October Edition 2013
Shop ‘til you drop FROM QUAINT boutiques to easily-recognised chains, retail therapy is never far from reach in Benidorm. p14
‘must do’ things when in Benidorm
Your English Newspaper
A night in neon city!
FROM DUSK until dawn, Benidorm does it better and cheaper than any other resort.
d ONE THING is guarantee ’ll when in Benidorm – you never be bored! p18
Your monthly entertainer guide, only in RTN! Find out where and when they are performing on p26
See page 24
Greetings from the Mayor
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DEADLINES Adverts, copy changes, classiﬁeds and editorial copy: Friday 25th October 2013.
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MOORS AND CHRISTIANS – 3rd -6th October
This festival is celebrated all over Spain as their history is deeply rooted in the battles which took place over control of Spain during the period known as “Reconquista” – the period between the 8th and 15th Century. It commemorates the battles, combats and fights between the Moors (or Muslims) and Christians. A castle is erected just infront of the Plaza Triangular at the end of the Avd Mediterraneo. The procession goes down the Calle Ruzafa and down the Calle Gambo – the pedestrinised street, which is where you will get the best view as it is so wide, but you will be standing shoulder to shoulder with other spectators. The parade is on Saturday 5th and starts at 8.00pm but get there in good time if you want a front row position.
DIA DE LA COMUNIDAD VALENCIANA – 9th October
Regional Holiday in the Valencian community. Celebrates the day that King James I entered the City of Valencia in 1238 to capture the city from the Muslims. Generally celebrated in Valencia but not in many other towns. Schools, Banks and Government offices will have a day off and many shops may also close.
BENIDORM’S SPECIAL link with the United Kingdom is a bond that grows stronger each year as millions of British people choose to holiday in our city each year. They return loyally each year as their satisfactory holiday experiences guarantee a friendly, safe destination featuring the best beaches; the best climate, top accommodation and first class entertainment for the whole family. British holiday makers are part of the exceptional success of Spain’s most popular holiday resort. For us it is an honour to be part of their lives; their fun; their best memories and to exist in the photo albums of those unforgettable summer holidays and warm, quiet winters in the Mediterranean sun. And many of our regular visitors spend even longer periods of time here as they eventually choose our city as their place of residence. Now ‘RTN Benidorm’ is to have an important role in their lives with up to date information on everything that happens in our city and in La Marina Baixa. I would like to extend my best wishes to RTN in this great task to inform and entertain the thousands of British people who have settled in beautiful and cosmopolitan Benidorm.
Augustin Navarro Mayor of Benidorm
INTERNATIONAL DAY -11th October
Benidorm will be celebrating International Day on Friday 11th October to recognise and acknowledge all the different nationalities which make up the population of the town. An afternoon of events have been planned - starting at 4pm, which will take place in the L´Aigüera Park located just behind the Town Hall in the Old Town. 21 different countries, whose citizens live in Benidorm will have stalls to showcase products from their home country, including traditional food and drink.
DIA DE HISPANIDAD – 12th October
This is a National public Holiday in Spain, which this year falls on a Saturday. It commemorates the date that Christopher Columbus first set foot in the Americas in 1492. In Madrid there is traditionally a military parade which is televised on national television, but for most people it is an extra day off work. However, as it falls over the weekend there will be little difference except that supermarkets may only stay open for half a day except for Carrefour which will be open all day as usual.
Then and now BENIDORM’S SUCCESS is based on two main attractions – long stretches of golden sand and a microclimate that guarantees almost year round sunshine. by Irena Bodnarec IT WAS in the early 1950s that Mayor Pedro Zaragoza revolutionised this former fishing village by famously hopping on his Vespa and riding 300 miles to Madrid to get Franco’s permission for female tourists to wear their revealing bathing costumes on his beaches. The archbishops were outraged, but Franco agreed, and a legend was born as Benidorm became the first seaside town in Spain to allow bikinis! Until the 1950s the predominant industry in Benidorm was fishing but in 1952 one of the biggest tuna fisheries was closed down in the municipality. Up until
1959 there were only four hotels in the town yet unbelievably it was recorded that in 1957 30,000 tourists flew from the UK to Valencia on British European Airways and chose Benidorm as the final destination for their holiday. Tourists flocked into Benidorm - both Spanish and Brits. The arrival of cheap package holidays initially flying into Manises Valencia (as it was the closest airport then from 1967 to El Altet Alicante) brought Europe closer to Benidorm. Between 1960 and 1980 over 80 new hotels opened to satisfy the demand of the growing tourist industry. Madrileños, the term referred to of residents of Madrid treat
Benidorm as their local beach and flock here for the weekend – the opening of the AP7 motorway in 1975 made it a comfortable journey taking under five hours. The bullring, which still stands in the Old Town, was built in 1962 – then it was surrounded by orchards but now it is surrounded by high rise apartments and hotels. In 1963 a development plan was passed allowing the construction of higher skyscrapers and Benidorm currently has the highest density of skyscrapers per inhabitant worldwide! The church of San Jaime, with its distinctive blue-doomed roof dates back to 1740, perched on the top of the Old Town on a hill called Canfali – to this day it still holds regular mass and is a popular tourist attraction. The British market is the biggest and most important percentage of visitors to the resort and it is thanks to their continued loyalty that Benidorm continues to thrive. It has changed beyond recognition since the 1950s but has adapted to survive with the aim of retaining the number one destination spot for the British holiday maker.
Benidorm: star Imserso destination THIS YEAR’S Imserso programme offers pensioners a week’s holiday stay from 165€ during the low season on a scheme that is almost as affordable as staying at home! by Jan Gamm THE IMSERSO programme is understandably popular with its lucky participants – a government-subsidised jolly for pensioners in Spain needing a break to re-charge their batteries, spend a week taking in the sights, sampling the local cuisine and perhaps throwing down some moves on the dance floor! The season start 14th October and it’s not hard to guess the most popular destination chosen by pensioners: beautiful Benidorm. FAVOURITE “It’s our favourite place to be,” one suntanned 70-year-old told RTN as he looks forward to his third jaunt to Benidorm: “There is always something to do here – and everything is close so there is no need to drive anywhere, there is always a bus to take you. At our age you get sick of driving and here the beach is close to the hotel, the shops and restaurants are nearby and you can find great entertainment a stone’s throw away.”
Imserso offers a number of destinations from October to June for pensioners resident in Spain of any nationality including the Canary Islands, Portugal and the Balaerics. Length of stay varies from 8 to 15 days and a number of cultural outings are available as well as full board at 3 and 4 Star hotels. INTERESTED? If you live in Spain, aged 60 or over
What is IPTV?
and receive a government invalidity pension or early retirement pension; if you are 65 or over; or if you are 55 and receive a widow’s pension, you qualify for the Imserso programme. And you can also take a companion with you who is not a retiree. All Imserso holidays are covered by insurance and also medical cover.
TECHNICALLY IPTV means Internet Protocol Television: all it actually means is that you can now receive live UK and Irish television channels through your internet connection without using a satellite dish, television aerial or computer. The IPTV box connects straight to your television meaning no connecting cables from your computer to your TV. The box works using a remote control just like a normal satellite receiver. By using your existing internet connection the box is connected to your TV via a lead and an Ethernet cable to your router which is a simple two-minute installation, especially useful for those who can’t or don’t wish to have a satellite dish. For a small charge a WiFi dongle is another option which would eliminate the need for the Ethernet cable. The virtual keyboard for web browsing gives you interactivity that allows you to surf the Internet easily. Through the browsing functionality, you can access any kind of information that you want without limitation, just like a PC. Award-winning, studio approved secure multi-screen content delivery from Secure Media with built in Mp3 player, access to You Tube and the ability to organize, edit and share your photos with Picasa. Full 14 day EPG, Only 299€ including 12 months viewing 12 month renewal only 149€ For more information call Crystal Clear Satellite on 96 558 4097/660 186 505, email email@example.com or visit www.ccsattv.com
HERE IS some useful information to help make your holiday in Benidorm safe, worry free and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. AIRLINE NUMBERS
If you need to contact the airline for any reason these are numbers based in Spain. Monarch – 800 099 260 free phone number Jet2 - 902 881 269 – calls cost 6.7c per min plus 8.3c connection. EasyJet – 902 599 900 from Spain – calls cost 8 cents per min from landline Or 0843 104 5000 UK number – calls cost 5p per min
This is the bus which runs to Alicante airport. You can catch it from either the Avda Europa, outside the Europa Clinica or from the bus station – but with baggage you would need to take a taxi as you are not allowed to take luggage onto local public buses. Departs hourly and on the hour from Avda Europa from 7am until 10pm – but there is NO bus at 9pm: costs 9.45€ one way.
In Spain banks only open for half a day, so make sure you go in the morning. Normal opening hours are 8.15am till 2pm, no Saturday opening. All banks have an ATM with an option to change the language into English – press the ‘cambio idiomas’ option.
BRITISH CONSULATE This is located in Alicante – Edf Espacio, Rambla Mendez Nuñez, 6th Floor, Alicante 03002. Open Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 1.30pm. In an emergency contact 965 216 002: if you have lost or had your passport stolen you will need to go there to obtain an emergency travel document to get you back to the UK, which will take about
The local bus service is run by Llorente. You pay the driver and the cost is 1.50€ regardless of distance. Generally the buses run until midnight. The following buses, which all stop on the main Avd Mediterraneo, are probably the ones which you will find most useful: No 2 - Goes to Carrefour hypermarket and
the La Marina Shopping centre No 10 - To Altea via Alfaz del Pi and Albir: a great way to see the local area
Most large stores stay open all day but smaller independant shops, particularly in the Old Town will shut at 2pm for lunch then re-open at 5pm until 8pm. Shops are normally closed on Sundays except for small food stores which open until 2pm.
In Spain they are called a ‘Farmacia’. There is a 24hour farmacia on the main Avd Mediterraneo and the staff speaks English. Many local farmacias close over the lunch period from 1.30, re-opening at 5pm. If you need any sort of medication, including asprin or paracetamol, you can only buy them here: supermarkets are not allowed to sell any kind of medicine.
Supermarkets do not sell any tobacco products. You need to go to a shop licensed to sell tobacco products called ‘Tabacs’ – they have a brown and yellow sign and there are plenty around. The price is set by the government so will be the same at each outlet. They are closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
There are plenty of currency exchange bureau´s in Benidorm. You will need to show your passport the first time thenyou will receive a card to show for subsequent visits, so there is no need to carry your passport with you. Reputable establishments include Eurochange who have several branches, Sheila´s at the indoor market and Wine Barrel on the Avd Mediterraneo. Bank rates are not as good as the exchange bureau´s . Hotels offer the poorest rate so only use for emergencies.
If you are a blue badge holder then they are valid to use and display here in Benidorm., so if hiring a car bring it with you. This will entitle you to park in a blue disabled bay free of charge.
