Top 5 hen party holiday destinations

More and more brides-to-be are taking their hen parties abroad and it’s easy to see why, with so many destinations offering guaranteed sunshine (unlike the UK), and fantastic nightlife. We turned to Faith Norris, travel writer for lowcostholidays.com for her pick of the best European hen destinations!

Albufeira, Algarve

Albufeira is a beautiful resort and a great choice for hen parties looking for rest and relaxation by day and a Portuguese six pack to shot drinks off by night.

Beaches: Albufeira has a stunning coastline; stretches of long sandy blue flag beaches are intersected with secluded coves offering the perfect place to achieve that all over tan - after all no one wants tan lines for the big day! For a little more excitement, try paragliding or banana boating, as water sports are a great way to get all the girls involved. Or if you’re a fan of walking, then follow the coastal paths and take a walk from the Praia da Oura beach, to the more traditional old town equivalent, the Praia Dos Pescadores. This provides a fantastic photo opportunity to make the stags jealous back home.

Dining: The old town has plenty of waterside restaurants offering fresh local seafood and other traditional dishes. A Portuguese favourite is grilled sardines, they are absolutely delicious with a squeeze of lemon and a big salad – after all you still need to fit in that white dress when you get home.

Nightlife: The strip, known locally as the Avenida Sà Carneiro, is the place to head for a big night out. Mambo Cafe, Patcha and Garage are great places to begin your night for cocktails and dancing. For a bit of fun, head to Matt’s Bar to see who can hold on to the rodeo bull the longest.

Accommodation: The clubs on the strip are open until the early hours, so you’ll need a hotel within stumbling distance after a night of L plates, veils and garters. There are many suburb hotels near the strip and the beach, check out some of the best with lowcostholidays.com.

Benidorm, Costa Blanca

If you’re the kind of hen that wants to tan on the beach during the day and unleash your party animal at night, then Benidorm is the place for you. A popular resort amongst hen parties, the flight time is a mere two hours, so you can be in your bikini in no time.

Beaches: The beach in Benidorm stretches over 5km and has been awarded blue flag status for its cleanliness and facilities. The shallow waters make it ideal for a quick dip to cool off in before heading back to your sunbed to work on your pre-wedding glow. There are plenty of beach bars located on the promenade, which are great for alfresco dining.

Dining: When in Spain it would be rude not to sample the paella. The seafood available in Benidorm is delicious and of course, it’s always fresh. Order a huge dish to share and enjoy the succulent flavours while the sun sets across the water.

Nightlife: Start your night in Rocky’s karaoke bar, where you can belt out your favourite tunes, as if you’re Mariah Carey, between sipping champagne. After you’ve turned enough heads in the karaoke bar, head to Sinatra’s and watch the incredible male dancers.

Accommodation: The main night time action can be found in English Square, and there are plenty of hotels in the nearby area. However, if it’s a sea view you’re looking for then the Square is only a five minute stroll from the beach - allow extra time if you’re in high heels though.

Malta

Malta is a fantastic destination for those after a little more culture in between cosmopolitan cocktails. Admire the baroque style architecture in the Grand Harbour of Valetta by day and head to Peaceville in St Julian’s for a vibrant night-life.

Beaches: The island is very small, making it easy to visit a different beach each day. To really push the boat out, why not sail to Comino and swim in the dazzling blue lagoon, where the movie Swept Away, starring Madonna, was filmed.

Dining: Maltese food has been inspired by many cultures and some of the best restaurants can be found down cobbled streets in Valetta. Head to the Guze Bistro for a touch of fine dining in a chic environment.

Nightlife: Peaceville has a number of fantastic clubs to keep you dancing all night. Check out the biggest club on the island, Havana Club for great chart music, or admire the views from the terrace at So City Club.

Accommodation: If you want to be in the thick of the action, there are many hotels in and round St Georges Bay, St. Julians and Valetta.

Magaluf, Majorca

Magaluf is the place to strut your stuff on the dance floor. Famous for its vibrant nightlife, there are also plenty of activities to do during the day for the more active hens. Peel off last night’s false eyelashes and head to the Aqualand Waterpark, for a girl’s day out - a go on the kamikaze waterslide is sure to shake off your hangover.

Beaches: Magaluf’s beaches offer a range of water sports, but you might prefer to get competitive with a game of beach volleyball. Divide the group into teams and make sure the winners are rewarded with their first drink of the night.

Dining: There are a few authentic Spanish restaurants in the resort, but to enjoy these you will need venture away from the main strip. Look out for the Restaurante El Mundo which serves some impressive king prawns!

Nightlife: In the evening the famous Magaluf strip, the Punta Ballena, comes alive and is the perfect place to spend your last night of freedom. Fancy dress is near compulsory and, before long, you will be the centre of attention on the podium in the raunchy Baywatch bar. Line up the shots as you dance the night away in BCM, one of the largest nightclubs in Europe.

Accommodation: Hotels in Magaluf are used to catering for large groups, so most of them are located near the main strip. Also, many have their own bar, which makes a great place to start the night. Check out these holidays to Magaluf!

Barcelona

This city is ideal for those hens who want to soak up a bit of culture, yet still let off some steam. The Gaudi architecture is really impressive, so don’t forget your camera for some pictures before heading to the Spanish boutiques where you will find a fabulous array of handbags and shoes – because let’s face it you can never have too many of either.

Beaches: The beauty of Barcelona is that it’s a beach holiday and city break rolled into one. La Barceloneta is the most popular part on the coast in Barcelona and has been recognised as being one of the best urban beaches in the world. For future brides who want to do something different, why not take part in a sailing course off Barcelona’s coast? The instructor could be a cute Spaniard...

Dining: Seafood is a great choice when visiting Barcelona and it goes down really well with a glass of white wine. However, this multi-cultural city offers a wide range of delicacies from all over the world, such as Italian and Greek cuisine.

Nightlife: Barcelona has a great night scene, with El Raval and Born being some of the most popular districts for bar hopping. Visit Mondo Club and enjoy the breath-taking views of the glamorous yachts from the rooftop terrace.

Accommodation: The main tourist area is Las Ramblas and it’s here you will find a number of highly rated hotels, all in easy walking distance to the bars. If you want to be further away from the action then the Sarria San-Gervasi is better suited. Regardless of where you stay, most Barcelona hotels are geared up for an army of hens.