15 Benidorm sights worth visiting
The city of Benidorm on the famous Costa Blanca in Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations from all over Europe. And this is due to many reasons. The weather is warm and sunny all year round; a long coastal strip of sandy beach; and plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants. However, in addition to the sun, sea, and parties until dawn, Benidorm is known for the sights, of which there are many.
Here is a list of things to see in and around Benidorm.
Levante Beach. | Photo: wikimedia.
This beach is most associated with Benidorm: an arc-shaped coastal strip of light golden sand, bounded by a long row of skyscrapers and dotted with many blue beach umbrellas. In summer the beach is usually crowded, but even in the high season here you can find a quiet place away from the crowds of vacationers who try to position themselves closer to the water.
If the fresh sea air makes you hungry, there are numerous restaurants and pubs serving Northern European cuisine – they are mostly on the lower floors of the high buildings.
Address: Playa de Levante, Av. Madrid, s/n, 03503 Benidorm, Alicante, Spain.
Poniente Beach. | Photo: wikimedia.
Although Poniente is located next door to Levante Beach and superficially resembles it with a series of the same high-rise buildings, the atmosphere here is very different. Most of the resort hotels are located further east. This beach is usually quieter and more family-oriented. Over the past few years, a lot of money has been allocated to improve Poniente.
The beach has wooden decks, making it wheelchair friendly. Boardwalks are laid out from the road about every 30 meters – this greatly reduces the tedious path to the water in the heat. Like the Levante beach, the surf in Ponente is moderate, but less experienced swimmers should not swim too far, as the undercurrent can be quite strong.
Address: Platja de Ponent, 03501 Benidorm, Alicante, Spain.
Today it is hard to imagine that not so long ago Benidorm was a small fishing village. A stroll through the whitewashed halls of the old town will give you an idea of what Benidorm looked like before the skyscrapers were built. The old town is nestled on a small picturesque promontory separating Benidorm’s two main beaches.
Walk up the narrow streets to reach the Balcon de la Mediterranía observation deck for stunning views. Then go to one of the tapas bars on Santo Domingo Street or try some of Benidorm’s best oysters at Ostreria Biarritz.
GPS coordinates: 38°32’13.9″N 0°07’44.7″W.
Marine and Exotic Bird Park Mundomar
Marine and Exotic Bird Park Mundomar.
Wildlife parks may not be to everyone’s taste. In contrast, however, Mundomar Marine Animal and Exotic Bird Park is a modern entertainment complex with large aviaries for fauna from all over the world.
The animal trainers and staff demonstrate a great understanding of dolphins and sea lions during the shows, which are very popular with children. In the zoo area, visitors can get up close to otters, penguins, primates and birds.
Address: Mundomar Benidorm, C/ Sierra Helada, s/n, 03503 Benidorm, Alicante, Spain.
Terra Mítica Amusement Park
The amusement park Terra Mítica.
Terra Mítica is one of the biggest theme parks in Spain. Its creation was inspired by the rich history of ancient civilizations. The area is divided into several zones, including Egypt, Greece and Rome. In each of them you will find original scenery, roller coasters and other types of exciting entertainment.
One of the best rides in the park is called Magnus Colossus. It is a roller coaster where carts are propelled along a wooden track that is more than 1 km long. There are often street costume shows with historical themes, such as the Rising of Spartacus.
Address: Terra Mítica, Partida del Moralet, s/n, 03502 Benidorm, Alicante, Spain.
Aqualandia water park.
Next to Mundomar Park is one of the best and oldest water parks in Spain: Aqualandia. It was opened in 1985 and since then it has been constantly evolving – almost every season new attractions and activities are added. Some of the park’s attractions can be called record-breaking, such as the Big Bang – the highest waterslide in Europe.
It is one of the two slides of the new extreme attraction VertiGo, where the speed of going down to the pool is about 100 km/hour. Water for the slides, pools and jacuzzis comes directly from the Mediterranean Sea, but of course after preliminary desalination. Aqualandia’s giant wave pool can accommodate up to a thousand swimmers at a time. The wave pool is one of the best activities for young children in Benidorm.
Address: Aqualandia, Sierra Helada, Benidorm, Spain.
Balcón del Mediterráneo
Balcón del Mediterráneo. | Photo: Diego Delso / Flickr.
The Plaça del Castell is a kind of stone garden with staggered floor tiles and white balustrades. It is located on a promontory between the beaches of Poniente and Levante. It was once the site of the city’s castle, which stood for more than a hundred years before it was destroyed during the Napoleonic wars.
The views on both sides of the square are spectacular, but nothing compares to the panorama seen from the Balcon de la Mediterranée, an observation deck on the southern edge of the promontory. From here, the unforgettable scenes of the Mediterranean Sea and the skyscrapers of modern Benidorm can be gazed at endlessly!
