Benidorm – the most British part of Spain

Benidorm. A city with towering hotels stacked 60 floors high above the multi-colored umbrellas lining the beaches which are packed with people.

If you are familiar with Benidorm at all, then you know it is a British hotspot. Fish and chip restaurants next to fish and chips restaurants, lobster-red people roam the sidewalks, white sands are blanketed with umbrellas and sun-worshipers.

To me, Benidorm is more like an American resort than a Spanish town, but every year, people flock there for the brilliant blue sea, the warm winds and to enjoy partying in Benidorm.

I have never seen so many people walking around in need of some major SPF in my life. Red red red.

Our fabulous #blogtripf1 gang toured the city, marveling at the unique pop architecture, and then headed onto a ferry to take us to an island for spectacular views of the skyscraper hotels lining the beach.

After the boat, we had paella and then headed to the sea to breathe in the salty air. For a few minutes, the group of us sat around, feet buried in the sand, talking and laughing. Then, we were waved back to the restaurant for our next stop … parked a few feet down the road were large yellow Jeeps decked with roll bars.

Four-wheelin’ off-roadin’ adventure!

I have never been off-roading and as soon as I saw the massive vehicles with the roll bars lined on the street, my face lit up.

We loaded into our transportation and headed up, up, up the hills of the city, bopping and smiling the entire way while a mix tape played loud above our squeals of delight.

“OK, you can stand up now,” our driver instructed.

Seat belts came off. Purses got tucked in. Heads popped out and hovered above the roll bars.

This was awesome.

Our rides stopped at the top of a hill.

My mouth dropped at what was in front of me. Blue sea. Skyscrapers. Lush green mountains. Fresh air.

Ahhhhh. What a sight.

Once our trip wrapped (too soon), we loaded back into our bus and SHA to freshen up and then back to Benidorm for a late night dinner, followed by some very quiet swimming and a quick hot tub dip.

Morning would come too quickly …

Disclosure: Land of Valencia provided all transportation, lodging, meals and activities.

Blog Reviews Spain

SHA Wellness Clinic & #blogtripf1

I was so happy to leave Morocco. Partly because being there was exhausting as a single female traveler, but mostly because I was headed to the Land of Valencia for #blogtripf1, a gathering of travel bloggers invited by Land of Valencia’s tourism department to see the sites and witness the sheer beauty of the region.

I nearly missed my connecting flight from Madrid (thanks for the shoddy and disorganized mess, Iberia), but once I arrived, seeing the majestic white building where I would spend two nights, perched on the hill from Playa del Abir was a breath of fresh air.

I was exhausted, but as soon as I stepped out of the cab and into SHA Wellness Clinic, all of the tired, aches from travel, etc., melted away.

SHA was created to help people care for themselves through Eastern techniques and advanced Western medical practices. The Metodo Sha (SHA Method) combines macrobiotics and natural therapies with educational programs that are personalized for each person in order to meet their health goals. Every day, there are services for people, walks to the beach, yoga on the terrace, meals catering to each person’s particular needs, treatments to help remedy ailments.

Stuff I would LOVE to do if I had more time in Spain.

The clinic offers conferences, lectures, cooking lessons, a variety of exercise options and therapies, all designed to ensure guests walk out of their program healthier (and happier) than when they checked in.

I had stepped into an oasis of calm, serene beauty tucked into the Spanish hillside.

The meditative music, the all-white furniture, the pools, the fountains, the views, made every memory of the stress of Morocco simply disappear.

I could spend some serious time here.

I was whisked to my room, a delicious suite complete with a plush robe, slippers, toiletries that made my backpacker two-for-one shampoo/conditioner look lame, a terrace as large as my room with views of the blue water below, and music piped in to calm my traveling soul.

From there, I went up to the restaurant, which serves up macrobiotic food. to harmonize with Sha’s philosophy of combining Western medicine with Eastern therapeutic practices.

Before dinner, I joined other members of #blogtripf1, and took in the setting sun while sipping organic beer on the terrace and chatting with Alejandor Bataller, the chief sales and marketing officer for the property.

The group trickled in, one-by-one. I was waiting anxiously for Stefanie (AKA @Adventuregirl) to arrive. I had met Stef back in October via Twitter and she and I had remained in close touch. She had turned into my mentor and, more importantly, a friend, during those months … especially when I was making the life-changing decision to quit my job and go travel. I always had her support, her well-wishes, her insight.

At dinner, she and I caught up on life. We hadn’t been able to really catch-up properly since I had left America.

Once our group had arrived, we were ushered inside to enjoy a multi-course meal and wine.

I can get on this macrobiotic bandwagon.

And, it was goooooood.

The hours flew by, talking to Stef and her husband, Phil, and meeting and bonding with the other amazing people on our trip. Suddenly, it was the wee hours of the morning … time to pass out for the night.

I sunk into my bed, turned down the music (it even played in the bathroom), and passed out.

The next morning, the sun lit up my room early, peaking through the hillside and flooding my room with its sunrise yellow glow.

Did I have to get out of bed?

Breakfast greeted me upstairs, along with my group. Cereal. Breads. Fruit. Miso soup. Vegetables. All fresh. All fabulous. Even the OJ was divine.

From there, it was on to Benidorm to take in the sights of this haven for UK vacationers.

Disclosure: All transportation, lodging, meals and activities were courtesy of Land of Valencia.

Blog Reviews Spain Travel