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Naff? It is not!

Author: Alan Mead
Date of Trip: June 2012

To most people, the very concept of a holiday based in the tourist- dense part of the Costa Brava, would be a non-starter.

It is not my usual choice, but I was restricted by the fact that my travelling companion was recuperating from a serious illness.

We booked an all Inclusive 14 day stay in The Royal Beach Hotel in Fenals, effectively a suburb of Lloret de Mar. Our expectations were not high, and indeed, the hotel needs much refurbishment, and better control of the raucous groups of stag/hen and rugby club parties who stay there. The food and drink are acceptable.

Fenals beach, which is 80 metres away, is an eye-opener. It is a bay of white sand, visited frequently by the boats which ply the coast as an alternate form of public transport. They visit Tossa del Mar to the North and Blanes to the South.

We walked to Lloret and found that far from being unpleasant, there were many intriguing back streets which contained small shops and mini-bodegas which served an assortment of drinks from wooden barrels, and offered inexpensive and good quality tapas. Try the “pa amb tomat”, about as cheap as one can get; yet incredibly tasty.

We travelled using local buses to Tossa de Mar (twice) and other local villages and towns. It required two visits to take in the sheer beauty of the setting and the magnificence of the Tossa de Mar old town with its accessible fortifications.

A day trip to Barcelona by bus to Blanes station and then by the coast-hugging train which pass through most of the resorts of the Costa Mauresme, is a terrific excursion. As we had both visited Barcelona before, we headed up to Tibidabo, a retro theme park perched above the city. We were fortunate to visit at a weekend, and availed ourselves of the vintage “Tram Blau” to the funicular railway, and then up the steep track to the park and convent which nestles at the top. Hint: Take a good camera, with good zoom lenses to get the most from the stunning views.

On other days we visite Blanes town with its extensive Monday markets, and went to Figures to spend time looking around the Salvador Dali Museum. All of these things are not what many would expect from a holiday based in this area, which goes to prove that even the most basic of trips can be enhanced with a little planning and initiative.

Try it! You will enjoy it.

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