Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A Coeliac in Spain - Gluten Free at Cambrils Park, Salou & PortAventura

We spent this August at the fantastic Cambrils Park resort. Before we left I spent hours on the internet researching gluten free food options and didn't find much. I asked Cambrils Park themselves via their Facebook site if we would be able to eat anything and whilst they replied "you will be able to find gluten free food here" I was more than a little concerned due to my lack of google findings.

After a disappointing experience flying with British Airways (BA) to Barcelona airport (where there were no gluten free food options available on board) and a long bus journey we finally arrived at Cambrils Park just before 8pm, exhausted and starving. After checking in we headed straight to the onsite supermarket, with 10 minutes left until closing time.

I can't tell you the relief we felt when we turned down the second aisle and came face to face with an impressive gluten free selection - everything from bread to cakes, pasta, biscuits, flour and even frozen gluten free pizzas and baguettes!

Coeliac Gluten Free Food From Cambrils Park On Site Supermarket

On the off-chance we wandered over to the poolside bar restaurant and asked if they had any gluten free items. At first the waiter was confused as his English was not so good (but far better than my Spanish!), then he had a lightbulb moment and said "ahhh menu celiaco, I bring menu celiaco", I could have cried when he returned with a whole menu just for coeliacs! It wasn't very huge, but had enough to keep us happy. We ordered a ham and cheese pizza and whilst it was very small it was delicious. We also ate the rotisserie chicken a couple of times which was gorgeous and gluten free (though the chips were not) So a big thumbs up to Cambrils Park for their gluten free offerings, my only complaint is that I was disappointed not to be able to eat their paella.

I hadn't read good things about Port Aventura's gluten free catering and having been to Universal in Florida (they are owned by the same company) and experiencing their shockingly awful gluten free catering (which is pretty much non-existant) I wasn't holding out much hope. When it came to lunch time we decided to try the Mexican restaurant (Restaurant La Hacienda) as we figured we may be able to eat the nachos if nothing else. I thought it was worth a short asking if they had a "menu coeliaco" - instantly the waitress said "Si, si" and appeared a minute later with a dedicated gluten free menu. We opted for a pizza (again! 11 year old boys aren't so adventurous!) with a side of gluten free fries from a dedicated fryer, though the menu did have a lot more choice.

Gluten free food Port Aventura

I had heard a rumour that McDonalds in Spain serves gluten free buns so whilst waiting for our flight home from Barcelona El Prat airport we popped into the airside McDonalds. Thankfully they had automated ordering machines with English translations so we didn't have to try to explain what we wanted and lo and behold - gluten free bun options! I have to confess they weren't the nicest buns, typically dry and powdery, but it really was a treat to be able to get a burger in a bun!

Gluten free burger bun from McDonalds Barcelona

So - in summary, if you're heading to Cambrils, Salou, Barcelona or Port Aventura as a Coeliac, don't panic, there will be plenty of options available.

Happy Holidays!

1 comment:

  1. Spain is easy to coeliacs! ;) If you want more information about where to eat or buy gluten-free in Spain, you can visit my blog: