Tuesday 21 November 2017

Benidorm holidays - more than meets the eye!

I had never been to Benidorm on holiday before and certainly had a preconceived idea of what it would be like; lads on tour, neon signs, full English breakfasts and a metropolis of music, drinking and sun burnt Brits. I hold my hands up and admit that I really wasn't convinced it would be my kind of place to visit - and I know that makes me sound pretty judgemental - but that changed when I visited last year in late May.

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One of my best friends was getting married and wanted to go to Beni for her main hen do, with around 15 friends and family members. The bride-to-be had visited this popular Spanish resort every years since she was young, at least once, and knew it like the back of her hand but I had never been and as her Maid of Honour, I didn't quite know what to expect.

I soon realised on arrival that the scenes seen on the TV show and the image that Benidorm seems to have aren't really all that fair. Like many popular tourist locations that promise sun and sea at affordable prices, it does have more commercialised areas where drinking and dancing late into the night is the name of the game - and of course, this attracts hen and stag dos. But it is a lot more than merely a home away from home for Brits looking for a good time.

Having spent a few days in Benidorm, these are the things that I loved about my holiday:

* Hotel choice and quality - there's a hotel for every budget and we loved where we stayed, Don Pancho. Staff were friendly, the pool was beautiful and the rooms offered amazing views and comfort too. My friend has stayed all over Benidorm and hasn't had a bad experience yet.

* Food glorious food - we ate like queens during our visit, from the excellent hotel food to the food market down by the main beach and a great array of eateries and restaurants both on the sea front and in the Old Town area.

* Beaches galore - Benidorm is right on the sea so you are never far from a beach. The sand is soft and although it is a popular spot, you can always find somewhere to put your towel. The beach down in the Old Town area was a lovely place to stop and have lunch or grab an ice cream.

* Old Town is where it's at - don't miss a visit to Old Town if you want to enjoy some heritage, architecture and some of the best views of the area. We enjoyed some traditional meals here and there's a great vibe too in the evenings and some great shopping to be had too.

* Keep your eyes peeled for celebs - from the show Benidorm, that is! One night when we went out in the bar district, we went for drinks at Neptunes Bar, which features in the programme, and the next day when we walked past, it was closed for filming. It's like we were practically on the show ourselves!

* Carry on cabaret - the Benidorm Palace is renowned for its variety show and I have to say, it was an amazing evening filled with dancers, frills and high-energy performances. Drinks are served at your table and you are sure to be singing and swaying in your seats whilst you enjoy some great family friendly entertainment all night long.

* Don't skip out Alicante - flights come into Alicante and then it is a bus transfer to Benidorm of around an hour, or less, depending on where you are staying. But Alicante is more than just an airport town - it is a simply stunning mix of city and beach and well worth a visit. The metro can connect you so you can pop over to Alicante for the day during your Benidorm holiday, and there's even more shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Benidorm holidays promise sun and sea, good prices, good food and a multitude of different experiences. Whether you like meandering along quieter Spanish streets, spending the days relaxing on the sand or live for the night life, Benidorm is a brilliant destination that offers more than meets the eye.


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