martes, 29 de abril de 2014

Benidorm Island, mystery and legend

The Benidorm Island, 'L'illa' or the Journalists Island is a small islet located at 2 nautical miles from Benidorm city. Due to its location, flora and fauna it is a special touristic attraction for Benidorm.

Nearly all the tourists that come for few days to an apartment or a hotel in Benidorm reserve a day to visit the island; there is no proper break in Benidorm without a visit to the island.

But if there is anything that makes this island different and attractive are the legends about its appearance.

The beginning of the Benidorm Island, legends
All the legends about the beginning of the Benidorm Island consider that it is a piece from the 'Puig Campana', a mountain located 10 kilometers away from the coast in Finestrat. The 'Puig Campana' has a big hole on the top and, normally it is related to a legend.

The Roldán Legend
Roldán was a Charlemagne major, and the main character of the Roldán's chant.
Long time ago, Roldán vented all the fury of his sword in a hand to hand fight with one of his enemies. He hit the 'Puig Campana' so hard that a big piece split and got to the sea. That big piece is the Benidorm Island.

The Bruno History
This other tale is a bit more romantic, it is said that Bruno, a knight in love, found out that his beloved one was very ill. He head for the top of the mountain to find a wizard that was living there. When he finally found the wizard, this one told the knight that he could do nothing to save his love’s life.

At this point you can find two different endings: the first one says that Bruno felt so helpless that he stuck his sword in the mountain, and, the second one explains that the knight, facing the imminent death of his loved one at sunset, decided to cut a piece of the 'Puig Campana' so the sun will no set. In both endings the piece of mountain will fall in the sea and will become the Benidorm Island. Either way, the legend has a dramatic finale where the knight's beloved dies and Bruno commits suicide sinking his boat in the Benidorm waters.

The Benidorm Island and the giant
The third legend is about a giant that was living in the Puig Campana. He felt in love with a beautiful lady from Finestrat town. As he knew that she will never fall in love with him he decided to kidnap her and took her to the mountain, but all the people from the village got together and rescued her. The giant got so upset that he kicked the mountain and a piece got out of it, arriving to the sea and creating the Benidorm Island.

The true story of the Benidorm Island is in geology
The truth about the Benidorm Island appearance has quiet little of a romantic side, but it still is interesting. All the geological studies that have been made to the island during the years got to the conclusion that the 'Puig Campana' and the Benidorm Island are rocks with different composition, nature and chronology, so there is no connection in between them.

Whilst the 'Puig Campana' dates from the Jurassic period, the island is made of limestone from the Lower Cretaceous period, if we consider this 'in years' we can say that the Benidorm Island is about 5 million years 'younger' than the mountain. Apart from that, numerous geological specialists agree that the Benidorm Island is one of the ends of 'Sierra Gelada', one of the most spectacular littoral ranges that you can find in the Spanish East coast.

The Benidorm Island, worth a visit
The Benidorm Island, as many others, is uninhabited, but you can visit it. Approximately every hour, depending on the weather, there is a ship leaving the Benidorm harbour to the island every day of the year.

During the summer months, you can ship in the Rincon de Loix. For approximately 14 Euros the adults and 11 Euros the children (these are guiding prices, you should confirm them with the shipping company), the company includes a trip in the Aquarium ships or Aqua scope, so you can enjoy the bottom of the sea around the island.

You can also walk around the island and look at the Benidorm bay. You can previously buy the tickets over their web site.

The legends, the sea bottom or the Mediterranean weather, any excuse is good to pay a visit to the Benidorm Island.

jueves, 10 de abril de 2014

Easter week in Benidorm, a festival full of tradition

Benidorm is a city that can offer you more than just sun and beach, during the Easter week you can enjoy one of the most dug in traditions in Spain: the processions.

From Friday the 11th 'Viernes de Dolores'(Friday of Sorrows) until Sunday the 20th 'Domingo de Resurrección'(Easter Sunday), there are loads of very special processions that can be seen in Benidorm during the Easter week.

But maybe the real attractive thing of spending the Easter week in Benidorm is the possibility of combining the dug in traditions and the beach, the sun and the large leisure options that a Benidorm Holy Week can offer you.

The processions, the main attraction during the Easter week in Benidorm

Easter is one of the most loved and awaited traditional festival during the year. In Benidorm, you have to add to this its touristic attractive for the foreigners that get surprised with the light, the colours and the penitent outfits, all in velvet and with hood. Every single procession, with its different Passion float, refers to a scene and a character of the Bible showing the Passion Week that Christ suffer until his Death and Resurrection.

