Benidorm, Costa Blanca’s Popular Destination
Benidorm is located on Spain’s east coast (Costa Blanca),on the shores of the Mediterranean sea, and is protected on three sides from most negative weather, by the mountains of Sierra Helada to the east, Aitana to the north and Tussal de la Cala to the west, with Benidorm’s fourth side dominated by two deeply curved bays which keep the sea tranquil, and ensure that sunbathers and swimmers keep in a safe and warm ecosystem for most of the year.
located off the N-332 approx 40 minutes from Alicante airport, Benidorm is rated as Spain’s top holiday destination, due mainly to its year round temperatures, which average between 12 degrees in winter and 28 degrees in summer, and its three Blue Flag natural golden beaches.
There is an abundance of activities to be found here, for those that require the excitement a minute kind holiday, with water sports that include jet skiing, kayaks, water skiing (try the cable ski off the Rincon de L’oix, at the northern end of Levante beach), parascending, scuba diving (three actual specialized/amateur clubs) and snorkelling. You can also hire boats or organise fishing trips and scuba diving trips to Peacock Island, where you can swim with an extravaganza of marine life.
For the fresh water enthusiasts, there is Aqualandia with its waterfalls, zigzags, rapids, cascades, lakes, kamikaze rides, black hole wave swimming pool, or for those that don’t want the “gimmicks”, there is an Olympic swimming pool in Foietes sports complicate and a swimming school Lope de Vega.
For those without webbed feet, there is Foietes sports complicate, with athletics of various diversities on offer including several bowling alleys, bowls clubs, billiard clubs, go-karts, horse riding, tennis, golf, paintball, trekking, quad biking and adventure expeditions.
If this isn’t your idea of a holiday, why not just relax, soak up the sun, on one of the three beaches Benidorm has to offer. To the north there is Levante (sunrise) beach, nestled below the Old Town is Mal Pas cove and to the south is Poniente (sunset) beach, so you can sunbathe from sunrise to sunset on these golden beaches.
Levante Beach. This is generally the most populated beach area, where it is ideal for the snorkelling beginner, as there are some smooth rocks on the seabed, a home for many fish, without the swimmer getting out of his/her thoroughness.
On this beach it is only a short walk from the waters edge to a nearby bar, cafe or restaurant, where, if your feeling in need of exercise, order a pint instead of a half, and watch the muscles in your arm work out.
Mal Pas cove. This is a small bay nearby to the marina, where tranquil water laps onto the golden sands, with a natural wind-break of the Old Town cliffs behind you, an ideal identify for the sun worshipper. This is also an ideal identify for the snorkelling beginner, as the water is calm and fairly shallow.
Poniente beach. This is arguably the best beach in Benidorm, and it is also the longest, less crowded of the beaches, but be aware, you have slightly longer to walk for a drink or something to eat, so maybe take a picnic with you.
Benidorm does not close down in winter, like other holiday destinations in Spain and nevertheless attracts visitors all year long, due to its average temperatures and entertainment on offer. With between 800 and 1300 bars (depending on which write up you read), it’s easy to see why so many Hen and Stag parties are staged here.
There is also an extensive and varied entertainment schedule on offer, with places like Benidorm Palace, which has their extravaganza evenings with complete show, 3 course meal, drinks and dancing for 40 euros.
In Villajoyosa there is Casino Mediterraneano with its Buffet dinner (3 course),wine and show for 24 euros, plus a flutter at the tables or on the bandits if you desire it.
Molino Benidorm, mainly drag show and drinks, plus a multitude of different bars offering a variety of entertainment shows consisting of singers, comedians, karaoke etc, plus a great assortment of Disco, R &B, House music clubs such as Cafe Benidorm, Hippodrome, Loch Ness and Champions to name but a few.
For the party animal, Benidorm is probably the “Mecca de Espana”, with its main Spanish competitor possibly being Ibiza and described by some as a Spanish Blackpool but with a different culture, more sun and better beaches.
This is not all that Benidorm has to offer, for with its all year round different entertainment for singles, couples or families, young and old alike, this is truly a holiday experience not to be missed.
Family Entertainment. Benidorm has high and varied list of activities for families with children of all ages, amongst the best are: Terra Mitica, Terra Natura, Mundomar, Aqualandia and Desafio Medieval (medieval show, with knights jousting etc, plus dinner) all can be found on the internet for more detailed information.
Hire Car. This is a very good idea, to permit you to analyze the beautiful villages and towns outside of Benidorm, and with all the major car hire companies along Avenida del Mediterraneo, just off Levante beach, such as Hertz, Avis, Europa and Centauro, so shop around for the best deal.
Excursions. Most hotels organise some sort of excursion package which you can take, but there are also five free sightseeing trips on offer, taking you to the markets at Altea, by 7 Spanish villages, Guadelest, Botanical Gardens or the wine making valley of Jalon (where you can taste the merchandise).
For the free excursions, just contact the Round Town news Tourist information office located in the Rincon side of Benidorm, opposite the hotel Melia, for your tickets. Round Town office also assists in all your holiday queries, including some Spanish phrases, for those of you that want to get into the true spirit of your holiday.
Hotels. There are seemingly 145 hotels, with a total of 38,000 beds on offer, plus numerous Apartments (this is the third highest in Europe, behind London and Paris). For the people that are not afraid of heights, stay at the Hotel Gran Bali **** which is the tallest building in Spain, standing at 51 floors high.
History. Benidorm was officially born in 1325, when the lord of the Baronia de Polop awarded it a town charter to establish its own identity within Spain. The locals are fiercely proud of their heritage, mainly of a seafaring character, where for over 200 years have had the majority of the Mediterranean tuna fishing industry. Since the 19th century, Benidorm has provided most of Spain’s sea captains and crew members.
Take a stroll by the old town and see St. James church which was built in the 18th century, and many other interesting buildings along the thin cobbled streets and plazas. You can also take all this in doing a “Tapas and Vino” crawl, along two designated routes by the Old Town, which is much more civilised than the usual pub crawl.
The Three Kings – 5th Jan Carnivals- 16th-20th Feb Fallas – 14th-19th March Semana Santa – 1st-8th April Hogueras de san Juan – 19th-24th June Virgen del Carmen – 16th-22nd July Aiguera Park (musicians and shows) – 1st-31st August Fiestas Barrio L, Malsa – 11-28th-30th Sept Moors and Christians – 4th-7th Oct Spectacular free show plus fireworks – New Years Eve
Plus many other smaller fiestas, to many to list, get the complete itinerary from the tourist office or Round Town News.
Restaurants. Benidorm has everything your taste buds desire, from Italian, French, Indian, German, English and of course Spanish cuisines. There are too many to list, without upsetting the rest, so go on a cuisine cruise, and go back on the diet when you get home.
Shopping. This is definitely the place where you can shop till you drop, from cheap clothes shops to more expensive ones, try Plaza del Mar shopping centre in Finestrat. Best buys probably leather coats and jackets, and of course get your cheaper spirit and cigarettes for home.
In conclusion, Benidorm is a different city, where you can have a fun-packed holiday or a quiet and relaxed cultural holiday, with something for everyone, but to do Benidorm complete justice, you will just have to come and see it for yourselves.