Benidorm – everybody has a view
So after the culture and city life in Alicante with Dave Bull, I am shooting up the motorway to Benidorm. It’s about 45 minutesor bus and just a bit longer on the tram/train that goes along the coast from Alicante to Dénia. Whatever your thoughts are about Benidorm, which I fully admit is a “Marmite City”, (you love it or you hate it!) please do visit it before you give your opinion! Can, I give an opinion? I hope so. I first came in 1979 and have been back many, many times since then. I have seen the town develop massively in that time and, in my opinion, almost all of the changes have been for the better.
The detractors can normally not tell you how many 5* hotels the town boasts, nor count the number of international music and cabaret stars who top the bill at the Benidorm Palace. They are probably also unaware how many golf courses are within 30 minutes’ drive or how popular the attractions like Terra Mítica and Terra Natura are. In addition to all this, Benidorm is famous throughout Europe for unbeatable value for money. These are just some of the reasons why literally millions of holidaymakers come back to the town year after year. One of the big changes over the past 30 years has been the move from the two week package holiday to a town which offers a wide range of accommodation options. Many stay in apartments, caravans and apartotels. Other hotels are now “all inclusive” whilst others are adult only and another choice is room only. This means that the holiday-maker has the largest choice ever. Many now stay for months at a time either in rented property or in apartments they have bought and live in for anything from a few weeks to full-time. Benidorm certainly has an attraction to many!
So where to stay? The town is usually divided into two areas – the Levante beach area and the Poniente beach. These districts both have their fans whilst others (especially the Spanish) prefer the Old Town which sits between the two districts. The reality is that Benidorm is a compact town and you can easily walk from one to the other or pop on an inexpensive bus. On your first visit you will decide which area is for you. If you are desperate for 24/7 partying you should be looking to stay in the Levante with its (in-)famous C/Girona. Other than that, it would be personal choice, I am sure. If however you are looking to purchase here, I’d suggest you checked both areas and also La Cala de Finestrat just to the south of the town. This bay area is very popular with long-stay guests and those who elect to buy. It is a bit quieter and has hyper-stores and an enormous shopping centre which has everything you need for year-round living and not just tacky souvenirs! If you want help with property purchase, I recommend Marisa at. 100% professional and transparent. Unlike many estate agents here, she will INSIST that you use a solicitor.
Another pull for me is that Benidorm has a strong rugby tradition. This week it’s the 29th Benidorm 7s competition. I rush up the hill to meet Ignacio Davila, the Presidente at Rugby La Vila, who is “Mr Rugby” in these parts. I ask him about this weekend’s event, “Pues, Esteve, Thanks for dropping by. You know that Villajoyosa (La Vila) hosts each year an Annual International Rugby Seven a Side Tournament. It’s being played at the New Villajoyosa Rugby Stadium, very near Motorway Exit nº 66 so very easy for Benidorm. This year is the 29th running of the event, and as usual the tournament is held over two days (Saturday 23rd May and Sunday 24th May). The Sevens caters for all levels of senior seven a side rugby. It’s divided into two sections (National Sides – Invitation sides, and Club sides.) This thriving event is supported by Generalitat Valenciana, Villajoyosa Council and Patronato Turismo Costa Blanca.” (…and, of course, ThisIsSpain jeje!)”
“We have confirmed 8 International Selections: Russia National team (new core team for the World Sevens Series), Chile National Team (just won the South American 7s) UK Bite (Marauders Academy). Hawick from Scotland. Free Sevens French Selection, Belgium Barbarians and the Kazajistan Selection. Then we have 6 Clubs Black Orquideas from Venezuela, Bearn France, Murcia RC, Elche RC and La Vila and 5 Womens teams: Andorra Selection, Denmark Selection, Alicante Selection, Sevilla University and La Vila. Saturday games Clubs at 11.00 am Selections at 4.00 pm until 8.00 pm. Sunday games will start at 11.00 am until 8.00 pm. Finals will start at 5.00 pm.”
So quite a competition and this year the finals are being streamed online! You will find full details here.
This is just a small overview as I am only in town for 24 hour and wanted to catch up with Ignacio. If you want to know more about the town please visit ThisIsBenidorm.info or the ThisIsBenidorm Facebook page