As we approached the shorter, cooler days of autumn we were delighted to be invited to visit Cambrils Holiday Park. I mean, who doesn’t love a bit of Spanish sunshine? The holiday park exceeded all expectations, making for a memorable holiday that we think families will love. Read on for the highlights of our stay.
Located in Tarragona, in the Costa Daurada region of Spain – the holiday park is ideally placed for those flying into Barcelona or the smaller Reus airport. Having previously visited Barcelona a couple of times, my prior knowledge of the area was limited to the popular city-break destination, having never explored outside of the city.
One of the most appealing things for Brits of course apart from the weather, is that getting to Spain is so fast. After boarding the plane in Manchester (I’d strongly advise arriving early as getting through security took over an hour), a couple of hours later we’d landed at Barcelona airport.
The airport experience was fast and we’d soon collected our baggage and were on our way to meet our driver for the hour-long transfer up the coast to Cambrils Holiday Park.
The Holiday Park
Despite arriving quite late at night, first impressions were good. Check-in was fast and we were taken in a golf buggy to our cottage which was truly lovely (more about that below).
The following morning – up bright and early, I set off to find the park supermarket and bakery. I returned with the obligatory baguette and croissants (are you even on holiday in Europe if you don’t visit the bakery for a fresh baguette each morning?), as well as some essentials to stock up the fridge.
The weather was stunning which meant the next thing on the agenda after a walk around to explore the large park, was to get in some serious chill time at the pool. With 3 pools to choose from, it took a while to decide which one to head to.
Despite the size of the holiday park, it’s pretty easy to get around on foot with the 3 large pools all fairly close together and each with their own distinct themes and appeal. We opted for the Mediterranean themed pool, complete with sandy beach and distinctive lighthouse.
We found that although the swimming pools were obviously huge draws, there were always plenty of free sun loungers available beside each pool and plenty of space to swim. Unsurprisingly, the exciting-looking Caribbean Jungle & Port pools (which probably had the best themes), were the liveliest and most popular with kids.
Away from the pools, there’s a great kids club with a daily program of free activities (largely Halloween themed whilst we were there), evening entertainment, play parks, trampolines, mini golf – as well as great sports facilities including football and tennis courts. If parents want a bit of rest and relaxation, there’s also an on-site spa and gym.
The cottages are a similar size and specification located within different themed areas of the holiday park, but if you’d prefer, apartments are available in the Mediterranean village themed area.
We stayed in the Caribbean-themed area in a brightly colored single-story detached cottage, set within beautifully landscaped grounds.
Our cottage consisted of a generously sized living area with a large L-shaped sofa, dining table and chairs, as well as a well-equipped kitchen which even included a dishwasher and a large fridge freezer. There were two bedrooms; a comfortable double and a twin bedroom, ideal for kids. The air-con (even in September) was put to good use.
Storage was good throughout, providing a great amount of space for a family of 4. With outdoor seating and loungers, the accommodation throughout all 3 themed areas is pedestrianized, making it super safe for kids to run around and play without parents needing to worry.
Just an hour away from Barcelona with beaches, seaside towns, theme parks and more – it’s just a short drive away and the area has got a lot to offer.
The Local Beach
There’s a beach not too far away, though as it stands, it’s a 10 minute or so walk to reach it. There are plans to open up a shorter and more direct route from the park to the beach next year.
The beach was lovely; clean, uncrowded and swimming in the sea made a nice change to the pools. The promenade is ideal for running or cycling, and with a selection of restaurants facing the beach – eating outside of the park is an option many take advantage of.
Port Aventura World
An unexpected highlight of the holiday turned out to be a day out at Port Aventura World. Having not visited a theme park for a good 15 years, I wasn’t too sure which rides would appeal to me. So I started the day on the crazy Dragon Khan coaster and finished it on the even crazier, Furius Baco – the second fastest coaster in Europe which goes from a ridiculous 0-135 km/h in just 3 seconds.
The honor of the fastest coaster in Europe goes to Red Force in Ferrari World, located adjacent to the main Port Aventura park. Despite visiting the newest addition to Port Aventura (the Ferrari Experience is great fun), I opted out once I saw the gravity-defying coaster in action which goes from 0-180km/h in 5 seconds – a definite must for lovers of coasters!
At the time of our visit, masks were still mandatory throughout the park, with greater social distancing and hand sanitization points than those currently in place here in the UK.
The themes throughout the park were outstanding and so much better than I was expecting – close to Disney standard. With plentiful rides, attractions, and places to eat and drink – it definitely makes for a great family day out and is only around 20 minutes away from Cambrils Holiday Park.
Castell de Vila-seca in Tarragona
For a wee bit of culture and to find out more about the region, we visited the beautiful Castell de Vila-seca. It’s located under half an hour away from Cambrils Holiday Park and well worth a visit.
The building itself dates from the 12th century, later renovated into a stunning Neo-Gothic style with a fascinating history. The photojournalism exhibition that was on during our visit was excellent with some iconic, thought-provoking photographs on show in the beautiful gallery spaces.
La Pineda Platja, Vila-seca
We spent a couple of hours in La Pineda Platja, a mecca for sports tourism thanks to it’s many miles of cycle tracks and a long stretch of beach. We had a lovely stroll down the beach to take in the various sculptures. After walking around the sea-front, we then had a delicious lunch at a seafood restaurant.
As far as family holiday parks go, there’s so much here that it’s hard to select highlights! We loved how spotlessly clean the park is. The beautiful landscaping, the well-equipped self-catering cottages, the fantastic pools, and the great on-site facilities (from mini-golf to the reasonably priced supermarket and bakery)…there was not one aspect that was lacking.
The food in general was very good, but the chicken burger I ordered at the Fòrum restaurant turned out to be a processed burger rather than a chicken breast (which I didn’t eat), however – a meal at Restaurant La Masia where I ordered king prawns and squid ink pasta, was excellent.
Although my daughter is all grown up now, I have very fond memories of holiday parks we stayed at together, as well as those we visited annually when I was a kid. I can say without a doubt, that children and parents alike will absolutely love it here.
The jungle-themed pool will excite kids the most I suspect, and the sheer amount of child-friendly facilities at the park really are second to none. So it’s no real surprise that Cambrils Holiday park is named as one of the best in Europe, nor that it’s rated ‘excellent’ in independent reviews.
About Our Stay
We stayed at Cambrils Holiday Park, Taragonna, Costa Daurada, Spain, flying into Barcelona from Manchester in mid-September.
DISCLOSURE | We were invited to stay at Cambrils Holiday Park in exchange for sharing our experience. We were not paid to write this feature.