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Are you thinking of sightseeing in Lloret de Mar on the beautiful Costa Brava in Spain? Here’s how to see all the sights with one day in Lloret de Mar.
Things To Do in Lloret de Mar
Most people go to Lloret de Mar in Costa Brava, Spain for the beach, but there are a lot of other ways to enjoy yourself in this resort town on the northeast coast of Spain.
Where is Lloret de Mar and Costa Brava?
First you need to know where it is. Costa Brava, the ‘Rugged Coast‘ of Spain, lies between Barcelona and the French border.
It’s popular with budget-minded package tourists, but still has plenty of unspoiled regions and unbeatable sea views.
The town of Lloret de Mar is one of the main beach resorts – and after arriving here straight from Paris it seemed shockingly affordable.
Check Out the Modernist Cemetery
Without a doubt I am the laziest sightseer ever so I looked at a map and decided to visit the Modernist-style Cemetery of Lloret de Mar, which was only a few blocks away from my hotel.
I was staying at the Evenia Olympic Resort, (which is really three hotels together) on Cami de Repos.
If you are at all enraptured with Antoni Gaudi and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (like who isn’t?), then visit the Lloret de Mar cemetery.
That crazy curvy exuberant Catalan Modernist style is in full force here and while you won’t see any sepulchres or anything else by Gaudi, it’s fascinating to see an example of the modernist movement beyond Gaudi’s rock star attractions in Barcelona.
Search For the Hermitage of Sant Quirze
According to my Lloret de Mar tourist brochure, the Chapel of Sant Quirze is the oldest chapel in Lloret de Mar, possibly dating back to the time of a Christian Roman General named Quirze.
According to my map, the Hermitage of Sant Quirze is very near the Lloret de Mar Cemetery, so when I saw a sign I followed it only to end up back where I started.
Like travelling in other Spanish destinations like Barcelona, Madrid or Mallorca without a car, you can still get around fairly easily, but full confession: I never did find the Chapel of Sant Quirze.
So … I went to the beach instead.
Beaches of Lloret de Mar
The longest beach in Lloret de Mar is Lloret Beach. It’s 1.5 km long and is in the centre of town.
There are lots of happy holidayers here and it’s a sea of bathing suits, beach towels, umbrellas and coolers, which wasn’t what I had in mind so I angled west to Playa de Fenals, or Fenals Beach instead.
Costa Brava Sunbathing
Beaches are not in short supply in Costa Brava.
Coves and bays are separated by craggy cliffs, and up on the hilly parts between beaches there are walks and attractions that will leap out at you when you least expect it.
I liked Fenals Beach at once. It’s sleepier than Lloret Beach and set in a sheltered bay.
The sand is decent and the water a lovely costume-jewelry blue. I walked the length of the promenade past the Snack Sunshine Bar then up into the hills.
There are many other beaches to choose from, and they range from isolated hideaways to bustling hangouts.
In addition to other popular spots like Playa Cala Sa Boadella and Platja Canyelles, one is noteworthy because of its view, and that beach is Sa Caleta.
Located near the main beach of Lloret de Mar, it’s a small cove with fishing boats and is practically in the shadow of a picture-perfect castle.
See the Fake Castle – The Castell d’en Plaja
This may look like the castle of all your fairytale visions, but it actually dates back to the 1940s. It’s privately owned so you can’t go in it, but it certainly makes for a nice view.
There is an authentic medieval castle in Lloret de Mar, the 11th-century Castle of St. Joan, which we’ll stumble upon later in our itinerary.
Trails in Lloret de Mar
Walking along the coast is one of the top things to do in Lloret de Mar, at least in my opinion.
Wandering through the pines and oak-filled Coastal Forest was shady and peaceful with views of the Mediterranean below.
I saw a sign for the Hermitage of Santa Christina, a Neoclassical chapel from the 18th century with roots that go back to 1376, and thought that might be interesting.
However, being in happy wandering mode rather than in purposeful goal-oriented mode, I was suddenly following signs for the Santa Clotilde Gardens instead.
Visit the Santa Clotilde Gardens
Created 1919, the Gardens of St Clotilde are modelled after the Italian Renaissance, with space, colour and the landscape all working together to create balance.
