Benidorm is one of Spain’s main resort cities. Formerly a tiny fishing village, this vacation hot spot along the Costa Blanca has come a long way since an 1890s guidebook described it as a “very tranquil place where drunkenness was unknown.” Major changes to Benidorm’s reputation really started to come into effect in the 1970s and 80s, when package deals became all the rage and rowdy crowds began pouring in. Drinking and partying took center stage, and the result was plenty of bad press. These days, however, Benidorm is taking on a new image. This image is that of a more family-friendly resort. Benidorm is also known for its culturally diverse atmosphere and its popularity as a winter haven for elderly people from all over Europe. Of course, the beaches and the Mediterranean climate have always lent heavily to Benidorm’s popularity in general, and this “birthplace of package tourism” is still featured on many European vacation package itineraries.
Benidorm Spain has long been a popular European beach vacation destination. Found south of Valencia in the province of Alicante, the resort city is especially popular among UK residents, who come south to the Iberian Peninsula seeking warm sunshine and ample time on the sand. Package holidays for people from the UK and beyond are widely available, and thanks in part to British Airways, flights to nearby Alicante are also in good supply. Once in Benidorm, UK travelers will find that the resort has a pleasant familiarity, thanks to the numerous businesses that are owned by Britons. Calle Gerona is a great example of one of the Benidorm streets that attracts British tourists. It’s actually known locally as “British Street.” Plenty of Benidorm restaurants serve British food, it should be noted, but worry not if you want to try something a little more Spanish traditional. You can have that too, and then some.
Benidorm is a heavily commercialized resort destination that relies on a tourist-oriented economy. Numerous hotels and apartment buildings have sprung up over the years to cater to the tourist masses, as have plenty of skyscrapers. This rather unique Spanish resort city actually has the most high-rise buildings per capita in the entire world. Finding a place to stay is relatively easy, thanks in part to all the accommodation choices and the pre-arranged package deals, but don’t wait until the last minute during the peak mid-June to September season. Larger luxury hotels and smaller, more affordable hotels can be found in Benidorm, and half-board or full-board packages can usually be arranged. For something different, you might try renting an apartment or a villa. Benidorm also features residencias, or boarding houses, which serve breakfast. Long term rentals are available for those who plan on hanging around for a while.
Benidorm nightlife developed a not so pleasant reputation over the years. The city was linked to loud and rowdy crowds and the kind of late night revelry that steers most families away. While the coastal city still maintains a healthy nightlife scene, things have calmed down on the whole and binge drinking is less of a norm. Tapas bars are especially popular places to congregate when a night out in Benidorm is the aim, and there are lots of cabaret acts and booming karaoke bars. Try a British-style pub if a pint is what you’re after, or tempt Lady Luck at the Casino Mediterraneo. Suffice it to say that whatever you fancy in terms of nightlife, Benidorm most likely has you covered.
Benidorm’s wonderful beaches have always figured among the city’s main attractions. We cover those below in the following paragraph. As for other attractions that help to make this such a popular place to escape, they include quiet side streets where you can wander away from the town’s more commercialized zones and lovely Aiguera Park with its oft-busy amphitheater that plays host to all kinds of free performances. For families, Benidorm boasts a few family-oriented theme parks. These parks include the Terra Mitica amusement park, the Mundomar marine animal park, and the Aqualandia water park. Other ideas for things to do on Benidorm escapes include hiking in the area hills and mountains, venturing off to nearby vineyards, and taking a boat ride out to Peacock Island at sunset. From Peacock Island, the views of Benidorm’s glittering skyline are delightful.
Benidorm boasts an extensive coastline with fine, gold-sand beaches. These beaches are divided into three specific stretches of sand – Playa de Levante, Playa de Poniente, and Playa de Mal Pas. All have blue flag ratings, which is the maximum quality standard that is recognized in the European Union, and there are plenty of beach-related amenities to take advantage of. Beach loungers and shade umbrellas are widely available, for example, and there are numerous waterfront bars and restaurants to walk to when hunger or thirst set in. Lifeguards are usually on duty along the Benidorm beaches, and there are many water sport activity options for those who want to do more than bathe in the warm Spanish sun. Worth noting is that Playa de Levante and Playa de Poniente are the larger and more crowded Benidorm beaches. Smaller Playa de Mal Pas, which is close to the harbor and set beneath the port and the castle cliffs, is usually quieter and not very crowded.
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