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I’m just going to say it, I genuinely predict a Benidorm revival. I have been harbouring these thoughts for a while now and figured it’s about time I explained on paper my reasons. Maybe it’s my background as a backpacker, choosing random places on a trainline and seeing what there is, or my perpetual need to explore something new, but I have a soft spot for the underdog. It’s the cities that didn’t quite make capital status or the cities people don’t give enough time to, well, I love them and Benidorm is no different. A fave destination for my grandparents many moons ago we have all seen Benidorm become a British drunk in place form. The Rovers return moved in and then the TV show immortalised it but Benidorm didn’t ask to be the most famous tourist resort in Europe for those reasons and has it’s own personal style ready to shine.
If the Visit Benidorm website is anything to go by, Benidorm wishes to steer away from the idea it is a retirement village in the sun. With pictures of a semi-naked couple enjoying the beach on show, Benidorm is apparently looking to seek the younger crowd. Now throw in a little bit of style and you’ve got a destination in the making. The first step to prove you are not just a drunken party animal is to have some alternate interests, and this is where Golf and Nautical tourism come in. A round of golf in the sunshine sounds like a pretty great afternoon away from the crowded beach, or if you fancy it, try out some watersports or day sailing out to see. As the backpackers return from their gap years armed with PADI qualifications and the need for a job with only minimal holiday time, holidays in Benidorm are the perfect way to keep those dive certificates up to date. A cheap destination to get to and a marine reserve surrounding Benidorm Island to explore. For the less active amongst us, although I would happily argue the health benefits of shopping, Benidorm has all the shops the other destination have and the markets provide the trinkets for something different.
In a time when everyone’s a food blogger and dishes from around the world are all of a sudden the thing of the moment, Benidorm is a food haven waiting to be discovered with red mullet and pumpkin rice, fish casserole, rice with anchovies and spinach, sweet potato cakes and San Blas cake. If that’s not enough to enice you to the area, keep an eye out for Benidorm Gastronomy 2012 events throughout the year.
To be a city these days which is a cut above the rest you need innovation and an environmental conscience and in order to tick those boxes Benidorm has energy saving hotels. The Costa Blanca Hotel Association, Hosbec, has launched a pilot program known as Enerintur (Intelligent Energy for Tourism) to be rehabilitate buildings to promote energy saving.
So, yes there will always be a Rolling Stones bar, a cheesy tourist dinner dance combo show, an array of fast food options and a sea of sunloungers but that is essentially what many are looking for each year for that 1 week abroad in the sunshine and away from the rest of the world. I also hate to break it to you but it doesn’t matter where in the world you go, if it’s a popular choice for travelers the beach will be busy. The difference with Benidorm is it won’t cost you nearly as much to get there.
So if I was to say to you good, fresh and healthy food, good Spanish wine, walks along the beach, tapas in the old town and a little piece of cheesy fun if you fancy it, all for under £200 – would you be so quick to judge Benidorm as a holiday destination?
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Cheska is a resident blogger at Beat the Brochure who has spent many a good year backpacking round the world, as well as a stint living in Beijing. Cheska has visited 6 out of 7 continents and will, repeat will, visit the last one before turning 30. Cheska is an avid CSI fan, streetfood expert and cat lover who can often be found with chocolate on her desk.