You may well be a fan of the perma-tanned show called Benidorm, as seen on ITV. Garish clothes, an overcrowded swimming pool and leery barman Mateo are the epitomes of this hit show, along with loud and lairy hotel guests such as the Garvey family. Added in to the mix is a healthy undercurrent of sleaze, thanks to wife-swapping guests Donald and Jackie Stewart, cross-dressing barman Les/Lesley, and the staff of the ‘discreet’ hair salon Blow ‘n’ Go. Fictional hotel guests spend their days drinking, lounging by the pool and gossiping. That’s if they’re not attending geriatric weddings on the beach, finding out that their sixteen year old daughter is heavily pregnant or out and about enjoying high jinks on the high seas with the British Olympic sailing team
Benidorm is similar in real life to the fictional TV series in one respect, as the series is indeed filmed on location at various places in the real life resort. There’s no doubt that the TV series certainly shows off all the fabulous attractions of the Northern Costa Blanca. Bull fighting in Alicante, the stunning Algar Falls and a trip to Peacock Island all feature on the early series, whilst the gang visit water park Aqualandia and enjoy a booze cruise from the port of Calpe later on.
However, although we see many of the attractions outside the resort in the TV series, we see less of what is really on offer in the resort itself on the ITV series. Bars, clubs, waterparks, a zoo and several theme parks set in amongst luxury skyscrapers make the real Benidorm a high profile destination and one which has been popular with tourists from the UK for decades. The Daily Mail calls it a kind of Las Vegas-style resort, with plenty of entertainment, cheap sangria and cocktails and a wide variety of decent food.
It goes without saying that Benidorm has some beautiful beaches and excellent weather. Kids and families will love Mundomar, the sea-themed park, where you can see live animal shows, exotic birds and much more. Terra Natura is another lovely place to visit with the family, as you can get up close and personal with animals such as parrots and deer, by walking through their terrain.
Adult holidaymakers can head to any of the bars or pubs for relaxing, smooth sangria. When tired of the beaches, check out any number of the local Tapas bars which line the smaller streets of the resort, or hire a car and head to the Jalon Valley vineyards. In the evenings, be brave and check out the karaoke bars– you might find you enjoy the experience! Remember to follow all the usual safety precautions you would take whilst at home. Alternatively, there’s a host of cabaret nights and comedy clubs to suit.
Whilst we enjoy watching this TV show for its outlandish characters and far-fetched storylines, it seems that Benidorm in the flesh is in fact far more pleasant than that of the TV series. In fact, the only things the real and fictional places have in common is the good weather and perfect setting.