Once a small fishing village, the original town of Benidorm (known as the Old Town) has now expanded to comprise four distinct areas – all within easy reach of two beautiful golden beaches and everything that Benidorm has to offer.
Benidorm’s beaches are among the best in the world, blessed as they are with fine golden sand and a seemingly never-ending promenade boasting an array of cafes, shops, restaurants and bars.
Due to its large British population, Benidorm is known as something of a British colony and English is spoken widely. This has led to it gaining a reputation as a ‘low-end’ destination, lacking in culture and Spanish identity.
However, whilst certain parts of the town are now dominated by the ‘Brits abroad’, it has retained plenty of character, not to mention a picturesque Mediterranean setting and stunning weather.
The Old Town is where you will get an authentic taste of Spain. An evocative maze of cobbled streets, quant shops and white houses, this area also boasts a blue-domed church which attracts hordes of visitors throughout the year. Meanwhile the street known as “Tapas Alley” does what it says on the tin, with a line of tapas bars running from Plaza de la Constitutio, and along Santo Domingo, offering up Spain’s famous delicacy.
The nearby Levante area is more lively and energetic, with beach and theme park pleasures by day and a huge concentration of entertainment venues by night. The area’s sky scraper hotels add to the sense of a developed and vibrant holiday resort. Rated as one the best beaches in Europe, Playa Levante stretches for more than two kilometres of luxuriant sand.
The Rincon de Loix is the newer part of Benidorm which joins to the Levante area. It is blessed with a stunning golden beach, with various water sports on offer.
Finally, there is Poniente Playa, which has a more tranquil atmosphere than its neighbours, with fewer hotels and a beach that avoids becoming a game of sardines. The walk along the promenade from this part of town is an absolute delight.
If you thought Benidorm is no more than beaches and bars, you would be mistaken. There’s plenty to see and do both in and around the town, from culture and cabaret, to sport and hiking.
Water sport enthusiasts are in luck, with a popular waterski and wakeboard school to be found on the beach in Rincon do Loix. The school is open to beginners. There is also a cable water-ski, which is not for the faint-hearted, as speeds can reach up to 60kph.
Located in the Old Town is the church of San Jaime. Built in 1740, its distinctive blue tiled domes helps make it one of the best known landmarks in Benidorm.
When the sun sets, Benidorm comes into its own and in addition to the vast array of drinking and dancing establishments, the town also has a thriving cabaret scene. Benidorm Palace, situated in Rincon de Loix, hosts Benidorm’s marquee cabaret show and never fails to put on a spectacular performance.
Two of the best theme parks in Europe are to be found in the Levante area. The Mundomar Marine and Exotic Animal Park takes visitors through the often weird and wonderful world of animals that live in the sea.
Within easy reach of the town centre, the Aqualandia is a large complex of water slides and other fun features for the whole family. There are various other on-site facilities including shops, bars, restaurants and picnic areas.
Parque de L'Aigúera is a long public park distinctive by its neoclassical design, and boasts palm lined promenades, stunning fountains and two impressive amphitheatres. It is primarily used for concerts and outdoor events, including the annual Benidorm song festival.
Benidorm also presents plenty of opportunities for day trips and excursions away from the mainland. For swimmers and snorkelers, La Isla de Benidorm is a small and uninhabited island that can be reached via a short boat trip from the town.
Located a short train or bus journey from Benidorm, the Terra Mitica theme park is home to some of the scariest rides in Europe. Inspired by the five civilisations of the Mediterranean, the park takes visitors back through the mists of time to the Egypt of the Pharoahs, Ancient Greece, the glory of Rome, Iberia's pirate past and the Mediterranean Islands of myth and legend.
January: Calvalcade of the Three Kings – Marking the end of the Christmas season, a parade of 'Three Kings' on horseback, followed by decorated floats passing sweets to gleeful childen, moves through the heart of Bendidorm.
February: Carnaval – Spectacular carnival festivities throughout Benidorm and surrounding areas. Colourful float processions, street entertainment, music and dancing, and the bizarre tradition of burying a sardine on Ash Wednesday, all serve to entertain onlookers.
March: Fallas de San José (Feast of St. Joseph) – A range of festivities are held in the town and nearby fishing village of Calpe.
April: Santa Faz Pilgrimages (Peregrina de la Santa Faz) – Taking place in Alicante, this is Spain's second-largest pilgrimage, and attracts around 200,000 people.
May: Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses) – Benidorm becomes a giant canvas for flower-covered crosses, together with streets parties, music and dancing.
June: Hogueras de San Juan (Bonfires of St. John) – One of the most important annual events in Benidorm, with papier-maché figures displayed around the town for several days and then burnt on a large fire.
July: La Virgen del Carmen – A religious event that is celebrated with parties, entertainment and late-night fireworks.
August: Benidorm Song Festival – The Julio Iglesias auditorium in Aiguera Park plays host to a variety of activities and open-air concerts.
September: Fiesta of Asturias – A fun fiesta located around the Asturias area of Benidorm
October: Fiestas of Imalsa II – Another fiesta that draws crowds from around Benidorm and beyond.
November: Patron Saint of the Town – Carnival floats, street parties, concerts and a late-night fireworks display captivate spectators.
December: The Christmas month sees events and festivities held across Benidorm, including markets, parties and street entertainment.
The closest international airport to Benidorm is Alicante Airport, which is a 45 minute drive, and connects to numerous European cities. Benidorm can also be reached from Valencia Airport which is a 1.5 hour drive.
Regular buses run between both Alicante and Valencia airports and Benidorm, or if you prefer you can make the journey by taxi - though due to the sizeable distances this will not be cheap. Buses will arrive into Benidorm's bus centre, which is in the centre of town at the bottom end of Avenida de Europa.
There are no direct trains from Alicante or Valencia to Benidorm, but you can get a connecting train from Valencia via Denia.
Benidorm’s weather makes it an all-year-round destination, with temperatures never dropping below 19 degrees, even during the Winter months. As a warning,
the peak summer months of July and August can become uncomfortably hot,
and also exceedingly crowded.
There are annual events that take place throughout the year, including an incredible 50 fiestas, so you may want to choose your visit accordingly. The summer months of May to August are particularly festive for Benidorm, with the town brought to life by a range of events and fiestas.