Thinking of leaving Britain for sunnier climes? Why Benidorm is the place to retire to

The cold British winter might be spurring us on to book foreign holidays later in the year, but have you considered going abroad for longer than a week or two in the summer – and perhaps even leaving the UK for good?

For many, the idea of growing old in Britain is bleak - and between the weather and the constant, demoralising pension pot news, that’s understandable. So perhaps it’s worth packing up and moving to sunnier climes. The kids will definitely thank you when it comes to booking their own summer breaks.

If you think the change is right for you, and you can bear to be away from family and friends, where should you move to?

The recent TravelSupermarket Travel Trends Tracker report found that Spain is set to be the number one holiday destination abroad this year - with 11% of holidaymakers planning to visit the country. It’s also one option for setting up permanently.

Benidorm might have a reputation for orange tans, bad behaviour and tacky resorts, but the ITV show – which returns with a new series on Monday, January 11 – is ever popular, even if it hasn’t exactly given the beach resort a personality makeover. After all, Johnny Vegas revealed this week that he “accidentally” flashed Joan Collins on set when she made a guest appearance last year.

But don’t write it off just yet.

Here are some top reasons for retiring to Benidorm, Alicante:

On average, each year Benidorm experiences no snow and only 43 days of rainfall (the UK gets roughly 140 wet days). From May to October, you can practically guarantee it’ll be warm enough to wander about in flip flops and shorts, and in December and January temperatures can still be as high as 16 to 17 degrees. Positively balmy!

With direct flights to Benidorm from England taking around two and a half hours, and cheap too, getting home to see family – be it for Christmas, a birthday or emergency – is never too tricky.

Within Spain itself, Benidorm is well placed for weekend trips to Alicante, Murcia, Valencia, Malaga and Seville, as well as Madrid if you’re in need of a city break. Make your escape during the holiday high season when Benidorm’s two main beaches (the Levante and Poniente) heave with people and hen parties… 

Yes, the beaches are crowded, but Poniente beach has a slightly more local vibe (the restaurants especially), and both beaches are professionally cleaned each morning.

Sadly, this is very necessary – holidaymakers are notoriously messy in Benidorm. The sea is suitably Mediterranean – it’s aquamarine in colour and a dip won’t make you shiver like swimming in Cornwall does!

If you look beyond the town’s skyscrapers and stag-friendly bars, the old town is actually very picturesque, located on a rocky peninsula between curves of yellow sand, with the Puig Campana mountains in the background. These make a great walking destination.

Living arrangements
Whether you’d like to split your year – winter in Benidorm, summer at home – or become a permanent expat, there are many affordable options when it comes to living arrangements.

There are ready-built retirement complexes (like Ciudad Patricia) as well apartments to rent, which the global expat network Costa Blanca can help you find.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of retiring to Benidorm is the already well-established – and welcoming (if TripAdvisor comments are anything to go by) – expat community in the area. It’ll be like being at home, except everyone is sun-kissed and eating tapas!

If Benidorm isn’t your cup of tea, the world is your oyster when it comes to retirement destinations. France, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as destinations in Asia, are always popular dream retirement destinations.

The Caribbean island of Barbados is another popular choice due to its virtually free health care, low property tax and an average temperature of 28C – as well as English being the country’s language. Just remember that the Queen may soon not be the head of state anymore!




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