Benidorm holidays

Experience Benidorm

Experience [destination]

Best Places to Visit

Benidorm's popularity boomed as a result of its wonderful beaches and exciting nightlife, but nowadays there is a lot more to this vibrant resort town, and this attracts an ever more diverse range of tourists to visit too. Levante (Sunrise) Beach and Poniente (Sunset) Beach remain at the heart of Benidorm's appeal, giving visitors a desired seaside holiday experience - sun, sea and sand all in the one place.

Peacock Island harbours an array of colourful birds and is just 10 minutes' ferry ride offshore. Take to the island's hills for a memorable nature trek and views of Benidorm's skyline. Or voyage underwater in the Aquascope to observe the splendour of the sea life in this marine paradise. It is home to a number of species, including many you are unlikely to see in other parts of the world. Nearby Tabarca is the smallest inhabited island belonging to Spain and is renowned for its marine reserve that was established in 1986, a further example of how the aquatic life surrounding Benidorm is protected by the authorities.

Entertainment and environment combine in the form of Mundomar, where visitors are educated in the world of exotic animals and marine life of over 60,000 square metres of landscape. Next door is Aqualandia, where adults and children alike can enjoy one of Europe's most thrilling water parks, with the usual combination of splash pools, slides and flumes, inner tube lagoons and kamikaze drops.

Thrill-seekers will also delight in Terra Mitica. This is an amusement park arranged into themed zones influenced by Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, as well as by Iberian and Mediterranean cultures. It's a real chance to experience the fun of modern day Benidorm, while also taking in some of the iconic images from continental Europe's past. Terra Natura is a more sedate themed experience that brings the visitor close to animals from America, Asia and Europe, for an international feel.

Nearby Calpe is an inviting release from the hustle and bustle of Benidorm, with its imposing rocky outcrop known as Penon de Ifach. From here incredible views of the Costa Blanca coastline can be captured in photos, videos, or just enduring memories for when you're back home. Other outlying villages that are appealing and aesthetic jaunts from Benidorm include Albir and Finestrast .

Top Landmarks

Benidorm owes its origins to the Moors, from whom its name derived, but the town only received its charter in the early 14th century. From that time, it became an important Mediterranean fishing port, and this is a status that it held for several centuries.

As Benidorm's importance grew, it fell victim to attacks by North African and Turkish pirates. To help defend against these assaults, Benidorm Castle was built in the 14th century, but was eventually destroyed in the early 19th century - a sad loss of what would have been a dramatic landmark for modern day visitors.

Thankfully, the Balcon del Mediterraneo or Castillo-Mirador de Benidorm was constructed on the original site of the castle. Today's visitors to the fortress site enjoy a more peaceful spectacle when standing at the stone balustrade to enjoy the views and take their holiday snaps.

The Placa del Castell is an idyllic viewpoint that separates the two main Benidorm beaches of Levante and Poniente. The atmosphere and feel of the old fishing village is still enthralling, with the nearby 18th century Church of San Jaime and Santa Ana adding to the rich history of the area.

Parque de l'Aiguera is an enchanting park with esplanades, water features and natural auditoriums where concerts and cultural events are frequently held. It’s well worth checking the schedule of upcoming events if you're heading to Benidorm.

Entertainment

Benidorm is famed for its rich assortment of entertainment, ranging from pulsating nightlife with bars, pubs and nightclubs, to cabaret and comedy acts. During the summer months, the population heaves with anticipation of familiar venues and exciting new amusements.

A visit to Benidorm is never fully complete without a visit to the famous Benidorm Palace. Here, guests are exposed to flamboyant costumes that colour a cabaret show full of glitzy dancers, complemented with excellent food.

With Ibiza nearby, the expectation for similar style nightclubs is duly provided. Seasonal arrivals ensure the opening of large clubs visited by illustrious DJs from around the world. Take advantage of club promoters who parade the streets enticing customers with vouchers and discounts. The Avenida Communitat Valencia is the centre of Benidorm's super club locale.

Bars and pubs in Benidorm are abundant in their hundreds, with many British themed venues found in the vicinity of Rincon and Levante. Apart from their stock of ales and lagers, most of these establishments offer live music, pub grub, karaoke and even line dancing for a country knees up.

From early evening to early morning, Benidorm's entertainment schedule has a little bit of everything on show. Tribute bands, comedians, hypnotists and ventriloquists draw crowds to lively watering holes such as Morgan's Tavern, Rockerfellas and Sinatras.

Summer visitors may have a chance to get involved with Benidorm's Low-Cost Festival, which attracts international and national indie groups alike, or the Benidorm International Song Festival which gave wings to Julio Iglesias' career.

Dining Out

Benidorm's long-standing relationship with the UK and northern Europe can be readily identified by its diversity of cuisine, which embraces dishes that comfort while also offering Spanish tradition and taste.

The choice of food varies between café and tapas bars, with Italian, Algerian and Chinese restaurants widely available. Any holiday should include the experience of tasting local dishes, and tapas is the perfect way to investigate what the locals enjoy consuming. Tapas are snacks or appetisers served cold or warm, and can include small portions of vegetables, cheese, fish and meat.

As a coastal town formerly known for its fishing industry, Benidorm has an abundance of seafood restaurants which should feature highly on visitors' culinary schedules. Aitena is traditionally Spanish, with an immense open fire grill for roasts and of course, fresh fish dishes.

