PR TRIP. Weekend Away at VILANOVA Costa Dorada

An oasis in the woods to escape the big city embracing nature in its finest is what you can expect on your next holiday to the Costa Dorada, Spain, with Alfresco Holidays.

sitting outside mobile home at Villanova park Barcelona

An oasis in the woods to escape the big city embracing nature in its finest is what you can expect on your next holiday to the Costa Dorada, Spain, with Alfresco Holidays. It may be situated away from tourist hotspot nightlife, but you needn’t worry about getting bored when there’s a range of sports, pools, indoor spa and entertainment on site. The best thing? You can be in the heart of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, appreciating La Sagrada Familia or leaving footprints across the sand of the Park Güell in less than an hour. That’s right, family fun mobile home holidays that you know and love combined with an easy visit to one of the most beautiful and cultural cities in Europe.

Regular mobile home holiday lovers will appreciate the range of facilities onsite at an Alfresco Holidays resort, gone are the days of searching around for somewhere to eat or trying to light a fire for the BBQ, as on site you have access to a Finca style restaurant with stone washed walls and good value food and a BBQ outside. After I finished chatting to you all on Facebook live, I spent some time just looking around. Sitting on the decking with a glass of wine, I couldn’t help but focus my attention on all the dads doing their BBQ’s for their families. It felt kinda like home. Seeing all the kids run around playing, whilst the mums all pottered around and the dads were busy cooking. It was pure bliss to just sit there and take it all in. The smell of a BBQ cooking is just the epitome of summers gone by to me.

mobile homes inside Villanova park Barcelona kitchen area and living room wooden floor oven utensils

It was the Saturday night that really let me appreciate the Vilanova Park. Although we had a few mishaps on arrival, we’re putting it down to experience! After all, we’re all in strange times and although we visited before the new restrictions came back in, it was evident that they were working on reduced staff so things were a little hectic.

Due to the current climate, the representatives aren’t as easy to find as pre-covid times, with the cabin next door the mobile homes being closed. Having never visited before, it took a while to click that this was a staff cabin, so if you do go, there’s a number stuck to the window to get hold of the rep. We were greeted by an enthusiastic and welcoming member of staff who showed us around our mobile home. It was relatively basic accommodation but it did the job for a couple of days break. There were very narrow doorways and steps leading up to the mobile homes so do keep this in mind as it isn’t accessible for wheelchairs.

Please bare in mind that the accommodation at Vilanova requires taking some short steps leading up to the decking of the mobile homes, which are visible on the photos. It’s worth knowing as well that the site itself is quite hilly. There are disabled toilets on site and the following areas on the site are wheelchair friendly:

  • Bar
  • Pool area
  • Reception
  • Restaurant
  • Sanitation blocks
  • Shop

What was a major plus for the mobile home for us was the beautiful surroundings in the heart of what felt like the woods in the midst of nature and a gorgeous decking area which was perfect for BBQ’ing and alfresco dining. There’s nothing quite like sitting out with only the sounds of birds singing, faint sounds of the entertainment being carried by the wind and shrieks of laughter of the kids playing. Friday evening weather wasn’t great, but Saturday evening, although it was cold, was ideal for sitting out in a hoodie just chatting away.

Disconnecting from electronics is something we can all benefit from now and again, so you’ll be pleased to know that we did manage to have some down time from our screens. With no WiFi or TV, we had to put our phones and iPads down to appreciate the surroundings. Listening to the rain hitting the mobile home roof is a pleasant and relaxing sound that we sometimes take for granted and blur out.

drinking a coffee looking outside through mobile home window

I think we can all appreciate that after the last 12 months, we’re all taking time to reset and just be. Sometimes, we forget that the little things are some of the most important moments in life. Just sitting with a cup of coffee in the morning listening to the sound of the trees blow, watching your other-half laugh over the BBQ, smiling at the family across the way. The past twelve months have taught us to appreciate every single moment. Stepping away from the iPads and phones was a welcomed escape from the never-ending Teams meetings and online activities. Being able to physically see people, even from a distance, is something we won’t take for granted anymore.

We did take a stroll around the Vilanova park too which was beautiful. With entertainment, pools, an indoor spa area and bars and shops, there’s plenty to do to keep the kids and the adults occupied. Unfortunately, due to the time we visited, the weather combined with the current climate, we were unable to make use of most of these facilities. Fortunately, we have a lot of followers who were keen to share their experience with us at the park, so I thought I’d pass on their lovely messages.

sunset over the pool at vilanova Barcelona

One of our followers vouched for just how lovely the ice cream parlour is onsite, which unfortunately was closed. Another follower shared how the pool is a perfect depth for relaxing and just at the right temperature. Another followers shared that their kids loved visiting Barcelona on the bus, however, did say that they’d recommend having your own vehicle access with young children as their own experience meant they ended up getting a taxi back (which of course wasn’t cheap!). With the dance club going on (socially distanced), it was refreshing to see bits of normality and finding ways to adapt to our new rules and regulations. It was so welcoming to see people dancing and having fun by the main stage with the Vilanova entertainment team. We were also informed by another follower that the children’s club was the major highlight of their kids holiday and they loved the activities that they did.

Conveniently for us, Barcelona was only a short drive away, so we were able to head into Barcelona to explore a little. Our fourth visit to the city was quiet and different, but just as enjoyable as it has ever been. We’ve never had a bad experience in Barcelona and always found it to be a city filled with culture, adventure and architecture to make your jaw drop. Standing looking up at La Sagrada Familia never ever gets old and you have to take a moment to just breathe, take it in and appreciate it fully. We had the most wonderful of times following the footsteps of Antoní Gaudi and appreciating his fine artwork. The beauty of the Vilanova park meant we were in to Barcelona city centre in less than an hour.

Barcelona sagrada familia

If you are without a car, or don’t fancy driving whilst you’re on holiday, there are good transport links between the park and the city centre. We were told by another follower that there’s a regular bus that takes guests to the train station which connects you to Barcelona. They also let us know that the nearest beach is quite a trek away and didn’t look the sort of walk we’d have fancied doing, but there’s also a regular bus from the park to the beach, too.

On the whole, if mobile homes are the sort of holiday you love, then Alfresco Holidays is a great choice for family fun. There’s plenty of entertainment and facilities on site to keep the whole family entertained.

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Al Fresco Holidays offers a seven-night holiday at Vilanova Park on the 12th June 2021 for £284.90 (discounted from £353.50) and based on a family of six sharing a two bedroom Standard mobile home including air conditioning. (OFF-PEAK)*

Al Fresco Holidays offers a seven-night holiday at Vilanova Park on the 24th July for £1200.85 (discounted from £1263.50) and based on a family of six sharing a two bedroom Standard mobile home including air conditioning. (PEAK)*

*See terms and conditions 

All parks have a range of entertainment and facilities. Travel by ferry or flights can also be arranged by Al Fresco Holidays. 

For more information or to help find the perfect park for you and to book, please visit or call 0161 332 8900

Al Fresco Holidays is one of the largest mobile home operators in the UK, with over 16 years’ experience as European specialists in mobile-home holidays, offering a wide range of the best quality 3-5 star camping resorts.

Vilanova Park is a large and lively campsite offering plenty of activities for the whole family. There’s sports, an indoor spa, a children’s club and live shows to name but a few, as well as a bar and restaurant. And yet with vibrant Sitges, PortAventura theme park and even Barcelona only a short trip by public transport, there’s plenty off-park too, to keep everyone amused.


The Journey Continues… Three Years On

It’s been three years since I opened up my blog and I’ve been sat here for nearly twenty minutes now as Alex does our weekly shop trying to put into words how fast the time has flown, how much I’ve learnt and just how much my life has changed since without sounding cliché.

looking over benidorm January 2021 diary of a spanglish girl

“El mundo es grande pero lo tengo en mis manos.”

It’s been three years since I opened up my blog and I’ve been sat here for nearly twenty minutes now as Alex does our weekly shop trying to put into words how fast the time has flown, how much I’ve learnt and just how much my life has changed since without sounding cliché.

I’ve worked with brands I never thought possible, I’ve taken on job roles I never knew existed, I’ve spoken to the actual government (I know?!) and the community has grown to more than I ever would’ve ever imagined.

I’d be wrong to say that my life has completely changed and everything is completely different, because it’s not. We’re the same people still wanting to take on adventures, see the world and find ways to help people every day, whether that’s bringing information or bringing a smile to somebody’s face by saying hello and a simple smile. We take everyday as it comes and still try to find the positives every single day.

