Nearly time for Fallas

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You may well have heard the term ‘Las Fallas’ here in Benidorm and wondered what it is. Well it's an annual 5 day celebration marked in the province of Valencia between March 15-19, with the grand finale on the night of the 19th – which is a bank holiday here. The focus for many is the creation and destruction of the "ninots", which are HUGE paper-mache models. Every year Benidorm has three; In the Rincon, at the Plaza Triangular and in the Old Town - the themes are varied and satirical, reminiscent of the 80's British comedy Spitting Image or more recently Newzoids, where many of the models are caricatures poking fun at Spanish politicians and celebrities.

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Benidorm Palace fundraiser event

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This Sunday, March 4, Benidorm Palace is the place to head for what is most probably the single biggest fundraiser event ever held here in aid of two local dog charities – Benidorm Dog Homing and Manos y Patos. “Save My Life” is a charity fundraiser and all about exactly that, saving the lives of numerous dogs left abandoned, unloved and unwanted. Doors open at 12 Noon and tickets are a nominal €5, available now from the box office, for which you will get to see some of Benidorm’s best entertainers all under one roof. Lets make it a sell out and all help to Save A Life…

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Day trip to Valencia

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Traditionally and historically February is the coldest month here, so when it’s not beach weather and you want to do something, a great place to go and visit is Valencia – totally do-able for a day trip. I’d definitely recommend taking the coach rather than driving there yourself though and if you are flexible about your dates, you can get a ticket for as little as €5.20 one-way. Last year a channel 5 documentary series – Spectacular Spain with Alex Polizzi saw the hotel critic explore Valencia on her journey along the Costa Blanca, so why not try it for yourself.

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The 'Dog Lady' from Bargain Loving Brits

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Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun is back on our screens and last weeks episode featured the incredible work done by expat Linda Jean - Facebook page 'For the Love of Dogs and Cats'. Viewers were left on tenterhooks as the episode finished last week, with puppy Donny seriously ill at the vets....get your tissues at the ready. Plus you will see other Brits who have made the move here and their story - might even tempt you!

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Benidorm Carnival 2018

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The annual Carnival parade took place in Benidorm on Saturday evening, with the procession starting at the top end of Calle Ruzafa and finishing in the Town Hall square. There was an array of costumes and themes and surprisingly, hardly any duplicates, but plenty of imagination. Over 700 participated on what was a very cold night but the low temperatures didn't stop the fun!

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Illegal airport runs to Benidorm

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Would you book a holiday and risk flying on an unknown uninsured aircraft? The answer is obviously no – so WHY do so many people risk their and their families lives to save possibly €20 max on using an illegal, uninsured ‘taxi’ to take them to or from the airport? On Monday one such driver was apprehended by Guardia Civil traffico at Alicante-Elche airport for doing just that resulting in his people carrier being impounded and a fine issued for €2,000. On inspecting his documentation – taxed and ITV’d as is required by law, all was in order except for the fact that he was not insured or registered to transport passengers.

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Benidorm's road upheaval

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Roadworks have been sprouting up all over the resort of late and only today work has started on a new roundabout opposite the Flash hotel, which according to the town hall, will “improve the flow of traffic”. Considering that from Morgan’s Tavern Calle Gerona is one way anyway and Calle Derramador, the road in front of the Flash hotel isn’t exactly the M1, it seems rather a bizarre move. The bus stop in front of the hotel, which is a coach and shuttle drop off point for around 5 hotels plus numerous apartments, has now been taken away to accommodate the new roundabout, which is estimated to take around 20 days to complete.

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Go-Karting in Benidorm

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If you fancy a bit of a thrill then head to Karting Finestrat - located just behind Carrefour Hyper-market and the La Marina Shopping Centre in Benidorm. Set up on the mountain side with beautiful views over Benidorm, the 1km asphalted track is designed with plenty of bends and curves to test your skill behind the wheel....and there is also a separate specially designed children's circuit .

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Benidorm's Sand Sculptures

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Some will remember the iconic and stunning sand sculptures that graced the Levante promenade a number of years ago but now the opposition parties are arguing that there is no progress on the promised International sandcastle competition that was planned for Benidorm – a motion that was passed back in August 2016. They were a real attraction and many would stop to admire the work and take pictures... will they return for this summer though? There are high hopes.

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3 Kings parade in Benidorm

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The spectacular Three Kings parade took place in Benidorm this evening – a tradition repeated in many towns and cities across Spain on the eve of ‘Los Reyes Magos’ tomorrow, which is a bank holiday here. The floats left from Dove Park – a little later than the scheduled time of 6pm and the evening sunset made for a beautiful backdrop as they set off. Thousands lined the streets on what was a very mild evening to cheer as they all passed, which included a vast assortment of animals this year.

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Problems on Benidorm Island

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Benidorm Island, one of the resorts iconic landmarks and visible from both the Levante and Poniente beaches is a popular tourist attraction, visited by thousands. A quick 15 minute boat trip from the port in the Old Town makes it ideal excursion – but scandal now surrounds the bar and restaurant on the island. It transpires, that no license or permit was ever granted despite it openly trading!

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Spanish Christmas Lottery

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The countdown is on here and if you want to feel like a true Spaniard then head down to the lottery kiosk and get in line with the dozen or so others to purchase that much prized "Loteria de Navidad" or El Gordo lottery ticket. The draw takes place this coming Friday, 22 December and virtually everyone here in Spain takes part. You can almost feel the excitement in the air as you walk past long queues outside the lottery shops and kiosks, with everyone hoping to win a slice of hope. There is more than €2,380 million in prize money to be won, but ticket sales close at 5pm on Thursday 21, so don’t leave it till the last minute.

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Christmas comes to Benidorm

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Benidorm is now on countdown to Christmas, following the official inauguration of the Christmas lights in the Town Hall square on Saturday evening. The weather, is also unfortunately following suit and has turned distinctly chilly since the weekend, with the cold arctic winds making their way down to us here. As always, no event here is complete without the compulsory fireworks and surprisingly, it was actually dark so you could see them for a change – lunchtime fireworks are often the norm here and the crowds were showered with red snow!

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Fancy Dress - The Benidorm way!

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If any place knows how to do fancy dress then it’s definitely the party capital that is Benidorm! Official town hall figures estimate that 35,000 people attended this year and many still appear to be here. The assortment and variety of costumes was incredible – some a little near the knuckle when it comes to taste, but hey ho, this is probably to be expected here, but full marks for effort. The entire Calle Gerona, as well as roads leading down to it, were closed to traffic, with numerous gun-totting National police on stand-by. Thankfully there was no sign of any serious trouble, just typical drink induced scuffles, which are the norm here when people have been drinking for hours on end!

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