DESTINATION: LLORET DE MAR, SPAIN
TRAVEL TIME: 2 HOUR FLIGHT FROM BRUSSELS
STAY: 8 DAYS
HOTEL: Evenia Olympic Palace
This was the first time that we went on a proper family summer vacation since Beau was born. I’ve never been to Lloret de Mar as it has always been a party destination like Ibiza, but I’ve been to the area (Calella). We were quite excited to go on this trip for several reasons; one being that we needed a break from work and another one being that it would be the first time we go for a summer vacation in 5 years (!). The weather forecast predicted sun and warm temperatures, so was looking forward to some relaxing and tanning 😊.
How to get to Lloret de Mar
FLIGHT: there are several airlines that will take you from Brussels or any other European city to Lloret de Mar, but for this trip we booked our vacation via TUI, so we got to tag along their own flights. The destination airport is not Barcelona, but instead you fly into Girona which is also referred to as the Costa Brava Airport (area in the province of Catalonia known for its beach destinations). The flight went very smooth and we arrived just under 2 hours without any turbulence or issues with Beau (it was his first ever flight).
BUS: when landing in Girona, the tour operator (TUI) had buses waiting for the passengers that go to the different towns along the Costa Brava. The bus took about 30 min since our hotel was the first stop of the trip. So, we were lucky in this sense, because it was already late and Beau was getting tired. Alternatively, you can also order a taxi (or be lucky that there are taxis waiting at the arrivals section).
Where to Stay
EVENIA OLYMPIC PALACE
The hotel, Evenia Olympic Palace resort, was located about 700m from the beach and about 500m from the actual center with all the shops. The result combines 4 hotels (Park, Suites, Garden and Palace) with each having its own attributes. Since we travelled off-season, one hotel was still closed and the restaurants weren’t all open, so we had to use the one from the Suites hotel. The swimming are leisure areas are all shared, so everyone gets to enjoy the 5 swimming pools, slides, gaming area, mini-club (kids), etc. Since we had an all-in vacation, we had the pleasure to start drinking cocktails as of 10am and have mid-day snacks and ice cream. The nice thing about the location is that you have no noise from the clubs or drunk people on the streets. The hotel/resort is also known for being children-friendly and thus you will come across a lot of families with small children (when travelling off-season), so this was one of the selling points that made us choice this hotel for our first family vacation. With the shopping streets not far from the resort, we spend quite some mornings strolling these streets and just window shopping 😊. Also, with the beach also near, we did go there to check out the water, but with the steepness of the beach and the sea, we didn’t want to risk anything with the little one, so we just went in with our feet and that’s it.
The food at the hotel was fantastic. There is fresh fruit & juice, pastries, pasta & pizza and just continental servings which was just perfect.
What to See & Do
WALK THE STREETS
If you like strolling through small streets, and just taking in the neighborhood, this is for you. You might even discover some hidden gems. You will come across a lot of tourist shops which all seem to sell the same stuff, but you can also find some local handmade shops that have unique items that you will not find anywhere else.
You simply cannot visit Spain without eating paella and preferably the original one from a local Spanish restaurant. Since we went all-in and always ate at the hotel, we had to make do with the paella prepared by the hotel chef. I’ve had it before when visiting Madrid, so I could tell the difference but still must admit that the paella at the hotel was quite good.
Since you cannot spend your summer vacation just lying on the beach or at the swimming pool, you should go out and explore the area. Since there isn’t that much to do in Lloret de Mar except the castles on both side of Lloret Beach, we decided to make a day trip to Barcelona. Again, we were not as adventurous as we normally are, so we booked our excursion via our tour operator (TUI) to get a guided bus tour to Barcelona and then to the most famous spots including the magnificent fountains 😊 On this tour, we went to the Sagrada Familia (obviously this has to be on everyone’s agenda), drove through the city center of Barcelona, enjoyed the view from Montjuic, strolled over the Ramblas, explored the Park Guell and watched the light and music show of the fountains before heading back to the hotel. Barcelona is just an amazing city with so much to do and to see, that it’s also worth a separate city trip to take your time to discover. I’m thinking of doing a separate post on Barcelona as this city deserves its own special place 🙂
Your Fun Tourist Spots
Sagrada Familia (Barcelona)
Magic Fountains (Barcelona)
Tuesday Market (Lloret de Mar)
Castell d’en Plaja (Lloret de Mar)
Where to Eat/Drink
Macondo Beach House
We enjoyed a cocktail at Macondo Beach House, because after climbing the steps to the Monument of the Fisherman’s Wife, you need something to drink especially if the weather is also very sunny and hot. The host spoke Dutch with was also a big plus that made us choice this beach bar instead of the next one. When choosing our cocktails, we went for a large Long Island Iced Tea and a Strawberry Daiquiri for 14 EUR each. We knew it was quite expensive, but this one time splurge we didn’t mind it. The cocktails were delicious and we even got flower necklaces with it which was super!
Unfortunately, I cannot comment or recommend any other location to eat or drink, because we stayed mostly in our resort for eating and drinking with the all-in formula.
Below you can see some more impressions of our stay in Lloret de Mar and it’s surroundings 🙂
Would love to hear any great spots that I might have missed, so that I can be sure to check them out the next time I’m in the Costa Brava. Thanks a lot for reading and following along my adventures!