Three years ago, I sat late at night with Rio as a puppy curled up on my lap and Alex asleep on the sofa in the living toying with the idea of opening up a blog. I’d been playing the idea over and over in my head for a few weeks, but I finally decided to take the plunge. I wasn’t really sure what would happen. How it would play out. I hadn’t even really given the thought of a blog name or what I’d even write about. Maybe in hindsight I should’ve thought about it some more. Did I want to be known as Diary of a Spanglish Girl? I probably would’ve chosen something different if it was now, but, a rebrand just isn’t on the cards for me. Instead, I’ve always wanted a Hannah Montana lifestyle, and now I have it.

I hadn’t given too much thought into what I’d write about, and truth be told, I didn’t have a lot of experience on the writing front. I had no clue that things I was writing would be ranked on Google or how I write would be judged by Google. My first post had about fifty people read it and I was petrified. Petrified and over the moon. I had put myself out there and taken the first step to doing who knows what. I honestly didn’t think that three years later, I’d still be here penning articles as Diary of a Spanglish Girl.

I hear every day that our blog has made somebody’s day or that the information we’ve provided has been invaluable and it’s overwhelming to think that back in 2018, 50 people were reading my posts, now, it’s had nearly half a million visitors. Half a million people who I hope have either found comfort, been entertained or found information regarding Spain and travel general information being more accessible.

Is there a bigger credit to your writing and translating abilities than to receive a complement from the Spanish government thanking you for your efforts? Are there greater opportunities than becoming the ambassador for your city and being interviewed for the British Embassy in Madrid talking about your connections with Spain and the U.K.? All of these things would have never happened without my blog, and never happened without the love and the support that all of you show us every single day.

sitting on the beach in lockdown benidorm January 2021

One of the reasons I opened the blog was because I was starting to feel loneliness creeping in. The honeymoon period in Benidorm had ended and January turned colder and quieter and for the first time I realised we were here, alone. We didn’t have any friends. We had no family nearby. My family had been over pretty regularly and once Christmas was over, it was the realisation that we were solitary. Memories would show on Facebook and we’d question if we had done the right thing. No more games night with our closest friends, made worse by the fact that their baby was growing older without us around. No more Sunday walks with Marley. We’d both moved out of home and moved in together for the first time and it was scary. It was real and scary.

Three years later, and we don’t feel so alone. We open up social media and there’s hundreds of people to say good morning to. There’s hundreds of people saying we’ve made their day or made them feel a little less alone. It’s heartwarming to know that through it all, we’ve all got one another. It might make your day speaking to us, but it makes our day just as much speaking to you.

Alex and rio benidorm looking out

I’m forever grateful for my blog providing me with so many life skills that have enabled me to build a career. As a social media manager and marketing assistant working towards a further move up the career ladder, I’m forever proud that I’ve taught myself the skills needed to move into marketing and shape my own career. I’ve taught myself HTML, I’ve taught myself how to run a social media campaign, I’ve created various content. I’ve learnt about analytics and SEO and keywords. These things were all a foreign language to me three years ago, yet here I am now, doing it.

I told my mum over ten years ago that I wanted to run the social media accounts for Tesco (at the time I was working there as a checkout operator). It didn’t even sound like a real job. Being able to write tweets and whatever else it was they did. Granted, I’m not running the socials for Tesco, but I’m doing that job today and so much more. Things I never even knew how to do before my blog.

In the past three years, Alex and I have been on so many adventures around Spain and Europe (and a quick trip to Florida and New York), and being able to take you all along with us has been a wonderful thing. We’ve shared laughter, tears and everything in between and I just wanted to say: thank you. Thank you for the support. Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for giving me a voice and thank you for trusting in us.

Whether you’ve been following my blog for 3 years, 18 months, 12 months, 5 months, 3 weeks or 2 days. I want to thank you.

I have been so in awe when people have stopped us in the street to ask for a photo or to thank us for the support and help. We have received so many lovely messages, letters, gifts and it makes me fill up when I think of just how much care and support you’ve shown us. I’m sure when restrictions lift, there will be so many more people to stop and have a quick chat with, or a photo with that neither of us will ever feel lonely in Benidorm again.

Lauren and rio cuddling in benidorm

Nobody could’ve predicted the craziness that 2020 brought and continues to bring in 2021. It’s been an incredibly tough year for so many people, but if there’s one thing I’m grateful for, it’s that we have one another. I’m so grateful that my video might’ve reached your Facebook timeline and it brought you to your happy place. I’m so grateful that my posts about Lockdown in Benidorm brought new friends and brought comfort to old friends. I’m pleased that Rio brings happiness to you all, like he brings happiness to us every day.

I’ve always been one to chase the next challenge. Never satisfied with a finish line, always wanting to do that little bit more. Push a little bit harder. So, what’s next for me? I’m currently writing a fictional novel set in Benidorm and although it’s going to be a long road, I can’t wait until it’s finished to share it all with you.

It has been a crazy ride and I think it’s only just getting started.

With so much love,

Lauren x

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I want to dedicate this post to our family (Mum, Dad, Oliver, Julie) who have provided so much support and believed in my blog, even when I didn’t and have always been happy to be involved in whatever venture we’ve decided to take and given so much advice when we’ve needed it. To Alex, who every single day makes me laugh and looks out for us and is always finding new ways to make things normal in the crazy world we’re in. To Rio and Marley for the never-ending cuddles and love whenever you need it. To my Nan, an avid reader but gave up reading books to read my blogs and the support. To our friends for keeping us sane (or making us even crazier). And, to my Grandad who is somewhere now saying “I knew you could do it, my old flower”.

A special mention goes to our Patrons (in no particular order): Andy, Colin, Kim, Wayne, Carol, Karen, Scott, Anna, Anne, Janice, Julie, Linda, Sally, Sam, William, Adele, Andrea, Ann, Catherine, Jackie, Leanne, Marion, Nadine, Sarah-Jane, Vicky, Alana, Adele, Ann, Barbara, Brian, Helen and Lisa. With your support we’ve been able to get better equipment and cover the blog fees so a huge thank you. By joining our Patreon, you do also get a monthly Spanish article on the platform and some tiers receive different merchandise and handwritten postcards (which are coming again soon but with current restrictions it’s been difficult but we have noted that we owe you one!).

Benidorm Takeaway Services Directory

takeaway services in Benidorm and the costa blanca

takeaway services in benidorm

As the new restrictions start to take a toll on local businesses, I wanted to use my platform to highlight some of the businesses that have provided me information regarding their takeaway service. The new restrictions across the Comunidad Valenciana means that all hospitality must close for at least 14 days, which is devastating for local bars and restaurants who have already been doing so much to adapt and change to these constant change in restrictions. Every day we are hearing of more and more bars and restaurants having to close down, either temporarily or permanently, and if we can help bring some custom in any way, we are all for it.

On this post, you will find the menus for various places that are offering takeaway, their opening times and contact details.

If you, or somebody you know is offering a takeaway service, close to Benidorm, please get them to get in touch with me either via Instagram messaging service (@spainwithlauren) or by sending an email to This service is completely free and is distributed to 30,000 email subscribers and 95,000 social media followers. Ideally, the business should be located in Benidorm, or close to, or providing something “unique” which is worth the travel, such as the uniqueness of a cheese fondue from Calpe or a Mexican in Moraira.

The Corner Bar, Benidorm

The Corner Bar is offering their Fishy THURSDAY as a takeaway service. They are serving between 12:00 and 19:00. You can pre-order by sending a message or calling the number below. You can turn up and order at the door if you’re unable to contact in advance.

📌 Location: Av. Dr. Severo Ochoa, 22, 03503 Benidorm

🕐 Opening Times: Thursdays 12 until 7pm.

📞 Contact: (0034) 600 372 824

It’s a Piece of Cake, La Cala de Finestrat

It’s A Piece of Cake are offering their full menu, including breakfasts and Sunday Dinners. They also have a new special menu every day which is only 5€. They are also offering occasion cakes, either for pick-up or delivery. Perfect for those special occasions.

📌 Location: Avenida Marina Baixa, 3 Local 2, La Cala de Finestrat

🕐 Opening Times: 12 until 3pm. Open every day except Tuesdays.

📞 Contact:

Waterfront Bar La Cala

Waterfront English Menu

Waterfront are offering their menu as a takeaway service. The link above will take you to their full menu.

