La Pineda Platja, Vila-Seca, is one of 15 destinations to currently hold the Family Holiday Destination seal of approval from the Catalan authorities. Located on the Costa Dorada, you can expect lovely scenery, blue skies, and plenty to do as a family. The Blue Flag Pineda Beach (La Pineda Platja) is around 3km long, with a kind of gentle sloping coast, and it’s about 40 metres wide.
The story behind La Pineda Platja is that it has been revitalised since the mid 1990s, after there was a tanker accident off its coast. So today it has enough to offer as a beach destination, with a striking promenade, and pine trees, in keeping with its name of La Pineda. So for those who like being in a relatively developed beach resort, but like to be able to access some culture, history and nature nearby, then it can be a good option. There’s a water park right opposite the beach, which of course will appeal to families – this is Aquopolis.
Some of the culture and history are in and around the town of Vila-Seca, which is around 4 kilometres away from the beach resort. This is a destination for those who like it lively enough, with a good choice of activities, shops, restaurants, bars and holiday apartments.
The other FHD destinations are:
Blanes, Calafell, Calella, Calonge – Sant Antoni, Cambrils , Castell Platja-d’Aro, Les Valls d’Àneu, Lloret de Mar, Malgrat de Mar, Pineda de Mar, Roses, Salou, Santa Susanna and Torroella de Montgrí – L’Estartit.
La Pineda Vila-Seca Gastronomy, Music and Outdoor Cinema
Around the beach itself, there’s a generous helping of gastronomic offerings, as well as some music bars, and during the season there are concerts and outdoor cinema. This beach is one of the Costa Dorada’s favourites and most famous, with crystalline water, a wonderful waterfront, and all of this only a mile down the road from Salou, where of course you can find the famous Port Aventura. If you are in a group that want to go clubbing, you can check out Pacha La Pineda, which has 3 different areas for artists, which includes an indoor arena. This is a big brand, and the club can get super busy, with drinks costing around €7 to €8 euros – but it’s a good night out, if it’s some serious clubbing you’re after.
Where Would We Be Without Irish Bars?
Being Irish, I am slightly biased, but I’m not alone in loving Irish bars, otherwise why would there be many of them dotted around the world? I don’t gravitate towards them too often, but it is nice to go once in a while, and in La Pineda, there’s Hennessy’s Irish Pub, which does very well. It’s a good place to go if you want tasty food, a great atmosphere and super friendly staff. Bridget and John will help make your holiday fantastic!
You can find it at: Calle Hipolit Lazaro, La Pineda
Things To Do
Celler de la Cooperativa
Built back in 1919 on a patch of land which had two years earlier been bought from the Count of Sicart, the Celler de la Cooperativa is a very large building comprising of 3 rectangular naves built with common stone and ashlars in the corners for extra strength. The celler’s main façade boasts a huge semi-circular arch which lets in enough light to illuminate the whole exterior. You will also see two pilasters at oblique angles crowned by spheres made of stone, and the cornices have dentils for decoration. The original plans were drawn up by Pere Domènech i Roure, a well known architect, and the financing for the project came from bonds issued by the Bank of Valls with the cooperative members themselves guaranteeing the patrimony.
Portal de Sant Antoni
This gateway can be found at the very heart of Vila Seca and its style very much authenticates the Mediterranean character of the town. There are few towns which can boast that they have over 800 years worth of history, all perfectly documented, without any gaps or periods ignored.
The first walled area, which was guarded by 4 towers and was situated to the east of the church which exists today quickly became too small for this burgeoning settlement. A second wall was built during the 14th century and this went on to stand for 400 years. As this was the most important of all the towns in the surrounding territory it had to be well protected from both looting and external attacks. The only gateway you will see mentioned regularly in ancient documents is Portal de Sant Antoni and today you can gaze upon it in all its original glory as you pass through it to explore the town.
Grup Escultòric “Marca d’aigua”
This sculpture, which is more of a group than a singular creation, is located as the south end of the Pineda beach, and are much used by beach lovers to filter the wind and afford them some shade. Created by sculptor Sergi Aquilar, this work of art is his personal homage to the poet, editor and writer Carlos Barral. There are 4 pillars that make up the sculpture and these represent the four winds of earth; north, south, east and west. They are also said to symbolise land, sea, sky and time. One pillar is located on a historic gun nest which was used during the Spanish Civil War.
Grup Escultòric “Pineda”
(This photo of Playa de la Pineda is courtesy of TripAdvisor)
This sculpture which consists of 8 pieces, some intertwined, stands 24m high and weighs in at 130 tonnes. It was designed by Javier Mariscal and was adopted by the Municipal Tourist board of Vila Seca as their emblem. It is now one of the most famous images when used to promote tourism in this area and is known across the globe. The sculpture is a symbol all about planning, urbanism and sustainability and its origins have an unlikely source. An accident occurred off the coast of La Pineda in 1993 involving a tanker which caused severe environmental damage to the area. This resulted in the council of Vila Seca receiving a substantial amount of compensation and they decided to use the money to improve the image of the area to boost tourism. They entrusted the work to Javier Mariscal and the rest, as they say, is history.