Address: Balcón del Mediterráneo, Plaça de Castelar, Benidorm, Spain.
Tossal de la Cala
View of Tossal de la Cala.
This high rocky mountain on the southern border of Poniente beach is considered one of the best spots to enjoy a fabulous bird’s-eye view of the sea and the city. Especially impressive are the amazing panoramas at sunset, even despite the abundance of couples in love.
Climb the mountain on foot if you want to take perfect pictures of Mediterranean Manhattan (as Benidorm is often called) to post on social media. In addition, you will have the opportunity to walk nearby and see some of the earliest traces of human habitation in the area. For those who are not fans of hiking, you can take a cab.
Address: Tossal de la Cala, Carrer de la Ermita, 1, 03502 Benidorm, Alacant, Spain.
La Cruz de Benidorm
Cross of Benidorm (La Cruz de Benidorm)| Photo: wikimedia.
Perhaps the reputation of this resort town has not always been the most deserving. Apparently, that is why a religious mission was carried out in 1961 – the raising of a cross from the city to this rocky mountain to atone for the sins of the city. The cross, west of Benidorm, became a popular tourist attraction.
In 1975, the former cross, swept away by a storm, was replaced by a permanent monument. The 45-minute climb up the mountain is probably best done at the end of the season, when it is easier to climb and the scenery is clearly visible. But even with the difficulty of climbing to the top in the height of summer, you will be rewarded in the end with amazing panoramas of Benidorm.
Address: La creu (Benidorm), Calle Taywan, Benidorm, Spain.
Park Natural de Serra Helada
View of the Sierra Helada.
Despite the urban appearance of Benidorm, there is a huge natural park close to the city that occupies a long strip of coastline. In just a few minutes, the city’s skyscrapers will leave behind and be replaced by rocky mountains.
All you need is a pair of suitable shoes, a hat, and some cool water to hike cross-country – through a landscape of numerous limestone cliffs and Aleppo pines. At the north end of the park, there is a paved road that leads to the Albir Lighthouse. The more difficult ascent to the radio masts at the highest point of the park, 300 m above sea level.
Address: Parque Natural de Serra Gelada, L’Albir, Cami Vell del Far, 18, 03581 L’Alfàs del Pi, Alicante, Spain.
Puig Campana Peak
View of Puig Campana Peak. | Photo: wikimedia.
The seaside village of Finestrat is only a 15-minute drive from Benidorm. Here you can get detailed information about climbing one of the region’s highest and most impressive peaks, Puig Campana Peak. To climb the 1,406m mountain peak you will need a route map, comfortable clothes and shoes, food, water and a telephone.
Along the way, you’ll encounter landscapes of rocky screes reminiscent of the surface of the moon, as well as rare patches of pine and juniper trees. Your efforts will pay off when you reach one of the two peaks. From here you can enjoy a unique panorama of Benidorm – its skyscrapers look like a series of dominoes.
Address: Puig Campana 03500, Finestrat, 03530 La Nucia, Alicante, Spain.
L’Illa de Benidorm Island
View of Benidorm Island,| Photo: Mike Smith / Flickr.
There are many local legends connected with the island. One of them says that a giant in love tore off the top of the mountain behind Benidorm and threw it into the sea to form this little island in the middle of the bay. It is now a nature reserve, perfect for hiking, snorkeling and picnics.
The island of Benidorm is regularly visited by pleasure boats equipped with panoramic glass portholes. The island offers stunning views of the city’s skyscrapers. You can also do interesting hiking trails, watch real peacocks, visit a small café-bar or go snorkeling, exploring the tiny coves.
Address: L’Illa de Benidorm, Alicante, Spain.
City of Altea
View of the city of Altea. | Photo: Dani Oliver / Flickr.
Altea is the next resort town after Benidorm. It is located on the Mediterranean coast, in a bay behind the Sierra Helada range. The city, spread out on a steep hillside, is dotted with numerous alleys and staircases.
Compared to Benidorm, Altea is a quieter town. It is among those old Mediterranean towns that are pleasant to wander through. A popular landmark of Altea is the parish church of the Virgin Mary, notable for its two bright blue domes with patterns of white ceramic tiles.
Address: Altea, Alicante, Spain.
City of Guadalest
View from the city of Guadalest.
If you are limited in time, this amazing place should be the first on your list of planned visits. Guadalest is a small town founded by the Moors in the early Middle Ages. It sits on the edge of impregnable limestone cliffs, 500 meters above sea level.
The town has surprisingly adapted to the mountainous landscape and blends into it incredibly harmoniously. For example, to get to the old Moorish castle of San Jose, you have to go through a tunnel carved into the rock. The castle walls offer stunning panoramic views of the Aitana and Xortá mountains.