If you have your EHIC – European Health Insurance Card you are entitled to see the social security doctor free of charge in an emergency, but you must also present your passport with the card. There are three ‘Centro de Salud’ (health centres) in Benidorm you can attend: Rincon de Loix - On Avd Derramador near to the Indoor market Foiettes in the Old Town - Calle Venuzuela La Cala - Avda de Benisa
See pages 18, 19, 20 & 21
EMERGENCY NUMBERS 112 is the European equivalent of 999 in the UK Ambulance – 112 Local Police – 966 807 766 or 092 in an emergency National Police – 966 831 930 or 091 in an emergency Guardia Civil – 965 854 475 or 062 in an emergency
Again only open for half a day: Monday to Friday 8.30am till 2.30pm and on Saturday 9.30am till 1pm. The post office is located on Avda de L’Aiguera, near the Town Hall in the Old Town.
REPORTING A CRIME
SATE The Foreign Tourist Assistance Office. If you are unfortunate enough to become a victim of crime this is ideally where you should go to report it. Located on the first floor of the Tourist Information Office, at the very end of the Poniente Beach in the Old Town. Open Monday to Friday from 9am until 9pm and from 10am until 2pm over the weekend. They have interpreters on hand and the use of a telephone to call relatives and your insurance company free of charge. The 24-hour helpline is 902 102 112.
You cannot hail a taxi from the roadside in Spain but have to go to a taxi rank. All fares are metered and can take a maximum of four passengers.
The International dialling code for Spain is 0034. If you wish to call the UK you need to prefix with 0044.
FOOD AND DRINK
See pages 28, 29, 30 & 31
There is only one social security hospital covering Benidorm – the Hospital Marina Baixa, which is actually located in Villa Joyosa, a short distance from the centre of Benidorm (just past La Cala). However, there are two private hospitals in the centre of Benidorm – you will have to pay for any treatment or you can use your travel insurance if covered. IMED Levante: located in the Rincon de Loix on Calle Doctor Ramon y Cajal. Telephone number 96 687 8787 Hospital Clinica Benidorm: located in the Old Town on Avd Alfonso Puchades: Telephone number 96 585 3850
See pages 25, 26, 27 & 28
Blue parking bays are ‘pay and display’ zones. They operate between 10am and 2pm and again from 4pm until 8pm: white parking bays are free.
TOURIST INFOS There are 3 operational offices run by the Town Hall and 2 run by Round Town Travel. They can offer help, advine and information on making the most of your time in anda round Benidorm. You can pick up maps and leaflets of attractions and places to visit at any of the following offices. Main Tourist Information Centre – located at the end of Levante Beach on the edge of the Old Town. Contact number: 965 851 311 / 965 853 224 Opening times: Mon – Fri 10.00 – 21.00 / Sat
Tap water is safe, unless stated otherwise and drunk by most locals. However, due to different mineral contents you may find that it upsets your stomach – this is not because there is something wrong with it. Bottled water is very cheap in the supermarkets, costing under 1 euro for a 5 litre bottle.
Terror Mitica! TERRA MITICA begins the Halloween season with a special campaign of family fun and scary enjoyment. by Patricia Thompson FROM 5TH October to 3rd November, visitors to Benidorm’s most popular theme park will be treated to the usual land of classical Mediterranean cultures but with an aura of mystery and gloom! Pumpkins, skeletons, witches, ghosts, legions of zombies and pirates from beyond the grave will make for an unforgettable day in a terrifying Halloween atmosphere. There will be themed menus and many more surprises... a fun day in another world! EXCLUSIVE SHOWS During the Halloween period it will be quite usual to see the Black Chaise carrying the dreaded Ayquesusten Marquise seeking her future dead husband. And nobody will be safe from being selected for this special honour! But the Marquise will not choose just anyone. The perfect candidate will be required to pass a series of crazy tests! Bloodsucking will take over Terra Mítica on Halloween: Lilith, queen of the vampires and her court will perform in two shows along with the Disciples of Beelzebub. They will dazzle the audience with sensual dances
and delicate movements while at the same time exhibiting incredible strength. Meanwhile the Dryads will not be quite the same as always - on Halloween their darker side will be unveiled, becoming ‘Dark Dryads’. Pumpink Car, The Cavatumbas and Trick or Treating are some of the many street animations bringing terror to ‘Terror Mitica’ at Halloween, quirky characters enticing visitors to participate in many terrifying adventures that will make them die laughing...! THE SECRET OF THE PYRAMID: MORE TERRIFYING THAN EVER… The madness that exists inside the Cheops pyramid becomes even more unsettling at Halloween with scary folk that inhabit the interior of this ancient building ready to come forth with deafening screams and true anguish to the delight of the brave souls who dare to come to discover their secret. Only the bravest survive the hardships that the pyramid has in store... NEW IN 2013: THE INFERNAL COURT Terra Mitica opens Halloween 2013 in a new show that will ‘see the light’ at sunset: the Infernal Court, a unique show narrat-
ing a new adventure for the Professor and young Tom who, through an accidental rite, awaken the evil one and all his court. They will have to face each and every one of them to return to the underworld. The infernal court is a show featuring artistic disciplines such as dance, specialist acrobatic fighting, performance skills and air dances. In addition to the latest technology, viewers are made a part of the show to live it firsthand - a real experience. The Great Square of Egypt is the nightly venue for this magnificent spectacle of terror suitable only for ‘lovers of the unknown’.
NEW IN 2013: TERRIFYING 5D CINEMA The 5-dimensional cinema is one of the novelties of Terra Mitica in the 2013 season. This technological attraction offers visitors the opportunity to experience adventures and sensations as if it were the real thing - without leaving the room. Synchronized movements, perception of textures, smells, cold, heat, humidity and depth of field are the features that have made the 5D Cinema a star attraction of Terra Mitica. During the Halloween season, the adventure features give way to two new projections of real terror: ‘Tomb’ and ‘The Enchanted Forest’.
Poppy appeal launched in Benidorm YOU MAY be surprised to discover that there is a strong and thriving branch of the RBL based here in Benidorm. THE GROUP meet at 11am on the 1st Friday of every month in the Cuidad Patricia Resort – located on Calle Rumania not far from the Aqualandia water park. Branch chairman John Derrick and Secretary Pamela Dawson Tasker welcome all visiting Legionnaires to attend – in fact, you do not need to have been a serving member of the forces to become a member of the RBL. The association hold many fundraising events to raise money which helps both serving and ex-service personnel wounded through through service to their country. But the main fundraising event is the annual poppy appeal. The official 2013 Poppy Appeal in Spain will be launched in Benidorm on Wednesday 16th October. It will be quite an occasion involving a parade that sets off at 11.30am from Calle Castellon (between Avd Mediterraneo and the beach) and will make its way along the sea front towards the Rincon – where Burger King is located. The Standards (flags) of all the Costa Blanca branches will be proudly displayed, led by the Pipes and Drums of the Orihuela band and accompanied by representatives of other Services, Chelsea Pensioners, Legion members and supporters. The Mayor of Benidorm, Agustin Navarro, British Consul Paul Rodwell and Regional Chairman Chris Wyatt will be there to welcome the parade and inaugurate the poppy appeal.
Benidorm, the series
HOW MANY would have guessed that when the very first episode of the ITV comedy series Benidorm hit our screens back in 2007, it would become the huge success that it is today. And it is all thanks to the creator and writer of the show, Derren Litten, that he chose our resort to base the series in. by Irena Bodnarec BUT EVEN before the hit comedy series started being filmed here in Benidorm, theresortwas a very popular holiday destination for the Brits. However, the series has reignited peoples interest and they all want to come and see where it was, and still is filmed. Every year celebs are vying for cameo appearances - but the pinnacle for writer Derren must have been having Hollywood star Joan Collins appear in this last series, which has yet to be aired – probable date is January 2014. With the popularity of the show, any actor knows the benefits and resurgence to their career! The knock on effect for local businesses is fantastic and everyone wants to visit the various locations when here. So where are they … well the main shoot locations used every year are the Sol Pelicanos hotel, in particular the swim up bar where you will find Benidorm´sfavourite bar man Mateo, Morgans Tavern - which is Neptune´s Bar in the night scenes and what is affectionally known as “The Pink House”, located opposite Benidorm Palace and used as the reception area for the fictional Solana hotel. The cheekily named Blow & Go salon which is run by uber camp hair stylist Kenneth, aka actor Tony Maudsley is also located in the Pink House. The hotel rooms on the first floor of the Sol Pelicanos are all booked out for the cast to use as their dressing rooms. Over the years various additional locations have been used for filming – Terra Mitica, Mundomar, KartingFinestrat, Levantebeach front on numerous occasions, the Mirador – more commonly known as the look out point up in the Old Town. The cast and crew have even been up to The Cross in the Rincon de Loixand out to the Fonts de l´Algarwaterfalls in Callosa.
Helping Hands Home Care BECOME A Live-in Carer in the UK WHO ARE HELPING HANDS? Helping Hands has been supporting people with award-winning care in the UK since 1989, enabling customers to remain in the familiarity of their own homes, surrounded by the things they love. As a leading provider of care in the UK, Helping Hands has a network of regional offices, managers and trainers to support and develop the Carers at the very heart of our business. WHAT DOES A ‘LIVE-IN CARER’ DO? Live-in Care is a full-time homecare service where our Carers are required to live with the customer seven days a week, providing personal care, companionship and any required support according to the bespoke care plan. Unlike other care environments, Live-in Carers have the time to build a relationship and maintain a high standard of care. WILL I BE ABLE TO RETURN HOME? Most placements last approximately six to eight weeks, followed by a break. Many of our overseas Carers return home for the break and then come back refreshed to support their customer. CAN ANYONE BE A LIVE-IN CARER? Although past experience and qualifications are desirable, they are not mandatory. Candidates applying to be a Helping Hands Live-in Carer must be a special kind of person; someone dedicated to caring for others and able to show high levels of respect and determination to be the best Carer they can be. Being a Live-in Carer is a ‘calling’ not just a job. WHAT ARE THE RATES OF PAY? £400-£500 per week: with some variance above and below that figure due to the complexity of needs. HOW DO I APPLY TO BE A LIVE-IN CARER? Call 0808 180 1123 or apply online: www.hhjobs.co.uk
Saudi investor could rescue InTempo SAUDI BUSINESSMAN Aldhowayan Saad Abdullah is in negotiation with the developers of Benidorm’s controversial 200-metre-tall InTempo building with an offer thought to be in the region of €130 million. Around 70% of the InTempo’s 269 apartments on 47 floors are yet to be sold and the building has a troubled financial and project history since its conception in 2006 (last year the architect team resigned and also the building’s finances were taken over by Sociedad de Gestión de Activos de la Reestructuración Bancaria, better known as ‘SAREB’, now carrying InTempo’s €93 million loan). Despite its problems, InTempo has been nominated for international awards at the 4th FIB Congress, to take place in Mumbai, India, from 10th to 14th February 2014, in the category for the world’s best concrete building.
THE OLD Town is located between the Levante and Poniente beaches, a far cry from the ‘British Square’ in the Rincon, that people associate with Benidorm. THIS AREA is like stepping back in time – full of narrow, cobbled streets adorned with white washed houses and an abundance of boutiques, bars and restaurants. Head toward the blue-domed church and at the top you will arrive at the lookout point, or Mirador as the locals would say. The climb up to the top is certainly worth it for the wonderful view of both bays. On your way back down, stop off at the famous Tapas Alley – which as the name suggests is a street full of tapas bars. If you are fed up with pie and chips and fancy a real taste of Spain, this is where you should go. The Old Town is also where you will find the Gay quarter – hugely popular for an alternative night out. A visit to the Rich Bitch Showbar and Kaffe Klee are a must if you appreciate drag humour and the many gay bars make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Mal Pas beach is located in the Old Town and it is from this harbour that you can catch a boat to both Tabarca Island and Calpe, great days out.
