The city of Tortosa is the first large urban concentration to be found going up the great river Ebro from its mouth into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a city full of history, a strategic enclave for many years that has led the city to occupy a prominent place in the history of the Iberian Peninsula. It’s also a great place for a getaway or trip with kids.
What to see in Tortosa
There are many attractive places to get to know the city of Tortosa, but what most caught our attention was precisely the spectacular presence of the river Ebro crossing the entire population and giving shape to the enclave over centuries and centuries in the history of the city.
If we have to make and share a list with the indispensable in Tortosa the following cannot be missing. Make a note:
La Zuda Castle
We have already said that the whole structure of the city is conditioned by the imposing course of the Ebro that crosses the town and its bridges. To appreciate the network of streets of the city and the different shades of light reflected throughout the day in the waters of the river the best place is undoubtedly the Castle of Suda or Zuda.
The Castle of La Zuda, today an excellent establishment of the Parador network, rises on a mound at the foot of the Ebro and is an ancient fortification built on the foundations of previous inhabitants. In fact here we can contemplate the remains of an ancient Arab cemetery in the open air totally singular. But before the Romans had already walled the enclosure giving strategic value to the mound to control the waterway.
Of course it is a place full of history and very interesting but more than anything we recommend climbing the castle for its stunning views of the city and the environment of the region of Baix Ebre, with the silhouette of the massif Els Ports on the horizon. In the afternoon, when the sun plays to hide between Monte Caro and other peaks of Els Ports is an ideal time to approach there with the troop.
Royal Schools and the Renaissance Interpretation Centre
Do not miss it on your visit to the city of Tortosa. The Royal Colleges are the greatest exponent of the legacy of the civil Renaissance throughout Catalonia. A building that can only be understood in the context of the city’s strength at that time, both economically and in its cultural, social and humanist aspects.
The Royal Colleges are the set that forms three buildings, that are the College of San Jaime and San Matías, the College of San Jorge and Santo Domingo and the Church of Santo Domingo. The courtyard of the first of them, in Catalan the Col-legi de Sant Jaume i Sant Maties is truly impressive, with its three floors of galleries full of arches. And also for the sculptures and bas-reliefs that complete the ensemble with the faces of kings and great personalities. It’s a little like the Facebook of the time.
In the center of the city of Tortosa and very close to the cathedral another jewel to visit is the famous Episcopal Palace and its Gothic style architecture. An imposing courtyard with a floating staircase organizes the spaces of a building full of nuances and elements to review different architectural styles. From the 15th century to the present day, the Episcopal Palace is the place of residence of the bishop of Tortosa, although it can be visited by the public.
Legacy of the Civil War
During the sad years of the Civil War Tortosa was heavily bombarded by the Francoists. It is known that in 1937 and 1938 there were up to 86 air strikes on the population, leaving a panorama of regrettable death and destruction. The population was organized by building anti-aircraft shelters, some of which can now be visited.
Penetrating inside the shelters and listening to the explanations and details of that time is a very exciting and special activity for the children of the house. Knowing such sad episodes of our recent history is very instructive.
A walk along the river Ebro on board of El Sirgador
An activity that we would have loved to do and that we sign up for a future family getaway to Tortosa is to sail by boat along the river Ebro, as it was done in the past. Next to the Modernist market of Tortosa docks the lute called El Sirgador, which offers excursions of approximately one hour by the river. We also leave things noted for an upcoming visit Tortosa and sailing with the children on the river Ebro is one of them.
Places to eat with children in Tortosa
With so many visits and so much walking around Tortosa, it is normal for the appetite to be whetted. For lunch or dinner with the children here we leave our recommendation.
Lunch at Botànic restaurant
Del Botànic loved its decoration and the good atmosphere that was breathed. In the dishes we discover a refined Mediterranean cuisine and also elements of the popular cuisine of the territory. All this in a menu that was very well priced.
Restaurant SOM of the Hotel SB Corona Tortosa
Another interesting restaurant option in Tortosa can be found in the SOM restaurant of the SB Corona Tortosa Hotel. Here you have special attention for the little ones, who have their own menu. Everything we had for dinner was to death and the space of the restaurant, with access to the garden, enchanted us.
Restaurant La Torreta de Remolins
La Torreta de Remolins is located in the Jewish quarter of Tortosa, at the foot of the Castillo de la Zuda and four streets from the Tortosa Museum. Here we ate a selection of dishes we loved, based on traditional cuisine with modern touches. It was all so good.
Family accommodation in Terres de l’Ebre
We’ve discussed this before. At the top of the Castillo de la Zuda is Tortosa’s Parador de Turismo where staying is a fantastic experience. That’s where we slept and dined a couple of nights on our family getaway. The facilities of the Parador are excellent, although they have a slightly regal air, like old-fashioned, but it does not detract from the interest or comfort of the accommodation. Getting up or watching the sunset in Tortosa from here is priceless.
Restaurant Marmitia del Parador in Tortosa
The restaurarte del Parador is also a good excuse, if one is needed, to get close to the Castle. We emphasize the ingredients of quality, fresh products and traditional recipes of the richest area. The space of the restaurant is enormous and it is surely enabled if there are banquets and celebrations. The members of the service at all times were very kind and sympathetic to the children, which is appreciated.
Other options also in Tortosa for family accommodation are the Hotel SB Corona Tortosa that we have discussed before or if you prefer a little further away from the city center, for example an old and unique building such as the Prior’s Tower.
In short, we were delighted to see the city of Tortosa, where we had already been but had not traveled calmly. Even so, as has happened so many times, we think that we will have to return because we are left with the desire to know more corners and the thorn of going with the boat The Sirgador by the river Ebro. Or from here make a jump and return to enjoy a getaway to the nature of Els Ports. In the south of Catalonia it seems that the attractions for travelling with children and having a good time are piled up.
Family tourism in Tortosa
We would like to thank the Catalan Tourist Board for their support in writing this article on our blog.
Don’t miss the next Viajares.es articles, subscribe now to the blog. I also invite you to the Facebook page of Viajares to continue talking about trips with children and the best destinations to go as a family. We can also be found on Instagram or Twitter if you prefer.