Spanish holiday hotspot cheaper than Benidorm dubbed 'Blackpool with sunshine'

Torrevieja, Spain -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto
Torrevieja, Spain -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Spanish holiday hotspot with sea, sun, sand and cheap booze has been dubbed 'Blackpool with sunshine' by a disgruntled tourist. Torrevieja, on Spain's south east coast, 25 miles south of Alicante, is cheaper than Benidorm, and was described by the visitor as 'the most horrific place I have ever been'.

The town has been named the country's most affordable, and contains many home comforts, including kebab houses and curry restaurants. Less familiar for Brits is the cost of the beer, which can run as cheap as £1.70 a pint.

Another visitor said Torrevieja was free from any real Spanish culture, according to The Daily Star. Despite that, the bustling town of 82,000 residents is chosen by many Brits as their summer holiday destination.

It is tucked just south of Benidorm and across from the capital, Madrid. The Costa Blanca town boasts lengthy waterfront promenades lined with sandy, resort-backed beaches.

During the summer months, the town enjoys almost uninterrupted sunshine and clear blue skies, making it an idyllic seaside destination for sun-seekers and water enthusiasts. Adding to its appeal, last week, price comparison publication Which? named Torrevieja as the Spanish coastal town with the most affordable hotels.

The average room costs £77 per night, half the price of posh San Sebastian and glamorous Puerto Banus in Marbella, and £50 cheaper than Benidorm. A crisp pint of the local brew in Torrevieja will only knock you back barely over €2 (£1.72), an even better deal than Benidorm, which is renowned for its cheap prices. A budget-friendly dinner rings up at about €12 (£10.30), and a lavish three-course meal for two tallies up to roughly €50 (£43).

Getting there from the UK is also very easy. Torrevieja is just a 40-minute car journey from Alicante Airport which has connections with several UK airports including Luton, Stansted, Manchester, East Midlands and Birmingham among others.

While the low cost might lure many towards this seaside enclave, several travellers who have already checked it out had less-than-flattering comments to share.

"I was working in Spain recently and had the misfortune to end up in Torrevieja. In my opinion it is without doubt the most horrific place I have ever been, like a council estate with sun - except it was rainy on the day I had to go there," penned a remarkably unhappy customer on Tripadvisor.

Another sour Tripadvisor reviewer quipped: "I think everybody should visit Torrevieja, it will increase their appreciation of all other places in Spain."

A third scathing critic didn't hold back, saying: "Go to Torrevieja if you like your English breakfast and pizzas because that is all you will get. I could not find a decent Spanish restaurant anywhere. All the restaurants on the promenade are pizzerias. You don't even have to know a word of Spanish to get by because everyone in Torrevieja is either English or working in the tourism industry."

"In my opinion Torrevieja is not a true reflection of Spain, It's more like Blackpool with sunshine! Go to Barcelona, San Sebastian or even Alicante which is only a 40 minutes away."

Torrevieja was also given a thumbs down in a recent Which? survey, landing fifth from bottom and scoring poorly for friendliness, food and drink, and attractiveness.

But some locals hit back, insisting the town deserves more time to be truly appreciated. "Torrevieja has a lovely promenade, and a marina area with Spanish tapas bars and restaurants. It's really sad that some people judge a place on a quick drive through some back streets without having the foresight to actually get out of the car and have a look around before forming an opinion," defended one resident.

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