August 24, 2016 No Comments

Lloret de Mar – It’s Like Marmite – You Love It or Hate It

Unlike in the resort towns on the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca, Lloret does not have a high percentage of UK expats who live in Spain in retirement, and for this reason among others (such as the cooler winters and rowdy summer nightlife) it is not the first choice for many looking to relocate as they prefer to be part of a larger expat community. There are plenty of foreigners living in Lloret and the surrounding urbanisations who have made the town their permanent home, but many of them are still of working age, or have worked and lived in Spain for years.

During the 70s and 80s, Lloret was hugely popular with young British people who wanted to travel around Europe working in casual jobs as they went to fund their trips. Due to the many bars and clubs in Lloret, many of which were run by savvy Brits who invested money in the town in the late 60 and 70s, work was easy to come by and the party atmosphere of the town provided the young backpackers with the fun and freedom they sought.

Therefore, UK expats in Lloret tend to be mostly made up of these old “workers” as they are known locally. Many of these young people remained in the area although their summer jobs ended – some married locals, others saved and opened bars and businesses themselves. Therefore, if you arrive in Lloret as a retiree, you may find you do not have much in common with the majority of the expats, who came to the town as teenagers, and have lived there ever since. Having said that, there are many people who do go arrive in Lloret when they retire, but they are tend to be a mix of Germans, Dutch, French and Scandinavians, with just a small percentage of Brits thrown into the mix. So if being among people of your own age and nationality with a similar background to yours is important, you might prefer a town with a larger UK expat community such as Javea or Benidorm.

Like many other Spanish holiday resorts, Lloret de Mar was just a poor fishing village until the late 1950s when the first visitors from abroad began to arrive as tourists in the village. In the 60s and 70s, foreign travel took off, and as it was nearer to the UK, Germany and Holland than the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, the Costa Brava became one of the most visited areas by holidaymakers in the whole of Europe. These days the towns on the coast would not be recognised by those who lived in them prior to the 50s, but the rugged beauty of the Costa Brava in natural areas remains.

platja-lloret-1930

Lloret de Mar 1930

Lloret de Mar is considered to be the most important resort on the Costa Brava, and receives more than one million holidaymakers each year from other parts of Spain and abroad.

Lloret Urbanisations

Lloret municipality has several attractive coastline urbanisations, namely Canyelles, La Montgoda, and Lloret de Dalt . Here you will find some charming homes alongside luxury villas, with a considerable number owned by expats; but those of UK heritage do not make up a large percentage of urbanisation home owners – your new neighbours are more likely to be German, Dutch, Russian or Scandinavian.

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Things to do in Lloret de Mar

Although Lloret is well known for its nightlife, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy if partying until the early hours is not your thing. In recent years the town hall of Lloret has worked hard to take the focus away from the night-time side of the town by limiting the number of music licenses available for bars, and enforcing tougher laws involving alcohol consumption on the streets. To promote other aspects of Lloret, they are concentrating on the many sporting activities that can be enjoyed in the area.

lloret-nightlife

Lloret nightlife

Lloret is a popular destination among Nordic walkers. This is an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages; Nordic walking utilises two ski-like polls to help the walker progress more easily. Nordic style walking is more enjoyable than regular walking as you do not feel the strain when walking uphill or on rugged ground; but you are in fact exercising all muscle groups which lead to a good workout and encourages weight loss. There are many paths in the surrounding natural areas of Lloret dedicated to Nordic walking, or for those who simply want to take a walk in nature. These are well signposted and pass through beautiful unspoiled areas and spectacular scenery.

Lloret is just one hour’s drive away from Barcelona and it is easy to get to this major Spanish city by bus.

If you’re thinking of moving to Lloret de Mar with children, there are many nearby attractions they will enjoy. One of these is the Gnome Park located about 2 miles outside of Lloret on the main road to Blanes. The Gnome Park as the name suggests, features gnomes, as well as slides, climbing frames, an obstacle course, and a bowling alley. For the adults there is a first-class restaurant and seating areas where you can enjoy a drink while you watch your children have fun.

Waterworld is one of the largest water parks in Europe, and can be reached by foot from the centre of Lloret. The park features designated areas for children where they can swim safely and enjoy small slides, as well as a number of exhilarating rides that are more suitable for teens and adults. As well as bars and cafeterias there are several picnic areas. During the summer months, queues for slides may be long at Waterworld, so you should put a whole day by to fully make the most of everything the park as to offer.

panoramica-ww

Beaches

Lloret de Mar consists of two main beaches, and several smaller coves. The beach in Lloret can become extremely crowded in the summer as tourists flock to enjoy the warm Mediterranean sea as well as activities on offer such as water skiing, parasailing, ski rafting and ski buses.

Fenals is an area that adjoins Lloret and offers a number of recently build modern apartment blocks which can these days be purchased at reasonable prices. The beach will never be more than 10 minutes’ walk away no matter where you live in Fenals, and the beach is much more peaceful than neighbouring Lloret, and has a beautiful natural setting. Both beaches have all facilities that you can expect in a busy holiday resort, including beach bars, sun bed hire and baby facilities.

Getting to Lloret de Mar from the Airport

The nearest airport to Lloret is Girona airport situated around 35 minutes away. There are several car hire companies with offices at the airport, or you can book a shuttle service at the same time you book your flight. Alternatively, there is a bus that runs around eight times a day to and from the airport, but you will need to check if the times coincide with your flight, or you could be left waiting for an hour or more due to the rather irregular timetable. A taxi ride to Lloret from Girona airport costs around €60.

Lloret can also be reached from Barcelona airport with relative ease. The journey by car takes around one hour 20 minutes, and there are plenty of shuttle services available.

Lloret de Mar Weather

During the winter months of December, January and February, the Costa Brava can be quite a chilly place and snow is not terribly unusual, although rare to see snowfall on several consecutive days. The summer months of July and August are very hot compared to the UK with temperatures reaching around 30°C at the height of the summer. June and September are perfect weather wise, as temperatures reach around 26°C, and rain is rare. If you take a holiday during the early spring or late autumn, the weather is likely to be somewhat changeable and although you might experience lovely warm days it can become cool at night.

If you are of retirement age, and considering Lloret as a relocation town, you won’t find many organised activities for people of your age group, although that does not mean there is not plenty to do – you will just have to work a little harder at finding like-minded friends. While you will soon get to know other UK expats, this is likely to be in a bar or restaurant they own, work in, or drink in, and you will possibly find you don’t have much in common with them as they will likely have lived and worked in the area for many years.

Lloret for Expats with Children

If you are relocating with children, while Lloret is a safe town for children with plenty of activities they can enjoy, you should be aware there are no international schools in the town itself; the nearest being almost 35 km away in Fornells de la Selva, Girona.

If you need to look for work, you should know most work is seasonal. To earn a living in this area, you would need to bring some skills to the table, such as experience working as some sort of contractor. A commute from Lloret to Barcelona is possible, although not really viable if you are an unskilled worker, as travel costs would be far too high in  proportion to the wages you are likely to earn.

You should also consider Lloret, and the Costa Brava in general, does not generally always enjoy mild winters like you will experience in the more southern parts of Spain. However, this part of Spain is extremely accessible with two well-served airports and also within relatively easy driving distance from the UK when compared to the Costa de Sol, Balearic Islands or even the more Northern parts of the Costa Blanca.


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