• Campsites are not solely for holidaymakers but also a very popular lifestyle choice for many in Benidorm, which is all too apparent if you see the number of sites here. Villamar is by far the largest, with around 1,500 plots followed by El Raco, Vilasol, Arena Blanca, Camping Armanello, Camping Benidorm and La Torreta. However, Benidorm council has revoked the license issued to La Torreta camping, located behind Benidorm Palace. Following an extensive investigation, the Police and Department of Engineering have deemed that it occupies an area that carries a high flood risk as it is situated on a dry riverbed.

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  • Now that the peak summer season is over, the resort sees the return of the ‘snowbirds' – retired Brits who flock here to escape the cold British winter. In fact, it is not only the Brits that repeat this annual pilgrimage but other north European citizens such as the Dutch, Germans and increasingly Belgian nationals. Each year the numbers appear to increase, with Brits in search of winter warmth and thus avoid the spiraling fuel bills at home. Many drive over, either with a caravan attached or in a motorhome, with bicycles tied to the back. There is certainly plenty of choice when they arrive – some will have pre-booked a site space, reserving from one year to the next whilst other take their chance and pull up with their life possessions, looking for the best bargain at one of the many sites.

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  • The campsites of Benidorm - and there are many, have reported a record occupancy for July, with an increase of 6.7% on last year. Figures quoted reveal that nearly 74% of pitches were occupied, with Brits the biggest users and August is looking even busier. Some arrive with their own vehicles, on holiday while others have decided to up sticks and make the move, testing the waters first. The great thing about Benidorm is that there is something to suit all budgets and tastes, not only for holidaymakers, but also those choosing to move here permanently. Yet with property prices still very reasonable here - and with the current strong exchange rate properties seem even more affordable and an abundance of rentals, it is surprising how many ex-pats opt for life on a campsite.

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  • With the current series of Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun, you’d be forgiven for thinking that every British expat that moved to Benidorm lived on a caravan site – a complaint I have heard many times from those settled here. Villamar always features regularly, although in last week’s episode, La Toretta made an appearance for the first time. The name of the program certainly implies that it is a bargain to live there and you would be forgiven for thinking it is full of last chance types scrapping by on their last euros. If you are looking for a cheap lifestyle then campsites are certainly not that... as I discovered.

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