📌 Location: Av. de la Marina Baixa, 2, 03509 Benidorm

📞 Contact: +34620733591

La Fava, Benidorm

la fava Benidorm takeaway services menu

Enjoy tacos, croquettes, or even ribs at home thanks to La Fava, Benidorm. Takeaway or delivery service is available. Delivery cost to Benidorm is 5€ and outside of Benidorm to La Nucia, La Vila, Alfaz, Albir, Altea etc is 7€. Contact them via WhatsApp to get a copy of their full menu and make your order.

📌 Location: Calle la Palma, 33, 03501 Benidorm, Alicante

📞 Contact: (0034) 672062424

Colmars Diner

Colmars Diner are offering a takeaway menu with British food favourites including burgers, fish and chips, curries, sausage and mash and more. They are also offering their Sunday lunch as a takeaway service. You will need to pick up the food, unless it’s Friday and you’re a resident of Camping Benisol, in which you can take advantage of their free delivery service. Last orders 30 minutes before closing.

📌 Location: Avenida Doctor Severo Ochoa,36, Local29, 03503 Benidorm

🕐 Opening Times: Monday and Tuesday CLOSED. Wednesday 16:00-19:00. Thursday 16:00-19:00. Friday 13:30-19:30. Saturday 16:00-19:00 and Sundays 12:30-16:00

📞 Contact: (0034) 603 786 536

Beach Box, Benidorm

Situated opposite the Mediterraneo Casino about 60 metres from Levante Beach, you’ll find Beach Box offering takeaway collection or home delivery food. Offering fresh food favourites like roast dinners, fish and chips, toasted sandwiches, bangers and mash, chicken curry and more. You’ll find an extensive takeaway menu via Glovo too.

📌 Location: Av. del Mediterráneo, 62, 03503 Benidorm

 🕐 Opening Times: 10:00-21:30 (last orders).

📞 Contact: 666075282

Madness Coffee, Benidorm

roche coffee from madness benidorm

One of my personal favourites is offering their coffees and food as a takeaway collection service. You don’t need to miss your coffee, why not have one and sit by the beach?

📌 Location: Av. Vicente Llorca Alós, 8, 03502 Benidorm, Alicante

🕐 Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 10:00-17:00

📞 Contact: (0034) 966974110

Restaurante Lecal, Finestrat

Offering plenty of food options, if you’re nearer to Finestrat then why not let Restaurante Lecal cook for you tonight?

📌 Location: 03509 Finestrat, Alicante

🕐 Opening Times: 14:00-21:30(last orders). However, if you fancy a takeaway coffee and a hot roll at 10am, give them a message and they’ll be there to see you right!

📞 Contact: (0034) 711080606

Mex y Go, Moraira

Mex y Go situated in Moraira is a personal favourite for Mexican food, and if you haven’t tried it and fancy giving their food a whirl then you’re in luck as they are currently offering a takeaway menu during these restrictions. Their fajitas and nachos are exquisite, so if you’re after some Mexican food this month (or any month!) then Mex y Go is the place to be.

📌 Location: European Shopping Centre 03724 Moraira, Alicante

📞 Contact:

🕐 Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 17:00-21:00

Casita Suiza, Calpe

Want a taste of Switzerland in Spain? Then you’re in luck. This restaurant was a little gem we found back in December and it comes highly recommended. You might have also seen that Derren Litten, creator of Benidorm, recently visited Casita Suiza too and posted on his Instagram story that he enjoyed it just as much as Alex and I did. If you’re after a fondue or raclette for these chilly nights and want to feel like you’ve been whisked away to the alps after a long day skiing, then get yourself a takeaway from Casita Suiza. Order and pick-up, for fondues warm up the oil or broth at home and enjoy with family at home.

📌 Location: Calle Jardín, 9, 03710 Calp, Alicante

📞 Contact:

🕐 Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 12-17:00

Other local businesses offering takeaway services via Just Eat or Deliveroo

  • Ginos, Finestrat
  • Mariano’s
  • La Tagliatella
  • TGB
  • The 4 Kings
  • Nemrut Kebab
  • Eastern Spices
  • Foster’s Hollywood
  • Gnam Gnam Mangio Italiano
  • Mexikal
  • Amorino
  • Tepuy Burger
  • Llevatelo Pizzas
  • Viandas
  • Metoo Sushi
  • La Cocina de Carrefour
  • Pizzeria la Palmera
  • Hawaii Sushi Bar
  • Pizzeria La Isleta
  • Chen’s Kitchen
  • Tony Roma’s
  • Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant
  • Oasis Restaurant
  • Bollywood Indian Restaurant
  • Shalimar
  • El Patio Gastrobar
  • Tortillas Alicante
  • The Balti House

Is Benidorm closed January 2021?

Hospitality are being forced to close on Thursday across the entire Valencian community, which is where Benidorm is situated.

Earlier on today, it was reported by a couple of news outlets, including my own, that hotels also would need to close, following the announcement that was coming from Puig, the president of the community. I translated this information, but once Puig had outlined the restrictions, it was announced that hotels can remain open in Benidorm. Therefore, please accept this correction and I just want to reiterate that hotels can remain open during the new restrictions.

Although they can remain open, many are still closed and I would urge you to contact your travel provider. The MedPlaya, which is the Riudor, Flamingo Oasis, Rio Park and Regente, emailed us to say that their hotels are remaining closed for the foreseeable and do not yet have an opening date, but when they do, they shall be contacting me to share the date. The majority of the hotels across the resort are still closed.

Hospitality are being forced to close on Thursday across the entire Valencian community, which is where Benidorm is situated. This means that all bars and restaurants will need to close their doors for 14 days. Many bar owners fear this could be a repeat of March 2020 when they were forced to close for “fourteen days” which ended up being nearly four months of closure for some bars and restaurants.

Writing on his Facebook page, Ashley Price at The Corner Bar Benidorm shared that he is “gutted” but “not against the new restrictions”. He also shared how his “one big concern is last time they told us 14 days it ended up being nearly 4 months”. He also thanked his clients and customers who had visited The Corner Bar today after their 14 day voluntary closure.

Hundreds of Benidorm lovers flocked to show support to not only The Corner Bar but other bars and restaurants in the area with many sharing that they were “gutted” for the closures.

Many hotels are already closed in the area due to the lack of tourists, however, one hotel that is still open is the Hotel Cimbel on Levante Beach front. They are “going to stay open and can give the restaurant service to their clients (breakfast, lunch and dinners) and their bar is open too for clients” this will be good news for locals and tourists from countries where a travel corridor is permitted.

Shops and non-essential businesses also will need to close at 18:00, for a minimum of two weeks, but supermarkets and pharmacies can remain open. Sports facilities are also forced to close given the new restrictions, except to professionals.

The curfew still remains in question, currently it’s set at 10pm until 6am, but it has been requested that this be brought forward to 8pm until 6am. There is still the concern for many dog owners, like ourselves, who is struggling to adapt to the new restrictions. There are current campaigns to allow dog owners to let their dog relieve themselves close to their residence, inside of the curfew hours.

Nothing can be official or concreted by law until it is written in the official bulletin which will be published tomorrow, Wednesday 20th January 2021.

Just a reminder to you all that social gatherings are limited to six people in both public and private and the land borders of the valencian community are still closed except for exceptional reasons. Please wear your mask, sanitise your hands and do your bit to combat this pandemic. We will get through this together.

Benidorm te espera.

Total closure of hospitality in the Valencian Community. All bars and restaurants in Benidorm to close

All bars, restaurants and hotels to close in Benidorm

Puig and the government have announced the new restrictions to try and contain the pandemic which has now saturated the ICU in all of the hospitals in the community.

The Valencian government is going to put in the decree that there is to be a closure of all bars and restaurants establishments in the region to combat the pandemic. This has been agreed across the board.

The total closure is something that Puig, the president, wanted to avoid and delay as much as possible, hence why the sector was on a limited timetable for a while. He didn’t want to cause further harm to the sector, but due to the overwhelming cases in the region, it has been inevitable that closures have been announced.

This closure announcement comes 24 hours after the announcement that the valencian government is allocating 340 million euros for the sectors which have been affected harshest by the pandemic, among which, hospitality is one of the most affected.

The restrictions come into place on Thursday 21st January and will be in force for at least 14 calendar days.

