Your visit will begin at the Portal del Roser, the western gate of the magnificent Roman wall built in the second century BC. The wall has protected the city ever since. Passing through the gate into the old town, you will visit a model recreation of what the city looked like during its Roman heyday. You will stroll along the lanes laid down by the medieval nobility, through the lively streets of the medieval quarter before coming to a halt at the extraordinarily magnificent gothic façade of the cathedral.
The cathedral of Tarragona is unique as its construction straddles two architectural periods; the cathedral was built during the transition from the Romanesque period to the gothic, constructed on top of the ruins of the Roman temple. Once inside this gigantic place of worship, your official tour guide will recount many anecdotes relating to the cathedral’s construction and will show you all of its secrets. You will then experience the tranquility of its cloisters and pay a visit to the Diocesan museum; where many interesting archeological artefacts remain.
Next up is the seat of the Roman governor, the praetorium, now the city’s museum of Roman history. Built adjoining the circus maximus of which only the eastern turn remains above ground, you will have an opportunity to trace the steps of the Romans via an underground passageway along which the spectators strode before taking up their seats. After this you will take the elevator to the top of the praetorium for a panoramic 360º view of the city, the Priorat Mountains in the distance and mare nostrum – the glittering Mediterranean Sea. From the praetorium it is just a short stroll to the bustling main square, the Plaça de la Font, home to the City Hall and a myriad of bars, cafés and restaurants with outdoor terraces open all year round.
Then you will head for the coast for the view over the magnificent amphitheater, the site of centuries of gladiatorial combat and brutal bloodshed.
Your tour will come to a close on the Mediterranean Balcony; a palm tree lined boulevard leading to the top of Tarragona’s Ramblas, an emblematic meeting point for the locals with spectacular sea views. Tocar ferro – the local custom of placing your hands of the wrought ironwork of the balcony as you gaze across the Mediterranean – is said to bring you luck.