After Christmas, the New Year and finally Three Kings things start to go a little quiet in Benidorm. That is not to say there is no one around, just a different sort of visitor. The hotels are probably over 50% occupied mostly by the over 55’s enjoying some winter sun and a long holiday at a very affordable price. Spain subsidises holidays for many of it’s pensioners and they are here in their numbers enjoying walks along the promenade and all found accommodation in the hotels. This time of year is about daytime Benidorm; aerobics on the beach for the young at heart, daytime entertainment, value for money lunches and a coffee and Brandy (or a beer or two) sat in the still warm sun in the afternoon. At 6.00 pm when the sun start to go down it almost like a siren has gone off and the streets start to clear.
Now don’t get me wrong there is still plenty of life at night with some wonderful acts to see, busy bars, good restaurants and plenty (if you like it) of Karaoke going on. It is just not so hectic, this is the time of year when people come for a two or three month break for about the same price as two weeks in August so they don’t have to fit everything into just two weeks. Some of the big disco and sports bars close for their holidays and to do maintenance and some only open at weekends, but there is still plenty to do and see. Old town is still busy with a mix of Spanish, Brits and a lot of Scandinavians all enjoying the hustle and bustle of Tapas Alley, the shops and the wonderful local food. Poniente Beach is still busy along the new promenade and the south facing bars are busy with the lunchtime trade combining plenty of sunlight with their food and drink. Further along Poniente in the area known as La Cala the mornings are full with joggers, walkers, in line skaters and people using the open air fitness machines; sometimes it seems as the whole area is keeping a New Year resolution to take more exercise. On the beach you will find people playing petanque, volleyball and even some brave souls having a swim. Come lunchtime and there are still plenty of places to eat and sit in the sun.
So this is Benidorm in our winter time; not the noisy, vibrant Benidorm of the summer and Fiesta season, a different Benidorm, still busy, still offering plenty to do, but at a more relaxed pace. Time for us to take a breath, decorate and prepare for Easter and the long season. The town is still the only genuine 12 month a year holiday destination on the Med and long may it stay so.