Rincon de Loix
Poniente/La Cala STARTING AT Parc del Elche in the Old Town, generally referred to as Dove Park due to the hundreds of white doves, is Poniente beach, which runs for more than 3km and finishes at La Cala. The promenade, which runs along the entire length of the beach, won an architectural award for its innovative multi-coloured wave design and is certainly worth seeing. This side of Benidorm is much quieter, so great if you just want to relax and unwind. At the far end of Poniente you will find La Cala – which technically belongs to the town of Finestrat but everyone refers to it as Benidorm. The skyline is dominated by two buildings – the Gran Hotel Bali and the newly constructed ‘Intempo’ twin towers, with its gold clad frontage, rumoured to be the tallest residential building in Europe. Away from the beach you will find the La Marina indoor shopping centre – a great way to while away a few hours to enjoy some retail therapy whilst on the top floor there is a 10-pin bowling alley to keep the men and kids amused. If you fancy a bit of a thrill head to Karting Finestrat – located behind the shopping centre on the mountain side with beautiful views over Benidorm.
THE AREA often referred to as The Rincon is part of what is deemed the ‘New Town’, probably the most popular location with British holidaymakers. It is certainly the life and soul of the resort and where you will find all the nightlife. The vast, sandy beach is lined with bars and restaurants which are lively to say the least. You will definitely find all your home comforts here such as all day British breakfasts, UK television in most bars and fantastic value food and drink. During the day you are spoilt for choice of activities. Here you will find Aqualandia, the biggest waterpark in Spain and Mundomar, a marine animal park, both at the far end and next door to each other. For the adventurous there is
the cable water ski which is found at the beginning of the Levante beach – great for adrenalin junkies. One of the most breath taking views to be had of resort must be from the top of the Sierra Helada, often referred to as ‘The Hill’. Many holidaymakers trek up to the top, where you will find a Benidorm landmark: The Cross… just be aware that it’s a good 45-minute trek to the top! Terra Mitica theme park is a great day trip with its exciting rides and shows, suitable for the entire family and not far away you will find Wildlife Park Terra Natura and beside it Aqua Natura, a smaller waterpark more suited for younger children. For golfers, the magnificent Villaitana golf course offers two 18-hole courses with a view of the Benidorm skyline. Every Saturday night and held all year round is The Circus. Starting at 6pm and located behind Benidorm Palace, you will be captivated for over two hours (children are not compulsory to attend!) And for a first class night out you cannot beat Benidorm Palace – probably the most visited attraction in Benidorm and you are guaranteed a night to remember with its magnificent show. The Rincon is where you will find all the cabaret bars and nightclubs, open well into the early hours. With the bars brimming over every night you will be spoilt for choice as to where to head. Most of the bars offer free entertainment and you can hear and watch a huge variety of very talented people ranging from singers, tribute groups and comedians catering to all tastes. And last but not least, the legend - Sticky Vicky!
Almadrava beach and Tio Ximo beach IF YOU are a beach person but fancy something completely different and are a little bit adventurous, then why not try one of the semi hiden coves dotted around the coastline. These hideaways are understated and basic but the best thing is that you won´t find hoardes of tourists there. These 2 rocky coves remain almost hidden from view and like all the best quiet beaches, it takes a little effort to get there. Pack a picnic and wear some sensible shoes to get there – there´s nothing there, no loos, no café, or shade, apart from the parasols which you can hire during the peak summer season. However, the bonus is that you will have an idyllic peaceful few hours to relax and chill! Please note, neither of them are suitable for bikes or mobility scooters. ALMADRAVA BEACH Secluded cove at the foot of the Sieraa Helada at the Rincon de Loix end of town. The easiest way to get there is pass the Gemelos 28 “Twin Towers” and just on the sharp bend in the road there is a path that goes down to the cove. However, if you are not 100% fit or are scared of heights then don´t try this route as most of the way entails walking on a rather thin ledge! Alternatively, the number 24 Palm Beach bus takes you to the carpark where you can walk down to the cove – but be warned, it is rough terrain. Although a path has been flattened out, it is an unadopted and steep way down. TIO XIMO BEACH Rocky secluded cove just past Almadrava which offers cristal clear waters and plenty of rocks to dive off. This one is far easier to get to with a good road all the way down, however there is very limited parking at the bottom. A negative point to bear in mind if driving is that there is nowhere to do a 3 point turn, so you would need to reverse all the way back up, going around bends – alternatively take the number 24 bus then a shortish walk down. Sunbeds are available for rental during the peak months and next summer there are plans for there to be a chiringito – a beach hut selling refreshments. But take your own to be sure otherwise it´s a long way back to the nearest shop!
5 minute interview BENIDORM CONTINUES to be one of the top holiday destinations for Brits and with the good weather, relaxed lifestyle and all round value for money it´s not hard to understand why. But as your holiday draws to an end do you ever wonder what it would be like to up sticks, move to the sun and live the dream? Many expats have done it and we are going to ask some faces you may recognise, a few random questions to satisfy our curiosity! Stuey Lee Lewis is the owner of the very busy Geordie Bar Tat in the Rincon – found opposite KFC and also a top DJ and presenter at a local radio station. He is heavily involved in charity fundraising, especially for the childrens home in Relleu and a passionate Toon Army - Newcastle United supporter. Where are you from in the UK? Pudsey – as in bear, near Leeds. How long have you lived in Spain? 7years. What do you like most about living here? Only 1 possible answer – the sunshine. What did you eat for breakfast today? Bowl of shreddies
Describe yourself in 3 words Talent, talent, talent! Marmite, love it or hate it? Love it. What´s your guilty pleasure? Chocolate – not that you can tell eh? What´s your proudest moment? The birth of my 2 sons What makes you see red? Litter thrown on the ground – no excuse. Do you have a hero? I have 3 – Rod Stewart, Alan Sugar and Richard Branson. Favourite food? Chicken vindaloo – the hotter the better. What´s your tipple? That´s obvious I should think – Newcastle Brown! Favourite music? Pink Floyd Desert Island song? Music by John Miles – hot summer of 76 Favourite film? Brief Encounter Favourite read? My current book – Rod Stewarts autobiography. Is the glass half full or half empty? Definitely half full – I´m a positive person X-Factor or Strictly? X-Factor Who is your favourite Benidorm series character? Must be Tim Healy as Les/Lesley Old Town or New Town? Love the Old Town. Beach or pool? Not got time for either but probably Beach.
All those stars! what does it mean? But
A rough guide to hotel star rating in Benidorm. by Dave Gaskell 1 Star Budget Hotels Basic rooms with a bathroom or shower. Don’t expect a huge range of amenities such as lounge, pool, television, room telephone, safe or reception services. Generally small rooms, many without balconies or sea views: although basic this can be a good option if on a budget weekend. You may be pleasantly surprised in this type of hotel if you ask to see your room before payment. Expect dining to be simple Spanish meals with limited choice sometimes only on a bed and breakfast rate or room only. Great for a cheap weekend: try the Mar Bella up by the Police Station.
2 Star Hotels Acceptable accommodation with en-suite rooms. Many will offer better services and a small pool. Rooms may have a television, air conditioning, bigger restaurant, better food with more choice, usually on a buffet basis. Many two star hotels in good sea front locations are unable to gain a 3-star due to restraints with the building but do offer a 3-star service with good quality but smaller rooms. The Mar Blau Hotel in the old town and award winning Rio Park are very popular 2-star choices in Benidorm. 3 Star Hotels Here you will get a larger hotel with better facilities such as TV games room, pool, gardens or sun terrace, 24 hour reception, lounge, separate bar. A restaurant with a wide choice of food served buffet style for breakfast through to dinner. Rooms will all be en-suite, usually with full bathroom facilities, TV, room safe, balcony, air
Our mystery m …takes a sneaky look at the very
Deciding where to stay in Benidorm can be an uphill climb. What is perfect for one person could be holiday hell for another! Of course Benidorm is rarely a place for peace and tranquillity, BUT, finding the right mix of fun, sun and a little bit of chill time is crucial if you are to return home relaxed with a feeling of time and money well spent. In the first of a series from our mystery man on the street we attempt to offer you the ‘real’ hotels behind the brochures: this month, the amazingly popular Hotel Orange.
conditioning, telephone and perhaps WiFi. Servigroup offers an excellent range of 3-star hotels such as the lovely Nereo.
4 Star Hotels Large, formal hotels usually offer a choice of bars and large restaurant with buffet service - some offer Â´A La Carte dining too. Expect outdoor and indoor heated pool with gym facilities too. Rooms are well appointed with balcony or terrace. All will provide air conditioning, perhaps room service, large bathrooms with hairdryer and toiletries. Many have a mini bar or fridge but not all. Expect satellite TV with a good range of channels. For a nice 4 star All Inclusive Hotel take a look at the Monaco Sandos Spa Hotel. 5 Star Luxury Hotels The best, offering a high level of personal service, luxury and high end premises in great surroundings. Expect luxury rooms with mini bar, trouser press, Fine quality furnishings and specially designed luxurious beds and fine bed linen. Bathrooms will be of the highest quality with luxury toiletries and towels. World TV and pay-per-view films available: 24 hour full room service: A selection of bars and dining areas with award-winning food. Expect a bell boy service and 24-hour concierge. The largest 5 star hotel in Benidorm is the Barcelo Asia Gardens ideal for a weekend celebration. The best exclusive Hotel in central Benidorm is well worth checking out, the 5* Hotel Boutique Villa Venecia at the top of the old town.
man on the street
popular and central HOTEL ORANGE 3* THE HOTEL The first thing that strikes you about the hotel Orange as you walk through the entrance is the incredibly well kept lobby and lounge area. This is a typical hotel from Servigroup - the obvious investment in furnishings that will last are easy to maintain and tip-top housekeeping is evident. Although an older style (1970s) hotel, modernising in recent years has kept the building up to date including sound-proofed doors to balconies, a real plus for a stay in the heart (CafĂŠ Benidorm disco pub is opposite!) of the Playa Levante. A couple of guests mentioned to me that they were staying overlooking the late bars and could barely notice any noise after a few Vodkas and once the terrace doors were closed! THE ROOMS Refurbished only a couple of years ago, rooms are modern and bright with wooden floors and flat screen TV, including plenty of UK Channels, not just the news. WiFi is free and does work in rooms too. There is a mini-fridge for chilling your drinks. Guests also mentioned that the showers are really powerful and the cleaning is 100%. All you could need then! THE FOOD Probably one of the main reasons that so many British guests love this hotel is the food. The dining options are very much geared toward foreign visitors with just the right mix of local cuisine and dishes we northern Europeans like! Breakfast is vast and will fill you up all day. With 16 hotels and over 8,000 beds, Servigroup has
a central food supply which enables them to offer well above average catering: worth the few extra Euros to go Full Board here. THE POOL At first it appears perhaps a bit on the small side, but when you add up the fact the hotel only has a maximum 500 guests, most of whom head for the beach (3 minute walk), it is never a problem finding a sunbed from the many provided. On my visit this week there was plenty of room to spare around the pool or on the sun deck above. Drinks are just a hop away from the poolside bar too. No sign of any rowdy groups either, there seemed to be mostly couples. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW The location is right in the very centre of the resort and opposite many of the late night venues, therefore some noise should be expected at night when staying in this area. The hotel is popular with couples who like to party and some groups too, but the sound-proofed terrace doors really do make a difference. The hotel management are good at sorting out any rowdy folks, so a quick call to reception quickly sorts out any issues. Like every hotel in Benidorm, fellow guests can never be anticipated, so do not let the location put you off booking. We loved the Hotel Orange, it is ideal for a holiday if good food, great nights out and a very clean place to stay is on your list. Book this and over 200 hotels by visiting www.realbenidorm.net
Shop ‘til you drop
FROM QUAINT boutiques to easily-recognised chains, retail therapy is never far from reach in Benidorm. Whatever you are after, be it fashion, leather goods or souvenirs, you will have no problem finding them here. The choice is vast and diverse but you need to know where to look.
