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Der Strand Poniente in Benidorm, Bild: andre van de sande / shutterstock

Benidorm: Holidays with all the exciting details on the Costa Blanca

The coastal city of Benidorm, with a population of just under 70,000, is one of the most popular destinations on Spain’s Costa Blanca. It is located 45 kilometers northeast of the port city of Alicante, and was still a small idyllic fishing village in the 1950s. With the advent of mass tourism, the city grew rapidly. Today, the cityscape is characterized by high-rise hotel buildings. The leisure activities around the beach and the hotel skyline are huge. Benidorm has a vibrant nightlife with restaurants, bars, cinemas, clubs and casinos. In addition, there are several amusement parks, picturesque beaches, spectacular excursion destinations in nature and countless cultural highlights in the region.

In addition to all the modern skyscrapers, there is also a lot of culture: the old town of Benidorm

Old Town of Benidorm
View of the old town and the beach Platgeta del Mal Pas, Image: Arcady / shutterstock

If you check in directly from the airport to the hotel in Benidorm, you may think that the place is a pure tourist test-tube city. But far from it – the old town of Benidorm, which can be found directly above the two main beaches, has a lot of historical buildings to offer. Dating back to the 18th century, the Església de Sant Jaume i Santa Anna was the centre of the fishing village of Benidorm in the past. From there, a network of romantically winding alleys winds its way to the modern foothills of the village. Walking through the maze of alleys, you can explore small houses in traditional architecture and real Benidorm everyday life. Bars, restaurants and traditional cafés can be found on every corner. In the Museo Boca del Calvari you can learn everything about the history of the city. The best way to end the tour of historic Benidorm is at the Balcón del Mediterráneo. From this vantage point, which was designed in the Moorish style typical of the region, visitors have a breathtaking view far out to sea.

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The most beautiful beaches of Benidorm

You don’t have to look far for beaches in Benidorm, because the coastal area of the beach is no less than five kilometres long. There, one beach follows the next. The beaches are all fine sandy beaches with an excellent infrastructure. Holidaymakers can therefore concentrate fully on the deep blue water in front of them and their holiday relaxation. The largest and most popular beach in the city is Levante Beach. Over a length of two kilometres, you can sunbathe directly on the beach promenade, where you can easily stop off at one of the many bars after sunbathing. This is also where the clubs where the nightlife takes place are located. If you like it quieter, head for Cala de Finestrat. This beach is located a little outside the center, in a beautiful bay. If you want to stretch your legs, climb the Tossal de la cala viewing platform and enjoy romantic views, especially in the evening hours. If you want to get to know the aquatic world better, you can take a diving or sailing course in Benidorm.

Unlimited fun in the amusement parks

Plaza Santa Ana, Benidorm
The Plaza Santa Ana, Image: lunamarina / shutterstock

If you like amusement parks, Benidorm is the place to be. Each of the parks follows a specific theme. Among other things, the Terra Natura zoo is particularly popular. Here you will encounter a variety of snakes, big cats, exotic birds and large animals, such as elephants. In the sister park Aqua Natura, the focus is of course on water. There are separate water slide landscapes for children and adults. You come into close contact with sea lions when swimming with sea lions. Mundomar Park is known for its dolphin shows. In the Terra Mitica amusement park there are countless exciting rides and theme shows.

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Get out into nature: the Sierra Helada Natural Park

Just a few metres outside the city centre, nature lovers hit the Sierra Helada Nature Park on their hike. The nature reserve is located in the middle of the sea, high up on a steep cliff landscape that measures 300 meters high. A well-marked circular hiking trail, which starts at the cross of Benidorm, leads through the entire nature reserve – spectacular views included. If you are looking for greater challenges, you will find other hiking trails here, some of which are quite challenging due to their steep route profile. These paths lead through the middle of white rock formations, past rare plants, and for example to the Faro de l ́Albir lighthouse, which is hidden a little behind a rock.

Excursion to the quaint mountain village of Guadalest

15 kilometres north of Benidorm, inland, the mountain village of Guadalest, surrounded by pine, lemon and carob trees, beckons. The place has only about 220 inhabitants, and has a wildly romantic effect on visitors. Among other things, the medieval San Jose Castle, which towers over the town high on a rock, contributes to this. From the viewing platforms of the castle, you can admire the turquoise-blue Presa de Guadalest reservoir just a few metres away. If you want, you can board an excursion boat there and marvel at the surrounding picturesque landscape from the deck. Back you reach the so-called Old Village, from today’s town centre, through a tunnel carved into the rock.

Also worth seeing is the Orduñas’ townhouse, which is located right next to the tunnel opening on the old town side. Among other things, it houses the city museum, which houses historical paintings, everyday objects of the region and documents on local history. The large number of museums in the small mountain village is surprising. If you want, you can also visit the Ethnological Museum and the Nativity Museum. In the miniature museum, an image of the Eiffel Tower, which was built into the eye of a needle, is inspiring. In the small shops of the village, handicraft products made in the village are offered. In the authentic restaurants, you can fortify yourself with home cooking.