Thursday, October 11, 2007

benidorm break

Finally, after much buggering about, Ive writeen my holiday blog. Geez... that (holiday) was a month ago but, never mind; at least I'm writing about it now aren’t I? (actually I wrote drafts of this blog and just never found the time to finish it,,, so here,,, it'f finished... read on)


The holiday destination was Benidorm, a seaside resort in the province of Alicante, Valencia, Spain. It’s about 2 hours to get there (flying time) not considering travel time to the airport or delays. I am a DIY kind of person so knowing me I booked everything myself. I chose to fly with BMI Baby, from Manchester airport. It’s a low-cost airline, quite reasonable air fares and average service. So if you’re the snotty type, then don’t even consider, because they do not have first class.

Arrived in Alicante airport and that was a breeze. I did not even go through passport control. (Well that's one of the wonders of the EU) loads of buses to take you to your destination, or a pick-up service is available with most hotels, and taxis abound.

Arrived in the early evening, so not many things to see on the quick, quiet drive to Benidorm. But, when I got to Benidorm that was different. People, smells, sounds abound apart from the warm air that will blast your senses. I immediately dropped my bags at the hotel and went for walk down the famous Levante beach. Great fabulous beach, with a promenade walk, lined with cafes, bars and restaurants. You would not want for anything, when you're in the vicinity of this beach. During the day, deck chairs and umbrellas are on hire for the beach lovers and sun worshippers who flock by the hundreds to the coast. It’s an easy going relaxed environment. The sort where you can let everything hang out and no one really bothers or cares. So if you’re (that) body conscious, guaranteed, someone in this beach will be flabbier than you. And who cares?

Levante meets up with the other famous beach of Benidorm, Poniente, at a point in the old town. There’s a church and a modest park situated atop the rocks that naturally divide the two beaches. Do visit this place; if that is the only thing you do here. I went there in the evening, and there were street artists, vendors, music, fortune telling, face painting and a man dressed in a clown costume dancing for coins (he really gave me the creeps!). Great stuff, everything is so cool!

I also travelled to the neighbouring towns of Altea and Calpe, both are smaller, quieter towns, but worth the bus ride to see the sights, in Altea the yacht club, the beach and man made cove, and in Calpe, of course the rock formations and the beach. Just the trip on the bus going there is really good, with all the great seaside views you get.

Do have a walk around the town as there is loads of tiny shops and cafes dotted around town away from the coast. There’s also plenty of Chinese traders with their hole in the wall shops selling all kinds of things. You don’t want to miss that! Best of all are the weekend markets. There’s the Saturday market in Calpe and the big Sunday market in Benidorm. Go early in the morning though; as they start closing stalls by 1pm. don’t forget the siesta times. Spanish run shops, usually open in the morning and close around 1ish then open up again around 5 and they don’t open on Sundays.

If there is 2 things that you will buy in Spain, buy some leather and buy some pottery. I bought some of both and they are great additions to my much loved home.

You will never (NEVER) go hungry in Benidorm. Abundance of restaurants and cafes open all hours of the day and night. And for the less adventurous, there's a KFC in one of the side streets not far from the beach. I personally tried tapas (great), paella (sumptuous) and chopitos (crunchy). I think you've not been to Benidorm if you not at least try the Spanish food. There’s also this great chicken restaurant near Perla Hotel, they serve chicken, rabbit and the best ever olive oil deep fried chips (pity, just can't recall the restaurant's name). And in Altea, Pizzeria I'Sandaletti Benidorm that serve mouth watering paella mixta. service was excellent and when we complimented the chef, the waiter said, she's my mother and she's in love... awwwww be in love and to cook so well. also try some of the Spanish sangria. it should keep you cool through the warm day.

I stayed in a hotel in the center of town. so eliminated the need for taxis and such. chose the hotel for value more than amenities and turned out not so bad after all. the Perla hotel has its own pool, small-ish restaurant, and very polite helpful staff. it’s even got one coin slot computer with internet access. so what else can we ask for? 2 things... more variety in the breakfast menu and no children in our floor next time! (ha-ha)

Going back to the UK was a bit long winded than I have imagined. I checked in Alicante airport 2 hours before flight only to be told that the flight back to the UK was delayed for 3 hours. well, they at least gave me some food vouchers for burger king... hurray!!! (or is it?) and after much swapping of bag contents, the whole airport experience wasn’t really that bad. (I forgot at the last minute, that you’re not allowed liquids on board the cabin, so sangria's have to go in the luggage,,, gee-whiz)

Arrive back after 10 days, feeling just a teeny bit grumpy because the holiday was so short, but a bit glad because I’m back to the routine of our life.

My thoughts on Benidorm are its... great to go to just to be laid back and chill out. Fun and exciting for night owls with all the weird goings-on and for everybody else it's a big simmering melting pot of people from all over Europe. Join the constant fiesta. A gastronomic bonanza for various palates and just a really cool place, plus it’s just a 2 hour flight away from the UK.

Its sun, sea, good food, great views. Anything else is a bonus.


Anonymous said...

Hi, i was just wounerding if benidorm is a place to paty? or if it is more for adults and old people? because my grandparents live in benidorm and i dont want to go there if it isnt a place for me :P I'm 18 and want to party and have alot of fun ;)

girl from norway :)

riky and nina said...

it is a great place. in fact we're visiting again soon. if you are after a lively fun place then this is the part of spain to go. you cant go wrong. but i heard barcelona is amazing too!