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Dominique Rizzo - Catalonia Costa Brava

Lloret de Mar – A Gem of the Catalonian Region

Located just seventy kilometers from Barcelona, Lloret de Mar is a booming tourist attraction and seaside resort. With more than seven kilometers of coastline and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Lloret de Mar is one of the most popular nightlife destinations in the world. But, this city can offer you much more than just round the clock parties. Read our guide to  find out what are the must-do activities and best locations to see when visiting Lloret de Mar.

Lloret de Mar - Dominique Rizzo Tours.

Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lloret_de_Mar.jpg

 

The Next Big Party Destination – Costa Brava

Without any doubts, Lloret de Mar is the nightlife capital of Costa Brava. With dozens of popular nightclubs and specially-themed discos, visitors can enjoy never-ending fun and experience everything, from modern music to flamenco and music from the sixties and seventies. Most clubs open in the afternoon, although some venues are open at all times. Besides this, you can also visit beach parties or take a tour on one of several party boats cruising along the coastline every day.

Lloret de Mar Beaches

Lloret de Mar Spain - Dominique Rizzo

Image by _alfons.eg

 

 

Even if you’re not that into partying and prefer relaxing on the beach and drinking cocktails while on vacation, This coastal region has a lot to offer to you. While not many people may know, there are actually many activities you can partake in Lloret de Mar that don’t involve the parties. The town is very famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, with some of the most popular ones being:

  • Lloret beach – more than 1.5 kilometers long, this is the largest beach in Lloret de Mar and is named after the town itself.
  • Fenals beach – the second largest and arguably the most beautiful beach in Lloret de Mar. More than 700 meters long, it is situated in a bay and sheltered by hills.
  • Cala Boadella – Much smaller than the two above, Cala Boadella is a charming and secluded beach perfect for those who don’t like big beaches and heavy crowds.
  • Sa Caleta cove – located right to Lloret beach, Sa Caleta cove is a fisherman’s cove that offers fantastic views of the coastline and fine sandy beaches.

Museums, Architecture, and Art

Despite being a town of a small population of just 37,000 people, there are a lot of sights to be seen in Lloret de Mar. From the church of Saint Roma to the Can Garriga Museum of the Sea, the City Dye Centre, it will take you a couple of days to get to every location. Plus, we didn’t even mention the most significant piece of history located in Lloret de Mar – St John’s Castle. Built in the 11th century, the castle is a building of cultural interest and has endured a long and rich history. It survived natural disasters like earthquakes and storms, as well as many attacks and raids over the ten centuries it stood on top of the hill between Fenals beach and Lloret beach.

Lloret de Mar - Dominique Rizzo Tours

Image by @natalie_golebiewska

Great Food

We’ve talked about the unique charm of the Catalonian region and everything that comes with it. This also applies to this charming coastal town that has the potential to be a significant economic contributor in the region, mainly through tourism. Besides unique location-based activities, most tourists also like to experience the local food of every location they visit.

When it comes to food, tourists visiting Lloret de Mar will find that the town offers very fascinating local cuisine, influenced by several cultures. Starting with the Phoenicians and Greeks, and then later the Romans and Carthaginians, all the way to the Arabs and Spanish Christians, the food in Lloret de Mar, and Catalonia in general, is a must-try for every gastronome.

The Best Time to Visit Lloret de Mar

It is the perfect summer destination. The weather is pleasant in April with around 25 degrees Celsius in the daytime. The high-season starts in June and lasts to mid-August, and this is the period when the town gets really crazy. If you want to enjoy the warm weather, swim and walk around town, but don’t appreciate the massive crowds, May and September are the perfect time to visit the town. If, however, you’re an adrenaline seeker who wants to experience everything this town has to throw at you during summertime, peak season then this is the perfect place.

 

Thinking of travelling to Spain?

As a food and wine lover, you may want to consider joining one of Dominique’s bespoke, small group Gastronomic Food Tours to Spain, travelling in 2021. Have a look at some of the highlights of her Spanish tours and see why Dominique has rave reviews for her personally escorted food tours.

Why Spain, why Catalonia?

Catalonia, Costa Brava and Barcelona – A must to visit on your travel bucket list!

Why Spain, why Catalonia?  It’s hard not to think of Spain without thinking about wine,  world-class cuisine, tapas, Unesco world heritage sites and some of the most incredible architecture ever designed.

One of the questions that I am often asked is why I chose Spain and why Catalonia for one of my 2021 food tours?

Well if you love Spanish wine,  are a discerning diner who values first-class gastronomy, luxury accommodations and architecture. And you relish in discovering the rich history of food, culture, and art of this region that rubs shoulders with the borders of France. Why wouldn’t you want to travel to Spain…

Nominated as the BEST country to visit in the world for the third year in the  2019 Travel and Tourism Competitive Report by the World Economic Forum. With more than 3,000 miles of coastline, and no fewer than 48 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most Michelin star restaurants,  and some of the world’s best chefs, renowned artists, and acclaimed architects. Spain and the Catalonia region has to be a must on any avid travellers bucket list.

The capital and largest city is Barcelona. It is the second-most populated municipality in Spain. Tourists flock Barcelona year-round for the “buzz of Barcelona”, one of Spain’s most visited destinations. Barcelona has more than 70 top-notch museums and 24 Michelin-starred restaurants. Its medieval quarter boasts surprising modernist architecture and a vibrant urban culture. Not to mention perhaps one of the most famous ongoing constructions, the Sagrada Famiglia, and the must-see Boqueria Markets.

