The Great Escape – Spanish Attraction Tickets

Whatever you say about the British weather, and the British do tend to have a lot to say about it!,  you cannot say it’s boring.

Such variety, such diversity – snow, hail, rain, wind, rain and wind combined, “sunny periods”, which normally means that by the time you’ve taken your coat off, it’s raining again! And we mustn’t forget gales, frost, cloud, drizzle – and even occasionally all the varieties on the same day!

Terra-Mitica-Water

How boring it must be to be in Spain, with all that endless sunshine, day in day out, when you could be at home battling to put up your windbreak and trying to get your money’s worth out of your hired deck chair by sitting on the beach fully clothed, or struggling to light your barbecue in the drizzle, hopefully scouring the horizon for that elusive piece of blue sky. The bulldog spirit that made Britain great!  Are we downhearted? Well, maybe just a little. Shall we go to Spain, then?  All those in favour, say Ole!

Spain is where it all began – the great escape to fun in the sun.

Never before in the history of the great British holiday had so much been made so  affordable to so many for so few pesetas!.

The Brits put away their trusty anoraks and donned their dodgy beachwear to fry themselves in the sun – no factor 30 for us – we’re British! Some areas were deemed “too foreign” by those in search of a nice cup of tea, but the Spanish resort of Benidorm, a former sleepy fishing village, rose up, literally, to the challenge of pleasing the fussy eaters and heavy drinkers that flocked there and created a little corner of Spain that is forever England.

The party animals of yesteryear grew up and had kids, and Benidorm has reinvented itself as the gateway to theme park heaven, a family friendly cheap and cheerful venue that can be all things to all people recently made even more famous by the British TV comedy series and home to the real live Benidorm Palace!

Further north and just  “down the road” from Barcelona lies Salou, a former stronghold of pirates eager to grab you by the Balearics (Majorca, Ibiza, etc) which was considered such a dangerous place in 1530 that the Torre Vella defence fort was built, which is still standing today. These days it is only as dangerous as you make it – you may be struck by a stray golf ball whilst playing on one of the five impressive golf courses,  overdo it on a “booze cruise”, or get seriously sunburnt on one of the 34 blue flag beaches in the area! Do be aware that pirates have been replaced by pickpockets in some busy markets, however. Salou, like Benidorm, caters for all age groups and tastes, makes a good base for exploring the countryside or visiting the popular PortAventura theme park, and is only about 1 hour’s drive from Barcelona.

If you’ve done the hen and stag weeks, partied in Ibiza and Tenerife, been through the family fun bit, maybe it’s time to see a different side to Spain, the cultural delights of cities like Valencia, Seville, Alicante, Murcia, Madrid and Barcelona. Spain is rightly proud of its heritage, and its cities’ atmospheric historic quarters offer a fascinating step back in time.

Some coastal cities have a strong Moorish influence, and lovers of art and architecture will find plenty to wonder at in Spain. Forget “chips with everything” and sample some authentic regional cuisine, or join the locals in one of the many traditional annual fiestas. But don’t panic – you’re never too far away from a theme park!

 

benidorm palace

Kate Quigley

Kate Quigley Travel Writer