Possibly the package tour capital of the Costa Brava, Lloret de Mar has beautiful golden beaches and plenty of spots to enjoy the warm sand between your toes. Discover sunlit secret coves, which should trigger your kids’ imaginations with endless hours of possibilities… and hopefully your own as well!
Lloret de Mar is a big town, that is packed with amenities, so if this is what you like, it should be your type of place. If you’re looking for a more quaint holiday destination, then it won’t be your style.
Lloret is on one hand a certified Family Holiday Destination, whilst on the other hand it’s been a magnet for the 18-30 European brigade for decades. More than one million visitors make the trip to the former fishing village each year, and it’s easy to see why. With a gorgeous Mediterranean climate, where temperatures regularly top 30 degrees centigrade, it offers an idyllic outdoor culture of cafes, bars and restaurants to chill out and unwind with some tasty food and wine.
Sitting 80 km from Barcelona airport and just 30 km from Girona airport, Lloret de Mar is an easily accessible choice for travellers exploring this exciting corner of Europe. The town has a cracking nightlife for those looking to boogie their evenings away. No matter how many miles you’ve got on the clock, Lloret de Mar has something to suit everyone. There are even pubs that put on special entertainment for children to keep them occupied, while you relax and enjoy some adult conversation.
Lloret de Mar is one of a handful of the Catalan certified Family Holiday Destinations, yet this resort that can seriously party with the best, during the height of the season. Discover more in our Lloret-De-Mar Travel Guide.
One of the many things that makes this such a special place is the warm welcome extended to those visiting the town in droves every year. The locals are well used to catering for an international audience, so you’ll find it a home from home, no matter where you hail from.
There are also wonderful walks in and around the town. So make yourself a picnic and take one of the popular designated routes for a more relaxed holiday experience taking in the views and the rays. If you are looking for more of an adrenaline rush there are plenty of water sport options available to give your holiday a thrill injection.
Lloret de Mar’s Water World park is a great day out for all the family. There are rides, slides, pools and splashing areas for all age groups. What you’re guaranteed here is lashings and lashings of sun soaked fun, which will make you feel like a kid – even if you fall more naturally into the big kid category!
And with lots of the accommodation throughout the town, including family friendly options, Lloret de Mar has been certified with the Family Tourism Seal – awarded by Turisme de Catalunya – the official tourist body. Mums and Dads can feel comfortable that they are bringing the family to a place that is working hard to give them a happy and memorable time. However Mum and Dad should also be prepared for the younger party animals that descend upon this Costa Brava resort…..with another type of holiday in mind… Lloret de Mar also has some 24 hour clubs and plenty of partying opportunities to cater for the younger crowd!
There are contrasts in Lloret de Mar. Wander down the promenade and see the beach bars brimming over with tourists looking to buzz, or just to chill out by the beach. A little further down you’ll find a section of boat trips stands, that offer various boat tours, days out and trips to other towns on the Costa Brava.
The funny thing is that once you get passed all of this, to the left you can see the striking City Hall and a more old-style promenade that is backed by mostly 4-star hotels. This area has a feeling of style about it. Down the far end is where you can find the Maritime Museum.
Take one of the side streets that leads from behind the hotels and restaurants, and it’s hard not to see the striking architecture of the church from there. The church square and the area around has retained a more typical feeling, even though it is packed with tourists.
Things To Do
Puig de Castellet MOLL Site 4 – Iberian Settlement
Urbanització Roca Grossa C./ Poblat Ibèric
The settlement dates to the 3rd century BC, and is located around 2 km from the town. It may have been an outpost of a larger settlement, and because of its strategic position would have served purposes such as territorial control and surveillance. In the site we can see six homes, with an open space in the middle for community use. The site includes a place for collecting rainwater and also a place to throw out waste and collect sewage. Ovens were also found, which were most likely used for baking bricks, pottery and also bread.
The normal adult entrance fee is €3, and the reduced rate for pensioners, students etc. is €1.50. There are also two other Iberian settlements which are at Montbarbat and the Sanctuary of Sant Pere del Bosc.
Cementiri Modernista de los Indianos – Modernist Cemetery of the Indianos (MOLL Site 7)
Camí del Repòs, Ctra. Blanes
Without a doubt, this is one of the most important cemeteries of its type in Catalonia, and possibly in all of Spain. The Indianos were sons and daughters from the town, who had returned back from the Americas, having made their fortunes.