Non essential shops must also close at 18:00, and there has been a request to start the nighttime curfew from 8pm as opposed to the current 10pm curfew. All sports facilities also must close, except for professionals.

I will be posting all the information on my Facebook page, so I would urge you to follow my Facebook for up to date information.

Everything You Need To Know About Benidorm

Everything You Need to Know About Benidorm (and more!)

standing in front of benidorm Lauren Alex rio benidorm all you need to know

Benidorm, located on the Costa Blanca, is internationally famous for its beaches, its nightlife and its popularity among European holidaymakers for its ease of access and low cost flights connecting the city with majority of the European countries, every day. The city’s two urban beaches are considered to be some of the best and cleanest along the Mediterranean Coast and its picturesque coves make for great diving spots to delve into nature. The unique skyline has given it the nickname “The Manhattan of the Med”.

standing on the viewpoint in Benidorm all you need to know

If it’s your first time planning a trip to Benidorm, you might feel a little overwhelmed. If it’s not the extensive accommodation options (only Paris and London have more hotel beds in Europe than Benidorm), it might be the rumours you’ve heard and the stigma that a holiday to Benidorm might carry. This article should help you understand a little bit more about Benidorm and help you plan your holiday to the coast.

I firmly believe that there’s a Benidorm for everyone; for those in search of nightlife, for those who just want to switch off, for those wanting an active outdoor break in stunning surroundings, and for those seeking all that and more in a single holiday.


  • Benidorm Map
  • Practical Information
  • Transport in Benidorm
  • Hotels
  • Nightlife
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Crime
  • LGBTQ+ Community
  • Pet Friendly
  • Music Festivals
  • Fiestas Calendar
  • Shopping and Markets
  • Theme Parks

Don’t forget to add me on Social Media to keep up-to-date with Benidorm and what’s going on here!

Benidorm Map

Benidorm land map provided by Benidorm tourist office

This map shows the areas of Benidorm, including the two urban beaches. The blue area is Poniente, which is the quieter area of Benidorm. If you are looking for a laid back relaxed holiday at a slow pace, Poniente is the place to be. The beach is lined with up-market restaurants and quirky cafe’s and the beach stretch is much longer. Taking 40 minutes from the farthest point, you are still able to experience everything that Benidorm has to offer, whilst being set apart from the action.

The orange area is the old town. This is the “original Benidorm”. Here you’ll find narrow streets and tapas bars along with the famous viewpoint over the two beaches. If you want to experience a typical Spanish old town, then Benidorm is one of the most popular among Spanish. You’ll see street art happening and guitarists serenading the bar and the viewpoint. This is also where the port is for the boat to the Benidorm Island.

The green area is Levante, and this is where all the action happens. Packed with bars, lots of them British, nightclubs and the Benidorm strip. It’s also where most of the hotels are situated. Levante has lots of amenities and if you’re looking to come to Benidorm for a stag do, hen do, or for a family holiday, there’s a hotel and an area of Levante for everybody.

Practical Information

Benidorm is on the GMT+1 timezone, so you will need to set your clocks an hour ahead. The plugs are the standard European plugs, however, some recently refurbished hotels have started adding universal USB plugs which makes charging phones and equipment much easier. The phone number for emergencies is 112. The local languages are Spanish and Valencian (a form of Catalan), though English is very widely spoken.

Food and drink is generally much cheaper in Benidorm. The “official” supermarkets are Mas y Mas, Carrefour, Iceland, Mercadona, Consum, Aldi and Lidl where you can buy the same produce as at home, which is especially useful if you are self-catering. All other supermarkets will sell the products as a convenience store so prices will be slightly higher but are useful if you don’t have access to transport, or for quickness. The local currency is Euros. If you need to change money while you are in Benidorm, I’d recommend going to the Indoor Market near to the Sol Pelicanos Hotel.

Due to new Brexit regulations, you are not permitted to bring dairy products or meats from the UK to Benidorm. You are only permitted to stay in Benidorm for 90 days in an 180 day period, unless you are a Spanish resident, this includes any other stays in the European Union. Your passport will be stamped on arrival and upon departure from Alicante Airport.

Your EHIC Card is still valid for emergency healthcare until it expires. Once it expires it will be possible to exchange for a Global Healthcare Card which will guarantee you to receive FREE emergency healthcare in Benidorm. The nearest hospital for national insurance healthcare is Hospital Marina Baixa, Villajoyosa. I would urge you to get private healthcare, which will give you the right to use the IMED Levante Hospital in Benidorm which is a highly professional and well-equipped hospital. Private healthcare also ensures you are insured for all eventualities and pre-existing medical conditions.

It is a local law to have photo identity on you at all times.

Transport in Benidorm

The nearest airport to Benidorm is Alicante-Elche Airport which is a 40 minute drive away from Benidorm. There is a local bus which offers an hourly route to Benidorm bus station, however, for ease and usually much cheaper, I’d recommend booking a transfer with a company such as Hoppa or Travel Republic. Although they take slightly longer, this service will drop you off at your hotel door rather than having to make your way from the Bus Station which isn’t in the centre of Benidorm or near to any hotels, except La Estacion Hotel (which literally means the station hotel due to it being connected to the bus station).

It is not necessary to hire a car in Benidorm, unless you are wishing to explore further afield, like Javea, Finestrat, Orxeta and Torrevieja, in which case a car will be essential. Within Benidorm, you can take the Llorente Bus to any part of Benidorm for a fixed fee of 1,55€. You get your ticket on the bus. Be aware that in Benidorm, and Spain, the bus stop for your return journey will not always be across the road from where you got off. Most of the buses go along Avenida Jaime or Avenida Mediterraneo, so if you’re stuck you’ll find a return journey from there if you make your way to one of those. Usually, a bar worker or shop keeper will steer you in the right direction if you’re polite.

Bus Numbers

The ones containing an Asterix and bolded are those that are most relevant to tourists, however, I’ve added them all should they be of interest to locals or those wishing to explore more.

*Bus Number 1*: Aqualandia/Mundomar – Severo Ochoa – Ametlla Mar – Rincón Loix – Mediterraneo – Benidorm Centre – Tram Station – Terra Natura-Terra Mítica

*Bus Number 2*: Rincón Loix – Mediterráneo -Benidorm Centre – Europa – A. Puchades – Parque Elche – Jaime I – P. Devesa – Hotel Bali – La Cala – C.C La Marina Shopping Centre

*Bus Number 3*: Bus Station – Europa – Triangular – [Aigüera/ Rufaza] – Jaime I – Poniente beach – Hotel Bali – La Cala – Carrefour. This bus also can continue to Terra Mitica and Terra Natura however, you must advise the bus driver when you get on because if nobody requests the theme parks, it terminates at Carrefour.

Bus Number 4: Palau d’ Esports – Bus Station – C. Valenciana – Severo Ochoa – [Ramón y Cajal] – Ametlla Mar – Rincón Loix – Mediterráneo – Benidorm Centre

Bus Number 5: S.Jaime Cemetery – Severo Ochoa – [Ramón y Cajal] – Ametlla Mar – Rincón Loix – Mediterráneo – Benidorm Centre

Bus Number 6: Benidorm Centre – Mediterráneo – Europa – Lepanto – Hotel Pueblo

Bus Number 7: [Tívoli – CV-70] – Beniardá – Alfonso Puchades – Comunidad Valenciana – Salto del Agua

Bus Number 8: Cemetery- Tram Station – Beniardá – Jaime I – [R. Bayona / Nicaragua] – Pérez Devesa – Murtal – Hotel Bali – Marina Baixa – La Cala

Bus Number 9: Jaime I – Alfonso Puchades – Comunitat Valenciana – Salto del Agua

*Bus Number 10*: Altea – Puerto de Altea – Albir Beach – Albir – L’ Alfas del Pi – Severo Ochoa – Rincón de Loix – Mediterráneo – Benidorm Centre

*Bus Number 11*: Bus Station – Benidorm Centro – Mediterráneo – Rincón de Loix – Paris – Severo Ochoa – Ciudad Patricia – Aqualandia/Mundomar

Bus Number 12: Altea – Albir 21 – Albir Garden – Comunidad Valenciana – Alfonso Puchades – Jaime I – Av. Villajoyosa – CC La Marina Finestrat

Bus Number 14: Finestrat Village – La Cala de Finestrat – Pérez Devesa – Salto del Agua – Severo Ochoa – Ametlla de Mar – Rincón de Loix

