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The town of Reus in the Spanish province of Tarragona has enjoyed something of a boom recently as thousands of students take over the region for an annual four-day sports festival.
Reus is a 120-kilometre drive south west along the scenic coast road from Barcelona. The area along the coastline is known as the Costa Daurada, or Golden Coast, and is an area that is popular with tourists from Russia, France and Holland, who visit the destination to seek the restorative powers of the winter sun.
The town of Reus lies just 10 kilometres inland from the coastal resort of Salou, which plays host to the annual Saloufest sports festival. Now over 10 years old, the annual four-day event sees more than five thousand British university students descend on the town to participate in various sporting activities. The thousands of 18 to 23 year olds use the sports facilities that were built for the 1992 Olympic Games, but when the competitions have finished, the action moves to the bars, which receive a welcome boost to their income of around 2.5 million pounds during the course of the four-day festival.
The area is a large producer of wine and spirits, and has an annual carnival, as well as many smaller festivals that celebrate topics as diverse as mime and photography. Reus airport is a popular destination for many of the low-cost airline operators in Europe. The nearby coastline has many beaches, rocky coves and landscaped promenades.