What to do in Lloret de Mar

Lloret de Mar

Lloret de Mar: it’s a name I first heard in primary school.

We didn’t travel to Spain when I grew up, but friends and neighbours did. They went to Mallorca and Ibiza for the school holidays – and to Lloret de Mar. Some bought holiday flats and villas along the Costa Brava and further south. Today, there are entire Norwegian colonies along the coasts of Spain, complete with schools and everything else from home. For all intents and purposes, it is home, only warmer and with cheaper wine. Some political parties even have their own local chapters down here.

My school mates brought back clicking castanets, soaps with pictures of dark, mysterious señoritas, and oranges with the leaves still on. Very exotic. Back then, oranges were available mostly in winter up here in the northern world. Strangely, they’re still the snack of choice when skiing. (Strange, because frankly, oranges are a bit messy.)

When the Costa Brava Tourist Board offered to take a bunch of bloggers to Lloret, I rearranged my schedule to have a look at this mythical place from my school days.

Lloret de Mar

Was it anything like I had imagined? Well, I suppose it’s difficult to live up to an image seen through childhood’s rose-tinted lenses.

Lloret de Mar today

Today’s Lloret has a lovely setting with clean and pretty beaches, and beautiful coves and gardens. It has its share of bland blocks of flats and beach hotels…

Lloret de Mar Lloret de Mar

… but also the beautiful Rigat Park Hotel on top of the hill overlooking Fenals Bay; warm and colourful, inside and outside.

Lloret de Mar

LLoret de Mar Lloret de Mar

Lloret was one of Europe’s first package destinations, a resort town for sun-hungry northern Europeans.

Lloret de Mar

It’s a lively place, especially popular with the young crowd. Clubs and discotheques abound, and ‘proppers’ are there to lure you into their particular bar with free drinks. If you play your barhopping cards right, you might get free drinks all night, I’m told.

Lloret de Mar

Many of the tourists here today are Russians.

Lloret de Mar

bus info in Russian

 

A few locals I spoke to went so far as to say they’ve saved the town. Tourism was on the decrease, then came the Russians. And they don’t just buy flats, but also villas like this one.

Santa Clotilde Gardens, Lloret de Mar

This pink finca is guarded by watch-dogs – real and in stone…

Santa Clotilde Gardens, Lloret de Mar

…and is inside Jardins Santa Clotilde, a gorgeous garden and a Lloret highlight.

Santa Clotilde Gardens, Lloret de Mar

Santa Clotilde Gardens, Lloret de MarSanta Clotilde Gardens, Lloret de Mar

Santa Clotilde Gardens, Lloret de Mar

I was only in Lloret for a day, so there’s bound to be interesting things I’ve missed.

Have you been in Lloret de Mar? Any further tips?

PS Did you spot the red-and-yellow striped Catalan flag in any of the photos above? As I write this, Catalonia is holding parliamentary elections. President Arturo Mas is expected to be reelected, and if he is, he will likely hold a referendum on Catalan independence. Find out more about that in Catalonia – a new European state? (Both sides have chimed in in the comments, too.) Other European regions, Scotland, Flanders, and more, are on the same path. Interesting times are afoot.

Disclosure: I was in Lloret de Mar as a guest of Pirineu Girona Costa Brava Tourist Board. All opinions are, as ever, my own.

24 Responses to “What to do in Lloret de Mar”

  1. Steve 25 November 2012 2134 #

    The architecture and the beaches look fantastic, if perhaps a little crowded. I can definitely see why the northern Europeans would find it an appealing place to spend some time in the winter. It’s also appealing to us northern Canadians too.
    Steve recently posted..How Not to Act Natural at a Bus Stop

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0100 #

      Yeah, I suppose you Canadians go to Mexico as much as we go to Spain :)

  2. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home 26 November 2012 0618 #

    It looks very beautiful. I read yesterday about the referendum. I don’t really think that Catalonia will get the independence, but I know that all the Catalans I met in my life wanted this independence. I’m curious to know what will happen.
    Izy Berry – The Wrong Way Home recently posted..The Best New Years

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0101 #

      So am I. We’re in for an interesting time.

  3. ItalianNotes 26 November 2012 1154 #

    Like you I’ve had a ‘hard, deprivedi childhood with no sunny group holidays, so I’ve never visited Lloret de Mar. Still, it looks quite nice compared to some of the concrete high-rises you see further along the Spanish coast.
    ItalianNotes recently posted..Autumn hunting grounds in Italy

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0102 #

      Much nicer than Benidorm. :)

  4. Leigh 26 November 2012 2032 #

    I’ve never even heard of the place. The photo of the stairs is very reminiscent of those I saw in Charleston, SC. I can certainly understand the appeal when you live in a northern country to have a little sunshine part way through the winter.
    Leigh recently posted..Banff Area Cross Country Skiing: The Cascade Fire Road

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0103 #

      A week or two in the sun certainly makes winter more bearable.

  5. Suzzane from Travel Universally 27 November 2012 1530 #

    So awesome, those places and houses create a scenic view. Lloret de Mar seems so beautiful , its an attractive place.By the way did you visit Consum and Dia supermarkets at Blanes end?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0104 #

      No, didn’t go to the supermarkets, but I did visit Muramares botanical gardens in Blanes. Very pretty.

  6. Laurel 27 November 2012 1609 #

    I’ve been to Catalonia four times, but never to Lloret de Mar. I had no idea there were so many Norweigans in Costa Brava – such a beautiful region and so much to explore.
    Laurel recently posted..Following in Gaudi’s Footsteps in Barcelona

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0105 #

      Yep, all flock to the Mediterranean to get a break from the cold. :)

  7. InsideJourneys 28 November 2012 0234 #

    Saved by the Russians. Wonder how large their population is now.

    I think Lloret de Mar was mentioned in a book I read in high school — I hadn’t thought of it since. I can see it’s appeal. It’s an amazingly beautiful place, especially if you’re coming from someplace cold.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..The Jamaica Visitors Rarely See

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0105 #

      Very pretty. And warm.

  8. Mary @ The World Is A Book 28 November 2012 0923 #

    This looks like the perfect getaway no matter what time of year. It’s absolutely beautiful and inviting. How interesting how many Russians made this a home away from home. I haven’t heard of this place either but looks like a wonderful day trip.
    Mary @ The World Is A Book recently posted..Mission La Purisima: A Step Back in Time

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0106 #

      It’s not too far from Barcelona, so a good day trip from the big city as well.

  9. D.J. - The World of Deej 28 November 2012 1421 #

    Beautiful place…the gardens are simply incredible.
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..The Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0107 #

      Gorgeous gardens they were.

  10. Andrea 28 November 2012 1534 #

    That property is stunning!
    Andrea recently posted..Win a Weekend Stay At the Klaus K, Helsinki: Passports With Purpose 2012

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0107 #

      I’d love to have a garden like that. With a gardener, of course.

  11. Nico 29 November 2012 0520 #

    It looks like a great place to take a holiday, a mixture of sun, sea, sand and gardens. Had honestly bever heard about it until I read this post.
    Nico recently posted..The Best Little Village in Uruguay

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0108 #

      Glad to introduce you :)

  12. Michael Hodson 1 December 2012 0736 #

    Now you are talking. This is one of my favorite coastal cities in Europe. Such a lovely place. Great photos and highlights.
    Michael Hodson recently posted..You Have More Questions?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 2 December 2012 0108 #

      Thanks, Michael :)

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