Spain Guide

 

Lloret de Mar Spain

Lloret de Mar is located in the Spanish region of Catalonia on the Costa Brava. This is one of the Mediterranean's most popular resorts and certainly the liveliest holiday spot on this stretch of the Spanish coastline. Its a "Club 18 30" type of resort where there's enough British bars, clubs, organised beach antics and foam parties to keep the most hardened reveller happy for a fortnight.

Families also flock to Lloret for their summer holidays as the resort offers a wealth of entertainment and five safe, sandy beaches which bask in temperatures of 22 28C during the summer months. Europe's biggest water park, an aquatic zoo and the Universal Studios Port Aventura theme park are all within easy reach.

This is not really the place to savour "the real Spain" although you'll find another world of yesteryear a short distance away in the beautiful mountainous hinterland.

Lloret is 70 kilometres north of the regional capital of Barcelona (105 kilometres from the city's airport) and 150 kilometres south of the French border.

Tourism transformed this former fishing and trading centre in the 1950s and the town's grand manorial homes were bulldozed to make way for high rise hotels, apartment blocks and urbanisations.

But look hard and you'll still be able to find plenty of evidence of the area's rich history and culture which the local authorities are doing their utmost to preserve (whilst making sure the highly lucrative tourist industry is kept sweet at the same time!).

An ancient Iberian settlement, dating back to around 250 BC, has been fully excavated at the hilltop site of Puig de Castellet. A model of the site and archaeological finds can be viewed at the town's Verdaguer Cultural Centre.

The area was later occupied by the Romans the name Lloret is believed by some historians to come from the Latin word Lauretum (meaning "place of the laurels").

In the 18th and 19th century, Lloret flourished as a sea trading and ship building town. Many a young adventurer set sail for the New World from here to make his fortune. The successful ones returned, laden with wealth, and transformed their home town into a showcase of magnificent mansions, impressive public buildings and elegant plazas.

Although many of the historic buildings have had to give way to modern day tourism, you can still enjoy a flavour of Lloret's heritage and culture in its regional cuisine, the local ritualistic dances and time honoured fiestas which take place throughout the year.

If you're visiting between June and September visit the Placa de la Vila on Saturday night (before you head for the disco!) to watch the locals dance the Sardana. This traditional dance, banned under Franco's fascist regime, is the emblem of Catalonia and is performed on a regular basis throughout the region.

This is a public folk dance (you're allowed to join in regardless of knowledge or expertise!) in which participants join hands and move in circles to symbolise the sense of brotherhood and democracy so keenly felt among Catalonians.

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