Nestled on Catalonia’s Costa Dorada, is the town of Torredembarra, which has good beaches, an old quarter, a harbour and an interesting natural area – Els Muntanyans. This protected area runs for around 5 km, with important ecosystems such as marshes and dunes, that have almost disappeared from other parts of the Catalan coast. It’s worth the trip to see the salt water lagoons and the semi shifting dunes.
The old quarter of the town has a number of interesting landmarks, such as the Castle, the tower and the remaining walls of the town. Also you shouldn’t miss the church of St Peter, the Baroque hospital, the lighthouse and Cal Bofill. These are some of the main sights of the town, however there are others, not to mention the fact that there are some lovely streets that you should enjoy wandering around aimlessly!
Ideally located, the town is only 30 km away from the airport of Reus, where you can choose from a number of flight options, including Ryanair – who flies to Dublin between the latter part of March until late October, as well as the UK. If you like fine cities, then try to take the time to go into Reus city centre also, you can see more about that in the Reus travel guide. It’s also located only a hop, skip and a jump, well 17km… away from the wonderful city of Tarragona. Discover more in the Tarragona travel guide.
Think lovely blue sea and sky, pretty landscapes and a town with plenty of culture and history. Visualise its charming cobbled streets, interesting architecture, blended with plenty to do for all members of the family, and shaken not stirred with a vibrant feeling of a buzzing, modern seaside town. In 2000, Torredembarra re-ignited their local tradition of fishing, by re-establishing the fish auction. So nowadays you can go along to the fish auction which takes place in the modern building, which is around 350m2.
Torredembarra is another destination in Catalonia that has made a big effort to ensure there is plenty to do for families. During the height of the season, in July and August, there’s a wide range of sports activities, as well is workshops which are organised for children. Additionally there are a number of routes which have been marked out, for those who wish to either walk or cycle. For those who enjoy watersports, as you can imagine there is no shortage available – on top of that, Torredembarra is considered to be one of the top kite surfing places in the world.
Things To Do
Pere Badia Hospital
It is unusual to find a hospital on a list of tourist attractions, but the fine example of Baroque architecture make this a worthy inclusion. It was originally founded by Pere Badia in 1783 to assist the poor and ill townsfolk. The building itself, with its magnificent Baroque chapel, is an effective cloister around a large courtyard which is lush in exotic vegetation. There’s also a newer addition which has been joined onto the building, which now serves as a residence for old people.
Located at the end of the Maritime Promenade is Cal Bofill. This is an old house built over a century ago, by one of the very first families who spent their summers in Torredembarra.
This is a new construction that started operating on the first day of the new millennium and was the last state lighthouse built in Spain in the 20th century. The famous architect, Josep Maria Llinas, designed it and at 58m, it is the highest lighthouse tower in Catalonia.
Tower of the Villa
This is the oldest building in Torredembarra and can be found right in front of San Pere church. It dates from around the 12th-13th century, is built in the Mudejar style and it’s widely believed that it formed part of the original castle.
La Vila del Moro
Translated as the Roman Villa, this is a site rather than a building that consists of several structures including a spa complex, a residential area and a service sector. A study of the remains identified two different periods of construction; the first was the Republican Period from 2nd C.BC-1st C.AD and the second the Augustine Period; 1st C.AD-2nd C.AD.
Antoni Roig Building
This noble building was constructed in the Modernist style of architecture and had its inauguration in 1892. Built by Antoni Roig I Copons, a man who spent many years in the West Indies before returning to his home village. Its original use was as the Roig School, after the foundation which Roig founded raised the funds to build it. As well as serving to educate the boys and girls of Torredembarra it also helped out the impoverished young ladies of the town by bestowing a dowry on them when they married, a tradition still in place today. The building now serves as the HQ for the municipal depts of social welfare and education, as well as various other entities.
The house Cal Xeco dates from the medieval period and was built on the site of the original Clara Castle. It has been declared a cultural asset of great local interest and even today is in a very fine state of conservation.
There are some streets particularly worth a visit in Torredembarra due to their fine building dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. These include Ample, Eduard Benot, Carnisseria and Baix de San Pere which are all in the area of the castle square. Antoni Roig is also worth mentioning as an example of 17th century urban expansion which took place in the town. There are many fine Baroque style constructions from the 18th century as well as Modernist buildings built in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The La Paella beach is one of the town’s major tourist attractions. This expansive stretch of fine golden sand has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award and is a haven for sunworshippers and families. It runs along the Els Munts area of town down the the Marina and the main Maritime Promenade. There are also special sections for sporting activities and it’s perfect for children with calm and shallow waters.