 

Boqueria Markets

Getting out of your hotel and heading out on foot is one of the best ways to explore Barcelona. Passeig de Gràcia,  Casa Batlló and  Casa Mila designed by Gaudi are within minutes of each other.  This colorful seaside city is full of attractions and things to do. Rivaling Barcelona in historic importance and one of the tour highlights is the medieval town of Girona.

Farther afield, in the idyllic countryside of verdant valleys and gently rolling hills, we discover quaint medieval towns, picturesque seaports, and quiet country villages where chirping birds and church bells are the loudest noises. Here you can visit the coves of Cadaqués on the Costa Brava and every stop along the way, the local gastronomy will tempt you.   Stretching Northeast from the coves and beaches of Blanes to Catalonia’s border with France, the Costa Brava is Spain’s most beautiful coastline. This 1,240-mile coast of rugged cliffs and idyllic beaches is one of Europe’s favorite seaside playgrounds, and its pretty little whitewashed towns have lured artists that include Dali, Picasso, and Marc Chagall.  The House of Dali, and the Museum which many people say is “the must-see” of a lifetime.

Art galleries and boutique shops line the cobbled streets of Cadaques

 

 

Bordered by the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Catalonia is the traditional region of Spain that is fiercely proud of its unique culture. The 4 most important regions of Catalonia are Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Catalonia has beautiful sandy beaches like Costa Maresme, reaching into the Mediterranean Sea, unlike those other feet-breaking pebble beaches, that were until more recently were unknown to tourists who happily headed south of Barcelona to Sitges (although Sitges is still a favourite). Many locals of Barcelona preferred to head north towards The Costa Brava where many owned their weekender beach apartment – white tiles throughout, clean and cool in the summer months.

Costa Brava

What do you do after a day swimming at the beach but eat fresh seafood and this is where the famous fish markets at Arenys de Mar comes in to play. They say it is something else to watch the fishing boats come into port in the late afternoon, followed by flocks of seagulls hoping to feed on some fish. There is a fish auction at the port at night – perfect to take home the freshest of fish to cook for dinner.

The history of food in this area is what really is fascinating – from sauces introduced by the Phoenicians, olive oil brought in by the Greeks, and then the influence of the Romans, Carthaginians, and Jews bringing with them their own exotic flavours and spices.

Pescaíto frito – Fried fish

While paella is the traditional food of Spain, the Arabs instilled the love of almonds and gazpacho, while the Christians introduced Spanish Jamon (ham) previously banned by the Jews and Arabs alike. Garlic, garlic, garlic – it’s gastronomical flavor making even garlic soup a must-do.

When not at the beach or eating bocadilos – the amazing baguette with Spanish ham or drinking cava the champagne of the area or rich coffee, you can dine in some of Spain’s finest Michelin star restaurants taking your dining experiences to the next level.

Michelin dining in Spain

 

 

Sometimes the reasons why I chose Catalonia are endless.

Dominique’s Spanish tours for 2021 include a focused tour to Barcelona, Catalonia and Costa Bravaand likewise, the same gastronomic and luxury tour is now available to Rioja and Basque Country including the South of France. Claimed as one of the best-kept secrets of Spain and celebrated as one of the best regions for the excellence of food and wine.  These tours have been personally designed by Dominique to give you the best of the best and are limited to a maximum of 19 travellers only.

 

A Spanish Chefs Pick of Bars & Restaurants To Try in Barcelona

After a day of art, culture, and history,  do as the locals do and head to one of the many fantastic bars in Barcelona.

Here is the low down on bars in Barcelona as a starting point.

Can Cisa Bar Brutal – Natural wine bar and Wine Shop.
This has one of the best Natural Wine selections in Barcelona you can buy everything at takeaway prices.

L’Anima del Vi – is so Spanish, great food, great local vibe.
Lots of bottles on the walls but as always, ask for anything you are chasing. They have an extensive off list cellar and back vintages of great things!

Vila VIniteca – A great wine shop with big vibes, near the marina.

Boadas – Pretty cool spot for a cocktail. Has been open since the ‘30s and is one of the oldest art deco buildings in the city.


www.cool-cities.com

La Cova Fumada – This is a classic tapas basement restaurant with heaps of attitude and charcoal-grilled vegetables and smoked meats.

Bar del Pla – another classic tapa place, good natural wine too. This is a good lunch spot.

Bar Mut – Super old school place. Ask to eat in the bar upstairs that always has live music and gets rowdy. Great cocktails and old school wine list.

ABaC Restaurant – Michelin star – definitely worth considering.


ABaC Restaurant

Quimet y Quimet – some of the best smoked, canned, and dried, pickled seafood and meats in the city. Canned Quail is the hot tip here.

Tickets – Adrias bros tapas – it is really good but you will want to book or line up early.

Bodega 1900 – Adria’s Vermut Bar. Its actually opposite Tickets. Must book for dinner.

Cal Pep – an absolute institution, sit at the bar, drink heaps of beer and eat heaps of seafood from the Plancha.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

El Tres Porquets – the three pigs, pork, pork, and more pork. Fantastic flavours and dishes.


www.restaurants.com

With thanks to a Chef friend in Barcelona for sharing.

Would you like to experience the Art, History, Wine, and Gastronomy of Spain? Click here for our selection of tours travelling to Spain

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