Bus Number 15: Finestrat Village – [Balcón de Finestrat – Golf Bahía] / [Tapiada Umbria – Terra Natura] – Centros Comerciales – Calas Finestrat y Villajoyosa – Hotel Bali

*Bus Number 16*: Cala Finestrat – Hotel Bali – Pérez Devesa – Jaime I – A. Puchades – Benidorm. Centro – Mediterráneo – Rincón Loix – S. Ochoa – La Nucia – Polop – Guadalest

*Bus Number 18*: Cala Finestrat – Hotel Bali – Pérez Devesa – Jaime I – A. Puchades – Benidorm Centre – Mediterráneo – Rincón Loix – S. Ochoa – La Nucia – Polop – Algar Falls

Bus Number 19: [Finestrat – Balcon Finestrat – Golf Bahia] – C.C La Marina Finesrat – Cala Villajoyosa – Hospital – Villajoyosa – Llar – [High School]

Bus Number 20: Relleu – Sella – Orxeta – Villajoyosa – Hospital – Cala Villajoyosa – C.C La Marina Shopping – [Finestrat Village]

Bus Number 21: [Multi-Sports Centre] – Ermita – Llar del Pensionista – Villajoyosa Centre – Villajoyosa Beach – Almadrava – [Tellerolla – Hispanidad]

Bus Number 22: Llar del Pensionista – Villajoyosa Centre – Cemetery

Bus Number 23: La Cala de Villajoyosa – Hospital Marina Baixa – Industrial Area – Llar del Pensionista – Villajoyosa Centre – Cervantes – Sainvi – Hoteles

Cycling is very popular in Benidorm with recently pedestrianised areas which offer ample cycle paths. You can get from one end of Benidorm to the other in a mere 10 minutes with an electric bike, much quicker than by car. It’s also very easy to see Benidorm on foot.

The taxi service is run by Radio Taxi Benidorm and are recognisable as being a white car, with advertisements on the side. They have a fixed fee for the airport and you are able to pay by cash, card or contactless. They have a green light when they are available and a red light when they are in use. Most taxi drivers will speak a little English. At the taxi ranks, you should always take the taxi at the very front of the queue.


walking outside flamingo oasis Lauren and rio Benidorm

There are plenty of hotel offerings in Benidorm, dependent on your preference. I am currently working on liaising with hotel directors to create a bigger hotel directory on my website, which will link below in a list, to provide reviews of each hotel. At the moment this is a work-in progress so please bare with me.

  • Hotel [to be created as a link leading to further articles with reviews of each hotel]

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a quieter holiday I would suggest checking to see if it’s in Poniente, or going to somewhere like the Don Pancho, Port Benidorm, Flamingo Beach Resort or Melia Benidorm. If you’re looking for somewhere close to the nightlife, you have Hotel Presidente, Sol Pelicanos and Medplaya Ruidor as a start off point.


mateos bar Benidorm cocktail menu

There is a big nightlife and entertainment scene in Benidorm, if that’s what you’re looking for. The main Benidorm strip offers a range of discos, such as Cafe Benidorm, Champions and Beachcomber. The main strip is on Avenida de Mallorca, which is just off Calle Gerona. Along Calle Gerona, you’ll also find lots of other bars and discos which are hugely popular among tourists.

A hugely popular already Karaoke bar that has recently opened up is that of Mateo’s Benidorm. Not needing an introduction, the karaoke bar opened by creator and writer of ITV’s Benidorm, Derren Litten, features memorabilia from the show, a friendly-feel good welcome and a quality night of karaoke and live music all whilst indulging in the bars very own signature cocktails inspired by the show. You’ll find Mateos Benidorm on Avenida de Almeria which is just off Calle Gerona (turn right when you get to The Crown when walking from Morgan’s Tavern).

mateos bar benidorm map

For tribute acts and entertaining live music, I’d recommend checking out Tropical, Cafe Roman, Talk of the Coast, Morgan’s Tavern or Sinatra’s as a good start off point. There have been a lot of tribute acts who have returned to the UK due to the pandemic, so it’s difficult to say who will be performing when Benidorm re-opens. Pablo Bloom and Alex Escribano are still performing when it’s permitted. Adele and Whitney Houston Tribute Acts are still in Benidorm and waiting for the go-ahead to return to performing.

Restaurants and Bars

There are far too many bars and restaurants to list, but there is a huge array of hospitality in Benidorm featuring around the world cuisine. Whether that’s a full cooked breakfast, a Sunday lunch, Pizza, Tapas, Paellas, Thai, Indian or Chinese, then you’ll find it in Benidorm. Our takeaway services are limited, but there are a few options on and


This is something that a lot of people are concerned with when looking at a holiday in Benidorm. Crime in Benidorm is usually only petty crime and majority of holidays to Benidorm are risk free. Always keep valuables with you at all times or locked away safely. The Potato or Pea Men Scam is an old age scam which does happen in Benidorm, similarly to London and Paris. If you do not stand and watch and just move away they will not bother you.

Be careful around the side streets and around the strip late at night as there will be women of the night and those selling “Charlie” and other substances. This does not happen inside bars, it is around side streets and areas where they are expecting to find drunk people who have wandered off from their group. Always stick with your group. It is a good idea to use one of the registered taxis (recognised as being a white Toyota auris when returning to your accommodation.

If you are withdrawing money, avoid all standalone cash machines. Not only do these a fortune, but they have been known to clone cards. Instead, use the official banks such as “Santander”, “BBVA”, “Caixa” and “Bankia”. These may charge you a small fee to withdraw, but it’s much cheaper than other cash points and are just as safe as cash points at home within your banks.


At the moment, to return to the UK from Benidorm you will need to do a quarantine (which can be shortened by taking a COVID test), and you will need to take a COVID test in Benidorm before returning home. You can take a COVID test at the IMED Levante in Benidorm or Hospital Clinics in Benidorm. All the details about where to get a COVID test in Benidorm is available on my website including prices and contact details to make an appointment.

The rules in Benidorm regarding restrictions are altering all the time so I’d urge you to follow me on Facebook to stay most up to date. However, currently [January 2021] our restrictions which affect tourists the most is a curfew is 10pm, hospitality (all bars and restaurants) must close at 5pm, nightclubs are currently closed, and masks are compulsory when in public places which includes walking on the street.

LGBTQ+ Community

Benidorm is a very open and welcoming resort to the LGBTQ+ community and you can feel secure and safe in knowing that there is a huge welcoming community. Surrounding the old town there are a wide option of gay bars. There are very few incidents of petty discriminative crimes with many members of the LGBTQ+ community choosing to party on the Benidorm strip too.

Benidorm Pride is a very popular event on the LGBTQ+ community calendar and everybody no matter what their pronouns or orientation are get involved to join in the fun. In September, Benidorm will holds its Pride, an international event. A festival that takes place both in the street and in lively venues around the city, combining entertainment and parades.

Pet Friendly

There is a good option of pet-friendly hotels. located in Benidorm, however, not as many as other cities in Spain and neighbouring countries. One place we are looking at taking Rio, our dog, is Villa Venecia which is a 5 star pet friendly hotel located in the old town in Benidorm. Pets are welcome on terraces of bars and restaurants. There is no dog-friendly beach in Benidorm, so you will need to travel to Altea or Villajoyosa to make use of the pet-friendly beaches, unfortunately none of them are sandy beaches. There are plenty of nature walks for you to do with your pet, I’d recommend walking the cross, or walking to Villajoyosa.

It is local law to pick up excrements and during summer you should throw water on urine, or you could be given a fine by local police. Dogs are not allowed on public transport, unless in a pet carrier or wearing a muzzle. If your dog is a PP dog, you will need to ensure you have the license to own the dog and it must be muzzled and leashed at all times when on walks. Different dogs are on the PP list for different areas of Spain, in Benidorm and the C. Valenciana the law states that the following 8 dogs are registered as PPP: Pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentinian, Brasilian Mastiff, Akita Inu and The Tosa. If you have one of these dogs and do not have the dog leashed and muzzled, the police can fine you heavily and refuse to release the dog until leashed and muzzled.

If you need to visit an emergency vet, then I’d recommend going to Marina Baixa Veternario Hospital in Alfas del Pi, which is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. If you need a vet with less urgency, you can make an appointment and visit Clinica Veterinaria Avda. del Mediterráneo, which is located near Broadway Club just off the main strip. Their phone number to make an appointment (una cita in Spanish) is +34 965 86 80 09.

