Adventures, Stories

Dusk and Dawn: Salou Harbour

A morning walk along the harbour of Salou where historical architecture and memories meet the vibrancy of modern day sculptures.

It had taken a week to get up early enough for a morning outing. Going for long periods of time without the need to set an alarm and then staying in bed for a little longer apparently makes you a bit lazy. I’m not generally a morning person anyway. I would love to be out as the sun rises, breathing in the morning air of a fresh new day, but I have always been more of a night owl.

However, this day, I managed not to dismiss my alarm and instead lifted my heavy head off the pillow. I still didn’t have time to go far, as I had set my alarm for a realistic hour instead of trying to be out as early as possible. I did have time for a walk around the harbour area of Salou.

port area of salou

Historically a main port transporting nuts, fruits, vegetables and other produce there were once plans to build a canal leading from here, but it was never finished and eventually was filled back in. It is now a harbour mainly for small private boats, the seasonal pleasure boat between Salou and Cambrils and not forgetting, the place that welcomes the three kings to the town every 5th January.

The viewpoint that looks out to sea, across the long stretch of beach and along the coastal path to Cambrils was taped off, seemingly for work that was being done to the harbour light. On one side of the path was nothing but the sea and rocks, an area often frequented by fisherman with their rods. On the other sat the boats, just a couple of which had people working on them.

viewpoint at salou harbour

One of Salou’s iconic statues sits in this area. Erected in 1990, the Fisherman’s monument is the work of Ramon Ferran. On the statue is the message ‘Amb l’esforc de tot un poble’ (With the effort of all the people). It remains a popular area for people to sit, offering views across Salou’s main beach and beyond the coves to Cap Salou.

fishermans monument at the port of salou

The Capitania building, also known as the Harbourmaster’s office is a discreet yet prominent building that sits on the edge of the harbour. Local information states that it dates back to around 1820. The lower floor is now used as business premises, the upper floors with views over the promenade partly offer tourist accommodation.

the harbour masters office at the harbour in salou

The area also boasts some impressive fountains, but these are currently sitting empty and silent.

On the other side of the road to the main promenade and harbour there are the old, narrow streets that make up the old quarter to one side. To the other are the grand houses, that are still partly resided in.

grand houses near the port in salou

The most popular one sits at the end of the row, in view of the Harbourmaster’s office. Bonet House was built in 1918. Designed by Doménec Sugranyes i Gras, an architect associated with Antoni Gaudí, it is an example of the late-modernist architecture. Although entry to the house is not permitted it is said to contain historic murals related to King Jaume I’s departure from Salou as he set out to reconquer Mallorca.

bonet house by the port in salou

The spectacular promenade that runs parallel to the main beach is frequently changing. Some of the most popular sights along this section are the 2019 figure in honour of the ladies making lace, the colourful Salou logo appreciated by visiting holiday makers and selfie lovers plus the Jaume I statue. There are many other sculptures, fountains and points of interest waiting to be discovered.

salou promenade is lined with sculptures

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