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Alicante y Benidorm

Sun, Sea & Sangriaaaa

sunny 30 °C

This year I decided to travel with 4 of my friends to a warm country, not too far from home due to boring time restraints and finances.
We flew with Easy Jet and had trouble checking in our luggage at Gatwick Airport as they were were all booked under one of our names and 3 bags had already gone to their sliding fate on the conveyor belt and the machine timed out. Standard Sleazy Jet response was 'how do we know you haven't sent down the fourth? Luckily we had a receipt of the ones already checked in. Mine was over the limit by 0.3kg (standard Lauren packing), so we had to quickly find the keys, open the padlock an do the Unpack of Shame in front of the disapproving queue of fellow Brits, hoping they too don't have to go through the same process. Lilos were whipped out and distributed into our hand luggage and I managed to lose a kilo. They were some pretty damn heavy lilos!

All checked in and browsed the entire make up and perfume section of Duty Free, it was time for a cheeky drink and brunch before our flight. There is no where better than spoons for good value nosh and drink followed by a compulsory picture and check in status to the airport for our girls holiday.
We had just enough time to wolf down our club sandwiches and prosecco before rolling to our gate a mile and a half the other side of the airport. We arrived just in time after every man and his dog was permitted to board before the rest of the passengers. We were just hyped to be going.
The flight was speedy and non-eventful, just the way I like it. We had to pay for our ant-sized drinks unlike the non-peasant airlines. Before we knew it, it was time to land and all ran smoothly from customs to baggage collection. I had wizened up to it all now. Bright tag around the whole suitcase, name tag on, name and address with contact number inside the case in case it gets lost. I even took a photo of what it looked like.

When we left the airport we took the C6 bus from the airport outside; a 35 minute journey to the Plaza / Esplanade (main strip of Alicante) for only €3.85!! Much cheaper than a taxi, super quick, places to put your luggage and they're regular (every 20 minutes). The bus even runs through the night!
It helps to learn a bit of Spanish like I had when you go to tell the driver where you want to go. Just hope you don't get the money-grabbing drivers who clearly enjoy being a right dick, letting us get on the bus that said 'Albufereta' (I told him I wanted to go there'. He replying to me in Spanish (not saying Si or No which I would have understood. He made us get off at the other side of the city, told us to get back on the bus to pay again to get to where we wanted to go. He could have said no and pointed to the other side of the street but decided to mock us.

We stayed in the Old Town at an Air BnB just down the street from the beautiful Santa Maria Church. You could hear the bells every hour which made it even more authentic.

The city was full of culture, such as Castillo Barbara on top of the mountain, you can't miss it from miles away. You can walk up it but the steps are a bit uneven and if you're not used to the heat like me, it's probably a good idea to get the lift through the tunnel off of the main street opposite the harbour side. It was very cheap and leaves you with more energy to explore the historic medieval castle at your leisure. At the top they also have facilities such as a cafe, fully functioning toilets and places to get drinks and ice cream. Just mind your head/watch your step at times as the rocks and structure are a bit uneven and low.

The harbour 'Puerto' was full of good night life after 2am. Nothing was really happening there with all the bars behind the restaurants (round the back of the casino. The restaurants sold good food for a reasonable price with some classic music at Coyote's.
69435555_10162147371760287_896599024612671488_n.jpg69453865_10162147694260287_1122437256963948544_n.jpg69543009_10162147692715287_28921687001006080_n.jpgThe Casino opens at 12am on the harbour front. It was a bit crap in comparison to others I have been to and they even charge you an entrance fee which I thought was a bit cheeky. It was still a good laugh though, probably because I'm such a rookie. The market stalls on the harbour are open till late, selling small yappy toy dogs to annoy your niece's family with and other great souvenirs and trinkets. There are also street entertainers chucking diablos around and blowing bubbles bigger than Saba's head (waiter at El Barrio's Peca2) for a few euros.

El Barrio is a fantastic strip (particularly aimed at younger Millennials). There are scouts around the streets dangling free shot carrots to lure you into their clubs for commission. This worked well for us! The shots tasted a bit like blue mouth wash though, so maybe request caramel vodka ones instead before you go in, if you were a bit over the Sangria like we were. The prices seemed standard at most bars and many did Shisha too. We enjoyed Eclipse, Havana and a few of the others. You can get decent cocktails in most places at standard €8/€9 each. The restaurants along the boulevard were a little more pricey it seemed and they even add on an extra charge to each item for dining out on the boulevard.