Music Festivals

There are three music festivals of note in Benidorm. Iberia Festival, Low Festival and Benidorm Pride.

Fiestas Calendar

Christmas decorations benidorm 2020

Benidorm is the city with the most festivals in Spain. No month goes by without some sort of celebration. Due to the huge expat community from various cultures, Benidorm has adapted and added to its festival calendar to match that of its residents. We celebrate Three Kings, Christmas, New Year, British New Year, Saint George’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Hogueras, Chinese New Year and, of course, the hugely popular November Fiestas.


Two Three Kings parades are held within only a few hours of each other. The first in La Huerta and the second, the main event, in the streets around the centre. Later in January, San Antonio, a festival held in the rural area of La Huerta, with the blessing of animals at the doors of the Ermita de Sanç chapel.


Carnival is celebrated with a grand parade in which hundreds of people compete for the best and most original fancy dress outfit.


On 14th March, the city awakens to three huge Falla monuments that make fun of the politics. On 19th March, after several days of firecrackers and daytime firework displays, the Fallas are burnt. On the Saturday closest to 16th March, there is a flower offering to the city’s Patron Saint, commemorating the date on which her image was found on Benidorm’s coast.


The popular Easter processional groups wander the streets with a live brass band. There is also an Easter market. On Easter Sunday, there is a special mass at the church.


On 1st May, the city celebrates the Festa de la Creu, one of its oldest and most traditional festivals. Flower arrangers decorate a wooden cross set up at the point that marked the municipal boundary many decades ago that is now in the city centre. Eight days later, Benidorm celebrates its birth, in 1325, with a reenactment. On 15th May, Valencia Fallas, with papier-mâché monuments.


From 19th to 24th June, it’s San Juan “Hogueras” (bonfires) which is my favourite festival. On the night of 23-24 June, and coinciding with summer solstice celebrations, tradition states that people take a dip in the sea to purify themselves at midnight. On this day, everybody takes a picnic to one of the beaches at sunset and usually there is a huge festival of live music.


Benidorm also joins in with Navarre festival of San Fermín (running of the bulls), with the launch of the chupinazo (a firework rocket signalling the start of festivities) from a well-known restaurant on Levante beach. There is NO bull run in Benidorm, this just signals that it’s started in Pamplona. On 16th July it’s the festival of the Virgin of El Carmen, with a procession and the Virgin is taken around Benidorm bay. On 25th July, the day of San Jaime is celebrated with an open-air party in the Castle.


The days of Asturias and Castile-La Man- cha are celebrated with cider and gazpachos and we have Gay Pride.


Benidorm has its own Moors and Christians festival, which takes place on the first weekend of October. A party atmosphere along with the smell of gunpowder, the noise of muskets and people in colourful costumes. On 9th October the city celebrates Community of Valencia Day, with a traditional market in the city centre.


benidorm fair November fiesta Lauren Alex rio Benidorm

This is the season for the big Annual Festival. It starts on the second Saturday of the month and runs for five days, with partying in the streets. There are re-enactments, floats, comedy shows and outdoor family parties. The Thursday when the Annual Festival ends, the British area holds the Fancy Dress Party, with hundreds of people taking part from midday onwards.


Alongside the festival of Immaculate Conception, Benidorm celebrates Christmas in a very big way, with plenty of Christmas decorations adorning the streets and a huge party at the Town Hall and parades aplenty. New Year’s Eve is also a massive event in Benidorm with most of the celebrations taking place on Levante Beach and the Town Hall.

Shopping and Markets

The main shopping area runs from Plaza Triangular to Avenida de Los Almendros, over the main streets in the old town. Here you will find Zara, Sports shops, Ale Hops and other boutique shops. In summer, many shops in the centre are open all week, including Sundays. There is currently no Primark in Benidorm.

Benidorm has two busy street markets. The Municipal Market of Els Tolls and the Pueblo street market in Rincón de Loix both open on Wednesdays, and the latter again on Sundays. Near to the chapel, you’ll find the Rastro del Cisne flea market, open on Sundays. The Rastro del Cisne is also a good option, as there’s live music every day while you indulge on a paella or a selection of cheeses from around the world.

Theme Parks

You can visit Terra Mitica, Iberia Park, Terra Natura, Mundomar, Aqua Natura or Aqualandia. All of these theme parks and water parks are based in Benidorm. You’re advised to book ahead. Aqua Natura and Aqualandia are water parks, Aqua Nature nearer to Poniente and Aqualandia nearer to Levante. Terra Natura and Mundomar are both zoos, Mundomar is a sea world style zoo with dolphin shows and many aquatic animals like penguins and is situated next to Aqualandia. Terra Natura is a mix of conservation and rehabilitation and petting zoo. This is next door to Aqua Natura. Terra Mitica is also closer to Poniente and is a theme park with small rollercoasters and some water rides, along with shows and live entertainment. Iberia Park is onsite at Terra Mitica and is more a fair, with an entry price and costs to use each stall or ride.

If there’s anything that has been missed off, please message me and I’ll add it in!

L x


I’m not going to sit here and state the obvious. It was a tough year for me, it was a tough year for Alex and to whomever is reading this right now, I know it was a tough year for you too.

diary of a spanglish girl Lauren Bate Spain blogger in Javea near Benidorm

Last January, I published a post titled “2020 Goals, Intentions and Travel Wishlist” and it’s only now that I’ve found the chance to sit down, take stock, grab a coffee and read what 25 year old Lauren had in mind for 2020.

I’m not going to sit here and state the obvious. It was a tough year for me, it was a tough year for Alex and to whomever is reading this right now, I know it was a tough year for you too. One thing so many of us forget is that social media is a highlights reel. Even the videos were a highlight reel. Sometimes, I’d be crying on the balcony at 10am and then brush myself off to have a chat and do a live video with a smile on my face. If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught me, it’s that I’m strong and when I need to throw on a brave face, I can.

I’ve always been my most honest of self on this page, and those who sat and read every single of my blogs throughout lockdown (I know who you all are), I know you felt my pain at times, and I felt yours. 2020 was the craziest of years, and the year that passed by the quickest I have ever known. I experienced the lowest of lows, which made the highest of highs even better. I believe there’s some sort of science somewhere that says when you’re going through a tough time, the highs feel even more exceptionally high. You have to take the storm to appreciate the sun.

I started 2020 with such high hopes that I was going to stick to my resolutions. I shared my previous resolutions and how I’d always nailed those. But, 2020 came and everything was thrown out the window. You know what, I feel better for it though. I’ve always been somebody who needs to plan. Somebody who needs to know exactly what is going to happen. I hate surprises. Yet, I hate the feeling when I’ve sussed the surprise out. I always fancied myself as somebody who goes with the flow and just goes for it, but instead, I’ve always been a planner. In 2020, I had three diaries and three calendars. That’s right, I tried to cross reference everything. I had a bullet journal for budgeting and monitoring my sleep and monitoring the weather and how many steps, honestly, looking back, it just seems like a huge waste of time.

Don’t get me wrong, if you are one of those people, that’s fine. I always enjoyed colouring in how many hours of sleep I had, or colouring in my emotion for the day, or filling in my steps and sleep graph. But, since I stopped, I feel like I have more time to relax and just be.


One of my goals was to take up yoga, which I did and kept up for some time. I truly believe yoga got me through some of lockdown. In our lockdown, we wasn’t even able to take a walk or go in the garden so maintaining an exercise plan was crucial. Once we were allowed to do exercise come April time, I stopped yoga. I don’t know if it was the connotations with lockdown or whether I just realised I didn’t have the time to prioritise to it anymore. The workouts went from an hour, to half hour, later to 10 minutes until I phased it out altogether. I do miss the inspiration that would come with finishing a yoga class, so maybe I’ll start it back up some day. Perhaps once a week.

Bullet Journaling

Again, this was something I was so set on late 2019 and early 2020. But like yoga, it phased away around May time. Once we started doing videos and noticing that social media was booming and becoming massive, I just ended up dedicating so much time to answering comments, or researching places to video or take photos in. The creativity was thrown full on into social media and I’m more than happy about that. Instead of a solitary outlet, I get to create content that brings other people happiness and talk to thousands of people every single day. I don’t miss bullet journalling.

