Don't get caught out!

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Parking restrictions are now back in force across all blue zones in Benidorm – reinstated on Friday July 1. Some roads – including Calle Gerona, Calle Cuenca and Calle Lepanto had them temporarily suspended over the low season, causing slight confusion for motorists as the main Avd Mediterraneo was still in force. From now only white bays are free.

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Benidorm Cast Karaoke night

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Following the success of last years Benidorm cast ‘Karaoke Night’ – writer and creator Derren Litten has organized a second fundraiser, which will take place this Saturday – July 2 at The UK Comedy Club.

Last year they managed to raise over €13,000 – not bad for a few hours of fun and as filming is in its final phase Derren asked cast members if they would once again take part. He was delighted that not one of them hesitated and they are giving up their end of shoot fancy dress party to take part… so hats off to them all.

Tickets will be available from 6pm tonight at the Presidente Hotel reception desk.

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San Juan is party night

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Beaches up and down the coast will be packed with revelers tomorrow night – Thursday 23, to celebrate San Juan, an ancient Spanish fiesta. Originally a religious festival it has now become diluted and is basically a night of celebration and fun with friends and family…. and as we all know, the Spanish certainly know how to party!

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Hop on the No 16 bus to Guadalest

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Guadalest is probably the most visited village not only of this area, but also of the entire country… and once there, you’ll understand why. Located inland, aprox 30km from Benidorm and around 600 mt above sea level up in the mountains, it attracts millions of visitors every year. Access to the picture postcard village is through a 15 mt long tunnel, which has been carved out through the rock.

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Security - now 'on the agenda'

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Reports of violence in and around the square have been increasing, with almost weekly reports of heavy-handed doormen literally setting upon unsuspecting holidaymakers in unprovoked attacks. There has been much criticism of the police and lack of control around the club areas frequented by the Brits – and last month they employed a private security firm from Valencia to patrol the square – almost an admission that things are out of hand.

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Full steam ahead at Showboat

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The Showboat has new owners – Diane Riley and soon to be husband Gary. The premises which was to become Showboat was originally bought by one of Benidorm’s favourite entertainers – Wayne aka Miss Levi and opened in March 2012, quickly establishing itself as an entertainment hotspot. Together with husband Des the couple built up a thriving restaurant and cabaret entertainment venue, but after 3 years of very hard graft decided it was time to sell up and wind down. The subsequent sale and handover to Karen and Mick Coburn was well documented on Channel 5’s “Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun”, which was broadcast at the beginning of this year. Now the filmcrew are back to record a second series – and yes, they have been following Diane and Gary on their new venture.

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Tapas & Pinchos competition week in Benidorm

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Benidorm is hosting the sixth annual "Tapas and Pinchos" competition – which starts on Saturday June 4 and lasts until Sunday June 12. It is part of the hugely successful Gastronomy Calendar, which aims to highlight and promote the standard and quality of cuisine on offer here in Benidorm.
In total 28 establishments are taking part, many of which are located down Calle Santo Domingo – better known as Tapas Alley, in the Old Town.

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Trouble at t'mill?

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As the issue of security and what are deemed ‘safe resorts’ come to the forefront ahead of the busy holiday season, tour operators are warning that there will be a shortage of sunshine hotspots to places such as Spain, Portugal and Italy in response to terror attacks. Holiday companies have already seen bookings to Spain up by nearly 40% against last year’s figures and as demand rises for limited places, so inevitably will prices. Security here in the resort has been a contentious issue, thankfully not terrorism related, but lack of policing in general around known ‘crime’ hotspots and boisterous party areas.

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Cocktails on Levante beach? Think again...

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With the sun out, the beaches bustling and lack of beach police – who are not due to start until June, it is heaven for the illegal sellers, particularly on the busy Levante stretch. I spent a couple of hours on the promenade today, observing the comings and goings of these pedlars with sadly not much police presence. Up until 1pm there were at least a dozen but then there must be a shift change – which is probably known to these vendors as they suddenly all appeared. Some walk up and down between the sunbeds with coolbags, shouting Coca Cola, Fanta Limon, Cerveza. Aqua – but the ones that really concern me are those selling ‘cocktails’.

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New Police station and SATE office delayed

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Have you been a victim of crime while here in Benidorm? More importantly, did you report it? Despite promises it is both disappointing and probably expected that the new SATE office and police station in the Rincon de Loix will NOT be ready this year. The SATE office is a special centre where you report crime and manned by the National Police but currently located in the Old Town. Initially Easter was the target for the new one, then moved on to Summer – now construction will not even begin until after the end of the busy holiday season, with a ‘planned’ opening in early 2017. A budget has been allocated but the estimate has not yet been approved, which is what is delaying the start of the building works.

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Ongoing mobility scooter saga

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Servigroup’s outright ban on mobility scooters in all nine of their Benidorm hotels appears to have spurred the police into action. It remains to be seen whether this is just a short-term knee jerk reaction or whether at long last a proper clampdown on misuse is being instigated.

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Benidorm's Medieval Market

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The annual Medieval Market is up and running in Benidorm, located at the Parc d´Elx – or Dove Park, in the Old Town. It is a lot bigger this year and the road that runs parallel with the promenade has been closed to traffic to accommodate stalls. There are random processions, demonstrations and entertainment going on throughout the day and most of the stall holders are dressed in period costume to add to the authenticity.

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Driving in Benidorm

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Driving is a necessity for many, whether to get to work, take children to school or carry out daily chores. When coming on holiday many like the flexibility of a rental car, enabling them to get themselves back and forth to the airport without waiting around for shuttle buses, then using it to explore the surrounding area at leisure - Guadalest, Algar Waterfalls and Calpe all prime examples. Although all are accessible by publice transport you are more flexible with a car.

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Catching up with Johnny Vegas

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Have you ever wondered where the name Johnny Vegas came from – it’s not the one he was born with, that’s Michael Pennington,incase you never knew - but his stage name. Well, one of his favourite films growing up was 'Grease’ – starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. The two John’s in those names isn’t the answer but Johnny Casino & The Gamblers – the musical group performing at Rydell’s National Dance-Off was his favourite character. It nearly did remain Casino until a night out with mates, when they decided upon Vegas and so JV was born.

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