The main avenue of the cemetery showcases a series of pantheons and hypogea, all in a suitably evocative modernist style. Although the main designer was Joaquim Artau i Fabregas, there were many other notable architects and artists involved in the project. For example one of Gaudí’s disciples, Bonaventura Conill i Montobbio, produced dragons to watch over death and darkness, and angels who bowed their heads, as if in mourning like any mere mortal. These Indianos had some serious connections, which resulted in this fantastic modernist cemetery that you can see today.
Platja de Lloret – Lloret Beach
This coarse sandy blue flag beach is the biggest beach in town, and it goes on for over one a half kilometres. Located in the centre of Lloret de Mar, this busy beach has parking facilities next to it, making it suitable for daytrippers also. There are facilities which are adapted for those with limited mobility, and plenty of services close by. You can do jet ski, kayaking, water skiing, parasailing in the sports own of the beach between 21st June and 11th September each year. The same area also runs a mini club for the younger family members!
Funny Fact – In 1966 a bronze sculpture was erected at the end of the beach, called a Monument to Fisherman’s Wife. Local legend states that if you touch the sculpture’s foot, and gaze out at the horizon – your wishes will come true.
Platja de Fenals – Fenals Beach
Fenals Beach is the second largest beach in Lloret, of around 700 metres in length. It also has thick coarse sand, and is located in a sheltered bay, overlooked by the castle on the hill. It’s a blue flag beach, with plenty of activities just like the main town beach.
Cala Boadella – Boadella Cove
Overlooked by the St Clothilde gardens, this is a blue flag beach of around 250 metres in length. This is predominantly a nudist beach, although non-nudists are made welcome.
Platja Santa Cristina – St. Christine Beach
Nestling between two big hills, is this 500 metres or so long beach. The setting is ever so pretty, and the water is pretty much constantly calm.
Castell de Sant Joan – St. John’s Castle (MOLL Site 5)
Punta de Fenals
Located at the top of the hill, the castle is thought to date to the 11th century. It was damaged in 1356 by the Genovese fleet, and once again in 1427-28 because of earthquakes. Each time however it was rebuilt, and between the 15th and 16th centuries a lot of reconstruction work took place. This work is what gives this today’s appearance, and actually it was fully operational right up until the end of the 17th century.
In 1805 British warship caused serious damage to the exterior wall and part of the tower, when it fired a series of canons at the Castle. Then further damage was done both in 1840, and in 1923 because of violent storms.
However on 22nd April 1949 the Castle became protected as a building of cultural interest. From 1965 on archaeological excavations took place, as did restoration work. Today it is a heritage site, helping us to understand our medieval history – while we have the most amazing views over the Mediterranean sea. The castle sits top the Hill which divides Fenals beach from Lloret de Mar beach. Its origins are entwined with the birth of the town itself.
Esglesia de Sant Roma – Lloret de Mar Parish Church of Sant Roma (MOLL Site 6)
Plaça de l’Església
Thanks to the money from those who returned from the Americas, the parish church that you see today is a rather spectacular building with a blend of Renaissance, Moorish, Byzantine and Modernist influences. Their investment was poured into a large scale restoration project, which was undertaken in the early part of the 20th century.
The original church was constructed between 1509 and 1522, on a site where the former building had been called – Sa Carbonera. This had been where coal was stored, for easier loading onto the ships. The first structure of the church was a single nave, but in both the 16th and 17th centuries other rooms were added on. Today the parish church is one of the most symbolic sites of Lloret de Mar.
MOLL – Museu Obert de Lloret de Mar – MOLL – Lloret de Mar Open Museum
The open museum of Lloret de Mar promotes the concept of enjoying direct contact with the town’s heritage. It includes 14 different places. In reality other towns have a similar concept, without activley promoting it as an open museum. Outside the various places that are featured, are panels which provide additional information to visitors, however this is the case as mentioned in a number of other towns. The sites that are included in MOLL will be highlighted in their correct category throughout this feature.
Museu del Mar – Can Garriga (MOLL Site 1) – Can Garriga Museum of the Sea
Camprodon i Arrieta 2, Phone: 972 364 454 – Tourist Office
This museum won a certificate of excellence on Tripadvisor in 2014. As the name indicates it is a Maritime Museum, however it also embraces the important history of the Indianos. The Indianos is the name given to the people who left various parts of the coast to make their fortune in the Americas. The name Garriga refers to one of the families who made a huge fortune in the Americas, and then returned to their home town, Lloret de Mar.
