dealchecker's guide to Benidorm

It's easy to be snobby about Benidorm; there's no denying that it sold a certain part of its soul to the mass tourism machine when it first started to attract visitors, in the process ushering in that particular fried-breakfast strand of British holiday that we've come to know on programs like, well Benidorm. But to dismiss it on these grounds would be to miss out on a place with an undeniably vivacious character and some really great beaches. There's also some fabulous scenery; the foreshore is glorious as the twin sweeps of Playa del Levante and the Playa del Poniente meet beneath Plaza del Castillo, where the land juts majestically into the bay.

To put it frankly - If you're looking for an authentically and typically Spanish town, look elsewhere. But if you're after everything you need on your doorstop and some seriously great-value deals, you'll find both here. It's also a bit of a retirement haven - half of all visitors are over 60 in the winter months!

What to do in Benidorm

A day in Benidorm goes a little like you'd expect from a Costa Blanca holiday: it's all about the beach in the light hours and the nightlife come sundown. There are plenty of places to eat to take you nicely from one to the other as well - including loads of places that offer typical English food. Why not leave the sun lounger and try out some of the fun watersports on offer, like banana boating! Many of the all inclusive hotels also have entertainment in the evening, so you needn't even go anywhere to have a really good time!

History buffs might be a little starved for stimulation here, so if you really fancy some sightseeing, you may want to hire a car in Alicante or Benidorm and explore the area.

How to get to Benidorm

The easiest way in is to get cheap flights to Alicante, which is the nearest airport. You can fly here from a wide variety of airports across the UK including London, Manchester, Belfast, Newcastle and Glasgow. It's easy to hop on a bus to get to your hotel, but you could also think about Alicante car hire if you're planning on travelling around.

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