Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar; Bay Laurel of the Sea
If you arrive in Lloret de Mar on a weekend in the summer, it would be easy to mistakenly presume that the package tourist party atmosphere is all there is to the town.
Tourists flock here for more than just the opportunity to wear brightly coloured beachwear and suntan (or burn depending on your SPF factor). The two main blue flag beaches flaunt two kilometres worth of sand, with water sports available as expected from a seaside tourist area. But off the beach are gardens and shady coastal walks along the rugged coasts that give the area of Costa Brava its name. These are a great place for a day hike, to pack a lunch and picnic overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, or sit at the foot of a pine tree with a good book. Walking is encouraged further inland as well, with urban routes also signposted. One of these routes leads you past a bike park as well as a water canal that doubles as a graffiti art gallery.
Past this, 2.5 km inland from the town centre on the edge of Lloret de Mar, stands the Chapel of Les Alegries. Although only open for special occasions, it is a nice break along a hiking trail and has a toilet available. This 11th century chapel was the first church in the area and was once central to the original farming settlement. People at that time lived inland to avoid pirate attacks. In 1509, construction of the Gothic styled Church of Sant Roma began near the seafront. With this strong building erected, people started to feel safer and began moving towards the coast to take advantage of the sea. The capacity is 380 people. So what’s in a number? This represents the entire population of the area at the time in order to provide a safe refuge for all during the dreaded pirate attacks.
Fishing soon became the focus of the region. The statue of the fisherman’s wife (at the northern end of Lloret de Mar beach along a coastal path) remembers this fishing history by honouring the women who would go to the seafront daily to watch for their husbands. Rubbing the statue while looking out to sea is supposed to make your wish come true. Large sailing ships also left here for the Americas, with those that found their fortune returning as Americanos, or Indianos. Their homes lined the seafront until tourism took hold around 50 years ago. The Museo de Mar is located in one of these homes which was preserved, and tells the tale of Lloret’s maritime history.
Nowadays tourism is the most important industry to Lloret de Mar, but many of the attractions that appeal to family tourism also benefit residents. Sports such as running, football and many others, is well catered for, and a brand new Olympic size swimming pool is being built. Although most popular with tourists in the warmer months, the Cataluña sunshine, sandy beaches, and rocky coves are a draw that residents can enjoy year round.
Copyright of Maria Hart
Maria Hart is an award winning freelance writer who specializes in travel and yachts. Wanderlust and a passion for storytelling, not to mention a healthy dose of peer pressure, launched her into the blogging sea recently with the website: TravellingwithHart.com This is a space aimed especially at solo travellers with a heart for deep, eco or furry travel; people who dare to learn, smile and try. Here you’ll find travel inspiration, photos and tips, resources and stories.
A frequent short term visitor to Spain, she hopes to turn her Spanish love affair into a long term commitment eventually and become fluent in the language. It is not only the warmth of the summer sun that provides the draw of the country for her, but the warmth of the people.
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