Travel: A what’s on 2013 guide to Benidorm
What better way to escape the cold British winter than a trip to the Spanish sunny gay haven of Benidorm.
Benidorm remains one of the UK’s favourite holiday destinations welcoming more than 1.5 million UK visitors, growing year on year. With a friendly vibe in a stunning Mediterranean setting, the resort offers a unique, welcoming atmosphere for LGBT visitors looking for year-round sunshine and a great choice of entertainment.
There’s more to the resort than you might think on the gay scene and there’s a dedicated section for the LGBT community on the Visit Benidorm website.
The resort prides itself on the array of facilities and services it offers with more than fifty gay and gay-friendly establishments in the old town, which is the throbbing heart of Benidorm (hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, travel agencies, shops, saunas.
Most of these are located in the old town area of Benidorm through to the Rincon de Loix area at the opposite end of the town.
It’s easy to get around with everything in the resort close at hand with an excellent public transport service of buses and taxis to help you get further afield to explore the surroundings too.
Benidorm Pride 2012 was used as a springboard aiming to promote the resort as one of Europe’s premier LGBT holiday destinations showcasing the wide range of entertainment and facilities on offer all year round.
The 3rd annual Benidorm Pride Festival will take place on 8 – 15 September with a week-long programme of festival fun alongside art & cultural events and the parade finale at the end of the week. Benidorm’s LGBT committee works alongside the Benidorm Tourist Board and other partners to organise the Pride and Cultural Week of activities which includes exhibitions, live broadcasts and a host of music, dance and guest DJs, creating a really special atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.
Music is a major element of the summer season in Benidorm with two high profile music festivals. In July, the Low Cost Festival attracts headline acts and the best of Spanish and international performers over a 3 day event in an environmentally friendly atmosphere 26 – 28 July 2013).
There’s also the glamour and spectacle of the award-winning Benidorm Palace dinner and cabaret to enjoy (or else see some of the excellent dancers and drag queens, pubs and discos and a great choice of cocktail bars and live music bars around Levante Beach, with nightclubs on the Avenida Beniarda if you want to dance till dawn.
Benidorm prides itself on its gastronomy, from local and regional speciality dishes and Mediterranean cuisine to international dishes, there’s something for every palate here. For excellent tapas, visit the Street around Santo Domingo. Enjoy the buzzy atmosphere and sample the great range of tapas dishes on offer accompanied by a cold beer or a glass of fine wine.
Of course, daytime is for sunbathing, relaxing and just having fun. Benidorm boasts spectacular Blue Flag beaches renowned throughout Europe with golden sands and crystal clear waters of Levante, Poniente and Mal Pas beaches, or the quieter coves of Tio Ximo and Almadrava. Levante is one of the busiest urban beaches, more than 2 kilometres long with great facilities and watersports from cable ski to waterskiing. Scuba-diving enthusiasts will appreciate the unique marine life around Benidorm Island but if you want more adrenaline filled activities you can opt for other adventures with the backdrop of the Bay of Benidorm, and try your hand at Parasailing, Jet Ski or boat parties which are always fun and sociable. View the resorts’ watersports facilities here.
There are lots of other ways to keep in shape with climbing, walking or cycling one of the of the five routes of Serra Gelada Nature Park, or opt for a round of golf at one of three courses and soak up panoramic views of the town. Jump on a segway to explore the town, or for speed freaks, head to the mountains in a, jeep or a quadbike for a completely different experience. See more on active tourism here.
With its unique microclimate, Benidorm is the perfect all year-round resort with a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets from 5* resort hotels to campsites. Just 45 kms from Alicante airport and 140 kms from Valencia, both are served by major tour operators and low-cost flights from most UK airports.
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