So, the first part was about walk right, walk left. If you start at the beach, you can go right–along the cliffs toward the Santa Clotilde Gardens, the #2 attraction in Lloret! Walk left, and you will get to and past the Castell d’en Plaja. That path has 10 kilometers of cliff walks. Cliffs, cliffs, and more cliffs. I can’t imagine how one could get bored by these views; then again, I had very limited time to explore them, so I wasn’t bored–I was exhausted at tmes.
Now it’s time for our third walk. Turn your back to the sea (just for a few hours, I promise) and walk into the old narrow streets of the central part of Lloret. You are in for a treat!
Not all Lloret’s streets are peaceful and quiet, of course. You will need to go three to four blocks deep to escape the assault of dozens of shops and stores that sell every conceivable trinket that has ever been made in these parts of the world, but then in the middle of the hustling and bustling shopping district you will run into this beauty.
This incredible church is Parish Church of Sant Roma, which is, according to Trip Advisor, is #3 attraction in Lloret de Mar, right after the Santa Clotilde Gardens. By the way, the #1 attraction in Lloret is El Pub Lloret (told you it’s a party town 🙂 ). We ventured there one night having no idea it was the town’s #1 attraction. It was nice, the tapas were tasty, the beer glasses were huge, and the owner/hostess was very friendly, too. At least, I think it was El Pub, because, well, read what I just said about the beers. But I digress, sorry.
Can you see why the Parish Church of Sant Roma is a #3 attraction in Lloret?
I have nothing to add, really. Only that you can’t miss this beauty. No need to look for it, when you stroll down the streets of Llorett, it will come to you.
Lloret de Mar Lodging
I don’t know if I have mentioned that Lloret de Mar is cheap.
No hotel points are necessary. Not that you could use points here anyway, since there are no huge international chain hotels in Lloret, but it would be a waste, anyway. You can get a 4-star hotel room for $60-70, a 3-star for $35-50. You can rent a 2-3 bedroom apartment for $40-60 or a house or villa with a pool for $120. My kind of place!
We stayed at the Almirall Apartments, which is right across from the beach. We paid $50 a night for a 1-bedroom apartment. It was a nice, kind of upscale, apartment, although I’m sure we got the smallest unit in the joint. Still, it had everything it was supposed to have, including the full kitchen and the balcony. And, unfortunately, two lousy single beds, too.
Don’t get me started on these European single-bed phenomenon. I’ve already bitched about it in my previous trip reports. Europeans seem to love single beds, so even though I really hate single beds, I won’t blame a hotel for following the trend–especially since the room was so affordable and very functional otherwise. Timmy, who took the sofa-bed in the living room swore by it, and I have to agree: it felt unusually comfortable for a sofa-bed. Especially compared to goddamn single bed, I had to sleep on. 😐
Sorry, the room pics got deleted somehow, but the pics on their website are pretty accurate.
Almirall Apartments was not my first choice, as I had initially booked an Expedia stay at the Evenia Olympic Suites where the TBEX conference was taking place. But then Expedia screwed me up with that infamous coupon, and–after the smoke cleared, it was sold out, simple like that.
It wasn’t a big deal, since the walk between Almirall and Evenia took about 10-15 minutes, but I still toured the suite that I had missed out on with an Evenia host, and quite liked it. It’s pretty nice and functional. Evenia Olympic Resort is a huge hotel and conference complex, consisting of a few buildings, multiple pools (some with slides), a fitness center, a kids center, spa, etc. Evenia Suites islocated in a newer, more family-oriented building, away from partying guests occupying other buildings, LOL. The door between the bedroom and the living area has a curtain, so you can hide from your kids or a snoring partner, too (I’ll take the sofa-bed next time).
By the time of booking, it cost about $70 with breakfast, and only a few bucks more for half-board (although it’s likely to command higher prices in season). While there is an abundance of inexpensive dining options everywhere in Lloret, getting half-board at this hotel might not be such a bad idea, and here is why.
I only had lunches at Evenia, but they were delicious! It’s not the main courses that I remember, although they were fine too, but little things like tapas and other stuff, cold and hot that I don’t have names for. They were simply mouthwatering! Boy, I would stay there if only for the culinary experience. Yes, I am easy to please. 🙂
Food in town
As you can imagine, there is no shortage of eateries. Restaurants, cafes, pubs, cafeterias, lots and lots and lots of them. The most expensive are lined along the beach, where a meal with drinks might set you back about $30-40. Walk into the second or third street from the beach, and the price of the feast goes down fast–really fast. We didn’t have a chance to sample many restaurants; we would get up early, have a quick bite in the room, then I’d have lunch at the conference, so all in all, I’ve tried three places during our stay, the one being El Pub mentioned above, so here are the other two:
El Gaucho has 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. As the name suggests, it’s a steak place. This is a relatively big restaurant, with a nice atmosphere and seemingly fanatical following, judging how fast those tables would fill up. The waiter worked with us diligently to find us the wine we’d be happy with. My escargot (or something like that) was fine, but Timmy’s steak was a little bit on a tough side.
And they do discriminate against vertically deficient males. Unacceptable! 🙂
La Parrilla is a small family paella place. We were quite hungry at the time, so we ordered a big paella for two, then I ordered a soup and before I had a chance to add something else, the hostess categorically said: no, too much, big! I appreciated the honesty, because she was right–we haven’t been able to finish the paella. It was huge and cooked to perfection.
Timmy also had a pasta dish at the Almirall restaurant, which, according to him, was delicious. I didn’t feel like eating around 11PM, so I had a glass of wine instead. Two happy men…
I don’t remember how much these meals were, which means, there was nothing to remember. They were cheap! The paella was about 12 Euro for two, and the Timmy’s pasta was less than that. Good stuff.
Money exchange in Lloret can be a problem. It’s nothing like South America where Cambios are multiple and easy to find. In Lloret you might get stranded if you don’t use ATMs, and if you do use ATMs you might get ripped off.
We got to Lloret on April 30, which was Thursday. That would’ve been no problem, but the next day was May 1st, the International Workers Day–virtually unknown in the States–the bottom line, almost everything was a long weekend and everything was closed except for the trinket shops, of course.
That wouldn’t have been a problem–I have an account with the Santander Bank, which is a Spanish bank, so I presume withdrawing money from Santander would cost me either nothing or very little. Well, guess what, what they say about presumptions is exactly right, as they charged me $14 for a $240 withdrawal, $6 for the “service” and $8 the Forex charge!
Back home, I spoke to the bank manager, and he said, that’s the way it works for now, as Spanish banks still work separately from the US branches. I believe him, because he is usually very helpful.
And by the way, there is a combo that worked throughout the holiday and had a decent exchange rate. It’s on the main street at the blue hotel, but we only found it the next day.
In conclusion: if you are traveling to Barcelona, set a few days to spend in this beautiful town. You’ll be glad you did.
My next reports will take us to Figueres (the hometown of Salvador Dali), Girona, and, oh yeah, Barcelona. Stay tuned!
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