If you go to Tarragona, aim Altafulla. This municipality of just over 5,000 inhabitants has everything you can ask of a coastal town. Medieval old town, castle, promenade with whitewashed houses, beaches, coves, paths between forests and cliffs … and good food. All this next to Tarragona and one hour from Barcelona. If you can think of anything else you might have, tell us, because we don’t.
Still not convinced? Take a look at everything there is to see in Altafulla, surely the next thing you will do is look for a hotel. We are going to go up and down hills, to walk along the beach, to find castles and to immerse ourselves in nature. And, of course, let’s eat!
We do not give it more thoughts, do not worry, here are our 7 places to see in Altafulla. I can’t wait to come back!
1. The historic center of Altafulla: the Vila Closa
The first thing you have what to see in Altafulla is your Old Town:the Vila Closa. ¿Why Closa? Well, easy, because it is “closed” by its walls. The old medieval nucleus has maintained its layout of narrow and steep streets and part of those walls. Some walls of the fourteenth century, but remodeled in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The Medieval towers, one already integrated into the historic center, and three doors of that second era. Crossing one of them, that of the carrer del Dalt -which bears in its central voussoir the date 1678-, we enter the Vila Closa by the Plaçeta. The other two are in the carrer del Forn and in the Plaça de la Pau “Here the date is 1618.” There is also a passage that crosses the wall: the Passatge of Santa Teresa.
Our goal was to reach the church square, where the parish church of San Martín and the castle. The two medieval buildings and the two rebuilt in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Do you know the dates? Yes, like the wall. Here those who brought the money were the marquises of Tamarit, the owners of the castle, and at that time they had a lot, thanks to the maritime trade of the agricultural products of the area.
The wall, the church, the castle… Yes, there are a few monuments in the Vila Closa. But the most beautiful thing is the whole itself, with its stairs, the facades of its houses in warm tones and its tranquility.
2. The castle of Altafulla
You will have already understood that among the monuments to visit in Altafulla The most important is the castle. But there is a “small drawback”: it is the summer residence of the Marquis of Tamarit and the Montserrat family. Hence how complicated it is to visit it. Until 2019 it wasn’t even possible. Since then, only the first Tuesday and the last Saturday of each month, except at Easter and in summer – when the owners are there. You have to book by calling the tourist office of Altafulla on the phone 977651426. The visit lasts only half an hour and goes through the garden, the patio, some common space and the main course: its Renaissance gallery.
We have read all this, because we do not coincide with one of the opening days of the castle of Altafulla. We did not discover its Renaissance interiors and we had to content ourselves with seeing its façade and its battlements and sentry boxes that reminded us more of a fortification than a Renaissance palace…
3. The Roman villa of Els Munts
Another of the monuments that would have what to visit in Altafulla is the Roman Villa of Els Munts. ¿And Why do we say “would have”? Well, because we also found it closed, we were unlucky to go just the only day of the week when they close: Monday. So, again, everything we know about her is not firsthand. What we have read is that it was a rural village of the first century destined to the agricultural activity and leisure of an aristocratic family of Tarraco and that it is one of the best preserved of Roman Hispania.
Did you know…?
Near Altafulla, although already in the municipality of Tarragona, is the most spectacular of the quarries from which the Romans extracted stone to build the buildings of Tarraco and its surroundings: the Mèdol quarry. That’s where the Mèdol needle, a monolith 20 meters high that was left standing as a testimony of the initial level of extraction of the quarry.
You can check the schedule of the villa in the web of the archaeological museum of Tarragona. It is part of the archaeological site of Roman Tarraco, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
4. The promenade of Les Botigues de Mar
We continue with our places to see in Altafulla with another that we could enjoy: the Promenade of Les Botigues de Mar. Les Botigues de Mar is a neighborhood of Altafulla born next to the beach. Guess when? Yes, in the eighteenth century, the booming era of maritime trade in the town. The name of the neighborhood could not be more literal, although good, more than shops, what there were were stores. Buildings in which merchants kept their goods and fishermen their nets and other fishing equipment. With time and the arrival of tourism, the warehouses were disappearing. All except those on the beachfront, which still preserve the physiognomy of those old buildings.
