Spain

The Quieter Side Of Benidorm

This is going to be a bit of a speed post. I’ve just come back from a short stay in Benidorm.

I admit, it wasn’t my first choice of a destination, more a trip to see my mum who lives out there. What sprung to my mind when I envisioned this popular tourist destination were rowdy English stag parties, bars packed to the brim with burnt tourists and more drunken stag parties….. and too be honest I was right.

But there is another side too.

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I flew with Easyjet, flights averaged around £70 a return. On arrival we took the benniconnect which takes around 50 minutes to take you from Alicante airport to the centre of Benidorm for as little as 7 Euros.

My first appearance was of a mini Las Vegas springing out of the arid landscape and I wasn’t too impressed with it. There seemed to be half-built developments cropping up all over the place and most were seemingly abandoned.

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My first night out was an eye opener. I visited a bar and nightclub called Sinatras and was stunned to see a whole retirement community of ex-pats dancing and drinking till 2 in the morning. When I was out-danced by an 80 year old with some nimble footwork, I realised it was time to retire for the evening back to my hotel Sol Pelicanos….. yes….. the one featured in the infamous series Benidorm.

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Although the rooms were a bit basic and it was incredibly noisy at night, the breakfasts in the morning were incredible. Pancakes, an assortment of Spanish cheeses and quince jellies, the bread bar, pasta bar and a full English breakfast bar.

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We spent the first day visiting some of the gay-friendly bars, in particular, Olivers which is a beautiful, traditional Spanish style bar just a few minutes walk from the seafront. It seems a bit ironic seeing as I’m in Spain to say Spanish style but as you walk around, you see KFC, Burger Kings and mostly American themed bars with live bands playing.

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This was followed by a trip to the old town and famous look out, with blue hued ceramic tiled floors, white washed walls and mosaiced archways, really stunning.

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(Be aware that it takes at least 25 minutes to walk the length of Levante beach and if you wish to walk the whole stretch to the Bali hotel, you are looking at an hour at least!)

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My highlight had to be the far northern side of Levante. Here is where local fisherman catch their dinner! Locals of every age were fishing here, it was incredibly peaceful with a great view of Benidorm seafront whilst being away from the crowds.

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The sea was breath taking, different shades of turquoise to deep aquamarine’s and crystal clear. The closest hotel before the road turns into rocks and then the fishing are is the Hotel Nadal. A cosmopolitan, white washed large seating area with an outdoor bar.

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Food starts at just 5 Euros for a selection of sandwiches. I recommend the lightly fried aubergine slices drizzled in honey.

There is also a hidden nudist beach, Cala La Almadrava, in a beautiful cove a 15 minute walk behind the Nadal hotel. It is not officially a nudist beach so don’t feel uncomfortablke with your swimwear on!

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I finished my trip with a walk to La Cruz, the famous view point overlooking Benidorm. Expect a 40 minute hike to the top of pay 7 Euros for a taxi and walk down like we did!

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