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97km (60 miles) S of Barcelona, 554km (343 miles) E of Madrid

The ancient Roman port city of Tarragona, on a rocky bluff above the Mediterranean, is one of the grandest but most neglected sightseeing centers in Spain. Despite its Roman and medieval remains, it's merely the second-oldest city of Catalonia.

The Romans captured Tarragona in 218 B.C., and during their rule the city sheltered one million people behind 64km-long (40-mile) city walls. One of the four capitals of Catalonia when it was an ancient principality, and once the home of Julius Caesar, Tarragona today consists of an old quarter filled with interesting buildings, particularly the houses with connecting balconies. The upper walled town is mainly medieval, the town below newer.

In the new town, walk along the main artery, Ramble Nova, a fashionable wide boulevard. Running parallel with Ramble Nova to the east is the Ramble Vella, which marks the beginning of the Old Town. The city has a bullring, good hotels, and even beaches. The Romans were the first to designate Tarragona a resort town.

After seeing the attractions listed, cap off your day with a stroll along the Balcó del Mediterráni (Balcony of the Mediterranean), where the vistas are especially beautiful at sunset.