Baix A Mar
Situated in the area of Torredembarra known as the Fisherman’s District, it stretches from club at the marina along to Narcis Monturiol square. This beach has a designated beach tennis area, a beach library and at one end you’ll find an environmental centre known as Cal Bofill. A main attraction of Baix A Mar is the Alpha and Omega statue created by Rafael Bartolizzi. This structure rises from the sea and is one of the most photographed attractions on the Costa Dorada. Whenever you see it, you’ll appreciate that it’s pretty hard to miss!
The environmental significance of Els Muntanyans is what makes it so remarkable. Visitors can enjoy this special area, but as it is protected to be mindful not to cause any damage at all to the environment. It’s also a wonderful spot to see a range of types of plants and animals in their natural habitat. This is where you can see the shifting sand dunes, and salt water lagoons. The landscape is not unlike parts of the Delta de l’Ebre where at times the semi shifting sand dunes can be like a mirage! Oops, I almost forget to let you know that nudism is allowed here!
Apart from being a lovely little fine sandy beach, this is home of the famous lighthouse – which said hello to the 21st century by starting to operate on the 1st January 2000 – so in fact it was the last one built in Spain during the 20th century.
Torredembarra Icart Castle
The Icart Castle is easily accessible via the Pandrines gate. Currently the headquarters of the town council, this is the sole civil construction survivor from the Catalan renaissance period in Catalonia. The then Lord of the town, Lluis Icart, began building the castle in 1565 and finally completed it in 1580. The intention of the castle was to act as a fortress and residence, as well as dominating the populace.
The building is laid out in a square with a tower on each side. Following in a long held tradition of the Mediterranean, it also boasts a patio with arcades, porticoes and façade. All the rooms were constructed to surround this patio area and between this and the main door is a rectangular space used as a portico. The vault covering this section has been attributed to Pere Blai, a master craftsman of his time.
Torredembarra Old Town Walls
Of the original wall which completely surrounded the town during the 17th century, two entrances still remain. The Padrines gate which is situated on Carretera de la Riera-Placa del Castel is the way to gain entry to the castle, and on Carrer Ample you will find the Bassa gate. On Carrer Mane y Flaquer you will also see what remains of a once might buttress.
Parish Church of San Pere
The current San Pere church can be found between the streets of Joan Guell and Eduard Benot. Work was completed in 1680 to connect this church to the original one, making it one single structure. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the church actually received most of the ornamental and architectural features you associate with a house of worship, such as its bell, apse, tower and crucifix. There are two particularly noteworthy features of San Pere; it’s Baroque organ and picture of Saint Rosalia.
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
Waiting for dates for 2016, but you can read more here.
Festival of Saint Sebastian Torredembarra-Festa de Sant Sebastia
Festival Date: 20-01-2016
Find out more here.
Torredembarra Night of Saint John-Festa de Sant Joan
Festival Date: 23-06-2015
More information about this big night in all of Spain here
Torredembarra Box Festival-Festa del Quadre
Festival Date: 15-07-2015
More information about this festival which is based on a legend here
Torredembarra Festival of Saint Rosalia-Festa de Santa Rosalia
Festival Date: 04-09-2015
This is an important fiesta of the patron, with lots happening, more information here
Torredembarra Fish Market
Torredembarra resurrected an ancient tradition back in April 2000 by bringing back the town’s fish auction. The fish market is now held daily in a new, 350sqm building which is located inside the Marina.
Weekly Market – Tuesday 9am til 2pm
The weekly market takes place in the parking area of Mañe i Flaqué, and is a pretty good street market, with much the same wares as the rest of the weekly markets in the area.
Antique Market – Saturday 5pm til 9pm
The antique market takes place in the Plaça del Castell – Castle Square.
Torredembarra Municipal Market
Plaça Mn. Joaquim Boronat
Like the rest of the towns and cities, Torredembarra has a good municipal market which sells fruit and vegetables. This opens in the mornings from 8am til 2pm.
Passeig Rafael Campalans 10
Phone: 977 644 580
(Town Hall) Ajuntament de Torredembarra
Plaça del Castell 8
Phone: 977 640 025