Another favourite Spanish bistro is Casa Toni, popular with locals and visitors alike. Customary Spanish food is presented in a distinctive style here and enhanced by Catalonian influences.

One dish that is traditional to Benidorm and the surrounding region is paella. Normally prepared with rice, vegetables and chicken or rabbit, paella in Benidorm is invariably served with seafood and called arroz a banda.

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Need to know

Need to know [destination]

Language

The foremost language of use in the coastal town of Benidorm, situated in Spain's province of Valencia, is Spanish. Inherent to its Catalan culture, the language of Valencian is spoken by over half the Spanish population of Benidorm. As one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations, Benidorm has a thriving tourist industry. Those working within it are adept in a host of European languages, with an emphasis on English, so there shouldn't be any major language barriers should you visit. This applies not just to the hotels, but also in many of the local shops, whose custom largely comes from tourism too.

Currency

Benidorm, as with the rest Spain, employs the euro as its official currency and with such a great influx of visitors each year, outlets to change money are plentiful - from banks and ATMs to cambio, or moneychangers, While the use of credit cards, travellers' cheques and prepaid travel cards eases concerns about holiday finances, It is advisable to enquire about commission before committing to an exchange, as in some cases you may incur extra fees if the card's primary currency is not the euro.

Visas

Citizens from over 50 countries across the globe have the opportunity to visit Benidorm for 90 days with just a passport and without a visa or payment of an entry fee to Spain. Some EU nationals, including those from Great Britain, have the added advantage of being able to present alternative forms of identification, such as a driving licence when entering the country.

Climate

Protected by the surrounding mountains of the Prebaetic System, Benidorm enjoys a unique climate with average temperatures ranging from 15°C in the winter months to 26°C in the height of summer. The temperature of the Mediterranean waters that wash Benidorm's beaches range between a chilly 14 °C in February to a pleasant 26 °C in July. To negate the inevitable summer crowds, while still benefiting from the best conditions, June and September are ideal months to visit.

Main Airports

Several airports serve Benidorm's burgeoning tourist trade, with Alicante International Airport the nearest and largest. As a gateway to the Costa Blanca region, of which Benidorm is a part, Alicante Airport is connected to many major European cities by over 30 low-cost and scheduled carriers.

Flight Options

A large proportion of flights to Alicante originate in the UK, with many airlines providing scheduled services throughout the year. Budget airlines fly from London Gatwick, London Stansted, London Luton, Liverpool and Edinburgh, with additional links to many other airports such as Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester.

Travel Advice

With such a large selection of airlines competing to bring travellers to Benidorm, great deals are available all through the year. Demand for seats is greatest during the summer and Christmas holidays, but the months preceding these high season periods present a variety of opportunities to save money.

Other Transport Options

Benidorm can be reached from the UK by train or bus, but while fares for these modes of transport may be less than the cost of a flight, the journey time is considerably longer. Take a Eurostar train from London to Paris followed by a 'Trenhotel' to Barcelona and from there, a high-speed Euromed train to Alicante. A speedy tram to Benidorm then makes light work of the remaining distance. If travelling to Benidorm by bus is preferable, then look to Eurolines for road routes.

Getting Around

Benidorm covers a relatively small area, which means visitors can exploit a number of economical means when exploring its many attractions. Walking to and from venues is generally feasible, while regular and reliable bus and tram services encourage wider investigation. Taxis and car hire are priced fairly, with good infrastructure to support them.

Bus

Access to all parts of Benidorm is provided by Llorente Bus, with 17 routes and a tram line service. Efficient, reliable and comfortable, and with timetables posted at the numerous bus stops, this service allows passengers to buy single journey tickets, 24-hour cards that allow limitless travel in that time or a Bonobus 20 pass for the more frequent traveller.

Car

Hiring a car either on arrival at the airport or in Benidorm itself is a straightforward process, with many recognised companies and independent firms available. Pre-booking in the high season is strongly advised. Drivers should be wary of the many one-way systems and the limitations on parking during peak travel hours, but conditions are comparable to the UK. Remember that the Spanish drive on the left.

Train

Although there is no train service that connects the boundaries of Benidorm itself, there is a narrow-gauge railway that joins several towns along the Costa Blanca including Benidorm. Many visitors take advantage of daytrips on the Lemongrass Express, a popular and informative rail outing.

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FACTS

  1. Benidorm's high-rise hotels give it the honour of having the most high-rise buildings per capita in the world, with a permanent population of only about 70,000 people.
  2. The skyline of Benidorm emerged over the course of around 50 years, contrasting to the once fishing village that was relatively barren in the mid-20th century. When tourism arrived around the same time, the fishing industry fell into decline and there was greater need for accommodation.
  3. Benidorm ranks as one of Spain's busiest tourist destinations, and is the biggest holiday resort in Europe. Over five million people visit Benidorm each year, mainly holidaymakers seeking sun.

FACTS

  1. Benidorm's high-rise hotels give it the honour of having the most high-rise buildings per capita in the world, with a permanent population of only about 70,000 people.
  2. The skyline of Benidorm emerged over the course of around 50 years, contrasting to the once fishing village that was relatively barren in the mid-20th century. When tourism arrived around the same time, the fishing industry fell into decline and there was greater need for accommodation.
  3. Benidorm ranks as one of Spain's busiest tourist destinations, and is the biggest holiday resort in Europe. Over five million people visit Benidorm each year, mainly holidaymakers seeking sun.

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