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linda2003 Mar 8th, 2003 05:48 PM

lloret de mar to Barcelona
Hello All<BR>We need all the help possible..we are 2 single moms with 2- 19 yr olds and 2-21 yr olds and are travelling to Barcelona in the 1st wk of July. We have a good deal on an apartment we are renting in Lloret de mar - how far is this from Barcelona-hope we can do day trips ? Should we get a weekly pass of some sort for the rail travel ? We will be spending 2 wks there. We would like to travel around a bit - any suggestions ? We love to have a good time - fun night life ? shopping bargains ? sights ? We are flying from Vancouver to London and then plan to take a cheap flight to Barcelona - I believe it would be best for us to take a cab from the airport to the train station in BCN and then onto lloret de mar ? Would really appreciate all suggestions - Maribel if you read this could you give me your valuable advise.Thanks to all in advance.... <BR>PS: Can we carry minimum cash and get away using credit cards in most places ? as we don't feel too safe carrying cash.

keldar Mar 9th, 2003 06:28 AM

Hi Linda:<BR>Well you certainly have chosen a place with lots of night life. The young people will be partied out if I know Lloret de mar. I found it all a bit much but you'll have to judge for yourselves.<BR>You are just over an hour's bus ride from Barcelona to Lloret. The bus station in Lloret is a hub for the area and you can get bus trips to almost anywhere in the general Costa Brava from here.(we have taken trips to Montserrat, all along the coast, Girona,Andorra, etc and you can also check out some local companies who do tours to a few places in a day. (or you can get from Lloret to Girona or Barcelona easily for trips to even further spots.) Definitely hop on the bus to Tossa de mar , or hop on one of the many ferry trips that leave from the beach that ply the coastal towns from Blanes to St Feliu de Guixols hourly.) Tossa de mar is much more to my taste with a quieter feeling but lots of great shops, restaurants and two lovely beaches. The beach at Lloret is lovely too and in July it's just hopping.<BR>From Barcelona airport there is a great system of transportation into the city. No need to take a cab, just hop on the &quot;people mover&quot; adjacent to the airport which then stops at all downtown main metro (subway) ,train and bus stations including Sant Station where the buses depart for the trip to the costa Brava towns. The bus to Lloret (this was a few years ago) we took from Sant Station to Costa Brava cost about $11.00CAD one way and in July ran about 5 times daily.<BR>There are so many places to see and things to do in this area. Depending on what you like to see try to get into Girona for some shopping, we found this less busy than Barcelona and there were some excellent mainstream Spanish/European shops and some lovely local ones too. The city of Girona is filled with an amazing span of historical sites too. <BR>We do as you want to, and take credit cards for payment for most things. It's not necessary to carry much cash with you. Carry your debit card as well as ATM 's are everywhere in this area. Just check on the back of your card to see which ATM you need to use (i.e Cirrus or Plus etc) and look at the signs on the entrance to the ATM's or beside the outdoor machines and use the ones your card is affiliated with. Simple and easy. One thing we always do is take the phone number for either your branch or your on-line banking service etc and if there is ever a problem you can check directly with them by phone. (last year we had trouble withdrawing cash on our debit cards and were concerned so we called back to Canada to our bank and they informed us it was simply a computer downtime when we attempted the transaction but it made us feel good to know all was well)The exchange rates are usually quite good doing it this way also. Always remember that of course some small restaurants etc may not be set up for Credit cards so you'll need cash for these.<BR>If you have any questions you think I can answer feel free to ask. We have travelled to this area many times and know lots of little spots.(if you want to go up into the Pyrenees let me know and I can give you some hints on a great day or two day trip)<BR>regards,

peregrina Mar 9th, 2003 07:40 AM

It's about 1 &amp; 1/2 hours from Barcelona. My question is, what is the great attraction to Lloret del Mar? My husband and I got stuck there for two nights and ever since, we have been calling it &quot;Mierda del Mar&quot;.

peregrina Mar 9th, 2003 07:42 AM

ps - read the thread on how to spot a European, paying particular attention to the fat German men in speedos, and you'll get some insight into the place.

