Benidorm – City of contrast belies reputation
I am reliably told if a pigeon decides to use you as its personal toilet then, for some unfathomable reason, it is good luck.
I can confidently say it did not feel that way when Senor Paloma decided to deposit his lunch on my shirt as I walked through Benidorm’s surprisingly traditional old town.
But looking back it seems there may be something in the old wives tale – as I was certainly lucky to spend two fantastic days on the sun kissed Spanish coast.
Think of Benidorm and images of sunburnt Brits, kiss me quick hats and stag nights may well flash across your mind; and while all that is certainly there, the resort dubbed the ‘Manhattan of Spain’ has so much more to offer.
Indeed, Benidorm is a city of contrasts. One minute you are walking past Brit style pubs and cafes dotted along the seafront; but turn a corner into the old town and you might just find yourself walking through a busy street full of Tapas bars frequented by tourists not from Newcastle, London or Manchester, but from Madrid or Valencia.
Benidorm Burger King is a short walk from Kataria Gastronomica, home of award winning seafood to die for; while Irish bars can easily be swapped for those playing more traditional Spanish fare.
For those willing to look, Benidorm is a culinary joy. Based in Avenida Europa, Kataria Gastronomica, pictured right and top, serves up a seven course delight to tantalise diner’s tastebuds.
Fine Spanish wine, a laid back atmosphere and trendy, ultra-modern surrounds complete the picture.
For those wanting an all together different dining experience, a background of burlesque dancers, balancing acts and slapstick trampolining can be found at Benidorm Palace.
The venue’s cabaret show includes a three course meal and spectacular surroundings that make you feel like a cross between an Italian mobster and an extra from Moulin Rouge.
Dancing girls treat you to everything from the cha-cha to rag doll rock, with spectacular light shows and sound effects adding to the overall impression.
Of course, Benidorm still offers plenty for those who prefer the trusted three S’s of sun, sand and sea.
With temperatures in the high 20s and even higher, its sun tan lotion all the way; while the beaches are clean and the sea clear.
Benidorm is a sun worshippers paradise, but its evening choices are as wide ranging as you want them to be.
Just watch out for the pigeons.