Our Contact Manager Mark recently returned from a holiday in Costa Blanca, read his views on the resorts and his comparison with Dubai!
Exploring the White Coast – Costa Blanca
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to mainland Spain for my holiday. Spain has seen a bit of a revival of late and many people have come back to the resorts that they were familiar with many years ago.
The Costa Blanca has been a popular resort with the British since the early 1960’s. It was part of the beginning of the package holiday revolution. For someone like me who is part of this great travel industry, it’s great to see where it all began.
Did you know that before the package travel boom, Costa Blanca didn’t really exist as a place? Costa Blanca was a made up name by an advertising department of a British tour operator!
Getting to the Villa
I stayed at the villa Eucalipto in Javea. It’s an easy 60 minute drive from Alicante airport. There is a toll road, so make sure you have some euros available, as they are unattended booths. It costs about €7 on the toll road which speeds up the journey and makes driving easy. The driving directions provided are easy to follow and it’s well worth getting a hire car to explore the area.
The villa Eucalipto
Villa Eucalipto is a very spacious 4 bedroom villa. The pool is large for the villa and has plenty of space outside for younger ones to run around. As with all Villa Plus villas, the pool and table tennis table are great fun and even if it’s not something you would normally do, you will end up trying to declare yourself as ‘villa champion’ of pool or table tennis. Albeit, my fiancée managed to take both the pool and table tennis trophy home. : (
My fiancée and I packed some nice evening attire as I thought I would treat her to the nearby Michelin starred restaurant, Bon Amb. (Bon Amb is only 5 minutes away). However, we never made it. After picking up some super fresh seafood at the local fish market in Javea, we found ourselves using the barbecue every night. The food was great – even though my cooking skills are limited. Fish grilled on the barbecue along with fresh salad and potatoes… even I couldn’t go wrong. My fiancée may have the pool trophy, but I will give myself a Michelin star.
Javea is a town of two parts. You have the seafront with good quality restaurants and bars. Nothing too rowdy can be found here, it’s all about peace and relaxation. A glass of wine facing the sea along with some fresh olives is idyllic.
In the old town of Javea, you will find the narrow alleyways of old. The surroundings are stunning and you really go back in time and can relax forgetting about any modern day worries. There are hidden restaurants and bars as you meander through the slim streets. Make sure you stop for a glass of wine in the main square near the church. You can spend all day watching the world go by.
We spent a day in Moraria. It’s only a 15min drive from the villa Eucalipto. I recommend that you stop in the restaurant that is located on the front near the marina. It’s a great place for an English breakfast or a mid-morning snack of tortilla de patatas. The beach in Moraria is great for sun and relaxation or take a stroll around the shops around the town. There are plenty of fine restaurants around too. You can spend your time looking at the marina and playing the ‘That’s my Yacht over there’ game. Perhaps the Yacht will be there for me one day - I’ll have to ask my boss about that one.
Just 45mins drive from Javea, I couldn’t resist visiting Benidorm. Benidorm has had a snigger attached to the resort since the late 1980’s when it started to lose out to the more exotic sounding Balearics & Canary Islands.
The hit comedy Benidorm was a parody of all things negative associated to Benidorm (mainly the ‘Brits abroad’ ‘Belly-Buster Breakfast – Drink as much as you can - All Inclusive resort’). I am sure that the Benidorm tourist office may have watched the sitcom when first released in 2007must have thought this was the final nail in the coffin for Benidorm.
Benidorm did the exact opposite for Benidorm. The good British public come back to ‘Benny’, perhaps to bring back old memories of holidaying in the past, or perhaps there was a tongue-in-cheek philosophy of going back to Benidorm. Either way, business has been good again for Benidorm.
Perhaps I went there for the wrong reasons too. I was glad I went though. The Marketing team who came up with Costa Blanca – The White Coast were not wrong. The beach at Benidorm is fantastic. You can see why this resort just grew and grew… Benidorm is a city with many attractions, bars & restaurants. Yes, along the seafront there are a few remaining Karaoke bars and ‘€2 Pints of Carling’, but in the main town itself, there are the authentic Tapas bars with Spanish speaking locals. There really are some hidden gems in Benidorm.
Having been to Dubai on a few occasions, it’s easy to draw a comparison between Dubai & Benidorm. High–rise hotels built quickly around a beautiful sandy beach. Perhaps in 10-20 years there will be a sitcom called ‘Dubai’, whilst Benidorm enjoys its renaissance. I’ll wait and see if my prediction is correct.