"AICO" – The Independent Association of Dealers in Benidorm and the province have issued a report to warn of the saturation of Sunday markets in Benidorm and the immediate area, which includes the towns of Alfaz, Albir, Callosa, Finestrat, La Nucia, Pollop and Villa Joyosa. The study has calculated that there are 1,854 stalls every Sunday between these towns. This is in part a response to the request for the opening of yet another market in Benidorm.
If you are a bargain hunter, then you have certainly come to the right place – and with the current strong pound you will definitely bag a few holiday mementoes. The exchange rate is 1.30 today so your pound goes even further now. For smokers in particular, if there are any left in the UK with the prices there, here a carton of 200 cost well under 40 GBP now - it´s evident those are are Brits as you see them stocking up by the bagful.
One of the things that remain unchanged in Spain are the weekly street markets. Decades ago these were even common in England, but with the advent of "Out of Town" shopping centres such as Westfield in London, Trafford Centre in Manchester, Meadowhall in Sheffield these have all but disappeared.
However, in Spain they are still popular and almost every village or town has one. They set up early in the morning and usually don't pack up until after 1pm - so you can still have a lie-in after your heavy night. One of the biggest along the Costa Blanca has to be in Benidorm. Not only is it held twice a week due to its popularity, every Wednesday and Sunday, but there are two separate ones. The one most popular with the Brits is located in the Rincon – beside the Hotel Pueblo while the other one is located near the train station in the Old Town.
You will find everything there - from fruit and veg to clothes, bags, nik naks, jewelry and counterfeit designer goods. But be aware that only last week 3 Chinese men were arrested by the police for selling counterfeit goods in one of the many Chinese shops which have sprouted up in the resort. Well over 1000 items were confiscated, including bags, sunglasses, watches – the type of things you will often see at the markets.
The golden rule when at the market is to barter - especially with the "look alike products"! Whatever the price quoted knock them down by half then start from there. Don't be shy - haggling is half the fun. If you do go make sure that you guard your purse or wallet. This is prime territory for pickpockets, being so busy with lots of people pushing and shoving - there is a good police presence but still be vigilant.
Other market days in the area are as follows:
Tuesday - Altea
Wednesday - Benidorm
Thursday - Villa Joyosa
Friday - Alfaz del Pi
Sunday - Benidorm and Albir
It a great place to visit whilst here on your holiday and Im sure you'll be tempted by at least one souvenir to take back home.... But remember your weight allowance, as that bargain may not be such a good one if you get clobbered with an excess baggage fee!