If this is the first time you hear or read the name of this town, for sure you would be asking back, Torre…hm… what?! It was the same for me and most likely for everyone who is coming from abroad and never been to this lovely town before. But believe me, it’s enough to dedicate an afternoon, or if you are more generous with time, even a day, to remember its name forever. This article will explain why to visit Torredembarra, the jewel of Costa Daurada. Not to mention, that many of our dear readers commented on how it could have been possible that we hadn’t included Torredembarra in our latest “Let’s get lost in Catalonia” episode about “The 10 most beautiful villages of Costa Daurada“. Well, the simple truth is that we believed that it deserves a complete article.
This vibrant town perfectly combines modern facilities and bustling commerce with cultural and historical elements from its Romanic past. Torredembarra is also popular with water sports enthusiasts and is renowned as one of the kite surfing spots in the world. Not to mention that from April to October the temperatures range from 20 degrees to over 30-35 degrees during July and August. Torredembarra is located close to the capital of the province Tarragona and as well as to the airport at Reus.
Check out how you can travel to Reus the easiest and cheapest way:
Would you need a car in Reus to drive to Torredembarra?
Torredembarra offers an excellent selection of bars and restaurants, both in town and around the marina. The local cuisine is definitely seafood-based, we can enjoy delicious fresh fish, shellfish, and typical Mediterranean gastronomy. In normal times, many vibrant bars with relaxed terraces line the streets, promenade, and marina, offering a wonderful environment to enjoy a drink before dinner.
So why to visit Torredembarra? Here we list the Top 10 activities to do & places to visit in Torredembarra:
- 1. The Old Town – Centro Histórico
- 2. La Muralla i Portal de Padrines & Portal de la Bassa
- 3. El Castillo – Icart Castle
- 4. Iglesia parroquial de Sant Pere
- 5. La Torre de la Vila
- 6. Carrer Major
- 7. The route of the Indians
- 8. Castell de Clará
- 9. El Faro – The lighthouse of Torredembarra
- 10. El Muntanyans beach
- +1. Our favorite wine seller: Cal Serafí
1. The Old Town – Centro Histórico
The old town has a distinctly medieval feel, although its roots date back to the Romans, as does most of the province of Tarragona. Charming cobbled streets, a castle, churches, and an old tower, which dates back to the 12th or 13th century, set quite a nostalgic scene. Torredembarra also has a rich maritime heritage.
2. La Muralla i Portal de Padrines & Portal de la Bassa
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.
3. El Castillo – 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.
4. Iglesia parroquial de Sant Pere
The San Pere church can be found between the streets of Joan Güell and Eduard Benot. The construction 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.
Thinking about to visit Torredembarra? Here you can use our search bar to find the best accomodations on Booking.com!
5. La Torre de la Vila
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.
6. Carrer Major
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, Baix de San Pere and of course Carrer Major. 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.
7. The route of the Indians
In Torredembarra was born one of the Catalans who most succeeded in ‘doing the Americas’ in the 19th century. Joan Güell was the pioneer of Catalonian industrialization and was one of the most famous and controversial `indianos´ in Catalonia. (Indiano is the name given to those who immigrated to America and returned wealthy.) He founded the Maquinista Terrestre y Marítima – the great Catalan company of the Industrial Revolution – and his heirs were the faithful patrons of Antoni Gaudí, the architect. Güell left his footprint on Cuba and throughout Catalonia.
The third weekend of every September, Torredembarra celebrates the Feria de Los Indianos, in which the streets of the old town return to the era of the economic adventurers of the Americas. Habaneras, rum, salsa dancing, Caribbean dresses. You could feel like having landed in Cuba in the early 20th century without moving from the Costa Daurada. This is a good opportunity to enter the Tower of the Vila – the origin of the city – and discover its Indian reminiscences.
But during the year you can also walk around and visit the houses of the Indians with admiring their beautiful colorful patios and authentic facades. The route consists of the following spots – if you are interested in detailed information about them, take a look here for English guidance.
- Joan Güell street
- Antoni Roig street
- The old charity hospital
- The vegetable gardens
- Antoni Roig i Copons trust
- Municipal cemetery
8. Castell de Clará
This castle is dated back to the 11th century – documented since 1057 – however, the current building is possibly from the 14th century. The few remains of the castle of Clarà that have been preserved are the tower with a vault that allows access to an enclosure and the remains of a matacán, both are integrated today with the building known as the house of Cal Xeco. Next door we can find the parish church of Sant Joan de Clarà, documented since the 13th century, renovated and modified during the 14th, 16th, and 17th centuries and finally in the 19th century.
9. El Faro – The lighthouse of Torredembarra
The first thing you would see arriving at the Port of Torredembarra is the imposing lighthouse that dominates the rocky point of Punta Galera. This lighthouse is the last one built in Spain in the 20th century, and the one with the highest tower in Catalonia. It rises 38 meters high (58 meters above sea level) and is the work of the renowned architect Josep Llinàs. Its powerful lantern has a light range of more than 29 miles. It has been opened to visitors before the pandemic, currently, it’s temporarily closed. However later this year it would be worth checking back again. Visits must be arranged through the web or the Tourist Office of the city. The ‘Far’ lighthouse (‘Far’ in Catalán) is not far! 😁
10. El Muntanyans beach
Torredembarra is one of the few places in Catalonia to still possess a natural beach. The El Muntanyans beach has semi-shifting dunes and saltwater lagoons. There are other beaches of course nearby, which are more populated with tourists, but which offers excellent water sports facilities is definitely this beach, especially it is a paradise for kite surfing lovers.
+1. Our favorite wine seller: Cal Serafí
You can read our complete interview with Dolors Torné, from Bodega Cal Serafí here.