It’s a prime example of the Noucentisme Movement, which (and I had to look this up) is a Catalan movement that was a reaction against the Catalan Modernist Movement, and emphasizes order and classicism.
I thought that was interesting because it proves that everyone in the whole wide world hasn’t always been in love with Gaudi and his exuberant Art Nouveau Modernist style.
(The gardens have nice sea views, too.)
At this point I had seen enough, so I walked back up the hill I’d come from and down the other side toward Lloret Beach as I knew the way back to my hotel from there.
But it wasn’t Lloret Beach I ended up on, it was a small cove called Cala Banys.
Although it’s not a sand beach and is quite rocky, it was terrific in an oh-I-found-a-hidden-beach-I’m-so-special kind of way and is apparently a good place for snorkelling and fishing.
I would have liked the secluded charms of Cala Banys even more if I wasn’t suddenly tired and bummed that I now had to climb back up the hill I’d just tramped down on.
Castle of Sant Joan
Then poof! I found myself at the 11th century Castle of Sant Joan, which is pretty much just ruins now but the restored keep is impressive.
During the Battle of Trafalgar in the 1800s it was destroyed by the British, but restoration has been underway and the tower has been rebuilt.
While it’s not as movie-star pretty as the Castell d’en Plaja, it’s better because it’s real and for centuries protected Lloret de Mar from attacks by sea.
The Cat Park of Lloret de Mar
Finally I made it back to Lloret de Mar and came to a small park.
A park meant benches to rest on so I waltzed on in only to be hit by a horrific smell – the smell of a cat litter box that has never ever been changed and in all likelihood never will be.
Then I saw them. Cats. Cats everywhere, lounging, lolling, stretched out in the shade, some hissing, some climbing, some just looking philosophical.
I am a cat person, and if I weren’t married to someone with allergies, I would surely aspire to being a batty old cat lady, but even I had to admit that this was not just smelly but surreal.
(If you want to find this mysterious cat world for yourself, search for a place called Travessia de les tres Creus.)
In its own way this park of cats was as mesmerizing as castles and coves, simply because it was so unexpected.
Trying not to breathe too deeply, I sat down on a bench thinking of towers and cemeteries, of modernism and anti-modernism and pine trees and free-roaming cats, and came to the conclusion that as beachy as Lloret de Mar is, it has an even larger life beyond the sea.
Travel tips for Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain
Getting to Lloret de Mar: I was coming from Paris so I took the AVE high speed train to Girona.
From Girona I took a bus. The bus station is right next to the train station. It took around 45 minutes.
If you’re coming from Barcelona you can take the train to Blanes and a bus from there. The Sarfa bus leaves from the Barcelona Airport or from Barcelona Nord Bus Station.
Looking for a fascinating day trip near Barcelona? I loved visiting Montserrat.
Where to stay in Lloret de Mar
I was based at the Evenia Olympic Resort. The cheapest of the 3 hotels in the resort is the Evenia Olympic Park, though all 3 hotels share facilities and in all honesty I never had a clue which part of the resort I was in.
It’s not uber glamorous, but neither is Lloret de Mar (no offence, with views like that, you don’t need to be) and I thought the resort’s pools and grounds were excellent.
The bad thing about the Evenia Olympic Resort: It’s not in the centre of Lloret de Mar, but about a 10-minute walk to the beach.
The good thing about the Evenia Olympic Resort: It’s not in the centre of Lloret de Mar but a 10-minute walk to the beach – the town has its fair share of tacky souvenir shops, night clubs and bars and you might like to get away (though I did see a couple of higher end stores as well). Above all, I truly loved the helpfulness of the staff at the hotel.
Check availability and prices:
Things not to miss in Lloret de Mar (except somehow I did)
The Parish Church of Sant Roma Chapel – Built in Catalan Gothic style, it dates back to the 16th century but has modernist additions. I’m seriously annoyed I missed this.
The Neoclassical Lloret de Mar Town Hall on the Placa de la Vila – I’m seriously amazed I missed this. How I became a travel writer is beyond me.
There are a gazillion more things to do in Lloret de Mar: Visit Lloret de Mar Tourism for info and enjoy.
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