Film Better 1SE Clips

I don’t really know what I meant about this, is there such a thing as better clips? I think what I really wanted was to have better adventures. More frequent adventures. For 2019, there was a lot of waiting for Disney and then it flies by in, well, 20 seconds. I do love my 2020 video and if there’s one thing I’ll always continue it’s my filming one second everyday to summarise a year. People kept asking my why I was bothering in 2020 as a lot of it was spent at home, but there’s beauty in the mundane. Watching the clips of us at home just makes the clips of us on holiday all the sweeter. Seeing Rio’s happy face makes my day whether that’s at home or not.

Travel More

Lauren Alex and rio Benidorm trio in Lucerne Switzerland

I asked myself if it would be possible and highlighted that we’d manage to get better at saving money and had a pot of money ready to spend on travelling. We’d booked a road trip in Easter which was cancelled and a few other trips like London and Vienna ended up cancelled too. I know 2020 was the year that most people weren’t able to travel. The second they opened the gates to England and the European government said European travel was permitted, we did take the opportunity to safely travel some countries in Europe to spend a week or so home with family. We also managed to travel locally to a couple of places.

This is the list I wrote in January 2020:

  • Serra de Mariola – Didn’t visit
  • Marbella – Visited
  • Ibiza – Didn’t visit
  • Segovia – Didn’t visit
  • Santiago de Compostela – Didn’t visit
  • Montpellier – Didn’t visit
  • Verona – Didn’t visit
  • Lake Garda – Visited
  • Vienna – Didn’t visit
  • Munich – Visited
  • Valencia – Visited
  • Florida – Didn’t visit

Although we didn’t go to many of the places I wanted to visit in January, we did end up visiting Cologne, Lake Como, Lisbon, Barcelona, Lucerne, Montreux, Zurich, Cannes, Saint-Tropez, Zermatt, Interlaken, Schwangau, Dijon, Paris, Toulon and explored some of the local area we hadn’t visited before like Pinoso. Another absolute highlight was being able to visit Asia Gardens, twice, after waiting 8 years to stay there!

2020 wasn’t what any of us planned, but it taught me to live more freely. I took the plunge and left a job to become a digital nomad. I became an ambassador for my city. I made thousands and thousands of new friends. We take the highs and the lows in this life, and I’m just hoping that 2021 comes with many, many highs for all of us.

Take care,

L x

The Valencian Government Confines 26 municipalities and announces the closure of all bars and restaurants at 5pm

All hospitality to close at 5pm and a new curfew.

The community of Valencia, which includes Benidorm, has announced live the new restrictions that will affect the community this afternoon at 1pm.

The president, Ximo Puig, has announced today the new restrictions that will be applied across the whole of the Valencian community which will come into force on 7th January 2021, after being published in the official bulletin. This follows a surge of cases of coronavirus across Alicante, Castellón and Valencia.

The first restriction that was announced was the confinement of 26 municipalities for 14 days. In the Alicante region, Polop, Castalla, and Alcoy are confined. There is no entry in or out of these villages unless you are returning home or caring for a dependant.

The second restriction was the decision to close all hospitality, bars and restaurants of all sizes, and the number of people allowed at a table has been reduced to 4. They also announced that smoking is not permitted on the terrace and smokers must move to the street to smoke.

Covid 19  measures in the vakencian community January 7th until 31st January

Furthermore, the nighttime curfew has been extended to 10pm until 6am and home gatherings are limited to 6 people.

In respect to shopping centres, they must limit their capacity to 30%.

This is a quick moving situation and I’ll keep you all updated as things happen. Keep updated by following my social media pages for the latest news.

The restrictions placed on the Comunidad Valenciana and Benidorm December 2020

The president of the community has announced today that maximum deployment of the Security Forces will be on call to ensure maximum compliance with the measures against COVID-19.

Remember that non-compliance with the rules entails fines of up to 60,000 euros, and cumulative fines of up to 600,000 euros, “being able to incur criminal responsibilities”

As Boris Johnson has announced further restrictions in England, and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales already being in stricter conditions. Ximo Puig, the present of the Generalitat announced today the further restrictions for the community. He has highlighted the important of responsibility and solidarity with others, and stressed that it is time for the “maximum compliance with the restrictions”, because “lives are at stake”, and it’s paramount for the “health of citizens” and the “economic and social recovery for next year”.

Here’s what’s been announced for the community.

Police Presence

Ximo Puig has assured that “maximum presence of the police forces for the control and inspection of “New Year’s Eve” is going to be promoted during the festive period.

New Year’s Eve parties are prohibited.

The head of the Consell has recalled that there can only be activity in bars, restaurants and hotel establishments in strict compliance with current measures. This means strict compliance with mask wearing, only consuming at the table, reduced capacity of 1/3 indoors and 50% on the terrace. 1.5metre distance between tables on the terrace and 2 metre distance between tables indoors.

Non-compliance with the rules entails fines of up to 60,000 euros and cumulative fines of up to 600,000 euros.

Extension of current restrictions

The land perimeter closure of the Valencian Community, except for certain exceptions contemplated in the regulations, such as returning home, or for work reasons or for caring for a dependent person has been extended until January 15th 2021. Entry and exiting the Community is not allowed.

The curfew remains between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. throughout the territory of the Valencian Community. Except December 31, which will begin at midnight. Puig has indicated that “in no case will this time extension be used to travel to different social gatherings” and you must be home by midnight, not travelling home by midnight.

The maximum number of 6 people must not exceeded, except in the case of those who live together. The recommendation is not to exceed the two family nuclei.

Catering and hospitality

Cafés and restaurants do not have to close.

Discos, pubs and cocktail bars will need to suspend activity until January 15th 2021. DJs, live music and karaoke are also not allowed.

In catering and hospitality establishments, consumption is only allowed at the table, and the distance between the tables will be 2 meters (1.5 meters on terraces). As for the capacity inside the premises, it is limited to 30% and on the terraces, 50%. The use of a mask is mandatory when food or drink isn’t being consumed.

The closing time of establishments will be at midnight, but no orders can be made after 11pm. Smoking is not allowed on bar terraces, when a 2metre social distance isn’t guaranteed.

Retail stores and professional services activities will maintain 50% of the total capacity, and in the case of establishments that involve close physical contact, a prior appointment system is required.

In shopping centres, the use of common and recreational areas of commercial parks is not allowed, except for transit.

Gardens and outdoor recreation areas can only open from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Hotels, tourist lodges, rural houses and other similar accommodations, the opening of common areas can be up to 30% of the capacity.

In the case of cinemas, theatres, auditoriums, performing arts halls and circuses, the maximum capacity is 50%, remaining seated at all times wearing a mask and consumption is not allowed. In the case of being outdoors, the public will be seated and cannot exceed 50% of the authorized capacity.

Smoking is prohibited on public roads, terraces, beaches or other outdoor spaces, when the minimum distance of 2 metres cannot be guaranteed.

If you have any doubts or questions regarding the current regulations please get in touch via email. I try to respond to all emails within 48 hours. To read the original document in Spanish please follow this link:

Why Benidorm is a great digital nomad destination

8 Reasons why Benidorm is a great digital nomad destination

Working from a coffee shop in benidorm

Benidorm lies on the east coast of mainland Spain and is renowned for its wonderful weather, beautiful beaches and relatively appeasing cost of living. All of these make for perfect reasons to holiday there, but what makes it so appealing to live?

You might have heard about the expat communities that reside up and down the Costa Blanca but with 2020 taking an unexpected turn to say the least, we’ve recognised that the digital nomad community has grown too. Swapping the big city life for a relaxed way of life by the beach has never been more appealing. Why work in a bustling office space when you can work with the sea as your view?

1. Relaxation and Mental Health

The sea has healing effects Lauren diary of a Spanglish girl walking along poniente beach with benidorm in the background

Life is better by the sea. Did you know that the sea has healing effects? It is said that being by the sea and listening to the sea wave has relaxation and healing effects. Being able to wake up in the morning and see blue skies, the sun shining and the sea crashing against the beautiful beaches for over 300 days of the year is a massive appeal to stick around.

Many people who live in Benidorm report being in a better mental health state than before they made the move to Benidorm. There are thousands of people across Europe, and the world, who consider Benidorm their second home so why not make it your first home, if the opportunity arises?

2. A Good Sense of Community

A good sense of community with the flags at the benidorm show

Nobody ever leaves Benidorm without making friends. I guarantee you of that. You might think that coming to Benidorm alone means you’ll find yourself isolated, but that won’t be the case. In fact, I’m certain of it.

