...and some other resorts worth a second chance

SOME MEDITERRANEAN resorts have become so notorious that their names have virtually become synonyms for bad taste. Even the least well- known of these have acquired a subliminal, awful presence in the brains of anyone who glances at the holiday pages of teletext or the cheap flights ads in travel agency windows. But isn't this just snobbery of the highest order? Many of the following resorts are excellent places to party and to make pan-European friends. They can also be extremely cheap to fly to, out of season. And finally, those flying on a ticket-only basis can easily escape out of town in search of more "authentic" local attractions, if beer and beaches are not their thing.

Bear in mind that for the cheapest seats you are likely to be travelling at odd times of the day (such as 7am from Gatwick) and will need to find late-availability tickets. And because the prices given in newspaper ads are always "subject to availability" you may not get the prices listed. Nevertheless, bargains such as Alicante for pounds 59 return do exist. Honest.

LLORET DE MAR

This was the first part of Spain colonised by mass tourism and the first to be abandoned by the middle classes. Approach it for what it is: a Butlins- in-the-sun, full of Chinese takeaways, German wurst and pizzerias and you should have fun (though the weather is unreliable out of season). There are still some remarkably cheap pensiones stashed away amid the high-rises. Quick escapes: Barcelona, Figueras. Nearest airport: Gerona.

BENIDORM

This is almost certainly the most maligned of all Mediterranean resorts. Not only does it have three miles of good, sandy beaches, but it is also blessed with palm-tree-lined boulevards as well as a pretty old quarter piled up on a rocky peninsula. Admittedly, the place is packed with British pubs and more than 70 discos, and contains many more northern Europeans than native Spaniards, but if people are enjoying themselves, who cares? There is a surfeit of inexpensive accommodation out of season. Quick escapes: Alicante, Valencia. Nearest airport: Alicante.

TORREMOLINOS

Just 30 minutes east of Malaga, this monument to mass tourism is described by the Rough Guide as a "vast, grotesque parody of a seaside resort which, in its own kitschy way, is fascinating". As with Benidorm, the beaches are excellent, if a trifle crowded, and entertainment revolves round Irish pubs. There is a large expatriate population of retired people, transvestite gays, and (allegedly) British crooks. Quick escapes: Andalusian countryside, Ronda, Granada. Nearest airport: Malaga.

RHODES

The tiny capital city of Rhodes is undeniably packed for the longest part of the year, but part of the reason for this is that it is so beautiful: a perfectly preserved medieval city built by the crusading Knights of St John, with palaces and old city walls, as well as Byzantine and Turkish relics. Rhodes also contains plenty of cheap, pension-style accommodation, even in high season. Airport: Rhodes

RIMINI

In the middle of the Riviera del Sole, (Italian for Costa del Sol), this is the only Italian destination in this category, and does have the distinction of attracting a majority of local Italians. Attacked by John Paul II for immorality, Rimini now boasts more than 100 discos as well as a large transsexual community. Quick escapes: San Marino, Ravenna. Airport: Rimini

PAPHOS

On the south-western corner of Cyprus, the Paphos area has recently experienced a sudden burst of rather uninspiring development, and caters largely to the pre-booked market. Immediately beyond the town, however, in almost any direction, are rolling hillsides and traditional Cypriot villages. Airport: Paphos

TENERIFE

The largest of the Canaries, it is hard to imagine why this varied volcanic island, far to the south of mainland Europe and just off the coast of Africa, should be considered as anything but a pure fascination. The resort Puerto de la Cruz has a stylish old centre (but black beaches). Quick escapes: Lava deserts, volcano craters, primaeval forests. Airport: Tenerife

FARO

Perched on the southern edge of Portugal, this year-round resort sees a huge flow of people through its international airport but is by no means an unattractive destination in itself, with a harbour, beaches and lots of late-night carousing. Quick escapes: the scenic mountain area, Serra de Monchique. Airport: Faro.

JEREMY ATIYAH

FACT FILE

The following all offer cheap flights to the featured resorts:

l Flightseats: 0990 239904

l Icarus: 01476 514666

l Embassy: 01273 700737

l Jetline: 0171-360 1111

l Flightclub: 01903 231857

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map