Despite its association with low budget tourism Lloret de Mar still has plenty of highlights.
Lloret de Mar sums up many of the negative aspects of tourism, with little remaining of the original village. Instead it was swallowed up by the high-rise apartments and hotels in the rush to cater for cheap package tours. While it does boast an impressive beach, the seafront is spoilt by unchecked construction and in the summer it is overcrowded. The result is that little remains that is genuinely Catalan.
However, just a little bit out of the town and there are some surprises. Fenals and Boadella beaches are a world away from the main beach. Nearby Santa Cristina boasts a fourteenth century hermitage overlooking the sea and a fairly small beach. The extra effort required to get there and cost of parking keep many potential visitors at bay.
There are also the botanical gardens overlooking Boadella beach, considered to be the best example of contemporary landscaped gardens in Catalonia.
And a number of houses remain from the nineteenth century when locals who had made their fortunes in Cuba and the West Indies came home to Lloret and commissioned fantastic houses befitting their status. Also see Sant Romà church and the town’s Catalan modernist cemetery.
Today Lloret de Mar is one of the largest towns in the comarca of La Selva with a population of around 40,000. While it isn’t as packed as during the summer months, Lloret isn’t a ghost town in off season either.
Lloret’s long main beach is sandy but gets packed in summer. There are a number of other beaches nearby though, such as Fenals just under the Boadella gardens. As well as some smaller coves you might like to check out the beach at Santa Cristina or the naturist beach at Boadella. Slightly further away is Canyelles. It can get fairly packed but isn’t as urban as Lloret’s main beach. See Lloret de Mar beaches for more in-depth info.
Things to do
With a long history dating back to before the Romans arrived on the Iberian peninsula, Lloret de Mar may surprise you with the number of historical buildings you can visit. And when you’ve had enough of sightseeing there are plenty of other activities for all the family. Read more about Lloret de Mar attractions.
Lloret de Mar doesn’t have the same reputation for restaurants as other towns on the coast. It does have a lot of fast food joints, including McDonald’s and Burger King, and there are plenty of places you can get a pizza. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some good restaurants serving local specialities though. Check out this guide to restaurants in Lloret de Mar for more info.
The origins of Lloret de Mar can be traced back to the tenth century. Even before that an Iberian tribe settled in the hills above the modern town. Booming from trade with the New World, Lloret saw some of the biggest ships of the time transporting cargoes to and from Cuba and the West Indies. Here is more abut the history of Lloret de Mar.
How to get to Lloret
By car Lloret is around half an hour from Girona-Costa Brava airport or an hour and a quarter from Barcelona. From Barcelona you can take the C-32 up past Mataró, Arenys de Mar and towards Tordera before heading to Blanes and Lloret de Mar. Another route is via the AP7, a short section of the C-35 towards Vidreres and then the winding C-63 to Lloret.
There is also a scheduled bus service from Girona airport which takes around 50 minutes. During peak season there is a bus service from Barcelona too, but in the off season you need to get to Girona by train and then take the bus. The bus station is right next to the train station.