Travel in your Sixties. Comfort is important. Fun too!

We used to have a home in Albir for about 20 years, living in it for 8 years.  We decided to revisit Albir to reminisce and chose the Albir Playa Hotel and Spa.  We went for bed and breakfast as we wanted to visit favourite restaurants in the area.  The breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice and a decent orange juice.  As our flight home was in the evening, we asked for a late check out, but being a Saturday the hotel was full but the reception staff offered us use of the spa to change etc.  We didn’t use it, as we didn’t want to keep opening our cases to change clothes, so we didn’t get to see the spa.  Hopefully next time.  If we go again, we would ask for a sunnier balcony even if it overlooks Lidl.  We did try lunch on our departure day and we had no complaints really. There was plenty of choice and a Spanish family asked for the show cooking to appear.  We speak reasonable Spanish so would do the same. Had to buy a bottle of wine as they don’t do wine by the glass.  I couldn’t finish it on my own and my husband was driving.  In the evenings we like to have a cold drink late at night, before sleep and I rang down to ask for ice as Lidl was closed.  I was surprised to be quoted 25 euros for a bucket of ice.  Needless to say we found some somewhere else.

The room was fine and the fridge useful.  Didn’t mind paying for the safe as it was better than not having one available.

The pool area was very nice and there were plenty of sunbeds in May.  Could have done with a few more umbrellas.  The pool bar was handy and offered food too.  We didn’t try the food as we were busy going to Altea, Albir and Benidorm…we hired a car which we parked in the street next to the hotel free of charge.  Sunday was difficult to find a space with the new Sunday market nearby.

The hotel bar was nice and they do a mean Negroni.

Things to do in and around Benidorm, Spain

Benidorm used to have a bad reputation as a town/city attracting drunken yobs.  Either you love it or hate it.  There is plenty to see and do during a fortnight’s holiday.  It has two long beaches, The Playa Levante (wake up beach?) and the Playa Poniente (sunset beach?) often claiming the prestigious Blue Flag for cleanliness.  Tractors clean the beach every evening and the promenades are washed down.  Cars can still drive in certain areas along the promenade next to the beach.

Benidorm beach

beach Benidorm

Just behind Benidorm lies Finestrat, a mountain village close to a shopping mall and Carrefour hypermarket.  Many new 5 star hotels are springing up in Finestrat which is a short distance from the theme park called Terra Mitica.  Terra Mitica grows each year with new rides and attractions.  The entrance is impressive starting with the Egyptian area where there are shops selling Egyptian souvenirs revolving around ancient Egyptians and  there is an Egyptian restaurant.  From this area, you can take a ship to the next area.  Once inside you’ll see that this Spanish version of Disneyland has been given a Mediterranean theme with each sector of the park dedicated to a different civilization including the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Iberians.

A fairly recent addition is Terra Natura (a wildlife park where wild animals roam).  There is also a Water Park with a wave pool, beach, islands, spa, restaurants and generally, lots to do in the sun.

Also on the outskirts of Benidorm is Mundomar where you can swim with dolphins or sealions.  They also have parrot shows and offer the chance to be a park keeper for the day.

Aqualandia is another water park where you can try the Big Bang, Vertigo, Kamikaze water rides or if that is too much, then you could always laze around under a cool manmade waterfall.   The food on offer is anything from paella, burgers, to a barbeque.  There is the ubiquitous souvenir shop.

The lovely old village of Finestrat, 40 km. north of Alicante,  and a short drive from Benidorm, is a little unusual because it is an inland mountain village with its own touristy beach called Cala Finestrat. The picturesque village, which hugs the mountain side of Puig Campana, has beautiful views from the mountains down to the sea; the architecture has a distinct Moorish influence and many of the houses are colourfully painted.

A little further south of Benidorm lies Villajoyosa (meaning joyful town), a typical Spanish village, with a sandy beach and fishing port.  Villajoyosa celebrates the “Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos” from the 24th to the 31st of July every year and the central act is orientated around the Moros unship.

It is sheltered by the Sierra Aitana mountain meaning it has relatively mild winters.   There is a daily fish market, a street market on Thursdays, as well as a Sunday flea market.  The houses are painted in bright colours.

houses Villajoyosa