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Hidden coves, sleek marinas and Michelin-starred restaurants – the Costa Dorada has got to be one of the most exciting destinations in Europe right now.

Despite its reputation as a typical bucket-and-spade-style holiday (nothing wrong with that), there is actually a lot more to this stretch of Golden Catalonian coast than you might think.

Restaurants serving up delicious dishes, water sports to satisfy any adrenaline junkie, gorgeous beaches and yes, of course, lots of sun – it’s no wonder the Costa Dorada is topping our 2018 destination list.

And there’s plenty for little ones too. Think theme parks to rival Disneyland and the wettest and wildest waterparks for the kidult in your life.

Grab the sunscreen, you’re about to discover your best holiday ever.

Eat!

There really are so many places to eat on the Costa Dorada, from buzzy little restaurants plating up traditional Mediterranean dishes to family-friendly pizzerias, Thai, Indian and specialist vegetarian cafes. But the biggest surprise has got to be the pretty coastal town of Cambrils – the place to devour some seriously good food.

Like to splash out on one really posh meal on holiday? You got it! The Costa Dorada has a handful of fancy Michelin-starred restaurants, including Can Bosh and Rincón de Diego, serving up sizzling seafood and fresh fish dishes, so you can dine like a star.

Looking for food with a view? Pull on that floaty maxi dress and head down to the harbour at sunset for a meal overlooking the ocean.

Explore!

Yes, you’re on holiday, but some of you may still want to work out. No problem.

The Spanish countryside is gorgeous and the perfect place to stretch those legs, especially when you head to the coast’s mountainous backbone around Salou and Cap Salou. Limestone crags pitted with caves are perfect for hikes, and those oh-so-pretty trails carved into the countryside make for an incredible (and adventurous) cycle.

Fancy a walk with a goal? Head out to one of the many wineries or vineyards in the stand-out Spanish wine region of Priorat that’s famous for its excellent wine. It’s has to be done – plus, a celebratory vino afterwards? It’d be rude not to.

Play!

Whether you’re taking the kids or you’re a big kid yourself, the theme parks and waterparks are amazing! Not least because a lot of the rides really are for the thrill-seeking. Take the Red Force ride at PortAventura Land in Salou, Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Accelerating from 0 to 112mph in just five seconds, you’d better brace yourselves.

More of a water babe? The Kamikaze slides at Aquopolis in La Pineda are pretty awesome, but then so are the water sports. Try your hand at jet skiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and flyboarding on the coast.

Relax…

The Costa Dorada isn’t known as the Golden Coast for no reason.

Miles of award-winning sandy beaches made up of family-favourites (cue Llevant and Ponent), and the less-populated coves around Cap Salou are the real pull of the Costa Dorada. And yes, it’s the perfect place to sink back into that big sun lounger, frozen cocktail in hand and enjoy gazing at the sparkling Med.

With fabulous flight times from airports across the UK, a hefty baggage allowance of 22kg, a brilliant choice of 2-5* family-friendly hotels and transfers included means booking a holiday on the Costa Dorada has never been easier. Find out more at Jet2holidays.

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