Climb to the top of this historic castle, which is set on a cliff high above the water and offers picturesque views over the beach and city.
Dating back nearly a thousand years, Sant Joan Castle is almost as old as the city itself. Very little of the original castle remains today, but its ruins continue to stand guard over the bay between Lloret de Mar and Fenals beaches. Make the steep hike to the top of the hill and you’ll be rewarded with dramatic 360-degree views of the surrounding area from a height of 196 feet (60 meters).
Archaeological excavations indicate that the castle was originally built in the late 11th century and subsequently rebuilt several times over the years. Towards the end of the 17th century, the castle was used as a lookout point, helping to defend the city against possible attacks from the sea. The castle was severely damaged by British cannons during the War of the Third Coalition in the early 19th century. The ruined castle fell into disuse for more than a hundred years until restoration work finished in 1992.
Today, the castle serves as a heritage site and popular viewpoint. Although piles of ancient rock are mainly all that remains of the castle today, the grounds are well marked with signposts. As you walk around, read the descriptions outlining the layout of the former castle and explaining how its design evolved over the years. Try to imagine what the castle looked like in its glory days.
Pay the fee to walk up to the top of the tower, the only part of the castle that remains intact. Look out for a large piece of broken wall, which reveals a pretty view of the beach below. With the jagged edges of rock framing the beach scene, this “window” is a particularly popular spot for photos. Be sure to snap a few more photos at the very top of the tower, capturing the stunning views over the city and its beaches.
Located at the southern end of Lloret de Mar Beach, a visit to the castle pairs well with a stroll along the beach’s seaside promenade. Opening times for the tower vary depending on the time of year, so it’s best to check in advance.