Address: 03517 El Castell de Guadalest, Alicante, Spain.
City of Alicante
View of the city of Alicante. | Photo: hl_1001 / Flickr.
This is the center of the eponymous province, located near Benidorm – you can even get there by streetcar, regularly running on the L1 line. There are a lot of historical sights in the city but the most striking is the medieval fortress of Santa Barbara.
The outer walls of this castle overlook Alicante from the steep slopes of Mount Benacantil. As you descend, you come to the Santa Cruz neighborhood, a preserved part of the old town with winding cobbled streets and traditional whitewashed houses.
Benidorm travel guide: How to get there, sights to see, rest and shopping
Benidorm is the largest resort of the Costa Blanca, which is part of the province of Alicante (Valencian autonomy). During the holiday season the population grows several times, many people buy homes here and stay for permanent residence, including many Russian-speaking.
Benidorm, also called the “Spanish Manhattan”, surprised by the diversity – a city where the historical heritage coexists with colossal skyscrapers. Here all the “most”: the largest skyscraper in Spain, water park, amusement park and the best concert hall in the country.
You can see the city from the height right now, watching this author’s video:
It’s worth mentioning the great climate, mountains, sea, endless luxurious beaches and stunning modern amusement parks. Benidorm’s beaches with their tall skyscrapers and mountains are a stereotype, but those who love secluded spots (like Tio Chimo Beach) also find a secluded spot.
How to get there
Photo: Detailed map of Benidorm
The easiest way to get to Benidorm is from Alicante, where there is an international airport that receives direct flights from Moscow.
From Alicante to Benidorm there is an ALSA bus, a journey of 45 minutes and a one-way ticket starting at 9 €. The train L1 also goes to Benidorm from the Alicante-Luceros station. The trip takes 70 minutes and costs 5€ per one way.
There is an ALSA bus from Valencia to Alicante – journey takes 2 hours 30 minutes and costs 20€ one way.
When to go
The city can be visited all year round as it rarely rains and the temperature fluctuations are minimal. The mild climate of Benidorm is due to the mountains and the sea – in summer the temperature averages +26 ° C and in winter +16 ° C. But if your goal is swimming, you should choose summer and time up to mid-autumn, when the water temperature is the highest. In addition, in the middle of summer you can get great discounts (up to 70%) and buy brand clothing and shoes at ridiculous prices.
The name of the city of Benidorm is interpreted differently: from the Spanish words “bein” – sleep and “dormir” – good or Arabic “beni” – place and “de oro” – gold.
The first settlers of the area were Iberian tribes, whose traces can be seen on Mount Tossal de Cala. The town itself was founded in the 8th century by the Arabs and bore the beautiful name of Benidarhim, after the ruling dynasty of Darhim.
The Spanish conquered the town in 1245 and it became a Christian city. The small number of antique attractions due to the fact that from 15 to 16 centuries, Benidorm was subjected to strong attacks and, being poorly defended, destroyed and rebuilt again.
Resort development of the city began in the 19th century, and in the mid-20th century Benidorm grew from a fishing village into a full-fledged resort. Nowadays, it can be compared to Las Vegas in terms of entertainment.
Aurrera el Bodegon is an atmospheric place with stonewalled walls and a terrific selection of budget tapas.
Sweet tooths are straight to Chocolateria Valor with exceptionally delicious churros and hot chocolate, croissants, waffles, cakes and other sweet delights.
Chebureks, khachapuri, Napoleon cake and other treats are served at the Russian restaurant Bulgari.
Photo: View of the hotel Grand Bali
The city can be divided into several parts: historical, new, theme parks and aqualandia. Interesting places are scattered around the city, so it is worth allocating a few days to explore them, complementing the excursions of beach negotiation, active entertainment and shopping.
Let’s start with the westernmost corner of the city, the Tossal de Cala Mountain. Here tourists will find two vantage points with excellent panoramas, the remains of an ancient Iberian settlement and the lovely chapel of Virgen del Mar. It is very easy to climb the mountain – the ascent has stairs and is signposted.
Gran Hotel Bali (2002) is located near the mountain. The grandiose skyscraper with a height of 186 m was considered the tallest in Spain until the construction of a business district in Madrid. On the 45th floor at a height of 157 meters around the perimeter there is an observation deck.
Torre Morales is the ruins of a 16th century observation tower, standing in the middle of modern buildings. After seeing this monument, you can go to the famous Poniente beach and walk along it to the next group of attractions to the east.
The Balcon del Mediterraneo is a beautiful and romantic viewpoint that offers spectacular views of modern neighborhoods and the bay. The elegant white staircase that takes you up to the balcony begins at the ornate Plaza de Castelar with its ancient cannons from the old fort.
