Benidorm holidaysThe sample prices are per person based on two people travelling!
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 which ensures those working within it are adept in a host of European languages, with an emphasis on English.
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. It is advisable to enquire about commission before committing to an exchange, while the use of credit cards, travellers’ cheques and prepaid travel cards also eases concerns about holiday finances.
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. A number of 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.
Protected by the surrounding mountains of the Prebaetic System, Benidorm enjoys a unique climate with average temperatures ranging from 15oC in the winter months to 26oC in the height of summer. The temperature of the Mediterranean waters that wash Benidorm’s beaches range between a chilly 14oC in February to a balmy 26oC in July. To negate the inevitable summer crowds but still get the benefits of the best conditions, June and September are ideal months to visit.
A number of airports serve Benidorm’s burgeoning tourist trade, with Alicante International Airport being 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. Airports in Murcia and Valencia also handle international visitors bound for Benidorm, but both are more than double the distance from Benidorm than Alicante’s airport.
A large proportion of flights to Alicante originate in the UK, with easyJet, Thomsonfly.com and Ryanair providing scheduled services throughout the year. All three 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. British Airways, Aer Lingus, KLM and SAS are other major airlines that offer routes to Alicante, while scheduled operations to Murcia and Valencia are limited but increase in high season. Flights from any London airport take approximately two hours.
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 generally present a variety of saving opportunities. Getting to Benidorm from Alicante’s airport can be achieved by bus, shuttle, taxi or car hire in less than an hour, while the same modes of transport can be used to make the two-hour journey from Murcia or Valencia.
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 ’trainhotel’ 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.
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.
Environmentally friendly and healthy, walking to the beaches, restaurants and nightlife from accommodation gives the visitor a greater understanding of Benidorm. Enjoy the old town on foot or take a stroll along the promenade of Avenue d’Alcoy where people congregate throughout the day and night.
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.
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.
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.
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. Levante (Sunrise) Beach and Poniente (Sunset) Beach remain at the heart of Benidorm’s appeal, giving visitors that desired seaside holiday.
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 there. Nearby Tabarca is the smallest inhabited island belonging to Spain and is renowned for its marine reserve that was established in 1986.
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.
Thrill-seekers will also delight in Terra Mitica, an amusement park that is arranged into themed zones influenced by Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, as well as by Iberian and Mediterranean cultures. Terra Natura is a more sedate themed experience that brings the visitor close to animals from America, Asia and Europe.
Nearby Calpe is an inviting release from the hustle and bustle of Benidorm, with its imposing rocky outcrop known as Pennon de lfach, from where incredible views of the Costa Blanca coastline can be captured. Other outlying villages that are appealing and aesthetic jaunts from Benidorm include Albir and Finestrast.
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.
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.
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.
The Placa del Castell is an idyllic viewpoint that separates the two main Benidorm beaches of Levante and Poniente. The atmosphere and look of the old fishing village are maintained, 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.
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 celebrated Benidorm Palace. Here, guests are exposed to flamboyant costumes that colour a cabaret show full of glitzy dancers, complemented with fine food served by way of a three-course dinner.
With Ibiza in close proximity, the expectation for similar style nightclubs is duly provided, but at more reasonable prices. 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 count 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, Rockefellas 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.
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 eateries varies between café and tapas bar, and Italian, Algerian and even Chinese. 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.
Being 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.
Any Mediterranean resort could not be classified as such without the inclusion of an Italian restaurant, and Benidorm does not disappoint when it comes to the Italian stakes. La Traviata and Aventi are just two of the town’s selection, offering typically nourishing yet innovative dishes. If it is a Sunday roast that tickles the palate, then head for the Queen Vic at the eastern end of St James’ parish.
As one of Europe’s most popular tourist draws, Benidorm boasts three beaches, two of which are of Blue Flag standard. Levante and Poniente beaches, or playas, are perfect for relaxing or diving into a world of water sports. The third and smallest of the beaches is Malpas, which is located beneath the old castle ruins. Clear waters, attentive lifeguards and clean sands ensure Benidorm’s beaches are unsurpassed.
Benidorm’s reputation for exhilarating nightlife or as a family holiday destination may, for some, exclude it as choice for romantic getaways. But there is a wealth of wonderfully intimate restaurants and spa hotels that promote couple’s packages. Sunset walks along sheltered beaches and boat trips to secluded islands are what every romantic holiday should entail, and what Benidorm can offer. Choose to visit during a period when the multitudes begin to wane for deals that offer great value and increased privacy.
As it has grown in stature as a top resort, Benidorm has developed a great many attractions that encourage parents to peel themselves from their sun beds on the beach or by the pool. Families can ride the rapids at Aqualandia, Benidorm’s enthralling waterpark. Mundomar’s aquarium not only educates visitors but allows them to get up close and personal with amazing dolphins and sea lions. Theme parks at Terra Mitica and Terra Natura are guaranteed to provide great family memories.
If the maze of nightclubs and bars is not adventure enough, it is possible to swap nocturnal exertions for activities in the surrounds of Benidorm. Jeep safaris give a different outlook on the Costa Blanca terrain, as do canoeing, horseback riding and archery. Book a log cabin for that complete outdoor experience or take on the countryside with an ATV. For groups, there’s always the old favourite of paintballing or slicing through the Mediterranean waters on a catamaran to see the Benidorm skyline from the sea.