It was only two weeks ago that I was picking up last minute bits and bobs for a late getaway. With Autumn kicking in and rain scheduled for weeks, there was no better time to grab some much-needed Vitamin D. I haven’t had a beach break in years, I’ve been on a few city trips here and there but it’s been a solid five years since I’ve taken myself abroad for full on sun, sea and sangria. I don’t know if it was just that or the fact that it was my first holiday with my boyfriend that made it so exciting and special. Originally, we were looking into a short weekend trip to Barcelona. I’ve always wanted to go and we agreed that it would be a nice ‘first’ abroad getaway together, ease ourselves into it, best to test the water in case we were sick of each other by day two (ha). Having said that, we were looking into surrounding areas and Lloret De Mar kept popping up on our searches. My parents have been a couple of times and so with a little persuasion from my Mum, we decided on four nights there with the promise of a day trip into Barcelona. I think my poor boyfriend cracked under the pressure as my Mum got her say (and way). Although, with that said, it’s a decision that we didn’t come to regret in the end… more on that soon.
Lloret De Mar
Touch down in Lloret De Mar on October 2nd to a surprisingly warm day. We had been tracking the weather in the run up to our trip, as you do, and it’s fair to say that there was still good weather potential with temperatures hitting 25-27 each day. It was about 24 when we got there, slightly cloudy, but still very warm. We experienced a bit of faff at the airport (Barcelona airport is big AND confusing) so we ended up getting to our hotel a little later than usual, plus Lloret De Mar is around a 60 minute drive out of Barcelona, so to make the most of the day we had left we literally sprinted straight to the beach. I guess you could say that our hotel was situated on some sort of ‘strip’. Of course, it all appealed to tourists. You had your hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and clubs all within close proximity to each other. This is what we expected and we were fine with that. The beach was a short walk, literally just a quick 4-5 minute stroll and we we right on the coast of the Costa Brava coastline, which hosted many towns, one being Lloret De Mar. This meant that there were lots of water sports, boat trips and excursions on offer – more on this later! Just note that most of the beaches aren’t sand, was quite the shock when we went feet first onto stones.
Our hotel was absolutely dreamy. We stayed in Hotel Delamar, an adults only, four star hotel which was decorated beautifully. The hotel and rooms were bright and fresh, home to four swimming pools including two on the rooftop, hot and cold buffet breakfast served each morning (plus prosecco) and plenty of activities on offer such as live music throughout the day and evening, great drinks and bar service, best of all complimentary cheese and wine each evenings. I’ve stayed in some gorgeous hotels over the years and I have to say for a generally tourist type area, the hotel was completely above standard.
Eating out in Lloret De Mar was really enjoyable. Famous for it’s paella, there were a lot of local fish dishes on the menu in most places and tapas was a really big thing out there. On our first night I enjoyed a seafood paella and my boyfriend enjoyed chorizo, calamari and lots of delicious tapas dishes. Food and drink is generally very cheap in Lloret De Mar. A glass of prosecco will set you back a very reasonable 4 euros and most nights I drank the local Rioja which was a shocking 2-3 euros a glass, and when I say glass there really is no measures involved, they just fill you right up.
Lloret De Mar has everything you need for a hot beach holiday and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the town, for me it’s highly recommended if you just want warm weather, good food and drink and a lovely beach.
Tossa De Mar
As I mentioned there were lots of excursions on offer from Lloret De Mar, you could catch a quick boat to any of the other towns up the coastline, we opted for Tossa De Mar, just a 60 minute journey away. I’m so glad we did this, it was our last day and we said sod it, let’s just go for it. It only cost us around 40 euros to do this. Tossa De Mar felt more authentic than Lloret De Mar, less of the tourist attractions. When we arrived, we were welcomed by a stunning castle. We did a lot of walking in Tossa De Mar and explored the beautiful historical buildings, rocks and coves. We ended up taking another little boat out from Tossa De Mar that day with a group of people so that we could go right into the coves and take a closer look, this boat also had a glass bottom which was scary and interesting all at once. I don’t think my boyfriend has ever held my hand so tightly, I needed it! After that mini trip we came back to shore and spent the afternoon on Tossa De Mar beach relaxing. Honestly, it was bliss and as our last day, I felt like it was our favourite.
We were so excited to see Barcelona and on our second day we arranged a bus trip because I really wanted to explore the hustle and bustle of the markets. The bus was expensive, for the both of us, there and back, it was about 50 euros. So we decided to spend the entire afternoon in Barcelona shopping and having lunch, at least that’s what I was hoping to do. I think you either love Barcelona or you don’t and unfortunately, I didn’t. Obviously, it’s a city but I expected more. I didn’t see the wow factor from the markets and Las Ramblas to me, was a street full of tat and tea towels. We made it down to the Marina Bay situated at the end of the street, which was a lovely, yet spoilt by a massive shopping centre plonked on the end of it with a massive H&M inside. Luckily, we were only in Barcelona from around 12-5pm and I’m glad, I was desperate to get back to Lloret. Before we had to get the bus back, we stopped off for a glass of bubbly in a quiet street, which was the best part about the day. We picked up some chorizo to take home, that made the boyfriend happy. It wasn’t a wasted day but with the two hours of travelling to get there and back, I wouldn’t do it again. I’m glad I can tick it off the list, but that’s as far as it goes for me.
What’s next? My boyfriend keeps saying we’ll go to Bali next year which I’m all for, but financially I think we might have to wait another year or two. I’ll keep dreaming! We’re both very keen on Croatia, so I think that will be the one. I’ve got the holiday bug now, I mean I have to make up for those beachless five years, right?
It's Emma over email but Ems face-to-face. By title, I'm a writer, photographer, creative, freelance marketer and more importantly rosé drinker. I'm also a daughter, sister, auntie, girlfriend and friend. I overshare and I swear. I have been dedicating my time to this space for four years. Lifestyle topics are my specialty, with a dose of daily fashion thrown in for good measure.