Now, yes, there is some housing, some craft shop and, of course, terraces of bars and restaurants. Those white constructions by the sea seem made for Instagram.
5. The beach of Altafulla and the views of Vila Closa
The promenade of Les Botigues de Mar is next to the Altafulla beach, a large sandy area with Blue Flag and dune area. On one side you have the Mediterranean and on the other the dunes and the views of the Vila Closa from Altafulla, what more could you ask for?
This is the main, but not the only beach in Altafulla. You can also go to the Canyadell beach, shared with Torredembarra. A small cove sheltered by the Roquer de Torredembarra surrounded by a small pine forest, the Bosquet del Canyadell. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, in addition, Ecologists in Action has given it the recognition of “virgin beach”.
6. Tamarit Castle and Jovera Cove
We are not much for lying on the beach, but we are walking. So we walked along the beach of Altafulla, passing by its dune area, at the Civil War bunker and to the mouth of the river Gaià, to get to the Tamarit Castle.
The image of the Tamarit Castle is one of the most iconic in Tarragona. A castle of medieval origin by the sea surrounded by a wall, which protected it from the attacks of pirates and other enemies. Of course, today the wall protects it… of tourists. It is, like that of Altafulla, a private castle used exclusively for events. Most weddings, like that of Andrés Iniesta. “No tourist visits” is the first message that comes out in his web.
You cannot park near Tamarit Castle. The area is full of campsites and there is no public parking. You have to walk from the beach of Altafulla as we did.
Although you can not enter the castle, the view from the beach of Altafulla-Tamarit was not taken away by anyone. And we do not stop there: we surround it until we reach Cala Jovera. The view of Tamarit Castle from there is also beautiful. Let it not be said that we do not admire him from all angles!
7. The Camí de Ronda of the Costa Daurada
Where you access Cala Jovera you can also follow the stretch of the coastal path that connects Altafulla-Tamarit with the Larga beach of Tarragona. As the castell of Tamaritthe Camí de Ronda It is another of the icons of the Costa Daurada, with its cliffs, coves and forests. For a matter of time, not for lack of desire, we arrived only at the viewpoint of the beach of La Mora. An appetizer that was not bad at all. Of course, do not forget to bring a hat and sunscreen. Ah, what you should forget is the flip-flops, it is a serious hiking route.
Map with places to see in Altafulla and surroundings
Here’s our map with places to see in Altafulla and surroundings, so you don’t miss a thing. We also tell you where you can park to visit the historic center and the beach area – remember that you can’t go to Tamarit Castle by car, well, you can, but then you can’t park it.
Where to eat in Altafulla: the restaurant Bruixes de Burriac
So many walks, on the beach, on the Camí de Ronda And for the historic center, they made us hungry. The good thing is that in Altafulla we ate in what became one of our favourite restaurants in Tarragona: Bruixes de Burriac. We find it because it is recommended in the Michelin Guide and the Repsol Guide and they are rarely wrong. Seasonal cuisine, traditional with a touch of author, local product … what more could you ask for? They have different menus at lunch, but we decided to order a la carte. How was that rice! Not to mention the cannelloni, that Iberian jowl with octopus or dessert … How hungry we are getting!
The restaurant Bruixes de Burriac belongs to the Hotel Gran Claustre. We went to take a look at the pool, in the cloister, and the truth is that it looked very good. We didn’t sleep there, actually, we didn’t sleep in Altafulla, but you have everything from a four star like this to campsites. Here You can see all their accommodations.
We told you that you had to aim for Altafulla. We were right, weren’t we?
¿Do you want visit Altafulla? Here you can:
- Search for your cheapest flight to Barcelona here.
- Choose the Hotel you like at the best price in Altafulla here.
- Rent a car in Tarragona at the best price here.
- The best guide to Catalonia here
- Hire your tour guided tour in Catalonia here.
- Hire your Travel insurance with a 5% discount here.
Artículo publicado en saltaconmigo.com