Benidorm is probably the only genuine year round resort on the Mediterranean and the holiday apartments operate at 80% occupancy year round. For much of the year the majority of the people visiting Benidorm are from the UK and Ireland, but when the summer comes the Spanish flock to Benidorm and the demand for holiday apartments is at an all time high. The Spanish will pay premium prices for an apartment within easy (150 metres) of the beach and with parking. Many Spanish still rent an apartment for a month at a time and the whole family will make use of it.
From the middle of June until the middle of September the majority of visitors are from Spain and the beaches, restaurants, ice cream parlours and bars are buzzing with the chatter of Spanish families enjoying their vacations. Of course there are still Brits on holiday, but in July and August you tend to find them in the big hotels and the campsites located in the Rincon de Loix.
The blue flag beaches of Levante and Poniente are the big draw each having their own “personality”.
Levante Beach is full and busy with a choice of rides and water sports available and a selection of bars and restaurants line the sea front. This is the livelier beach with more of a Spanish / British mix and the sound of music bars creating a background beat.
Poniente Beach on the other side of Old Town is a little less hectic especially the further along you go. This is “grown up” Benidorm still busy, but with a different feel. The beach has more depth to it so it feels less packed, there are no rocks at the water’s edge and the bars and restaurants on the promenade have a slightly quieter feel to them, the babble of conversation rather than the beat of music and menu of the day rather than fish and chips.
One thing is the same though, just before 2.00pm the exodus of Spanish families heading for Lunch and a Siesta starts. The restaurants (especially those serving “Menu of The Day”) are packed, people taking huge pans of Paella to their apartments are everywhere and the beaches are half empty. Left behind are the Brits and the other North Europeans who hardly move apart from to go and get an ice cream or a sandwich as if they are scared the sun might disappear!
It’s 5.00pm and the Spanish stream back to the beach having eaten, taken a nap and are ready for a few more hours in the less fierce sun.