Alec Mar 9th, 2003 08:05 AM

To get from BCN airport to Lloret de Mar, you have a choice of train/bus or train/metro/bus. <BR>1. Train/bus: From airport train station, you can buy a through ticket to Lloret. Take a train to Mataro and change for another going to Blanes (same platform). A bus leaves outside the station every 20 min or so to Lloret. Total journey time about 2 hours.<BR>2. Train/metro/bus. From airport station take a train to Sants station. Change to metro line 4 (colour-coded grey) to Arc de Triompf. Barcelona-Nord Bus station is a couple of blocks away. Take Sarfa bus direct to Lloret, which leaves about hourly, taking around 75 min. Timetable and fare at Total journey time about 2 1/4 hours.<BR>Official taxi fare from Lloret to BCN is around 100 euro, but airport taxi may well charge more for the trip.<BR><BR>Distance from airport to Lloret is just over 100 km (62 miles). As Lloret has no rail station, trains are only for getting to Barcelona. Buses are more useful. Renting a car is advised, as there are some spectacular drives along the coast north of Tossa, but you'll need a mini van, costing from around 500 euro/week, or two small cars at 400 euro.

Maribel Mar 9th, 2003 09:27 AM

linda,<BR>keldar has given you terrific, really valuable information, but I'll just add a few thoughts.<BR><BR>I'll assume you have chosen Lloret primarily because of the good price you've found for a 6 person apartment but have also researched rentals in nearby and much prettier (but maybe pricier?) Tossa.<BR>Lloret is a major budget package tour destination for the British/Dutch/Germans and has more concrete block highrise hotels than any other Costa Brava resort, amusement arcades, discos, bars, frenetic nightlife. It's only 70 km from Barcelona, therefore easily accessible for mass tourism. I would use the Lloret apt. as a base but spend some if not most of my beach time in Tossa. We were there in June and noticied the hydrofoil from Lloret that deposits visitors right on the beach. Easy and fun. Tossa has an undeniably beautiful natural setting with a very pretty, expansive horseshoe shaped beach, the Platja Gran, with all sorts of water sports, the ruins of an old Roman settlement and medieval quarter on a promontory, the Vila Vella, which you'd enjoy exploring (plus soaking in the great views), a beachside promenade with nice cafes for snacks/drinks, such as the one at the Hotel Diana, for watching the masses at play, and the whole town, even with the hords of July/Aug. vacationers, is spotless. <BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>

Maribel Mar 9th, 2003 09:28 AM

cont.,<BR>For day trips, I would use the dependable bus system (SARFA) and certainly venture to the interesting city of Girona. There you'll enjoy the dark, labrynthine, highly atmospheric medieval Jewish quarter, the Call, the arab baths, the cathedral, on Carrer Santa Clara you have sophisticated shopping (for your 19-21 yr. old there's a branch of Zara on Carrer Joan Maragall for great, inexp., hip clothes), a lively Rambla promenade lined with tapas bars, great dining and nightlife. From Girona you can take public transp. to Figueres, as I know your 19-21 yr. olds will get a kick out of the outrageous, over-the-top Dal&iacute; museum there, and from Figueres there's bus service to the bohemian, isolated seaside village/artists' colony of Cadaqu&eacute;s, where you can tour Dal&iacute;'s home in nearby Port Lligat. If you like medieval villages, you can also venture from Girona (or probably even from Lloret on a coach tour offered by the many travel agencies) to the lovely towns of Besal&uacute; and Santa Pau and the extinct volcanic region of the Garrotxa (great walks and even buggy rides around this park). <BR>If you'd like to venture up to the catal&aacute;n Pyrenees, there's Lynn's and my favorite, the spectacular Vall de Nuria, accessible by a delightful, truly unforgettably scenic ride on the cog railway up to this peaceful and utterly beautiful sanctuary/hiking/skiing center from Ribes de Freser (we've done this twice now). To reach Ribes to catch the Nuria &quot;cremallera&quot; train, you can take a connecting train from Barcelona Sants or from Vic or Ripoll (see the timetable at This I feel is one of the highlights of any Catalunya visit. If you can spare the time, I'd put it at the top of the list. If you'd like to spend the night, the Husa hotel there is quite reasonably priced, as is the dining with several options, even a nice little market if you want just take-out.<BR><BR>We also enjoy the northern Costa Brava quieter beach towns of Llafranc, Tamari&uacute;, Sa Tuna and Aiguablava with their tiny, secluded pine covered coves, but they're low key, except for Llafranc which bustles in summer. There's a diving center in tiny Sa Tuna that your 19-21 yr. olds. might enjoy, plus fabulous seafood at the Hostal Sa Tuna. You can taxi there from Llafranc. You can also walk to a lovely botanical garden at Cap Roig.<BR>And the hairpin drive along the cornish from Tossa to Sant Feliu de Guixols is the finest on the coast, with simply stunning sea vistas. Tour busses do ply this route.<BR><BR>Hope this gives you a few more ideas.

