I went to Salou and was surrounded by kebabs, burgers, English people and lots of Russians, God I love Spain. So much culture.
I’m fairly used to being surrounded by pastey Brits with bad tattoos on holiday (myself included) but I was not ready for the large Russian population that live and holiday in Salou. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with being surrounded by Russians, it just meant that I had to avoid all door handles for the entire week.
Best Things About Salou
Salou is fantastic, there’s a large promenade, millions of cafes and restaurants, a couple of Irish bars, a Scottish bar and even a gay bar with some wonderful illustrations outside.
The second best thing about Salou, after the promenade is the shops. If you need a penis shaped bottle opener in a variety of designs then look no further! How about a discounted Nazi flick knife as a souvenir for the mother-in-law? Or a hilarious and not at all stupid t-shirt with slogans such as “I think he’s gay” or “I love lesbians” or just of Pablo Escobar’s face? You can really spend ages mooching around the shops that all seem to sell the same thing.
Worst Things About Salou
There’s naked children, everywhere. I don’t know what it is about Russians, but they love to get their children’s kit off and let them run about the place. Although the shops are great, they are mostly independent shops, which is great, but it means that the owner is highly likely to follow you around making sure that a) you don’t steal anything and b) they’re there if you want to haggle.
If you’re coming to Spain for the culture, don’t come to Salou. It’s lovely if you just want to pig out, lay in the sun, shop for tourist tat and watch Premiere League games, but there’s not much Spain here. In fact the only Spanish thing in Salou is the hotel staff, and most of those are Russian.
While in Salou I would recommend visiting Tarragona, especially if you want a change of scenery from all the annoying British tourists and kebab shops.
It’s like a mini Barcelona here; there’s a nice cathedral (that charges you an entry fee), an amphitheatre (which also charges you an entry fee), a wonderful antiques boot sale held in the middle of the road (no entry fee) and a glorious marina where rich people keep their boats. Plus, it’s only 20 minutes away by bus and costs around €3 each.
Other Places Nearby
Cap De Salou: Don’t waste your time here, there’s not much here, the beach is smaller (although a lot less busy) and there’s not much else going on.
Barcelona: It’s nearly two hours by bus so if you’re wanting to explore the city I’d recommend either going really early or staying the night in Barcelona.
All in all Salou is wonderful if you’re after a chilled touristy resort that’s purely catered for holiday-goers. There’s so many hotels to choose from, the prices are fairly average, the beach although busy is big enough for everyone and has lots of water sports available, plus nearly everyone speaks English so there’s no need to waste any money or brain power learning Spanish. Win!