The Easter processions history starts in Spain at the end of the Middle Ages when the Franciscan priests started organizing them. Ever since then there have been some changes and times that due to the Spanish particular history these processions stopped or were reduced. Nevertheless, processions still come out on the streets every year, bringing illusion to the believers and an art and colour show for everyone.

One of the processions with more fans in Benidorm is the Maundy Thursday one: The solemn Our Lord Jesus in His agony on the Mount of Olives brotherhood that represents, as seen on its name, the Mount of Olives scene. It is a night procession like nearly all of them and goes round the Benidorm streets starting and finishing in the 'San Juan Bautista' church.

The procession of the Resurrection Sunday is an important one too in Benidorm. The thrones of the Lord and the Virgin come on the streets from the 'San Jaime' church for the Encounter Procession. It is very impressive when it starts early in the morning because of the special light that time a day.

Easter events in Benidorm

There are different religious events over the Easter week in which people can take part. A surprising characteristic about the Spanish eastern coast processions is the palm leaf specially prepare for the processions, you can blessed them in different churches. Other acts that you can enjoy over Easter are the triduums, the Stations of the Cross or attend to the special masses.

Apart from all the religious events, Benidorm will offer another dug in tradition in the Spanish eastern coast for the Easter week: bullfight. For this year 2014 two different festivals have been prepared: one bullfight and a shown on horseback.

Gastronomy, another interesting thing during the Easter week in Benidorm

The Easter week has a 'special flavour'. It is tradition to have a specific cake for tea time. The traditional. 'Mona de Pascua', made with flour, eggs, milk, oil and sugar and topped with a boiled egg. You can find them with plenty of different shapes: circles, animals, extra big... The enormous chocolate eggs are typical too. Another typical dessert on these dates are the 'torrijas', made with stale bread dunk in milk and fried after wards, although this dessert is more typical of the centre area of Spain.

Benidorm Easter programme

Friday 11th of April, FRIDAY OF SORROWS
20’30 h. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena. Announcement of the Holy Week.

Sunday 13h of April, PALM SUNDAY
10´30 h. Ermita de Sanz. Benediction of the Palms followed by a Holy Mass.

11’00 h. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena. Benediction of the Palms and Procession by the surrounding streets, followed by a Holy Mass.

Church of San Jaime. Benediction of the Palms and Procession by the streets Santa Faz, Paseo de la Carretera,Alameda, Mayor and Plaza de San Jaime, followed by a Holy Mass.

Church of San Juan Bautista (La Cala). Benediction of the Palms and Procession by the streets Alfaz del Pi, Santander, Mont-Benidorm, Pajares and Plaza de las Tiendas.

11’30 h. Church of San Francisco de Asís. Benediction of the Palms and Procession, followed by a Holy Mass.

11’45 h. Church of Nuestra Señora del Mar. Benediction of the Palms and Procession, followed by a Holy Mass.

12’00 h. Church of El Buen Pastor. Benediction of the Palms and Procession by the surrounding streets, followed by a Holy Mass.

12’30 h. Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Benediction of the Palms and Procession by the surrounding streets, followed by a Holy Mass.

20’30 h. El Buen Pastor Church. Solemn Procession of Our Father Jesus of Health and Humbleness and Our Ladyof the Hope and Peace escorted by the music band “la Primitiva” from Callosa, , the Musical Society Virgen del Sufragio and the National Police of Benidorm.

Itinerary: Church of El Buen Pastor, Puig Campana, Roldán, Almendros, Limones, Maravall, Apolo XI, Jazmín, Plaza de España and Puig Campana, to get back to the Church.

Sunday 13th, Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th of April
19’00 h. Mass sung by the Choir of the Church and triple duet for Our Father Jesus Nazarene. Church of San Jaime.

Monday 14th , Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th of April
19’00 h. Triple duet for the Christ of the Forgiveness and Good Death and Holy Mass. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena.

19’30 h. Holy Mass and Confessions. Church of San Juan Bautista (La Cala).

Wednesday 16th of April, HOLY WEDNESDAY
22’00 h. Solemn Procession by the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus Nazarene. Church of San Jaime.

Itinerary: Plaza de San Jaime, Mayor, Alameda, Plaza de la Cruz, Ruzafa, La Biga,Tomás Ortuño, Apolo XI, Almendros, Paseo de la Carretera, Santa Faz and Plaza de San Jaime.

Thursday 17th of April, HOLY THURSDAY

19’30 h. Holy Mass of the Last Supper of the Lord and Ritual Washing of Feet. Church of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena.

19’30 h. Holy Mass of the Last Supper of the Lord. Church of San Juan Bautista (La Cala) and Church of San Jaime.