THE OLD Town is a great place to start. Calle Gambo, the pedestrianised street that begins at the Plaza Triangular, where the huge rubber tree is, has a great selection of popular boutiques such as Masimo Dutti – a must for fashion-savvy customers, and Zara, which is now everyone’s favourite High Street fashion hit: even the Duchess of Cambridge and Coleen Rooney want to be seen in this leading Spanish fashion brand. The prices tend to work out cheaper here in Spain even taking into account the exchange rate, so it is certainly worth a visit. One well-known English name here and one you will be familiar with is Specsavers - the UK’s most popular opticians, run by Phillip, a British ex-pat. Paseo de la Carretera is another must-do street and will take you all the way to Elche Park. One quirky shop which will catch your eye is Ale Hop – easily spotted as all the branches have a massive cow outside! Here you will find accessories, gifts, unusual novelties and decor at very affordable prices. Ladies, if you are looking for a fabulous ball gown, make sure you pop into Bambu where you will be amazed at the array of styles and colours on offer – and so much cheaper than the UK! Not forgetting the boys and budding Rambos among you, if you have a passion for guns and military bits then stop off at Europa. One shop which you will not be able to resist walking into is Bartolucci – a fairytale toyshop offering hand-made wooden toys of exceptional quality. You will not be able to resist the adorable painted wooden objects such as clocks, door plates and pictures frames, which can all be personalised – any child would be delighted with a gift from here.
The Indoor Market in the Rincon de Loix offers a huge variety of independent shops and beauty salons. Don’t bother bringing heavy toiletries with you, pop along to Super Drogeria where you can purchase all the UK High Street brands with which you are familiar. Want to be pampered like the stars? Well pop into Hepburn’s Hair, Nail & Beauty Salon plus Barbers – it’s where Sherrie Hewson and the cast of the ITV hit comedy series Benidorm go to have their hair and nails done when filming! Change your pounds into euros at either Sheila’s or Tony’s Money exchange and if you like a read pop into Browse a While which stock a vast selection of English books for your pool and beach reading, then offer a book exchange service once read. Andy’s Phone Shop can sort out any mobile phone top ups, Internet dongles or calling cards. If you are going to spend the day out, pass by the delicious Picnic Pack where they sell an assortment of delicious freshly made sandwiches, rolls, pies & pasties to take along with you - why pay extortionate prices at these attractions when you can take a cool-bag filled with yummy things!
The Avd Mediterraneo, which runs all the way from the Rincon de Loix up to the edge of the Old Town, is lined with an array of shops. Tobacco shops for your cigarette and spirit supply to take back home – the biggest range is found at EuroTobacco; leather shops selling beautiful quality coats and jackets for ladies and gents; Lottery shops if you fancy a flutter on the Euro Millions and plenty of souvenir shops selling typical holiday mementos.
La Marina Shopping Centre offers a broad selection of shops in an air conditioned environment. Known as ‘Centro Comercial La Marina’, it has shops and restaurants and even an entertainment complex on the top floor. C&A, a UK department store which disappeared from the UK High Street some years back, you will still find here – and particularly popular with visiting Brits. There is an excellent Zara Home selling gorgeous home accessories; a home store called Casa where you can buy all manner of kitchen gadgets and knick knacks for the home; Mango; H&M; Stradivarius; Pimkie and Benetton for trendy fashion; Druni and Douglas – both selling beauty products and perfume … and that’s just a
handful of what is on offer. You can easily spend hours browsing around here.
Market – If you are a bargain hunter then you have hit gold in Benidorm where they hold a huge outdoor market not once but twice a week – every Wednesday and Sunday in the Rincon de Loix, next to the Hotel Pueblo. You will find a mind-boggling array of counterfeit designer sunglasses, watches and handbags as well as the usual market goods - clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, leather goods and obviously a fantastic selection of fresh fruit and veg. It will be extremely busy with people jostling you, so keep your bag and wallet close and leave the credit cards behind as they only take cash.
Chinese Bazaar or ‘Todo Shops’ – probably the nearest thing you will get to Poundland here in Spain. You literally cannot walk a few meters down a road without passing one and generally they all have the same stuff. They sell virtually everything except food – you can pick up some very cheap items of clothing, stationary, electrical gadgets – if you want it, they have it and if you don’t, they will have it anyway. Children in particular love them as they have a huge range of toys – but bear in mind that they probably won’t be the best quality.
See the sights of Benidorm Our easy to follow map (on the next page) will direct you to some of the best must see sites in Benidorm. Read about the place first then simply find which part of town it is located in by finding the corresponding number on the map.
More of a wildlife park than a zoo, with three zones: America, Asia and Europe and you can see animals native to those Continents living within their natural environment with shrubs and plants from their natural habitat. There are plenty of interactive activities going on throughout the day such as feeding the animals and for the more adventurous you can even Zip Wire across a 400metre stretch above the elephant plain.
The largest water park in Europe and one of Benidorm’s favourite attractions for all ages. The coloured water slides are an iconic sight on the Benidorm skyline - known as ‘Big Bang’ they offer different levels of intensity and adrenalin surges and now you can enjoy the newly opened ‘Vertigo’ slide, the highest capsule slide in the world! There is also a special area for the younger visitors to enjoy. One of the great things about Aqualandia is that you can take your own food and drink in - unlike other attractions. Families come laden down in the morning with multiple cool boxes full of food and drink for the day. .
AQUA NATURA WATER PARK
Located beside Terra Natura Wildlife Park is Aqua Natura smaller than Aqualandia but there is certainly no shortage of slides, plumes and activities to keep you amused. An added bonus is that twice daily they have a free Sea Lion show there - at 1.30pm and 4pm which lasts a little over half an hour followed by an opportunity to have a ‘Sea Lion Experience’ where you can swim and play with them – you need to pre-book this.
BALCON DEL MEDITERRANEO
Located up in the Old Town, right at the top and often referred to as the Mirador. A little bit of a steep climb but well worth it when you see the beautiful panoramic views of both the bays. You can also access it from Mal Pas beach where there is a staircase which leads all the way up. A very pretty blue and white tiled gazebo with seating makes a lovely backdrop for a photo and the square has a selection of bars so you can take in the stunning scenery.
Various boat departures for an adventurous day out. From here you can catch the hourly glass bottomed boat to Benidorm Island which departs from 10am until 5pm. Or try the mini cruise to Calp which takes you on
a picturesque tour of the coast, passing by Albir, Altea and some small hidden coves – a daily service departing Benidorm at 11.30am and returning from Calpe at 4.30pm. For the more adventurous how about a boat trip to Tabarca Island, sometimes referred to as ‘Flat Island’. Officially it is a protected marine reserve and very popular with snorkelers and scuba divers. Departs from Benidorm on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday at 10.30am and arrives back at 6.30pm (weather allowing).
Rincon de Loix where you will find the cable ski. Instead of being pulled by a boat you are pulled by an overhead cableski system. It is most definately the coolest and safest way to experience an extreme watersport. Open until 1st November – the only requirements are that you can swim and are over the age of 6. You can book anything from 4 individual circuits to a 5 days pass – they even offer lessons. An adventure you are never likely to forget.
The distinctive blue domed roof is located up at the Mirador. Built in the 18th Century it is dedicated to the patron saint of the town and a statue of the Virgin del Sufragio can be seen inside the church. Last year the church controversially spent 332,000 euros on a new organ which takes pride of place in the gallery.
You will find ‘The Big Top’ behind Benidorm Palace - a well known landmark in the town. It has been a permanent fixture there for the last three years and can accommodate 850 people. The tent is totally wheelchair friendly with the installation of ramps for easy access to the ringside, with heating and air conditioning to ensure a comfortable evening. There are NO animals in any of the performances - the show is based around a dramatic mix of traditional circus acts but also incorporates highly skilled performers. In total there are 45 dancers and performers training three times a week for the weekly show: every Saturday evening starting at 6pm. The show lasts for two hours with a quick 10 minute break half way through giving you time to pop to the bar for a drink or stock up on that circus favourite - popcorn! There are no seat reservations so get there early to nab the best ringside seats. There is ample free parking outside so there is no issue trying to find a space.
For a first class night out you cannot beat Benidorm Palace - voted Europe’s best cabaret theatre and nightclub for 2012, beating the likes of Moulin Rogue in Paris! It is probably the most visited attraction in Benidorm and you are guaranteed a night to remember. A magnificent show lasting 3 hours incorporates a troupe of dancers with the most amazing costumes you are ever likely to see. So what can you expect from a night at the Palace? You have two options - go for the full experience and have a meal first or you can just go for the show. Doors open at 8.30pm and there is always a queue of people waiting. For those coming to watch the show only you can arrive a little later as the show does not begin until 10pm.
For the daring head to the end of the Levante Beach at the
CHURCH OF SAN JAIME AND SANTA ANA 8
Amusement Park right in the middle of Benidorm on the Avda Mediterraneo. Open every evening from 6.30pm until very late it will keep younger children excited and entertained – offering fairground type rides and games. You can also hop on the Festilandia train directly outside – 5€ for adults and 3€ for children which will take you around the streets to see the sights.
The magnificent ‘M Tower’, or Intempo building, is a definite landmark on the Poniente side of the Benidorm skyline. Officially the tallest residencial building in Europe, its 45 floors span 180metres in height. Visually it looks stunning with its gold clad facade reflecting the sun but it is still under construction, with no definite completion date.
If you fancy a bit of a thrill head to Karting Finestrat - located just behind Carrefour Hyper-market and the Marina Shopping Centre in Benidorm. Alternatively, get a double kart so that you can take your child for a spin! You are provided with a helmet and given safety instructions on how to drive the kart before driving off, so don’t worry if you have never driven one before! if your stomach can take it after that adrenalin rush!
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Neoclassical designed park sandwiched between the Town Hall and bullring. It has two amphitheatres which during the summer months host shows, concerts and cultural Spanish events.
MAL PAS BEACH
A tiny, sandy cove reached from the bottom of the Old Town just past Elche Park - better known as Dove Park. Ideal if you want a relaxing quiet break away from the crowds – there is a selection of mainly Spanish bars and restaurants nearby.
