Roda de Berà has a very special place in our heart. Since Besides the Obvious is based here for almost two years. During this time, and especially during the pandemic we had a lot of time to discover this picturesque village. By now we know almost every corner of it. So let’s review the 10 best things in Roda de Bera!
- 1 Exploring Roda de Berá
- 2 The history of Roda de Berá
- 3 The 10 best things in Roda de Bera
- 4 Where to stay in Roda de Berá
- 5 How to get to Roda de Berá
- 6 Best activities around Roda de Berá
Exploring Roda de Berá
The history of Roda de Berá
The village is situated on the golden coast, so called Costa Daurada in Catalan. The ancient roman Via Augusta ran through the municipality, and a triumphal arch – Arc de Berà – survived in the middle of the present N-340 coast road. This monument is part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco. Which was added to UNESCO‘s list of World Heritage Sites in 2000.
The 10 best things in Roda de Bera
The famous Roman arch, Arc de Berá, was built during the 1st Century. This is probably the most seen Roman monument but one of the less visited. It is one of the prides of the village.
Its name derives from the count Berà. It is a triumphal arch with a single opening consisting of a central body on a podium. It is decorated with fluted pilasters crowned by Corinthian capitals. The monument was built as a result of the will of Lucius Licinius Sura. Then it was erected in the reign of Augustus, around 13 BCE. It is thought it was dedicated to Augustus or to his genius, and that it marked the limit of the district of Tarraco.
Besides the rich historical heritage, the outstanding panorama, and the countless golden sandy beaches, the village also gives home to El Roc de Sant Gaietà. The initiative came from the developer Gaietà Bori Tallada and the builder José María Fortuny Rodríguez.
The main idea was to build a fishing village on the rocks. Inside, we can find, among others, the Luis Del Olmo Radio Museum & the Roca Foradada. This civic center – La Roca Foradada – welcomes nothing less than a permanent exhibition of sculptures by Salvador Dalí.
El Roc de Sant Gaietà was built between 1964 and 1972. A Spanish-Belgian company bought several estates to build the urbanization with the idea of building a fishing village on the rocks. But very special ones, with Andalusian courtyards and Romanesque, Arabic, and Gothic ornaments. In the sixties and seventies, this kind of ideal imitation of traditional patterns was very appreciated. There are beautiful small squares around and awesome mysterious corners.
As well as different areas of the Mediterranean and Spanish geography complemented with buildings of different styles. Such as Gothic, Renaissance, Mozarabic, Romanesque and Mudejar, the typical Sevillian and Andalusian patio. On top, the architectural style from northern Spain also represents.
The Radio Museum of “Luis del Olmo” consists of more than 500 devices of different styles and periods from 1820 to the present. All the devices belong to the private collection of Luis del Olmo. The pieces that the journalist has given to the City Council for the creation of this museum.
The museum also has a room dedicated to the architect and artist Josep Maria Jujol, the Espai Jujol . There are 6 chandeliers and a polychrome wrought iron crucifix on display, among other information about the artist.
This is the first radio museum promoted by the journalist in Catalonia and the second in Spain, after the “Museo de la Radio Luis del Olmo” in Ponferrada was inaugurated in 2003.
Camí de Ronda
Walking along this unique coastal path is an unforgettable experience. You can start your walk from El Roc de Sant Gaietá into the direction of Creixell village.
The first part of the walk is parallel to Platja Llarga (Long Beach) until the hermitage of the Virgen de Berà. La Plaza de la Ermita Square is a good place for a first stop or for children to ride bicycles for a while. Overall the path is very convenient, the only thing you should keep in mind that you are not allowed to move there by bike, neither by e-scooters. Some parts are enough narrow even for the walkers.
The beaches of Roda de Berá
In Roda de Berá we can find 7 beaches. But in reality we can take a bath almost all along the coast. Here you can find the list of the best beaches in Roda de Berá, between Coma-Ruga & Creixell.
From north to the south:
- Francás beach
- Cal Guinovart beach
- Pallisseta beach
- Platja de la Punta d’en Guineu
- Cala de la Torrota (It’s a beach for dogs and dog-friendly people)
- Capellans beach
- Platja Larga
The hermitage of the Virgin Mary began to be built in the second decade of the 1700s. It has a nave with side chapels, the dimensions of which are quite small. To the west is a small modern porch with a funerary stele from an old cemetery that was located there. In front of the hermitage there is a residence of the Bank of Spain where they are conserved, little reused rest of which it was the old castle of Berà.
