Blanes to Lloret de Mar
The Costa Brava begins at Blanes, in Barcelona, just south of the Girona border, and stretches north to Port Bou, on the French border.
Blanes is a proper town with a year-round population of over 20,000, including many Barcelona commuters. It is one of the only places on the Costa Brava accessible by rail. Aside from a stroll around the old town, the main attractions are the beautiful Mar i Murtra Botanical Gardens and the surprising Jardí de Pinya de Rosa. A kilometre of so after the entrance to the Marimurtra is the first of the Costa Brava’s delightful little calas or coves, the Cala de Sant Francesc, which has a friendly little chiringuito or snack bar. There is a heavy-duty fishing port where the fleet’s catch is Dutch-auctioned every afternoon on the quay. The Festa Major is held from 24th to 28th July and includes an important International Fireworks Competition.
Several kilometres north is Santa Cristina with its delightful cala and a little church and restaurant shaded by a famous tree.
Lloret de Mar is by far the biggest resort on the Costa Brava, with “point-at-the-picture” menus of paella and chips, English pubs, German beer, and visitors who do their best to ignore the fact that they are in Spain. During the day, the central beach is packed solid with oily bodies of all different shades – mainly fish-white to tandoori-red, and at night, the discotheques pump out ghastly machine music. The area around the Plaça de l’Esglesia gives some idea of what Lloret was like before the lager-louts. There is also a handsome palm-fringed promenade, and the town cemetery has some interesting modernista tombs. Every July 24th, Lloret de Mar celebrates the fiesta of Santa Cristina, a local 12th century martyr. In addition to the usual merrymaking, the curious traditional Almorratxes dance is performed, and a pilgrimage by boat is made to the cala where the saint’s body was found.
North of Lloret there are some attractive little coves which can be reached by turning off the main road. Lloret’s best restaurants are situated on these little calas, far from the howling hooligans in town. Platja de Canyelles is home to El Trull, with three terraces overlooking the bay. Also between Lloret and Tossa is the luxuriously tacky Casino de Lloret.
This article was written by Francis Barrett. See also Francis' excellent guide to Ireland irelandbyways.com
Information about the Ampurdan
Ampurdan main page
Information about the Costa Brava
Accommodation in the Ampurdan and the Costa Brava