Benidorm has this unique sense of community where everybody belongs. There are more Benidorm community Facebook groups than most other places in the world and they’re all filled with thousands and thousands of Benidorm residents or Benidorm frequent travellers.

I’ve never been to somewhere that is so open to everybody as Benidorm on the whole is. Every day, we receive messages that people would love to meet us, or we see messages of people arranging to meet up when they come to Benidorm. We see people organising get togethers with friends they’ve met in Benidorm. You would not believe the amount of people who live in Benidorm who got in their car one day and just drove until they felt at home. Benidorm is home. Benidorm is a community.

The digital nomad community is still relatively small, but I can reassure you that you won’t feel alone in a place that has a community as strong and welcoming as this one.

3. Your Local Will Remember Your Order

Lovely coffee in Aruba cafe benidorm

Hey, I don’t know about you, but did you ever watch a film growing up where the main character lives in a metropolitan city and would walk into a cafe and the barista would shout from the back “you having your usual?” And ever wonder what that would feel like? I know I always did.

Maybe it’s just me, but back in my hometown, this would never in a million years happen. There is something special about walking into a café and being asked if you’re having your usual. When I feel like working from my local spanish cafeteria, they shout “Como siempre?”. And out comes my coffee, toast with tomatoes and cheese. I’ll go to the corner bar and they know I’m having cheese and tomatoes on toast.

Everything just feels so personal. I get to live out my main character in a movie getting her usual fantasy every single day.

4. Cost of Living

Now, this all depends where you’re coming from and where your main income is. I can’t get into the ins and outs of this because trust me if you’re planning to live here for good, you’ll need to make some financial adjustments and get in touch with a local gestor.

Also, if you’ve recently been working in Asia, then perhaps the cost of living is going to come at a shock to you. Living in Europe is pretty expensive.

But, I’m going to assume that you’re accustomed to European living. Spain is one of the cheapest places to live and holiday across Europe, and Benidorm is one of the cheapest places in Spain. It becomes an especially good cost of living if your income is from another country in Europe and you’re here for a few months, or your income is from another city in Spain, such as Madrid or Barcelona.

I can go out for dinner for less than 10 euros in some places. I can get a few plates of tapas in the afternoon with drinks in the famous old town for around 25 euros. (Remember tapas is with friends so this is usually between a few people). I can go out for a nice meal for around 20 euros. I can go out for extravagant meals for around 40 euros. My breakfast is usually around 3 euros, which includes a coffee.

Rent is slowly rising here in Benidorm with the appeal becoming stronger and stronger, but you can pick up apartments for around 300 euros a month for a studio or one bedroom apartment. Of course, the more desirable location, or the more space you want increases this. Some of the most desirable penthouses are around 1500 euros a month. A standard 2 bedroom with an outdoor space will set you back around 650 euros. (December 2020).

5. Plenty to Do in Benidorm

We do not do bored in Benidorm. Sorry, it’s just not in the Benidorm vocabulary. If you’re bored in Benidorm, then you’re going to leave the population shocked. There’s a reason people come back every single year, there’s a reason so many people live here and love it. We don’t get bored.

Having made the switch to live in Benidorm back in 2017, we are still finding news things to do and see. We still wander down a street and point out that we’ve never been down it before. There’s business ventures that open for tourism and locals all the time. Life just doesn’t get boring in Benidorm.

There’s a whole host of ideas of things to do when you finish work on my blog for further reading, but water sports, shows and theatre, cinemas, gastro experiences, nature trails and sightseeing are some of the highlights. Did I mention we have some of the most beautiful coves and beaches in Europe? Did I also mention that our marine life is one of the most flourishing across the entire Spanish east coast? Snorkelling or scuba diving at the island is a must do when you’re here.

6. Good Connections Elsewhere

This was a major pull factor for us. Being able to explore other places. One of my concerns when moving to Benidorm was giving up being so close to so many airports. Though looking back, I was silly. I was giving up knowing that London was a few hours away, and Birmingham and East Midlands were both close. But, what I was forgetting was that in England I had a car.

It took a while for us to get a car, but once we did it opened up so many further travel opportunities for us. Now, we have Alicante Airport which is a 40 minute drive away or you can get a bus relatively cheap. But we’ve opened up the possibility of flying from Madrid, Valencia and even Barcelona too. Not to mention we did an epic road trip back in the summer where we managed to visit 13 countries (all were open to Spanish tourists). Being already on Europe makes it so easy to visit other countries in Europe.

Now, don’t get me wrong here because you can absolutely travel without a car in Benidorm. The tram connects you to Alicante and Calpe meaning there are villages and cities to explore along the Costa Blanca. Alicante airport has good connections to many cities, plus the connection flight to Madrid is easy. Valencia is also easy by train from Alicante. We have good train connections from Alicante to other Spanish cities, plus our coaches are cheap and great to get to other places in Spain.

Before we had a car, we flew to Ibiza from Alicante, we flew to Madrid, we took a bus to Sevilla, Granada and Cordoba, we took a bus to Barcelona and we visited lots of Spanish villages by local tram or bus.

7. A Good Nightlife Scene

Cocktail watching the sunset at hotel Madeira Centro

Nightlife doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. Sorry, I just don’t see the pull to go to a sticky nightclub where my feet stick to the floor and hundreds of bodies are sweaty and drunken people are floating around in a daze. I get that it’s for some people, but it just doesn’t appeal to me.

So knowing this, people are always quick to ask us why on earth we chose to live on one of the party capitals of Europe. And it’s simple. We don’t see it.

People who visit Benidorm as a holiday maker tend to stick to the party area of Benidorm. I don’t say this to say every holiday maker is the same, because they aren’t, but most people who come to Benidorm come for the strip. That’s not to say lots don’t come not for the strip, but it’s actual facts and figures that most tourists travel to Benidorm and spend time in places on the main strip.

That area of Benidorm is not Benidorm. It is a part of Benidorm. There is a huge difference.

There are bars and restaurants that offer tribute acts and free entertainment. There are bistro bars that offer jazz nights or acoustic nights. There is an auditorium that offers theatre and shows. There is a bustling old town with great tapas and wine deals. Hotel Madeira Centro has a great rooftop bar with cocktails and sunset views. Karaoke and a cocktail or two. Quiz nights. This is my idea of perfect nightlife. And Benidorm has it all.

Benidorm has the option for both. If you’re a party lover, you’ll love the strip. If you like somewhere that isn’t dead once 7pm comes, then you’ll love Benidorm too.

8. Open Every Single Day

Benidorm is the city that never sleeps. Except during lockdown and the current curfew between midnight and 6am…

Something that is often asked is “Does Benidorm get dead in the winter?” And the short answer to that is no, not at all.

There are many coastal resorts or holiday towns that once winter comes, everywhere closes up and shuts shop. That is not the case at all for Benidorm. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Mid November or Mid July, the bars will be busy and the shops and restaurants will be doing business as normal.

It’s not a stereotype that Spain has a laid-back atmosphere. I love it early evening when the sun starts to go down and an array of colours bounce across the sky. We really are blessed to see a gorgeous sunrise and sunset for over 300 days a year.

It’s easy to get accustomed to eating when the locals eat and nibbling on some tapas early evening with a glass of wine. The sounds of the Spanish music filling the air and the broken conversations that get louder as the drinks flow are enough to make you never want to leave.

Whilst it’s easy to fall in love with Benidorm, it’s possibly more important for digital nomads to know that Benidorm has a thriving start-up scene and is becoming increasingly popular with remote workers. Whilst nowhere near a complete digital nomad destination yet, Benidorm is putting in the time and effort to get the facilities and amenities available. The internet connection is generally really good, we have fibre optic in the apartment and bars and restaurants on the whole offer a good free WiFi connection.

I’ve also spotted that a coworking space in Benidorm called Tourist Lab is available near to the Hotel Belroy (who offer deals for business travellers and longer term apartment stays). The co-working environment is a great option for setting up your laptop and getting to know the local digital nomads.

Of course, there’s always my favourite option and that is heading to a hip cafe, setting up my iPad, enjoying a nice bite to eat and a coffee and indulge in a less work-orientated atmosphere.

I am so privileged to have been able to make the switch to becoming a digital nomad in Benidorm and it’s one of the best life decisions I’ve made. I have a wonderful work-life balance and live in such a beautiful destination.

I’m very proud to be an Ambassador for Benidorm. Find out more about being a digital nomad in Benidorm by visiting the Visit Benidorm website for digital nomads.

Lauren x

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