupancy to the British Market.

There are 20 municipalities that make up Costa Dorada stretch along a seacoast of 216 kilometres, with 786 hectares of extensive, clean, sandy beaches washed by crystal, shallow waters. Lying between the sea and the mountain range are wide open areas, home to tranquil villages and fields of crops ranging from vineyards and olive groves to carob, hazelnut, almond trees and vegetable-garden crops. In total the area has over 500,000 hotel beds, many campsites and apartments, and it receives an average of 3,500,000 visitors per year with the Villa Marina Club Hotel been very popular with the British Market.

Inland, places and towns of interest (such as Reus, Valls, Montblanc, Tortosa) and great medieval monasteries are easily accessible: Poblet, Santes Creus and Scala Dei, as well as picturesque spots that are famous for their beautiful scenery (Prades, Siurana), abrupt sierras with big game reserves (Tivissa, Cardó and Ports de Tortosa), and the unique, extensive Ebro Delta with its labyrinth of irrigation channels and pools.

Salou has a blue flag beach and one of the most well known on the Costa Dorada. Levante Beach has all kinds of infrastructures: showers, loungers, several large car parks, and lifeguards who patrol the beach constantly. The Villa Marina Hotel is approx a 10-15 min walk away from the fantastic beaches, however been all inclusive you may not want to leave the Villa Marina.

There is a big promenade with all kinds of shops and restaurants surrounded by palm trees. The sailing club separates it from Poniente Beach. All kinds of sports are practised on the beach. The beach front promenade also hosts home to the musical fountains on an evening you can stand and watch the magic (Seasonal).

Choose the Villa Marina and you are also only a 10 min taxi journey from the Theme park Port Aventura, a day out for all the family not to be missed. The Hotel Villa Marina is the ideal location for you to explore the Costa dorada or just stay in the hotel and enjoy our entertainment and our all inclusive facilities.

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