La Pineda Platja is not one, but three vast expanses of sand which melt together to create 2.5km of one of the most scenic stretches of beach you will find anywhere in Spain. The spotlessly clean sand makes it a magnet for families and beach lovers, which does make it extremely busy during the peak summer months. The prestigious Blue Flag flies proudly thanks to not only the quality of the beach, but the safe bathing on offer from the gentle shelve into the calm waters. There is never a shortage of sun loungers or umbrellas for those wanting to make a day of it and from the watersports centre you can hire jet-skis, windsurfing equipment and pedaloes. The magnificent promenade that runs parallel to the beach offers all manner of amusements, cafés, bars and recreation for little one when you want to escape for the sun for a while.
Castell de Vila-Seca – Vila Seca Castle
This magnificent castle built in the neo-mediaeval style dates back to when the Christian re-population took place in the Camp de Tarragona. Located north of what is now the centre of Vila Seca, the slender silhouette rises from the lush pine groves which surround it on all sides, and it’s sheltered by a wine cellar, belonging to the agricultural Cooperative.
Olzinas Tower, or the Torre dels Olzina, is by far the castle’s oldest part and some historians reckon that this dates back to Roman times. The tower was built in the shape of a quadrangle with an interior perimeter of 4.25 x 5.10sqm and those impressive walls were built to last as they used large ashlars that are almost 2m in thickness.
Església de Sant Esteve Vila Seca
As you are driving towards Vila Seca along the dual carriage way you will notice a beautiful but austere silhouette on the landscape. This is the Sant Esteve bell tower and the devotion of the people of the town to this saint in unequivocal. This is attributed to the legend about the Rescue of St Steven, which happened in the 12th century around the same time as the founding and subsequent population of Vila-seca del Comu. What he was being rescued from is something else open to conjecture, but whatever the reason was, we have this beautiful church to remember him by.
Santuari de la Mare de Déu de la Pineda
Situated approximately 300m north of where the La Pineda-Vila Seca road cuts across the main Salou-Tarragona dual carriageway, the Virgin Mary Sanctuary is probably best known for the traditional procession, which takes place here every Easter Monday. According to records dating from 1772, it was the Archbishop Joan Lario who granted the people of Vila Seca the right to first organise a procession, which led to the chapel, and then hold a feast there, on the second day of the Easter festivities.
Parc del Pinar de Perruquet
This glorious open space is where many locals and visitors can enjoy their leisure time and make the most of the marvellous scenery around them. The park is very natural and welcoming place of which the design was inspired by natures principal elements; fire, water, wind and earth. Back in 1993 the council of Vila Seca classified a large area of pine groves, as well as its adjacent land, as a public area. There followed a massive effort lasting for 13 years to return the area to its former glory, and forever transforming the horizon of La Pineda.
Parc de la Torre d’en Dolça
The name of this park comes from the tower found at the centre which dates back to the 16th century. It is a designated open space that is used for cultural, sporting and social activities. It is very much a park of our time and when it was designed sustainability was the key factor in its planning.
La Sèquia Major
This natural area of La Pineda is protected under the Catalan Plan for Areas of Natural Interest and has been since 1993. Designated as a coastal wetland areas, the majority of it is now on land belonging to the Centre Recreatiu Turístic de Vila-seca i Salou, which is owned by GP Resort, SA. The fresh water which is in abundance here caused the formation of surface plants, or helophytic vegetation such as bulrushes and reeds. An outstanding area of natural beauty, a visit here is highly recommended.
Aquopolis Costa Dorada
Passeig Pau Casals 65, La Pineda 43481 – Phone: 977 371 640 Website: http://costa-dorada.aquopolis.es/?lang=en
The Aquopolis Costa Dorada is really close to the beach itself. It’s a water park, where you can meet the dolphins and sea lions, and also includes a number of water fun attractions, including a special under 12s attraction – the Adventure Turtle.
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
La Pineda Platja-Vila-Seca Main Winter Festival of Saint Anthony Abbott
On or around the 17th January each year, is this traditional festival – more information here.
Summer Activities La Pineda Platja-Vila-Seca
If you’re thinking of spending some time this summer in the area, check out the summer activities here.
Main Summer Festival La Pineda Platja-Vila-Seca
Find out what is happening around the 25th July – more information here.
Sand Sculpture Nativity La Pineda Platja-Vila-Seca
This is a wonderful time to be in the area. Find out more here.