The origin of these little Summer beach bars is South American, coming from a sweet coffee and sugar cane drink enjoyed by farm workers, labourers and those looking for a coffee kick to keep them going, a “Chiringo”. Added to hot water and sold by vendors from little shacks on the side of the road which became known as Chiringuitos.
The bars first appeared in Spain in the early part of the 20th century and really took off in a big way in the 1950´s as tourism bought crowds to the Costas and in the 1960´s as the Hippies arrived on Barcelona beaches, in Ibiza and the Canaries. Originally just small rustic shacks serving a few cold drinks and maybe some basic tapas, perhaps offering fresh fish lunches cooked on open fires. Today many of these bars are in reality large restaurants taking big money, not really in the spirit of the original beach shacks.
Benidorm (sadly) has never allowed, Chiringuitos (until this year) and nor will you find one in neighbouring Albir or Villajoyosa. However, for the last few seasons an original “shack” style beach bar has opened during summer months. Located few kilometres from Benidorm at Raco Conil Nudist Beach. Just off the Villajoyosa road (take a left at the old Casino past the Crematorium). This is a true Chiringuito with no mains water, no mains electricity and only offering (very) cold beers, drinks, some snacks and Ice Cream. Exactly what it should be, a chill-out bar open all day until dusk (very ate in high Summer) where you can relax for a few hours with good friends, take a dip in the sea, enjoy the sunshine and all in a lovely unspoilt location.
Chiringuito Raco Conil is enjoyed by couples (some gay some straight), families, a few singles and the odd wrinkly bottom too. It is after all a nudist beach! You will meet all sorts of people at this shady beach hut, which really is in the spirit of the “Chiringuito” from days before mass tourism and before all the planning regulations. Pop over to Benidorm one weekend this summer and enjoy the shack on the beach, it will not be around forever and must close after September, it is after all a Summer bar!
Sunday calorie burn high above sea level with a hike in them hills…
The mountain (or is it a big hill) above Sierra Cortina and behind Terra Mitica offers a relatively easy to moderate climb and superb walk with some of very best views of Benidorm. The climb to the top takes about one hour on a rough well used loose stone path. A few parts are quite steep. This is a walk for those who enjoy walking, not for those who prefer a Sunday stroll with a pub at the end of it! But, the rewards are panoramic (take a camera) scenes that very few people ever get an opportunity to view.
To start this lovely walk, take the Finestrat road (CV767) from Benidorm until you reach the roundabout where the entrance to the Sierra Cortina resort is, turn right (Calle Isla Gran Canaria) and park up 100m along the road where you will see a verge and a few trees on the left with a rough path heading upwards (obviously). Start you climb here. Do take lunch, water, first aid kit and wear decent walking footwear.
Once at the summit you can choose to simply enjoy the view or continue along the path for a further 5kms or so along the top and back again. The path across the summit is easy to follow and an easy to moderate walk. From here you can look down on Benidorm, Terra Mitica and take in the views as far as Alicante and Calpe.
You do not need to be very fit, 20kg overweight, an ex-smoker (50 a day) and 52 years of age still allowed me to get to the top of this little mountain. You will likely not be alone along the way. I met among others, three muscled cage fighters, three Hungarians with scary shotguns, various dog walkers, serious hiking folk and assorted tourists in various states of advanced sunburn! Perhaps not for everyone, but the calorie burn must exceed 1,000 and the idea of doing something different rather than the usual tourist stuff does appeal and is well worth the effort on a Sunday to finish of your Benidorm weekender. Come see us soon, why not book the hotel La Cala in Finestrat beach near Benidorm for a long relaxing weekend today!
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Jet2holidays sun holidays to Spain and city breaks booked before the 11th March 2013 will be reduced by £100 per booking and Jet2.com is offering 10% off ALL return flights until 4th February 2013. This includes 10% OFF pre-booked seats, luggage and check-in fees.
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