21’00 h. Solemn Procession of the Silence at the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena with the Brotherhoods of the Last Supper, the Christ of the Forgiveness and Good Death and the Virgin of Sorrow.
Itinerary: Church of la Almudena, Ginés Cartagena, Capitán Cortés, Castellana, Velázquez, Acacias, Goya, Jardines, and Ginés Cartagena, to finish in the Church.

21’00 h. Solemn Procession of the Brotherhood of Our Lord during his Agony at the Olive Trees Mountain.
San Juan Bautista Church (La Cala).

Itinerary: Plaza de las Tiendas, Pajares, Mont-Benidorm, Vicente Llorca Alòs, Murtal, Santander, Mont-Benidorm, Pajares, Plaza de las Tiendas, to get back to the Church.

23’00 h. Holy Hour and Way of the Cross at the Church of San Jaime.

23’00 h. Holy Hour at the Churches of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, San Francisco de Asís and El Buen Pastor

24´00 h. Holy Hour at the Church of San Juan Bautista (La Cala).

01´00 h. Holy Hour at the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena.

Friday 18th of April, GOOD FRIDAY
07’00 h. Procession from San Jaime Church going to Monte Calvario (Old Graveyard), where the Way of the Cross and he Sermon of the Seven Words will take place.

20’30 h. General Procession of the Holy Burial, with all the Brotherhoods, departing at San Jaime Church.

Itinerary: Plaza de San Jaime, Mayor, Alameda, Los Ángeles, Pintor Lozano, Ricardo, Martínez Alejos, Paseo de la Carretera, Santa Faz and Plaza de San Jaime.

23’30 h. Way of the Cross. San Juan Bautista Church (La Cala). Brotherhood of Our Lord during his Agony at the Olive Trees Mountain. Departure from the San Juan Bautista Church going to the Chapel of Our Lady of the Sea (Tossal).

Sunday 20th of April, EASTER SUNDAY
08’00 h. Procession of the Encounter of the Lord and the Virgin. Departure from San Jaime Church.

Afterwards “Embassy”.

Hotel Don Pancho

miércoles, 2 de abril de 2014

Tapas and canapés competition, an opportunity to enjoy gastronomy in Benidorm

One of the biggest attractions in the Costa Blanca and Benidorm is their gastronomy. Due to the big amount of people from different parts of the world and the different cultures that meet in the city, Benidorm has a wide and delicious gastronomy worth knowing and tasting.

As we can find different ethnic groups living in the city, you can take advance on it through you holidays in Benidorm and have a gastronomic route round the English, Indian, Chinese, Italian ... restaurants. Also in the restaurants of hotels in Benidorm you can find a wide selection of dishes from different cultural origins.

Although the Benidorm own gastronomy and the Mediterranean cuisine are the ones that get normally more followers.

Typical Benidorm dishes

Like many other coast towns, Benidorm is famous due to its rice and fish dishes, quite typical in the Mediterranean cuisine. Two of the tastiest ones are the 'arroz caldoso' (soggy rice) and the 'arroz a banda', which is one of the most typical dishes of the Alicante gastronomy, to prepare it you make a fish broth with the called 'morralla' (small and cheap fishes) and you cook the rice with it. Coming to Benidorm is the perfect excuse to enjoy a good rice dish.

Another Benidorm typical dish is the 'coca farcida', made with flour and oil dough and normally filled in with tomatoes, tuna and peas. The filling can vary depending on the people’s preferences, but is always a tasty and attractive appetizer.

The Benidorm typical sweets and desserts are mainly related with the Christmas time or special dates, as it happens with the Jijona or Alicante turron, although you can have them all year round. In one hand, you have the 'Bollos de San Blas', a dessert made with almonds and with lemon, that is why you can call them 'Bollos de limón' (Lemon sweet bun) also. On the other hand, you can find, mainly in Christmas time, the sweet potato cakes.

Different tapas and canapés, a luxury for your mouth in Benidorm

The gastronomy is a very attractive aspect for tourists and visitors into Benidorm, so taking into consideration the importance it has for the tourism in Benidorm, a Tapas and Canapés competition has being
organize every year. Visitors and residents can enjoy the gastronomy in a different way, but not forgetting the traditional part of it.

The Benidorm Tapas and Canapés competition is celebrating its fourth edition from the 31st of March until the 6th of April. During this week, 27 Benidorm different businesses will offer very high quality tapas for 2€.

Every costumer will be able to vote for his favorite tapa in between the ones he has tried and, at the end of the week, 3 prices will be given: avant-garde tapa or canapé, traditional tapa or canapé and the special price from the public.

You can use this phone number: 626357507 to vote for your favorite tapa or canapé using Whatsapp or Telegram if you prefer it. Another option to vote is to go into the 'Concejalía de Turismo de Benidorm' Facebook page:

Hotel Don Pancho
Charming Hotel in Benidorm