The museum offers a very rich display of these various elements, that is divided into 5 different aspects. If you’re visiting the town, even on a day trip, you shouldn’t miss this. Currently the charge is €4 per adult, and there is a reduced price for pensioners, students, youth cardholders etc of €2 per person.
Es Tint (MOLL Site 2) – Dye Centre – this is a rough translation, that I have taken poetic license with …
Trv. de St. Miquel 4, Phone: 972 364 454
There was a time when all the towns and villages on the coast had a place like this, for dyeing fishing nets. Pine bark and boiling water produced a liquid that was used for this process, which employed an ancient technique, used all over the Mediterranean. The dye helped camouflage the nets, and also increased their durability. When nylon nets came along, this small industry went into decline. These days on the Costa Brava there is only this Fishermen’s Guild site in Lloret, and Sa Perola, in Calella de Palafrugell.
Jardins de Santa Clotilde – St. Clothilde Gardens
Paratge de Santa Clotilde
In a truly spectacular setting, with breathtaking views over the coast, are the lush St. Clothilde Gardens. Designed in the style of the Italian Renaissance, these dainty gardens overlooking the sea, were animated by the Noucentista movement. This was a movement for aesthetic and intellectual renewal in the early 20th century in Catalonia. In order to be renewed by these beautiful gardens, adults will need to pay €5.00 and those who qualify for a reduced price pay €2.50.
Jardin Botanic Pinya de Rosa – Pinya de Rosa Botanical Garden
Close to the beautiful beach of Santa Cristina, lies the beautiful Pinya de Rosa Botanical Garden, just down the road in Blanes. Utterly stunning, and offering up staggeringly beautiful views of nearby seas and cliffs, this 30 year old garden destination inspires the senses. A great place to enjoy nature at its best, in the sun, with a particularly impressive range of prickly cactus plants to be admired but not touched!
Where to Sleep
4 Star Hotels
The Hotel Delamar is an oasis in the buzzing tourist town of Lloret de Mar, mere moments away from the beach. Step into its cool, contemporary bohemian chic, that seems to effortlessly combine Cuban and Mediterranean style, to receive a genuine, warm welcome from the reception staff. We stayed in a double room that overlooked the main swimming pool below, and the bed was delightfully massive and comfortable. Make sure you don’t miss out on the wonderful roof terrace pool and sunbathing area – El Terrat.
Although the hotel has 205 rooms, it has a boutique hotel atmosphere. Located in the heart of Lloret de Mar, the colonial-style Hotel Delamar, which opened in May 2016, is a new take on an urban beach hotel. Designed for adults only, it attracts guests who wish to blend the authentic with a youthful spirit.
Business & Pleasure
The purpose of our visit was a combination of business and pleasure. The free WiFi throughout the hotel made our business meeting easy to have, so we chose to have it beside the main swimming pool, which was a very relaxing environment. Although if you do need space and audio-visual equipment for a business meeting, the team at the hotel can organise that for you.
Along with the main swimming pool and the rooftop pool and sun terrace – El Terrat, the hotel has a nice gym on site, and La Sala, where you can choose from dance, yoga and Pilates classes. Visitors can also enjoy a massage. Although there is a schedule, all services are available by request.
If you decide to head to the beach, which is only a few moments away from the hotel, there’s a concierge service to book your sun bed, as well as a daily beach towel service. As you wander down the promenade you’ll notice that there is plenty of nautical activities on offer, but before choosing, be sure to ask the hotel staff to recommend the best services. For golfers, cyclists and other sports people, there’s a storage area for your equipment.
As well as WiFi, there are also a couple of computers available for guests’ use not far from the reception area.
All rooms have a balcony and air-conditioning. Ours overlooked the main pool, and certainly the night we were there was a huge test – as it was the Fiesta of San Juan – which meant plenty of fireworks and partying until the wee hours. We could hear the fireworks from time to time, but the sound levels in this part of the hotel were quite good considering the all night party that was going on in the town.
Rooms also have a 43″ television, complete with International satellite channels. Something that is fairly unusual still in Spain, is the ability to make a coffee or tea in your own room – so this is a nice touch, especially for those of us who are used to it elsewhere.
The beds stand out as a highlight, as they are super comfy and generously sized. The shower was also superb.
Dining at the main Hotel Delamar restaurant – Els Americanos – is buffet-style, incorporating live cooking. The obvious advantage of this is that you can help yourself and eat as much as you like. The offerings both at breakfast and lunch cater to an International clientele, plus in our case, as we were also having a business meeting, the casual approach worked well. No doubt, like us, many visitors like to explore the busy town centre, which we did at night, and chose an interesting restaurant – more about that later.