linda2003 Mar 9th, 2003 10:40 AM

Wow! thanks for all the wonderful information. The info on how to get to Lloret from BCN is truly helpful. Do all the busses have storage for suitcases ? <BR>Lloret really sounds like an overcrowed teeny bopper beach town - the kids may enjoy that but definately both of us moms will be taking trips out to the many sights suggested by all of you. Yes, we are only staying there as we got an amazing deal as the apartment belongs to someone we remotely know - a friend's friend. What are some of the must do's in Barcelona ? Montserrat ? It seems Girona and Tossa de mar should be high on the list. Maribel can we do a day coach trip to the diving centre in Sa Tuna or should we stay overnight ? It seems the last Sarfa bus which runs between BCN and Lloret is at 8:30 - so if we wanted to have a late dinner or a night out we would need to spend the night in BCN - do we have any other choices ? If we did have some time which places should we visit in the Pyrenees ? If we wanted to do an overnight trip and felt ambitious is Valencia worth a visit? How would we get there and how long would the trip be? We really do not want to rent a van as driving would be too stressful. Thanks again for all the information. PS: Yes Maribel the Dali museum will be a must - the kids I am sure will be fascinated with his works.Thanks.

Alec Mar 9th, 2003 12:49 PM

Blanes-Lloret by Pujol bus is a regular urban service and doesn't normally provide storage space, so you'll need to travel light (though I've seen people with huge backpacks). There are plenty of taxis too (including a couple of mini vans), and the fixed fare is around 12 euro. The non-stop Barcelona-Lloret by Sarfa bus does accommodate luggage in its hold.

linda2003 Mar 9th, 2003 01:19 PM

Thanks Alec - so if I understand you - we can get back to Lloret from BCN after the last Sarfa bus (at 8:30pm)by taking the train to Blanes then Blanes-Lloret by Pujol bus. The luggage space will only be required twice ie when we land and depart from BCN. A taxi/van from Blanes to Lloret seems quite reasonable at 12 euro if it can accomodate 6. Do you have any info on coach day trips and prices ? Thanks

keldar Mar 9th, 2003 01:36 PM

Hi again Linda:<BR>If you and your companions are looking for a trip to the Pyrenees and you don't have a car you can travel to Nuria by train from Barcelona on one of a few daily Renfe trains which connect to the Cremallera (cogwheel train) further north in Ribes de Freser. The trip up on the little train is worth the trip in itself but the mountain hideout of Nuria is fabulous. If you can plan an overnight so you can hike around and enjoy the hotel and it's ambience in the evening. Check out for more info.<BR>I do feel like some of the others that you and your friend will be tired of the tackiness of Lloret by the end of your trip there but we stuck it out for a two week stint for the same reason as you (a cheap and cheerful holiday) . There are still some nice little restaurants in amongst the fast food places that you can check out and one rather fabulous shoe store that I always make the pilgrimage to.<BR>Regards,<BR>

linda2003 Mar 9th, 2003 02:28 PM

Hi Kelder<BR>Thanks - will check out the train to Nuria - I have travelled a fair amount in other European cities and I do understand the sentiments for lloret - I am certain I will only be using it as a base and will travel out and around during the day. Please..please do tell me about the shoe store - shoes and bags are high on my shopping list as Spain is well known for it. Any other bargain spots you know of would be of great help too.

