That’s right, you read the title of this post correctly – however you won’t be reading about drunken antics, lairy behaviour or any other cliches you may have seen/heard!
I’ve only ever seen one blog post about Benidorm which, coincidentally, was as I was getting ready to write this one. I suspect this is because it doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a an instagrammable or classy destination but thought I’d give it a go.
On my recent visit I discovered that there’s definitely another side to Beni that we don’t really hear about, so here are some of what I think are its best bits…
The main beach that everybody goes nuts for is Levante, and it’s easy to see why. The sand is beautiful and soft, there’s lots of room to layout or play beach games, everything is very well maintained and lifeguards are on duty throughout the day. Head towards the ‘New Town’ end and you’ll also find water sports and even a beach library. At 4,50€ per item, sun loungers and parasols are decent value if you’re making a day of it, however there’s lots of room if you want to set up directly on the sand.
A short walk from Levante is the much smaller, but just as lovely, cove of Cala Mal Pas. It’s a great spot if you’re looking for a less busy beach that you don’t have to travel out of resort to enjoy. This is very close to poniente beach, which we didn’t visit, but has similar qualities to Levante (minus the water sports and library, and places to eat/drink aren’t perhaps quite as close to hand).
Myself and the Mr (him more so than me) are avid Tripadvisor checkers of restaurants and we found that most of the good ones seemed to be located on one particular street in the Old Town, Calle de la Palma.
Due to the time of year we visited (summer/winter season crossover) quite a few were sadly closed or on reduced opening hours, but we were lucky enough to bag ourselves a table at Amigos. I had the best steak of my life! The atmosphere was warm, chilled out and classy, which suited our taste perfectly. It gets pretty busy so I would definitely encourage booking a table so you don’t miss out on foodie heaven – its a not cheap, but I promise you it’s delicious!
Scattered between the usual resort cafes and bars are super trendy joints like Ole tu Cono serving up cool street food and cocktails. You’d think for their aesthetic these places would be more pricey but they’re just as great value – for about 7€ you can a pretty appetising looking burger, fries and beer or soft drink.
I thought sights like this only existed in places like the Greek Isles, but this beauty is perched on a cliff between the beaches.
Placa del Castell has it all – whitewashed stone, grand architecture, fine detailing and views of the Med like I’ve never seen.
This is the perfect spot to gather your thoughts and indulge in a spot of Mindfulness if that’s something you partake in; the sounds of the sea, cool breeze and the sun create the ideal environment.
Forget souvenirs and tacky tees (well don’ t forget, everyone enjoys a Radom fridge magnet, right?) there’s potential to do some decent splurging. Take a little stroll around Old Town and you’ll find reclaimed vintage, designer clothing and sports/athleisure wear. Not forgetting everybody’s fave Spanish high street stores, Zara and Mango.
Make sure you stop by Ale-Hop too (it’s pretty easy, they’re EVERYWHERE) which is a cute lifestyle and accessories store that’s a little like Skinnydip London.
Instagram-able locations don’t help if you’re crap at posing as I am! However if you’re sassier than me there are some great places to take pics – including a pink wall for a (if I’m honest, a significantly lower budget) Paul Smith LA vibes (further disclaimer – it’s much smaller and down a side street in between air vents, so if you seek it out don’t expect great marvels!)
One of the highlights of our trip was sipping cocktails and watching the sunset from #Planta20 at Hotel Madeira Centro. I think we can pretty much find a rooftop bar anywhere these days! It’s not a venue that simply trades on the views (which as you’ll see below, are spectacular) the decor is simple yet chic, the music modern yet chilled, and the drinks prices were comparable with any other in resort.
Stepping away from the infamous ‘Square’ doesn’t mean fun goes out the window completely – head to the Levante beachfront to enjoy bars like Tiki Town that are lively, play a mixture of current and throwback tunes whilst serving great drinks.
Other useful info and tips
– It’s pretty cheap. Food and drink is reasonably priced and portion sizes are good.
– They don’t do traditional Spanish food particularly well. This may be controversial to say, but we tried tapas and paella at a few places and were incredibly underwhelmed. You’ll be pretty ok with churros though!
– Drink cava over prosecco! Most bars serve it by the glass or in small individual bottles too; the one pictured above was 5€ and filled two glasses.
– If you visit at the end of October, these guys go all in on Halloween: businesses, staff and locals will all be done up, trick or treating kids run through the streets unti land lots of hotels throw parties.
– Lots of businesses tend to close on Tuesday and/or half days on Wednesday.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading and have been swayed a little into considering this a future sunshine break!