One of the best panorama we can find here, on the large square behind the hermitage. Don’t miss it out! We can also reach this square from Camí de Ronda.
On the national road of N-340, besides the Arch of Berá we can find some Roman sculptures. There are two significant ones, both are head sculptures, but they differ in size. They are located on the borders of the village, like they were taking care about the peace and checking who is entering the village. The smaller one we can find on the northern entrance of the village, if we come from Coma-Ruga direction. The bigger one is in charge of the southern exit of the village, on the border shared with the village of Creixell.
Capella de Mas Carreras – A chapel by Josep Maria Jujol
The Capella de Mas Carreras is a small chapel in Roda de Berá that was originally next to a summer house that has now disappeared. Built in the early twentieth century, it was enlarged and decorated by the architect Josep Maria Jujol during the 1940s. It is located in the urbanised coastal area of the municipality, surrounded by apartment blocks. It can be accessed from Avinguda Reina Fabiola, via a pedestrian crossing, and from Carrer Josep Maria Jujol.
It is a Renaissance church. There is an inscription from 1612 on the lintel of the sacristy door. It stands out for its façade where there is a rose window and a large portal flanked by two fluted columns with a Corinthian capital. The façade of the adjoining parish house is of some interest with the windows decorated in a popular Renaissance style. It is assumed that the current parish building was built during the seventeenth century on top of or on the edge of the previous one.
The church was originally a rectangular building with a pair of side chapels attached to each side and a simple belfry. During the last decade of the nineteenth century the central nave was extended with a choir, a new façade and a slender bell tower. Between 1996 and 1997, important renovations were carried out inside the temple, which led to the four side chapels being converted into a pair of naves adjacent to the main one. Three windows on the west wall were also opened.
Roda de Berá has a beautiful port as well. Here we can observe the uncountable number of yachts and sailing boats. Also we can rent here boats, and other water vehicles. In the harbour we can find many restaurants and bars too. As well as a promenade, where we can take romantic walks hand in hand during sunset.
In this area, still today agriculture is very much into the main products of the Roman times. Around Roda de Berá they produce olive oil, wine, almonds, hazelnuts & calçots. Calçots is a special kind of onion. It is protected by a designation of origin that guarantees their quality. It is only avialble in some specific Catalan regions: Alt Camp, Baix Camp, Tarragonés and Baix Penedés.
To eat calçots, traditionally meant to join in the countryside or a village square. To make fire, to burn calçots on it and eat them laughing and drinking wine in a group. These “calçotadas”, as we call them, became the perfect holiday food.
Where to stay in Roda de Berá
In the summer season you can find plenty of options in Roda de Berá to choose from. However – since it’s a very popular vacation destination – you need to book in advance. Out of season though, the options are limited. Many hotels and apartments are only available and open during the vacation period. Feel free to use our searcher to find the best accommodation for you in Roda de Berá!
How to get to Roda de Berá
The easiest to reach Roda de Berá is definitely by car. If you rent a car in Barcelona, you will have 3 route options to choose from to reach Roda de Berá. Presently – as of September 2021 – you need to pay toll only on C-32 high-way via Sitges.
- C-32 (high-way)
- AP-7 (high-way)
- N-340 (national road)
There are two train stations around Roda de Berá to where trains arrive regularly from Barcelona. Click below for the schedules.
- Roda de Mar (located in the main village)
- Sant Vicenç de Calders (located in the neighbouring Coma-Ruga)
Roda de Berá is located 25 km from Tarragona city. They are connected by:
- AP-7 (high-way)
- A-7 (fast road – autovia)
- N-340 (national road)
You can use the services of Autocars del Penedés. Depending on the summer or winter schedule there are connections between the village and the capital of the province. But be aware, it can be extremely slow, as the bus tends to stop at every stops. Not to mention that it needs to fight within the traffic.
Best activities around Roda de Berá
There are many things to do around Roda de Berá! You can choose from the best activities below. You can also visit the surrounding villages and the beautiful castles of the region.
- Click here to read more about Torredembarra!
- Let’s take a look on Altafulla!
- Check out what to do in Salou!
- Let’s get lost in Catalonia!
- Read more about the Roman heritage in Tarragona!
- 12 more places to visit in the region!
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