MARITIME CULTURAL CENTRE
Located just past Elche Park heading towards Mal Pas Beach: contains interesting artifacts, models and pictures associated with the sea. Open Monday to Friday
from 9am - 2pm then 4pm - 6pm. Saturday it is open mornings only and it is closed on Sunday: entry is free.
OZONE 10 PIN BOWLING
10-lane Bowling alley open daily from 10am till 2am!
A marine animal park which also has exotic animals - a great hit, particularly with young families. There are lots of shows throughout the day and you can even book to swim with the sea lions or get up close to the dolphins. However, both of these need to be prebooked. It is really easy to get to there: if driving the best place to head for is Benidorm Palace - then take the road almost opposite and it will take you all the way there - about a 2 minute drive. Parking is free. Or catch a public bus - either the number 1 or 11 - to take you straight to the entrance - but if there are four of you it will probably work out the same to take a taxi, especially if you are coming from Benidorm.
At just over 4€ per person plus 60 cents for shoe hire a good way to while away a few hours. Also has a large selection of gaming machines, snooker tables and air hockey tables.
PARC DE ELCHE
Better known to the Brits as ‘Dove Park’, it can be found at the beginning of Poniente Beach on the edge of the Old Town: a lovely, shady park area with plenty of palm trees. Here you can sit and ‘people watch’ with a massive population of white doves which you can feed – very popular with the Spanish.
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Poniente Centro / Old Town New Town / Rincon
OCTOBER 2013 PEACOCK ISLAND
The giant rock jutting out directly in front of the Levante beach is ap 4 km from the shore. You can catch a glass bottomed boat from the marina at Mal Pas which gives you some amazing views of the reef and fish then explore the wildlife and bird population on the island.
THE CROSS ON THE HILL
A Benidorm landmark situated on the Sierra Helada mountains in the Rincon. The cross was erected
in the 1950Â´s by residents and is 8 metres tall. A popular walk route taking ap 45 mins each way with breath taking views of the town.
Poseidon Playa Magic Villa del Mar RH Royal Hotel Victoria Avenida Bristol Park Princessa Sandos Monaco Hotel Cimbel Flamingo Venus Helios Presidente Riveria Beach Hotel Rosamar Calypso
Flash Hotel Sol Pelicanos Sol Ocas Nereo Levante Club Los Dalmatas Agua Rock Gardens Regente Dynastic Melia Buenavista Mediterraneo De Loix Palm Beach Don Jorge
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see the sights
‘must do’ things when in Benidorm ONE THING is guaranteed when in Benidorm – you’ll never be bored. But with so many things to do and places to visit it can be confusing to know where to start. Here is our guide to what we consider to be the Top 5:
A TRIP TO GUADALEST
If you want a gastronomic experience head to Calle Domingo in the Old Town – it’s like eating a work of art.
A beautiful Spanish village up in the mountains
A spectacular show incorporating a troupe of dancers and some amazing costumes on a par with the Moulin Rouge.
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On every Wednesday and Sunday morning until about 1pm with hundreds of stalls: probably the biggest on the Costa Blanca
Wildlife park divided into three continents.
TAPAS ALLEY 19 If you are fed up of pie & chips and fancy a taste of the real Spain then head to Calle Santo Domingo – better known to all as “Tapas Alley” in the Old Town. It is so named because the entire street is made up of tapas bars! The biggest and probably most popular is “La Cava Aragonesa” which has a constant stream of visitors - both locals and tourists. Here the selection is vast to say the least, in fact most are so beautifully presented that they look like little works of art. The tapas are displayed behind glass and you can walk up and down pointing to whatever takes your fancy - the prices vary depending on which ones you choose but are generally between 1.50€ and 2.50€. A hint to tell if a tapas bar is good is to look at the floor - if there are lots of serviettes screwed up and thrown down that means its good - really! TERRA MITICA 20 Costa Blanca’s answer to Alton Towers. A theme park which is divided into five themed zones – plenty of rides and shows to keeps all ages amused including some great water rides. Terra Mitica has a new swim section with a Jacuzzi area so remember to bring your swimming gear. There is lots of walking to be done so be prepared and wear sensible shoes. Terra Natura: More of a wildlife park than a zoo, with three zones: America, Asia
and Europe and you can see animals native to those Continents living within their natural environment with shrubs and plants from their natural habitat. There are plenty of interactive activities going on throughout the day such as feeding the animals and for the more adventurous you can even Zip Wire across a 400metre stretch above the elephant plain. TOWN HALL 21 Located in the Old Town in front of the L’Aiguera Park, which leads up to the bull ring, the stunning modern steel and glass structure became the Town Hall in 2003. The building is 100 metres long, 15 metres wide and twelve storeys high, accommodating all the Council offices. The massive Square underneath the Town Hall is often the focal point of celebrations and fiestas – at Christmas time they even erect an ice rink there. VIEWPOINT AT GRAN HOTEL BALI 22 If you want to see Benidorm from a different perspective then pop to the Gran Hotel Bali in La Cala where you can go up to the panoramic view point on the 43rd floor - in a glass lift! Open from 11.00am until 13.30pm then again from 15.30pm until 21.30pm there is a 6 euros charge for non-residents, but you do get a drink at the viewpoint bar included – chlldren under 12 go free (1 per adult).
see the sights
A ‘must see’ place to visit
Top 5 FREE TRIPS! Brought to you by Round Town Travel. GUADALEST – ¾ -DAY
Set at 595m above sea level, the village of Guadalest hangs precariously to the mountain top and is rated as one of the most visited villages in Spain; and with good reason. Dating back to the 8th Century, Guadalest is now home to just over 200 residents who invite you to step back in time and explore their fabulous home.
VALENCIA – FULL DAY
THE ISLAND OF TABARCA FULL DAY
MORAIRA & THE NORTH COAST TOUR – ¾ - DAY
CALPE – MINI CRUISE FULL DAY
The Costa Blanca´s Capitol City, Valencia, will offer you art, culture, tradition and nature. This bustling city with its stunning architecture, serene gardens and endless list of things to see is a definite not to miss for the adventurous traveller.
Set at 595m above sea level, the village of Guadalest hangs precariously to the mountain top and is rated as one of the most visited villages in Spain; and with good reason. Dating back to the 8th Century, Guadalest is now home to just over 200 residents who invite you to step back in time and explore their fabulous village. Guadalest was built by the Moors and stood as a fortified city until it was conquered by the Christians in the middle of the thirteenth century, turning the Moorish stronghold, into their own gaol. In June of 1644 a devastating earthquake destroyed the Castle of Guadalest who´s ruins can still be seen and the dungeon in the old village gaol offers an eerie silence to those who enter. Steeped in history and being the cause of many battles, Guadalest now has more of a tranquil life. With its whitewashed houses and cobbled streets, Guadalest has become as famous for its arts, crafts and museums as it has its long and twisted history. Set on Two levels, the lower of which is the newer part and is a maze of, cafes, bars & craft shops and museums, which are definitely worth a visit. To access the
higher part, you need to pass through the mountain that has been carved out making an entrance to the old fortified village. Guadalest offers stunning picturesque views of the surrounding landscape and turquoise blue reservoir that supplies lower towns, villages and even Benidorm with its supply of fresh water.
How to get there?
There are paid excursions that depart Benidorm most days of the week and this is one of the
best ways to see Guadalest as you will be accompanied by an English speaking guide who will point out points of interest to you and most offer discounted entrance tickets to the museums and other places of interest when there. For the more adventurous traveller, you can catch the number 16 bus that departs Benidorm at 10:15 each day and will take just over an hour to get there. But remember, there is only 1 bus up and 1 bus back which leaves at 1:30 giving you approx 2 ½ hours in the village if you take this option.
Set 80km from Benidorm and just over an hour’s ride by boat, you will encounter the beautiful and little known island of Tabarca. With just 1.2 miles in length and only 400 meters wide, this little strip of Mediterranean paradise is home to just 61 residents and has roots dating back to the first inhabitants of the 13th Century.
Heading out of Benidorm to the North, hugging the spectacular coastline as you go, you will pass through the villages of Albir, Altea, Mascarat & others, before arriving at the popular and cosmopolitan town of Moraira. This fantastic little place with its monumental castle on the beach and enormous mountainside villas, will offer you the perfect relaxing day away from bustling Benidorm.
Just an hour from Benidorm by boat, is the beautiful town of Calpe, also known as “little Gibraltar” for its significant rock, the “Peñon de Ifach”. What better way to experience it, than with a minicruise from the port in Benidorm´s old town. See Benidorm from a different perspective before passing the Sierra Helada Mountain and entering the bay of Altea en-route to your final destination.
To book any of the trips mentioned call Round Town Travel on 966 867 294 or see their advert on page 21
see the sights
When the sun doesn’t shine…
BENIDORM IS a year round resort and people still flock here even when the sun doesn’t shine. So what is there to do if it’s not warm enough for the beach or pool and you don’t fancy sitting in a bar all day? Well plenty! Terra Natura Wildlife Park Open all year round but from November through to February only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – with the exception of Christmas and New Year weeks, when it is open all week.
Colci Rincon Cinema Located on Calle Zamora in the Rincon (the road opposite Regente Hotel) shows English speaking films every week – from Monday to Friday at 6.30pm and 8.45pm and over the weekend at 6.30pm only.
Ten Pin Bowling A great fun activity which can be enjoyed by all ages. Benidorm has not one but two bowling alleys. You can either pop to Ozone on the Avda Mediterraneo, open from 10am or pop up to the top floor of the La Marina Shopping Centre - however be aware that it does not open until 4pm.
Bingo Plaza Located at the end of the Avd Mediterraneo just off the Plaza Hispanidad – or ‘The Triangle’. Open daily from 2pm onwards but no under-18s allowed and remember that you need to bring Photo ID – preferably your passport otherwise a photo driving license. For those who prefer slot machines there is a gambling arcade and also a betting shop on the premises.
La Marina Shopping Centre Indoor covered shopping mall with plenty of well-recognised outlets selling clothes, electrical gadgets, items for the home and a toy shop among many others. There is a selection of cafes to sit down and take a break too. The number 2 bus takes you there from the centre of Benidorm.
Indoor Market in the Rincon de Loix Located on the Avd Mediterraneo, it is an Aladdin’s cave of hidden treasures. You can browse around 80 independent shops, treat yourself to a hair or beauty treatment, exchange money or take the weight off your feet and have a drink…and all without having to go outsider and get wet. Open Monday to Friday until 6pm and on Saturday until 3pm with the benefit that all three entrances are wheelchair/mobility scooter friendly.