Maribel Mar 9th, 2003 02:41 PM

Linda,<BR>A bit more about Tossa: <BR>It's mass market family tourism done well, something for every taste and budget (like a Royal Caribbean cruise), while Lloret is overdevelopment run amok, kind of &quot;lager loutish&quot;, to use a British term, just so that you'll be aware of the difference. Both get gobs of summer visitors, but as Alec has said, Tossa handles the crowds really well, as we saw first hand last June, and it's only an 1hr. (?) boat trip away. There's also diving in Tossa as well as kayak rentals, glass bottom boat rides, sailing, windsurfing-you name it. And if you'd like to stay over into the evening before returning to Lloret, you'll find nightlife to suit both you single moms and your offspring. I mentioned Sa Tuna &amp; others villages on the northern C.B. only because we love its &quot;off the beaten path&quot; nature. It also has a pretty,inexp. hotel, the Hostal Sa Rascassa that caught our eye, plus some self-catering apts., but I'm not sure about busses from Lloret to that area. But diving/snorkeling you can find everywhere along the coast. <BR><BR>Some &quot;must dos&quot; in Bcn (at least for me):<BR>the Gaud&iacute;-Moderniste architecture (Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Parc Guell, Palau Guell), Montjuic, a stroll down the Ramblas (note the human statues but take care with your wallet and the card games!), a stop at the wonderful Boquer&iacute;a market there, called the Mercat Sant Josep, take a stroll through the Gothic Quarter and Cathedral (try to see the catal&agrave;n national dance, the sardana, performed in the cathedral square on Sun at noon and the Placa Sant Jaume on Sun. eve.), the fine Picasso museum with his terrific early works, many of his rose period, in La Ribera district on lovely Carrer Montcada, the Port Olympic, a tour in English of the gorgeous Modernista (Catalunya's Art Nouveau) Palau de la M&uacute;sica Catalana, the views from Tibidabo...If you love art, the Thyssen Collection in the Monestir de Pedralbes is a small, exquisite gem. And your 19-21 yr. olds will want to see the soccer stadium, the Camp Nou. All of this and more can be easily done in 2 1/2 day trips or 1 long day via the very efficient, tourist friendly, hop on/off Bus Turistic, which leaves from the Placa de Catalunya. It's really the best way to take in all the sights in the least amount of time and shoe leather.<BR>Your offspring would really like the nightlife in the trendy, hip, Soho-like El Borne district. The &quot;in the process of gentrification&quot; El Raval quarter is kind of East Village.<BR>Great grown up bars for the single moms: &quot;Boadas&quot; on Tallers, right off the upper Ramblas, the rooftop terrace of &quot;La Pedrera&quot; on the Passeig de Gracia for cocktails and live music in summer, and a terrific &quot;cava&quot; (bubbly) bar on Carrer Montcada, right below the Picasso Museum, &quot;El Xampanyet&quot;. In that same area for truly fantastic dining, tapas style at the counter, run to &quot;Cal Pep&quot; on Placa de les Olles and arrive btw 1-1:30. I sent a friend there recently, and he and 8 other pals loved it so much they dined there every day for a week!<BR>And Pep himself will take good care of you. <BR>Don't know how you'd get back to Lloret late at night, so I'd really consider spending a night in Bcn. <BR> <BR>

Maribel Mar 9th, 2003 02:43 PM

cont.<BR>A &quot;must do&quot; 1/2 day trip: <BR>Montserrat, either by train/cablecar (departing from the Placa d'Espanya) or by Juli&aacute; bus.<BR><BR>For the Pyrenees, the excursion to the Vall de Nuria would be my first choice. But you'd need take a 2 1/4 hr. RENFE train from Bcn to Ribes-Enllac, where you pick up the narrow gauge railway, the &quot;cremallera&quot; up to the N&uacute;ria sanctuary. But check the travel agencies in Lloret to see if they offer excursions. <BR><BR>There's an outlet shopping village, La Roca, on the way up to the Costa Brava from Bcn, (shoes, handbags, upscale clothing-but I've never been), and Lloret travel agencies may offer bus trips there.<BR><BR>For Valencia, you'd need to back track to Bcn and take the 3 hr. Euromed train down, (or the slighly longer Arco or Talgo-see timetables at, but I would concentrate instead on the many wonders of Catalunya. There's so much to see and do there to keep you happy and busy for your 2 weeks.

Maribel Mar 9th, 2003 02:47 PM

me again,<BR>Shoe/bag stores at La Roca Factory Stores Village: Yanko, Farrutz, Camper, Acosta (gorgeous leather!)

linda2003 Mar 9th, 2003 03:58 PM

Okay - I really do get the drift re the lager louts - if we did not have the kids we would try and change the venue, but... However we will make the most of it and enjoy it all. I am definately going to arrange a trip to Vall de Nuria as all of you are really praising it so much. The 1/2 day trip: <BR>Montserrat, are these departing from Lloret or BCN - train/cablecar (departing from the Placa d'Espanya) or by Juli&aacute; bus ?? Thanks for all the info on Bcn - the Turistic bus - should we do the 1 day or 2 day ride - I know there are 2 different directions they travel in - any particular spots we should jump off and wander around ? Thanks for the info on night life - I was sure the kids would have a great time but now the moms can have a blast too. Someting tells me that this is just going to be an introductory trip and many more trips will need to be planned to enjoy and absorb the huge variety Spain has to offer. I am sure you will agree Maribel ? and thanks for the info on shopping. Is Sitges worth visiting ? As you suggested I have eliminated the thought of visiting Vanencia - I think it was rather ambitious and moreover there seems to be so much to see in the Catalonia district. Thanks again..