What Makes The Hotel Delamar Special?
The architecture of the Hotel Delamar draws on historical roots with Cuba, which it blends wonderfully into a 21st century Mediterranean oasis. The decor is crisp yet welcoming, bohemian chic, that has obviously been planned out meticulously. The hotel has a good atmosphere, and most of the staff appear to be genuinely cheerful and friendly. The location so close to the beach is superb, yet you don’t need to venture out into the crowded town and beach, if you don’t want to – with a choice of two lovely pools in the hotel.
There are also activities for guests, such as the night we stayed there was music, cava and cake on the roof terrace, which has spectacular views.
Discover more about the Hotel Delamar
This feature about the Hotel Delamar was written after a blogger’s inspection trip there. The hotel offered us half board for one night as part of this arrangement. What I have written about the hotel is my honest opinion of our experience there, and is not biased by the blogger trip arrangement.
Where to Eat
La Parrilla Lloret de Mar
While exploring LLoret de Mar I noticed a restaurant that seemed especially authentic. A little later back in our hotel room I decided to go the TripAdvisor route, just for safety, as we had a client visiting us for a meeting, and we certainly didn’t want Richard (who has also become a friend over the years) to have a bad foodie experience. Nor did we want one ourselves.
In fact only earlier in the day we’d been confirming between ourselves that a restaurant that we went together a couple of years ago, had not yet been beaten for any of us as the best restaurant experience so far. If you’re curious check out Carmen Guillemot which can be found in the old town of Peñiscola, which is well worth the visit, being one of Spain’s officially most beautiful towns.
Currently No. 1 on TripAdvisor
By coincidence, or not as the case may be, the same restaurant that I had spotted was also topping the TripAdvisor charts for restaurants in Lloret de Mar. This is La Parrilla – which is a quaint, authentic family run affair, down a tiny side street in the old part of the town, not far from the church. However a reviewer on TripAdvisor had also mentioned how small it is, and that you definitely need to reserve. We were lucky, in our case there was one table left inside.
27 Years In Business
And yes, I guess there is a reason this family are 27 years in business (as of June 2016). Mama (Mari-Carmen) gives you a big warm genuine welcome, without too much fuss, just as if you arrived at your favourite Auntie’s house! Without having had a morsel pass my lips the word authentic sprang back into my mind again.
Nice little touches soon came to the table in the form of mild pepperoni, olives and the small fried fish that are typical here. The menu concentrates predominantly, but not entirely, on food that is grilled – hence the name La Parrilla. So without further ado, the gentlemen ordered t-bone steaks sourced locally from the region of Girona and I ordered chicken with a pepper sauce. We also ordered a starter of mussels to share. Marie-Carmen dubiously asked if we would like chips, and we all said yes. Apparently she thought it a little strange!
Other customers were enjoying Paella, which was tempting as it looked so good but once you’re in Spain a while you get into the habit of eating it during the day, just like the locals.
Tasty & Plenty
The mussels were delicious, in a sauce that I believe had Romesco (a typical sauce of Tarragona) mixed with some other ingredients. The portion was generous, and we didn’t have the chance to finish the mussels, as along came the amazing t-bone steaks. Whether you’re into quantity or quality, you don’t need to worry about either in La Parrilla!
The steaks were huge and delicious. My chicken was tender, juicy and perfectly grilled, and was literally swimming in a perfect creamy, pepper sauce. I didn’t even try to photograph it, it was snorkelling under the surface of the pepper sauce, so you wouldn’t have seen anything properly in a photo! Chips – well we kind of played a bit with some of them, but we totally realised why Mama had seemed a bit concerned about us ordering chips for three in the first place.
We had all noticed that there was no sign of desserts on the menu, but I assumed it was one of those situations where we would get a little dessert recital after our mains. Richard seemed a bit perplexed, but Mama duly delivered a bunch of baby Magnums to our table…. also on the house. The reality is that a normal person doesn’t have room for dessert …although someone we did manage the typical cake for the fiesta of San Juan and a glass of Cava!
The whole evening we were all rather fascinated with how this family managed to be so cheerful and friendly, in such a small busy space, and serve great food. La Parrilla is more than tasty food, it’s an authentic experience.
Discover more about La Parrilla
Address: Santa LLucia, 13, 17310 Lloret de Mar, Spain
Phone: 972 36 96 36