Benidorm's Poniente and La Cala

Walking West from Benidorm's old Town, starting from just below the rocky headland, you'll glance at the lovely Malpas Beach. Small, sheltered by cliffs and with palms to the rear, it's a very attractive place to spend the day. From here it's a short stroll to Benidorm's Marina and Port, but no navy blazers with gold buttons are required because we're not talking cruise liner territory. The Marina is fairly small, but very pleasant to wander around.

Continue westwards and Poniente Beach begins to unfurl. Almost immediately you'll find a twitchers treat, a bird lovers' birthday and a fanciers fantasy.... The lovely little Parc del Elche's shady palms and pathways are home to hundreds (or is that thousands?) of white doves. Bird oppressors - be gone! The doves are popular, sociable and pretty well fed, in fact - if you're holding food, be prepared to have a bird or two not in the hand, but on it!

Along the sweep of golden sand, a brand new promenade has appeared backed by a slow-moving one way traffic system. Cafes, bars and shops which have lain idle for years have re-opened and the whole area, taking in apartments and hotels spreading back from the promenade, has been re-vitalised. The great curve of coastline continues west to the attractive and quieter area of La Cala. There's still the wide choice of hotel and apartment accommodation (loads of them in fact) but with a more subdued air. However, here you can have the best of both worlds, with all Benidorm's attractions still within easy reach by bus or taxi.

And wait a minute, what about that It's-Up-To-You-New-York-New-York building gracefully dominating the horizon? That's the famous Hotel Bali, all 52 floors and 186 metres of it. Well worth spotting, although you don't really have to try!

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