Be sure to try the traditional Spanish dishes including paella, tapas and their catch of the day. We had beautiful swordfish, sea bass and salmon.
siestas. We normally ate out around 9-10pm and some nights even later. It seemed to be the perfect time to grab food out with the locals. A great place to eat out is in the Old Town where they have side streets of food places at Calle Mayor and everyone dines out sat at tables in the middle. There is so much to choose from for all kinds of palate. Our personal favourite was Casona Alicantina for fish, pasta and Paella. They start to pack tables away from 11:30pm. 69145776_10162122813035287_6974009698714386432_n.jpg69703586_10162147381055287_3873858616054251520_n.jpg69904237_10162147383485287_3607197329439850496_n.jpg70176910_10162147388895287_5637854018697953280_n.jpg69525576_10162147371595287_2158877758149623808_n.jpg

It's best to get a cheeky siesta in to keep up with their ways of life, especially if you're not going out until 2am. We were told by our Air BnB host that Marmarela was a great club to go to. This was open during the day too, like a beach day club / nightclub. It was €15 each to get in at night (which included 1 drink), but was the place to go with a big DJ and dance floors. The venue was beautiful and well managed. It is a great place to get some good photos to make your friends jealous at home haha. Don't jump in the pool at night though as security will remove you quicker than MP Mark Field removing Green Peace activists from a dinner party.

After you have been in Alicante for a week trying all of the restaurants and bars, you soon become familiar with the bar staff and the Looky Looky men. One we met every night since we came to Alicante and bought nearly one of everything in his bag (he definitely saw me coming).

One of my best buys was a large elephant beach blanket for us all to sit on. Literally made our holiday with our little parasol we borrowed from the BnB. We also enjoyed chilling on the lilos we brought, sticking towels on them to make mini sunbeds on the sand. It was actual bliss. Us fairer members of the gang got a bit too burnt this August. Probably using more than factor 20spf would have been more efficient. Some of the days the sea water was so clear you can see lots of beautiful fish using a snorkel. It was totally worth it and the sea was so warm and refreshing after sizzling in the Spanish sun. The main beach in Alicante (El Postiguet), opposite the boulevard wasn't the nicest beach we had visited but it was definitely the easiest one to get to with all the amenities needed for a decent beach day. There were lots of nice little bars along the sea front and even a giant inflatable that you have to pay to use (obviously) or the angry life guards blow their whistles aggressively at any freeloaders.

San Juan was definitely my favourite beach. it has 3km of golden sand and actual lively beach bars on the beach with pumping music. We went to a bar called Copit which appeared to be the most rocking. We got the tram there from the Marq Castillo in about 30 mins. It was totally worth it. A lot quicker than getting the bus, that's for sure. Albufereta was a nice beach too but more suitable for families with children. There wasn't much happening there and it was closer than San Juan.

We decided to venture into Benidorm to check out all the hype about it's boisterousness. We got off at Benidorm tram stop and visited the beach and had dinner, saw some gay bars and it didn't seem like how it was described. It turned out we were actually in the Old Town and not where it was happening at all. The beaches were lush though, it was pretty chilled, great restaurants and had some nice views and picturesque buildings. Unfortunately the Balcon Del Mediterraneo look out point was under construction so we didn't even get to see that. We had a nice day there never-the-less but just be mindful to not make the same mistake if you're after the Inbetweeners-type Lads Lads Lads holiday.

If you fancy something a little different, take a trip to Calle de Las Setas where you can follow the yellow brick road in Alicante. It's like taking a step inside an Alice and Wonderland chapter. You can have a drink on the strip, divulge in the fruity sweet shop and explore giant toadstools, feeling like you're the size of an ant!

I absolutely loved Alicante and would have stayed another week to explore some more of the surrounding cities including the quint town of Altea and Valencia. I will be returning to Spain, that's for sure! I highly recommend it for a girls/family holiday as there's something for everyone.

Posted by Travel__Tease 06:52 Archived in Spain Tagged beach spain sand drinking alicante benidorm beach_bar el_barrio marmarela girls_holiday

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