Back in 2018, the differences that characterise Benidorm’s beaches were highlighted when a woman from Blackburn, demanded compensation from Thomas Cook after she discovered that the hotel in which she was accommodated—The Poseidon Playa—was full of Spanish people!
Freda Jackson, 81 demanded to know why “rude” Spanish holidaymakers in this wonderful beach-side hotel couldn’t find somewhere else to stay.
I recalled that incident when I met some friends this week for a drink at the Poseidon Playa—and yes, the majority enjoying its fabulous facilities were indeed Spanish. That’s because Playa Poniente—a beach that stretches from the centre of Benidorm westwards for 3.1 km—is both beautiful and quiet. Rowdiness is certainly not a feature.
It starts just behind the marina and stretches as far as Tossal de la Cala, where you’ll find the hermitage “Virgen del Mar” situated on top of the hill at the end of the beach.
This sandy beach is especially popular with older people, and so during the day, there is a wide range of senior gymnastics, yoga and various fitness programmes.
An amazing difference to Levante Beach
Because it rarely gets too crowded it is in direct contrast to Levante Beach, which is much closer to where most Brits choose their accommodation.
Accommodation near Levante beach, according to this report, allows one to watch the sunrise and is located in what everyone calls the New Town. It’s the most popular beach with Brits and stretches from the beginning of the Old Town to the Rincon de Loix.
It has fine golden sand, sunbeds and sunshades to rent, lifeguards are in attendance and the beach is backed by cafes, bars and restaurants. Some of these are quite loud and partying people spill on to the promenade. Some bars offer live entertainment. At the Rincon de Loix end there is a permanent water ski course and you can also participate in watersports like parasail, jetski and banana boats from here. In the summer months the boat to the island stops here to pick up passengers.
Why I live near Playa Poniente
When I chose to settle in Spain, my first priority was to learn as much Spanish as possible, so I chose an apartment close to Playa Poniente. It was a wise decision because virtually all my neighbours are Spanish and I quickly picked up some useful phrases—as well as a number of “naughty” words.
Although the Levante and Playa Poniente are Benkidorm’s best-known beaches, there are others, each with their own special characteristics. After settling in Spain the one I chose for a daily workout was Playa Mal Pas, described by one fella on Trip Advisor thus:
It is a little cove situated between the bigger Levante and Poniente beaches. There are rocks you can lie on or loungers for a charge. The sea is so clear and very easy to walk in … It really is the loveliest place and when you’ve finished swimming or sun bathing you can walk up the steps and you’re right in the old town with it’s bars and tapas restaurants …
With a backdrop of yellow rocks and palm trees, it’s a gift to photographers. I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot with renowned Spanish model Juan Torregrosa, above, at that location a few years back.
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