Benidorm Circus A weekly show every Saturday starts at 6pm. No animals feature in any of the performances - instead it incorporates traditional clowns alongside dramatic and imaginative acrobatic acts: something to appeal to all ages.
see the sights
Benidorm´s one stop travel shop
Jenny & Denise at Round Town Travel Rincon de Loix
THE ROUND Town Travel offices have been the first port-of-call to many a Benidorm traveller for years with an excellent reputation for quality and service, offering tourist information; flights; transfers; hotel & apartment rentals; day trips; mini breaks; cruises; ferry tickets and much more... THE ROUND Town Travel team aims to make your holiday an experience to remember, with no stress or fuss - just happy holidays. Arrangements for a complete holiday may be made in just one call - just tell them what you want, when and where you want it - they will do all the leg-work on your behalf! Round Town Travel customers benefit from having their own dedicated holiday advisor on hand during every part of their holiday. And Round Town Travel offers a ‘look-beforeyou-book’ service on all its apartment rentals, guaranteeing that customers get exactly what they are
expecting on arrival. Based in Benidorm, Round Town Travel has the advantage of access to hotels and apartments to suit every customer’s need, always able to offer the best available price. If you are not sure what you are looking for, the team has more than 30 years’ experience working in Benidorm and can offer valuable and impartial advice on the perfect accommodation and best value for money. Even better, Round Town Travel can do it all in your own language - all of the staff are British. Visit them at Rincon de Loix, Avda Dr Severo Ochoa (opposite the Hotel Melia); C/Gerona (opposite The Western Saloon). Or online at: www.roundtowntravel.com Telephone (0034) 966 813 261 or UK: 0121 2880070.
Bill & Kerri at Round Town Travel Gerona
see the sights
Say Hello Duckie!
OUR QUACKING reporter takes a flying visit to Benidorm Island in our new feature: Where is Duckie?
A BIG welcome to Duckie our new recruit. Over the coming months Duckie will be flying all over Benidorm taking in the sights of Benidorm. Knowing that Ducks have no fear of water, we sent our intrepid reporter for a day on Benidorm Island. GETTING TO THE ISLAND Daily boats run all year from 10am departing at the harbour in the old town and from the jetty at Playa Levante (summer only) in the Rincon de Loix, below the Lido Hotel. The 25 minute journey offers stunning views of Benidorm and superb photo opportunities as you head to the famous island. Adults cost 14€ and children 11€, Ducks are free! The price includes a trip on a yellow submarine. Boats run every hour or so during the daytime. Obligatory photo taken as you board! LAND AHOY The trip across the sea is great for a family and for a cost of 50€ for a family of four is acceptable for a morning out. As you approach the island you notice just how big this home for Birds above the water and marine life below actually is. The cliffs tower 240 feet above sea level. WE ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE As soon as you land and before getting your wobbly sea legs sorted you are hurriedly herded into the little yellow submarine with 24 sea mates. Of course the submarine whilst looking just like the one the Beatles sang about is actually a glass bottom for you to enjoy a short journey to the bottom of the seas. Yes, there are some fish to see and it is a rather unique experience, but you cannot help notice that the fish are fed to ensure they are always on hand to entertain. As a Duck I do not over eat but these fish were
rather on the fat side of healthy. A WALK TO THE TOP OF THE ISLAND WILL LEAVE YOU FEELING POOPED After an underwater adventure, I flew to the very top of the island. You will have to walk or course! Follow the path to the top of the cliffs. The first thing you notice is that the island is a haven for 1000´s of seabirds and as such entirely covered in bird poop in a big way! I did say you will feel pooped, you have been warned! Putting this aside it is well worth the hike to the top simply to enjoy the views and say you have done it. If you love seabirds you will be in heaven, even if there habits are not as clean as us Ducks. ENJOY A SWIM OR A BITE TO EAT BEFORE HEADING BACK TO BENIDORM Return boats are frequent giving you plenty of time to enjoy a swim off the rocks by the café or just a drink or a menu of the day in the terrace café, a pleasant place to sit and soak up the views of the coast. A soft drink comes in at 2€, a menu of the day with house salad, roast chicken, dessert and a drink costs 14€. All in all a trip worth doing, so you can say you have done it. The boat trip is good, the island is a protected bird sanctuary so do not expect much to see or do. It is what it is and deserves a few hours of holiday time to see what all the fuss is about. The obligatory photo is waiting for you as you disembark. A ceramic souvenir bowl with your photo in the bottom for 10€. I declined the offer, ducks have no place for bowls, but lots of fellow passengers did make a purchase. A pleasant few hours, a trip to add to the must do list – ENJOY. See more of Duckie´s adventures on facebook www.facebook.com/duckiertn
Everyday is a market day! ONE OF The things that remain unchanged in Spain are the weekly street markets. If you are a bargain hunter then you have certainly come to the right place as every day is market day. There are a great deal of street markets on the Costa Blanca, but one of the biggest has to be Benidorm which is held twice a week due to its popularity - every Wednesday and Sunday in the Rincon de
Loix and another one by the tram station in the Old Town. You will find everything there - from fruit and veg to clothes, bags, nik naks, jewellery, counterfeit designer goods .... but the golden rule is barter - especially with the “look alike products”! Whatever the price quoted knock them down by half then start from there. Don’t be shy - haggling is half the fun. Other street markets held in towns surrounding Benidorm you may wish to visit during your stay include the following, most of which are easily got to on the number 10 bus from the centre of Benidorm.
In addition to the weekly street markets don´t forget that the Indoor Market in the Rincon de Loix is also open every day except Sunday until 6pm - Saturday until 3pm. You will find plenty of independent shops, stalls, money exchange bureaus and beauty salons where you can go and get thoroughly pampered, so you don´t have to worry about the weather outside – if it´s raining you can still shop without getting wet. The majority are British owned and ran so no language barriers either! There are 3 separate entrances and each is wheelchair/ mobility scooter friendly, with specially installed ramps.
MONDAY - LA NUCIA
At the far end of town in the square opposite the auditorium, but rather difficult to get to without a car.
TUESDAY - ALTEA
Take the number 10 bus to the last stop and the market is on the next street – just follow the crowds.
WEDNESDAY - BENIDORM
Head towards the Hotel Pueblo and give yourself plenty of time if you want to see everything! There is also a market in the Old Town, located just behind the tram station.
THURSDAY - VILLA JOYOSA / EL CISNE
The bus service to Villa Joyosa is rather limited but it is worth visiting this beautiful town. Alternatively, El Cisne is a very popular flea market if you like to rummage and the bus stops right outside.
FRIDAY - ALFAZ DEL PI & LA CALA
Alfaz has a great fruit and veg section at the far end and conveniently, the trusty number 10 will drop you off right at the start of the market. La Cala market is located not far from the Carrefour hypermarket in Finestrat and you can catch the number 2 bus from the centre of Benidorm to get there.
SATURDAY - LA CALA
But next to the beach and El Cisne rastro – which also has free live music to keep you entertained whilst you enjoy a drink and snack at the bar.
SUNDAY - BENIDORM, LA CALA, EL CISNE & ALBIR
And also car boot type markets in La Nucia and Polop… you are really spoilt for choice on Sunday!
A night in neon city! FROM DUSK until dawn, Benidorm does it better and cheaper than any other resort. by Dave Gaskell BENIDORM REALLY does take on a totally different persona as the sun goes down beyond the Poniente. The zone everyone calls “The Square” in the Rincon de Loix slips up several gears as day turns to night and a thousand neon lights wink at you, tempting you into over 150 central pubs, clubs and cabaret venues.
THE SQUARE IS A TRIANGLE
The “Square” refers to the area where the infamous “Café Benidorm” is located and is the hub of the entertainment zone. In reality it is actually a triangle from Morgan´s Tavern at one end to the Marina Hotel at the other. The triangle is crisscrossed with enough venues to keep even the most demanding punters happy. You will be kept howling with laughter, toe tapping, line dancing or enjoying a tipple or three after a late night feast at the dozens of (mainly British) café bars squeezed tightly between the giant cabaret venues.
GO GAGA, MEATLOAF, MEET ROD STEWART Every night let the big names entertain you from some cracking tribute acts. Mother Monster, LADY GAGA pops up most nights at Rocker Fellas as do WESTLIFE and down the road at Stardust TAKE THAT will have you going wild in the wee small hours. For those who are getting on in their years and prefer the gentleman of rock go see MEATLOAF at Jokers and ROD STEWART who seems to skip
across town at various venues from early until late. These artists are great, like the perfume sold all over Benidorm you know they are fake but like the perfume you simply have to have some. And amazingly unlike the fake perfume they look and sound just like the real thing.
FUNNY MEN AND FUNNY WOMEN
Benidorm is not short on funny men and not short on comedy venues including the UK Comedy & Cabaret Club where funny woman Crissy Rock is currently performing exclusively. Other not to be missed local comedy heroes are the incredible Albi Senior “The British Bulldog of Comedy” for squeaky clean humour (NOT) from the big man and an absolute must see, the very funny Rikki Stevens and even funnier sidekick Fred (The Monkey). If you only see one act in Benidorm, then Rikki Stevens is the one, Fred the Monkey is a real star, find them at THE TOWN, but grab a seat early! It is doubtful that you will find a more diverse bunch of hard working and badly paid entertainers anywhere in the world and all this comes to you with no door charge, simply the price of a few drinks. If you miss an act early doors you will catch many of them late at another venue in town. Even in these tough times Benidorm still puts on a great show 365 days a year, it never stops. Yes, it is looking tired around the edges and some of Neon City lights are a tad faded, but it is all good, it is very friendly, very cheap and very British and it all starts again tomorrow night from dusk until dawn.
Miss Jordan Rivers, the Rich Bitch
BENIDORM IS fun and diverse, offering all sorts of entertainment in the evenings. by Irena Bodnarec AND THERE is certainly no shortage of drag queens to chose from. But the Queen Bee has to be Miss Jordan Rivers, aka Gary Brown, now most famously recognised as the vicar who married Madge and Mel on Levante beach in ITV’s award winning comedy series ‘Benidorm’. But this was not Gary’s only ‘brush’ with television stardom ...... the BBC followed him and partner Michael Beddow for over a year filming an eightpart documentary ‘Escape to the Sun’ during 19992000 when they decided to uproot from their native Midlands and move to Benidorm, where they opened a new drag showbar called ‘The Rich Bitch’ situated in the Old Town. Most recently Gary took part, and won the Benidorm edition of ‘Come Dine with Me’ in 2012, bagging the thousand pound prize. Many viewers have wondered what happened to them since the documentary was made as there was never a follow up - well they are still thriving and entertaining visitors and locals six nights a week at The Rich Bitch. Gary’s love of showbiz has been lifelong and was kick started when he won The Daily News Entertainer of the Year in Birmingham, catapulting him to stardom and leading to him work all around the world at some of the most exotic locations and prestigious venues and cruise lines. Fed up with all the instability and traveling around, Gary and Michael decided to move away and settle down, choosing Benidorm to embark on a new chapter in their lives... and what an adventure it has been!
The Rich Bitch, situated in the heart of the Old Town, is reminiscent of a Soho Nightclub - with a ‘booted and suited’ doorman ticking you off the reservations list - it is essential to book as the venue is intimate with a maximum capacity of 97. The humour and atmosphere of the show is similar to that of the late Foo Foo Lamar’s Palace in Dale Street, Manchester. The jokes are on the risqué side but will have you in stitches - if you are of a shy disposition do not sit at the front! The song repertoire is well performed by ‘Jordan Rivers’ and her side kick Miss Shape with a dazzling array of costumes. Within the performance there are short interludes allowing the smokers to pop out for a quick one - something that had to be introduced following the national smoking ban in enclosed venues. It is a unique and memorable place attracting a mixture of couples and groups, an ideal stop for stag and hen parties - and if you have a birthday or anniversary have a little word with Michael behind the bar. The upcoming 6th series of the hit comedy Benidorm will feature the Rich Bitch Show Bar in one of the episodes – with a very funny scene featuring swingers Donald and Jacqueline. To make a reservation call 666 055 906: it is easy to find but unfortunately, as it is a pedestrianised area, taxis will not be able to drop you off right outside.