Maribel Mar 9th, 2003 04:13 PM

Hi linda,<BR>The Juli&agrave; bus and the train/cable car connection to Montserrat both leave from Barcelona.<BR>The Bus Turistic routes (one north, one south) can be done on a long day by arriving at the Placa de Catalunya for the first morning departure at 9, or in 2 half-days, depending on the time you have. We did it last summer in 1 long day, as we wanted time in the city for other things.<BR>The hostess/host on board will give you a handy explanatory brochure in multiple language which will explain each stop and what there is to see at each, plus opening hrs., entrance fees, etc. It's really tourist friendly and so easy. You can decide on the bus as you approach each site whether you want to get off or not. If you have no interest in Mir&oacute;'s art, for example, you can skip the stop at the Fundaci&oacute; Mir&oacute;, or if you want to see the (very old) albino gorila, Copito de Nieve, at the zoo, you can get off there...or not... The Bus Turistic is really so easy and worth every penny. <BR>Yes, I'd definitely take the 30 min. train ride from Barcelona's Estaci&oacute; Sants to Sitges. Trains runs from 6-10 and cost around 2 euros, one way. Everyone, moms and kinder alike, will enjoy this pretty, cosmopolitan but laid back beachside town. It makes a great beach excursion from Bcn. It's pleasant, hip, has great tapas bars and is an easy trip.<BR>Hope everyone has a terrific time!

linda2003 Mar 9th, 2003 04:59 PM

Maribel...thanks for all great info - you're awesome !!<BR>PS:<BR>If someting spectacular comes to your mind please keep me informed - I will continue to check for any updates. Bye for now..

Alec Mar 10th, 2003 08:37 AM

Last train from Barcelona Placa de Catalunya (near Barri Gotic) to Blanes is 10.38 pm weekdays, arriving 11.49 pm. There will be a taxi available from Blanes.<BR>From my last trip in 2001, following bus services were available from Lloret: Blanes Town, Barcelona, Girona, Tossa (frequent); Palafrugell, Palamos, Platja d'Oro, Sant Feliu (1-4 a day). Also many travel agents sell you excursion tickets to various places like Andorra, Figueres, Port Aventura (very good Universal Studios theme park in Salou, but 100 miles away) and Montserrat. Also the ferry services stop at various places on Costa Brava, and it's a wonderful way to travel.<BR>As for raucous nightlife, yes it's there, mainly in the small streets set back from the promenade in the centre of Lloret. But Fenals in the next bay is a much quieter spot, with a good fish restaurant on the beach. Also Santa Cristina further up the coast is a lovely, peaceful spot with an old church overlooking a small bay. It isn't difficult to get away from noisy nightspots.

Maribel Mar 10th, 2003 09:32 AM

Alec,<BR>That's really terrific info to have! There seem to be many ways for linda and co. to explore Catalunya via both public transp. and bus excursions. <BR>Linda,<BR>Since you can travel by bus to Palafrugell,<BR>I would highly recommend a day trip up to this very pretty, somewhat secluded and less discovered/massified part of the Costa Brava. From the market town of Palafrugell you can taxi to the seacoast village of Llafranc (great food at the Hotel Llafranc or the Hotel Llevant, both on the beach), Aiguablava (the Pardor has a stunning setting on the beautiful bay of Fornells right above a lovely cove beach you can walk down to) or Sa Tuna with its fabulous dining at the Hostal de Sa Tuna, plus from Lafranc you can walk to the botanical gardens of Cap Roig and there are fantastic views from the Far (lighthouse) de Sant Sebasti&aacute; and abandoned hermitage above Llafranc. You can walk up to the lighthouse in 30-40 min. by heading up the steps from the harbour, then follow the road to the right. This area would make a really nice day trip, I think.

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