VENUE Tropical Avd.Severo Ochoa Vallentines C/Gerona Bee Gees Tropical Avd. Severo Ochoa Lady Ga Ga Tropical Avd. Severo Ochoa Rockafellas C/ Gerona Broadway C/ Gerona Blondie / Pink Tropical Avd. Severo Ochoa Elvis Rock N Roll House Jack/ACDC Daytona Rock Levante Bon Jovi Heartbreak 2 C/Gerona Morgans Tavern C/ Gerona Michael Jackson Broadway C/ Gerona One Vision (Queen) Rockafellas C/ Gerona Morgans Tavern C/Gerona West Life Rockafellas C/ Gerona Eagles Jailrock C/Gerona Shania Twain Jail Rock C/ Gerona` UB40 Jail Rock C/ Gerona` Neil Diamond Jail Rock C/ Gerona Adele Stardust C/Gerona Morgans Tavern C/ Gerona Black Eyed Peas Morgans Tavern C/ Gerona Beni Beatles Stardust C/Gerona Stylistics Stardust C/Gerona Take That Stardust C/Gerona Joe Longthorn Valentines C/ Gerona Pink Valentines C/ Gerona Bruno Mars Valentines C/ Gerona Amy Winehouse Valentines C/ Gerona
Welcome to RTN’s monthly Show Guide. Here you will find different acts for all tastes, for the young and the old. Enjoy your night!
Drag & Sexy Mud Wrestling Stick Vicky
VENUE The Pitt C/ Gerona Red Lion C / Gerona Zodiacs C / Gerona
DAY/TIME Every Night 9.30pm Every Night 11.45p
Every Night 12.45a y Night 10.00p Broadway C / Gerona Ever y Night 1.30am Rockafellas C / Gerona Ever y Night 1.00am Broadway C / Gerona Ever Kinky Karen 2.30am y C / Gerona Every Night Martin & Samantha Broadwa / Sat Red Lion C / Gerona Fri Wet T Shirt Main Advert (p25) See N TOW OLD h Jordan Rivers Rich Bitc See main advert (p27) Levi’s Showboat Levi
Comedy Gary George Albi Senior
Zodiacs C / Gerona
Every Night 11.15
Zodiacs C / Gerona
Every Night 10.00
Rockafellas C / Gerona
Every Night 11.15
Zodiacs C / Gerona
Every Night 1.15am
Red Lion C / Gerona
Every Night 9.15
Stardust C / Gerona
Every Night 10.15
Talk Of The Town C/ Gerona Riki Stevens E/N 10.15 Jason Kane E/N 12.15
Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night 9 > 12 Every Night From 8 Every Night Every Night From 9
Vincents C/Merkat 8 Old Town Every Night 9pm
Entertainer of the month
DAY Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Mon > Sat Tue/Thu/Sun Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Mo/We/Th/Sa/Su Every Night Mo/We/Th/Sa Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night Every Night
TIME 9pm 10pm 10pm 11pm 9pm 11.15pm 12pm 10.30pm 10.30pm 11pm 1am 10.30pm 10.15pm 11pm 12.15am 9pm 10pm 10pm 9pm 9pm 8pm 12pm 11.30pm 12.30am 1.30am 8.45pm 11.15pm 12.15am 1.00am
Rock, Pop & Country
Karaoke on C/ Gerona Scruffy Murphys Rovers Return Wooky Hollow 1 Queen Victoria Rockys Black Chicken Last Stop
Take That - Stardust C/Gerona Every Night from 1.30am
OF THE many performers within the Benidorm entertainment circuit “One Vision” is a group which stands out.
Teddy Cabeytu Pablo Bloom Dean Rogers Ray Croft Guitar Boy Carnaby St. Kings Of Soul Angie Jill Ryan Legends Guitar Larry Tad Cocker Degsy Deb N Her Timeless Irish Rovers Before The Storm Ron Jones Cabeytu B Sharp Lee Duffy Palanca Y Cambio Rafa Badia
GENRE Rnr Rnr Rnr Rnr Rnr Rnr Mod/Punk Soul Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Pop Irish C/W C/W C/W C/W Rock Rock Rock
VENUE Rock N Roll House Rock N Roll House Rock N Roll House Rock N Roll House Rock N Roll House Rock N Roll House Jail Rock C/Gerona Rachaels Rachaels Avd Rovers Return C/ Gerona Rovers Return C/ Gerona Rovers Return C/ Gerona Yokshire Pride C/ Gerona Luckys Bar C/ Gerona Morgans Tavern C/ Gerona Morgans Tavern C/ Gerona Shamrock C/ Gerona Western Tavern C/ Gerona Western Tavern C/ Gerona Western Tavern C/ Gerona Western Tavern C/ Gerona Guiness Bar Levante Beach Guiness Bar Levante Beach Guiness Bar Levante Beach Daytona Rock Levante Beach Daytona Rock Levante Beach
THEY ARE a four piece made up of Emma Louise Dickenson, David Wenzel, Darren Coulton and Mark Harty and their popularity is based upon them having a wide appeal across the age spectrum – Mark is the one with the Mohican, which changes colour on a regular basis! They are not a Queen tribute band but were formed based on the West End hit musical “We will Rock You” and all songs which they perform are featured in the show. The group have been going for 5 years and they regularly swap and add new songs to their show to maintain interest – you can catch them every night at 11pm in
DAY/TIME Mo>Fr 12.45am Thu > Tues 11.45am Weds > Fri 9.30pm Mo/Th/Sa 10.30pm Tu/Th/Su 12.45am Weds 12.45am Every Night 12.30 Every Night 10pm Every Night 12pm Sat 9pm Fri 9pm Sun 9pm Every Night 11pm Every Night 10pm Every Night 9pm Every Night 10pm Every Night Every Night 10.30pm Every Night 4.00pm Every Night 1.30am Every Night 2.30am 7 Day S 3.30 >10.30 7 Days 3.30> 10.30 7 Days 3.30> 10.30 7 Days 4.30 > 10.30 7 Days 4.30 > 10.30
Pablo Bloom Rock & Roll House
Weds > Fri 9.30pm
Morgans Tavern where they put on a full production rock show with some amazing outfits and lighting. The atmosphere is electric and they quickly get the audience involved, clapping and raising their arms in time to the classic rock tune, We will Rock You. They are all professional singers and entertainers who have worked the Summer season at some of the top tourist destinations and cruise liners around the world. The group were also the support act when the 60´s pop band “The Searchers” performed at Benidorm Palace. The four have a close and harmonious relationship which is reflected in their polished performance each night and should most definitely not be missed.
Levi´s Showboat THE WORD on everyone’s lips is “Levi´s Showboat” – a unique dinner/cabaret venue and once you’ve been you will understand why. THE FLORENCE Rose restaurant offers the most extensive menu which you will find anywhere, yet still maintains the unbelievable price of only 11 Euros for a full 3 course freshly cooked meal. However, they also offer a full a la carte menu with specialities such as lobster, the finest steaks in town and whole shoulder of lamb. The restaurant is packed most nights thanks to a combination of quality food, great ambience and fantastic service. They regularly cater for private functions, both lunch and dinner and can even offer a function room with bar facilities free of charge. With Christmas coming up don’t wait too long to book your work parties or special family gatherings as you are likely to end up disappointed! The Sunday lunches are legendary, hardly surprising as you get 4 courses for 8.95€. The free nightly cabaret show kicks off at 9.15pm in the main bar area where the decor is vibrant, theatrical and pure show business, with those eating in the restaurant securing reserved seating near to the stage free of charge. The exception is Monday when it is “BGT” - Talent Night hosted by Ruby Rocks – Benidorm´s newest Drag Queen. It is your opportunity to be the star of the night with the chance of winning 100 Euros cash! Entry to take part is free and the winner is chosen by the audience. On all other nights you are in for a treat with a bumper line up of varied acts. Ruby Rocks, Gary George – top comic, Scott Michael and Jolene – both fantastic singers but the star of the night are most definitely Miss Levi and the Dream Girls. There are also guest artists appearing on a regular basis to complement the cabaret line up.
food & drink
Eating out and speaking Spanish So, you’ve arrived for your visit to Spain, got to where you’re going to stay, settled yourself in and now perhaps you fancy popping out for a bite to eat. by Jane Cronin There’s nowhere better to go for a snack than to a Spanish bar or restaurant but you might feel a bit nervous if you don’t know what all the words mean, and how everything is done. Of course there’s no harm in heading for the nearest English-run burger bar but it´s such a pity when people come to Spain and never enjoy the experience of real Spanish food. If you just want a light snack, the best place to go is a bar that serves tapas. When you put your head round the door, you will see rows of glass covered display cabinets along the counter containing a variety of tasty morsels. There will probably be pickled anchovies called anchoas; a kind of mayonnaise salad with tuna called ensaladilla; there might be some meat balls called albondigas, and almost certainly some potato omelette called tortilla. Bars often have their own specialities, and there’s nothing stopping you trying some out by pointing to them and saying “un poco de esto, por favor”, (a little of this one, please). Having ordered your snacks and drinks you can go and sit at a table as the waiter will bring them over to you, along with a plate, fork and serviette for each person and a basket of bread. It’s not usual to serve butter with bread in Spain, but the bread is so good it doesn’t really need any. Another thing about Spanish eating places is that there is rarely any pressure to get rid of you, or to take your money. You can feel free to take
Rice week 14 – 20th October
With the resort attracting more foreign tourists each year it is essential to focus attention on the things that the town does well - and cuisine comes high on the list. Many of the Brits coming over are only just discovering tapas, which is probably the thing most associate with Spain after sun, sand and euro pints. With the emergence of so many All Inclusive hotels it is something that unfortunately many will not discover - one of the hazards of this phenomenon. The Town Hall and Department of Tourism are passionate about emphasizing the importance of establishing Benidorm as a centre of Gastronomic cuisine - something that in the past has not been automatically associated with the town. In February they launched the 2013 Gastronomic food calendar of events taking place in the resort and the last of these takes place this month, from 14th to 20th October – Rice week. 19 restaurants are taking part in this week long extravaganza with the aim of showcasing a broad spectrum of rice dishes available, ranging from traditional to modern. On each day of the week the participating restaurants will offer a different 3 course menu – with the main course obviously being a rice dish, including wine for a set price of 20 Euros. Some of the creations you can sample include Sticky rice with lobster, monkfish, clams and pumpkin; Partridge risotto with mushrooms and chickpeas or Rice with cod, cauliflower and broad beans. The restaurants are spread around the resort but if you pop into one of the tourist offices you can pick up a brochure “Jornadas de los Arroces” which will list each restaurant, the daily menu on offer and location details. One of the participating restaurants, La Taperia recently participated in an International paella competition in Switzerland – the first time that a restaurant from Benidorm had been represented. The event will hopefully endeavor to highlight that Benidorm is, to some, an undiscovered Gastronomic heaven.
the time you wish to relax, chat, order another beer, buy an ice-cream for the kids, have a cup of coffee and pay for the whole lot together as you leave. To call the waiter over you need to catch his eye and say “perdón” quite loudly, but without shouting! These kinds of bars may look disorganized, but there will be a note somewhere near the till of everything you have ordered. Before you leave you can say the traditional “La cuenta por favor” (the bill please) or if you’ve only had a few things it’s quite common to say “¿me cobras?” (Will you charge me?) or simply ¿Cuánto es? (How much is it?) Here are some more useful phrases to get you in the mood. “Una mesa para dos” – A table for two. “La carta por favor” - The menu please. “Para mi” – for me “Lo mismo” – the same “Otro” – another one “Nada más, gracias” – Nothing else, thank you “Está bien” – it’s good. “No está bien” – it’s not good. And last but not least - “¿Dónde está el baño?” – Where is the bathroom? By the way, the ladies has an “S” on the door for “señoras” and the gents has a “C” for “caballeros” – always good to know that sort of thing in advance to avoid embarrassment.
Coffee lovers guide... HOLIDAYMAKERS OR even those fortunate enough to live in beautiful Benidorm may be baffled as to the vast choice and selections of coffee available at bars and cafes. The Spanish drink a lot of coffee but not much tea - this is especially evident if you ever go into an electrical store to purchase an electric kettle. There will be row upon row of coffee machines but probably a choice of two kettles. Still, as the saying goes, when in Rome... Here are the most common choices of coffee: Cafe Solo - Equivalent to an Espresso: a small, very strong black coffee Cafe con Leche - Half cafe solo and half hot milk Cafe Bombon - A small glass containing condensed milk with cafe solo: very sweet! Cafe Americano - Large black coffee Cafe Cortado - Cafe solo with a drop of milk Cafe con Hielo - Pronounced ‘yello’ and mostly drunk in the Summer time, this is cold, iced coffee. You will be served a normal coffee and be bought a separate glass with ice - then you pour the coffee over it Cafe Sombra - (or Cafe Manchado) is mostly milk with a few drops of coffee Cafe Carajillo - A cafe solo served with a shot of brandy... obviously a very popular choice! You will witness most builders having one for breakfast and the price is far cheaper than a Starbucks frothy milk concoction in the UK! If you want de-caffeinated then ask for ‘descafeinado’ - most places will have it. So off you go and enjoy with a slice of cake!
food & drink
Dining out with...
The Duchess WELCOME TO my new dining out column in which I will be reporting on different styles of restaurants in the Benidorm area. My aim is to give you an honest, unbiased and sometimes fun report of my culinary findings. This months choice is the Italian themed restaurant Topo Gigio on the Avenida Mediterraneo in Benidorm. This restaurant has been a favourite of mine for quite some time but my last visit was a little disappointing so I decided to go back as the Duchess undercover hoping that I would be excited by my findings and thankfully I was and they have upped their game somewhat. I find as a well-travelled woman a reservation is a must for me and please take a tip from the Duchess, rejection is not fun. I got one of my boys to call ahead earlier that day for a table for four at 9pm. Now for me when booking a table over the phone I always expect the establishment to give the name of the restaurant followed by the time of day. This did not happen so any of you out there reading this and are responsible for the reservations please make a note as it’s the simplest of things to do. A lot of people remember the beginning and the ending of a dining experience so don’t be caught out by this small error (you’ll lose duchess points) Topo Gigio is set slightly back from the main road down a few steps to a small but welcoming terrace. Inside there is probably seating for around 60/80 guests. Our reservation was confirmed and we opted for a terrace table, menus quickly presented and
wine duly ordered we opted for the house white which had a very pleasant bouquet and the price was favourable at 8€ a bottle. The menu here of course, you guessed, is Italian but does cater for every budget. We all opted for 2 courses A La Carte. I started with the house salad, us ladies do have to watch the figure a little. Although we were not in a hurry the starters took 35 minutes from ordering, but it was a Saturday night and we had nowhere to rush off to. For my main course I chose the scaloppini, thin veal slices which were served in a masala sauce, delicious. This was accompanied by a potato bake and altogether was nicely presented and piping hot and I must say the main courses were served promptly after our starts. After a café solo we left the restaurant about 23.15 with all of my party enjoying their evening. The average cost per head works out with wine for 2 courses around 20€. But you can just pop in for a pizza or a plate of pasta depending on the occasion.
Duchess star rating out of 5
**** Value for money ****
food & drink
O’Maras Benidorm Old Town
Restaurant L’Oli-Pop, Benidorm Old Town
Aurrera group , Benidorm Old Town
Traditional Spanish Cuisine
Long established British bar, O’Maras, in the old town of Benidorm, has just undergone a major refurbishment and is now open. Dave, Jan and Ian are pleased to welcome customers old and new to their bar, which offers a menu of typical British pub fare as well as a good English breakfast. In fact it is often said that “they don’t serve fast food, they just do good food as fast as they can “. Apart from the large regular menu, O’Maras serves up a daily “ specials “ board, and is also well known for their excellent Sunday lunches, and a word to the wise, booking in advance, to avoid disappointment, will ensure you a seat. Behind the bar there is a large selection of imported beer and spirits as well as local stock. To add to the friendly atmosphere, all your favourite music plays from the 50’s to present day, and all the major sports events are shown on 3 big screen televisions. The bar is open from 10am till late and food is served from 10am till 10pm. Find O’Maras Bar at C/ Quatro Esquinas 9, Old Town Benidorm or phone 965 862 134.
THE RESTAURANT L’Oli-Pop in Benidorm’s Old Town brings together the flavours of Mediterranean cuisine and the memories of the fun past that was the eighties! Fresh, quality cuisine inspired by the simplicity of the flavours of yesteryear is on the menú at this popular Benidorm favourite, prepared and served by Asier, Jose and Oscar, offering a variety of appetizers and tapas including Notches or Squid with Piquillo Peppers stuffed with seafood, fresh and varied salads. And these are followed by prime steaks and freshly caught fish from the bay! As a special treat at this tasty ‘return to the past’ at L’Oli-Pop we recommend the Cheesecake Ball, unique to the city - an amazing taste and texture and a ‘must try’ if you are in Benidorm. The restaurant enjoys an excellent central location and a great atmosphere all year round! L’Oli-Pop: No. 7 Calle La Palma, Benidorm Old Town. See you there! Call to 615 19 20 06 to reserve your table.
Head to Calle Santa Domingo, better known as Tapas Alley and get a taste of some top quality food at one of the Aurrera eateries - the most established name on the street, which all offer menu´s in English.
Traditional English meals served in a friendly atmosphere
La Taperia Aurrera La Taperia Aurrera has a modern contemporary interior which specializes in rice dishes. They offer a lunch time special for 13.50€ featuring the rice dish of the day as the main – changes daily and a choice of 3 starters and a dessert. Head chef Miguel has recently taken part in the international rice competition held in Switzerland such is his skill and innovation at creating new combinations. The restaurant also offers modern and classic tapas for which it won 1st prize in
last years Tapas y Pinchos competition. Pizzeria Avanti Pizzeria Avanti is just off Tapas Alley and specializes in pizza and pasta dishes – with the pizzas baked in a real wood burner. As you enter the restaurant you walk over a glass floor underneath which all the logs are stored for the pizza oven. They offer a 3 course pizza lunch menu for 10.90€ which includes bread and a drink in addition to an extensive menu. Aurrera – Busy Pinchos & Tapas bar Aurrera – Busy Pinchos & Tapas bar established for over 23 years. Specialize in pinchos – which are thin slices of bread with a variety of toppings and priced at only 1.70€. Freshly prepared twice a day they also offer a vast selection of both hot and cold tapas dishes, with each one labeled in English so you know what they are. Bookings and enquiries 669 462 551.
food & drink
Restaurant Review of the month Aurrera Group
FOR ANYONE who has been down Benidorms’ famous “Tapas Alley “, it’s possible you may have noticed one name that keeps occurring over the doors of various eateries. This being AURRERA, they have in total seven locales in and around the area and are transforming how we eat to an amazing standard. Their latest venture is La Taperia and is beautifully decorated with the service is as good as the food, and it crosses over from a tapas bar into a restaurant with a wine list that most good restaurants would envy.
El Italiano, Benidorm Centre Traditional Italian cuisine
LOCATED IN the centre of Benidorm, El Italiano was created to offer its customers the best of traditional Italian cuisine, the brainchild of two young Italian chefs from London with a passion for promoting traditional dishes from different regions of Italy. The two young entrepreneurs began with an Italian restaurant in downtown London’s Covent Garden which immediately became a hit with tourists and gourmets. After five years, their move to Spain brought them to Benidorm with its mix of international tourists and food-loving local residents. El Italiano in the centre of the city is an elegant restaurant offering homemade pasta, pizza, fresh fish, meats and specialities from all regions of Italy, accompanied by hand-selected Italian wines. And the restaurant’s central location is walking distance to the beach as well as being convenient for shops and the bars and clubs that have made Benidorm Spain’s most popular holiday destination. Call for more information or visit www.ristorantepizzeriaelitaliano.com El Italiano, Hispanic Heritage Square, 3 Benidorm. Tel 96 585 9533 Buon Appetito!
Brisa del Mar, Albir The Menu del Dia specialists
THE RESTAURANT’S popularity is doubtless due to its excellent menu choice and customer service. A choice of three menus of the day is on offer (all with five courses) starting at only 11.95€. Included is a ½ bottle of wine, bread ali-oli and tapas on arrival. Starters include Chilli and Garlic Prawns, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad or Smoked Salmon Roulade. Main courses include Sirloin Steak, Tuna Steak and Chicken Breast stuffed with Mozzarella & Pesto. And during the month of July, bring the restaurant’s RTN advert on Saturday or Sunday to receive 10% discount on your menu of the day! On Monday, Wednesday and Friday a special four course menu is offered for only 9.50€, including a ½ bottle of wine, bread, ali-oli and tapas on arrival. The Restaurant Brisa del Mar is down the hill from the Cambank/Solbank, just off the main street in Albir: open lunchtimes only on Sunday 12.30pm – 3pm and other evenings from 6.30pm till 9.30pm: closed Tuesdays. For more information call 96 686 5214.
BRASSERIA Open 2004 dedicated primarily to the charcoal grill, the attractive menu specialises in grilled meat, seafood and fish with appetising rice menus. PIZZERIA AVANTI Opened in 1998 it offers the best in Italian cuisine in a cosy setting or on the terrace. Pizzas are cooked from fresh in the traditional wood oven. BODEGON Opened in 1995 rustic and cosy offering typical Basque cuisine such as Bacalao al pil-pil with a selective wine list. LA SIDERIA The flagship of the chain, a very successful restaurant inspired by traditional Basque Cider. Their T-bone Steaks, like their fish dishes will entrap you. BAR GORBEA A secluded Basque style tavern where you can enjoy excellent kebabs, steamed mussels, cockles and clams in a traditional style. PINTXOS AURRERA The first of the groups ventures, opened in 1991. Here you can enjoy tapas and rations like you were in the old quarter of San Sebastian. All of their outlets offer high standards at reasonable prices. Bookings and enquiries 669 462 551.