Photo: Viewpoint Mediterranean Balcony
The 18th-century Iglesia de San Jaime y Santa Anna (Church of St. Jaime and St. Anna) is located here on the Plaza de Castelar. The original blue domes magnificently complement the overall composition of the site. Right from the Church of St. Jaime, the steps lead to the beach in the cozy bay of Playa del Mal Paz.
Photo: Church of St. Jaime and St. Anne in Benidorm
The port of Benidorm is at the foot of the Old Town near the beach of Poniente. It is very small but quite pleasant – you can take a boat trip to the islands of Benidorm or Tabarca, the only inhabited island of the coast with unique monuments and delicious cuisine.
Not far from the port there is a small park of Elche with a fountain, playgrounds for children and places to relax in the shade of palm trees. From here you can walk to the colorful tiled promenade of Benidorm with interesting balconies.
The Parque de l’Aiguera is a lovely central park in neoclassical style with a promenade and amphitheater for performances. This is where our journey through the theme parks begins.
Terra Mitica, a grandiose 100-hectare amusement park with themed zoning: “Greece”, “Egypt”, “Rome”, “Las Islas” and “Iberia”. Both children and adults will enjoy the most modern attractions, including attractions for the smallest children, numerous amusements and theatrical productions.
Photo: Map of Terra Mitica
Terra Natura ZOO is a 32 hectare natural park combining a zoo and a botanical garden. The modern zoo uses a minimum of fences (except for the cages of predatory representatives), so communication with the animals is as close as possible. Guests of the zoo have the opportunity to contact some of the inhabitants, to feed, as well as to participate in “safari” or jumping from the “bungee jump”.
The Aqua Natura water park can be considered a logical extension of the zoo. It is great for family entertainment, but there are also extreme offers, such as swimming with sharks (small) or stingrays. It is very advantageous to buy a ticket for two parks at once – Terra-Natura and Aqua-Natura.
Photo: Aqua Natura Water Park in Benidorm
Benidorm Palace is one of the best concert halls in Spain, where amazingly colorful flamenco shows and other performances take place. During the shows, the audience sits at tables and can sample the chef’s specialties. Benidorm Palace’s ultra-modern exterior design deserves a special mention.
Aqualandia is one of the largest water parks in the country on 15 hectares. Tourists can enjoy 10 attractions, an area for kids, one of the most extreme areas in Europe, the Big Bang and much more.
Photo: Map of Aqualandia Waterpark.
Park Mundomar – a very interesting complex in the spirit of pirates with a sea zoo, dolphinarium, research eco-center and a collection of exotic birds.
Photo: Park Mundomar in Benidorm
To the south are the luxurious beaches of Benidorm – crowded Levante, diving Almadrava with the clearest water and the tiny, cozy Tio Chimo beach.
Photo: Royal Castle of San Jose on a rock
Guadalest is a town 22 km from Benidorm with only a few hundred inhabitants in a unique mountain area. The town is famous for the royal castle of San Jose of the 11th century, built on a rock, as well as many unique museums (rare cars, marionettes, micro-miniature, medieval, etc.). Here you can buy handmade souvenirs, homemade cheeses and other products at very low prices.
The beautiful nature park Fuentes del Algar is located 26 km from Benidorm. There are waterfalls from the rocks, Mediterranean vegetation and unusual caves. This park is especially good in the hot summer – a real refuge from the heat.
Tips from tourists
Best places for panoramic photos: Balcony of the Mediterranean, the 45th floor of the Gran Bali Hotel and Mount Tossal de Cala.
Photo: La Marina Shopping Center
- Leather accessories from local brands;
- Handmade lace and wooden souvenirs from nearby villages;
- Branded clothing and shoes;
- Jamon, cheeses, wine, chorizo sausages, etc.
- Old Town, Avenida Martinez Alejos – there are many leather, fashion and sportswear stores;
- Rincon Luis – a street of jewelers with a large selection of jewelry made of precious metals and stones;
- Souvenirs can be bought on Medditiranio Avenue and Tringular Square;
- La Marina Shopping Center and – 120 boutiques with famous brands Zara, Casa, Mango, etc;
- Carrefour Hypermarket – expensive boutiques, popular low-cost brands, electronics, cheeses, jamon, etc.;
- Mercadillo de Foietes – a market with farm goods.
The discount season is twice a year, at the end of December and mid-summer.
Things to do in Benidorm
Ten things to do in Benidorm:
- Take romantic shots at the “Balcony of the Mediterranean.”
- Get brave and visit the observation deck of the Gran Bali Hotel at 157 meters off the ground;
- Go on a boat trip to the island of Benidorm;
- Swim and sunbathe at the popular beach of Poniente or the secluded Tio Chimo;
- Spend a whole day in the fascinating Terra Mitica Park;
- Feed and touch animals in the Terra Natura Zoo;
- Spend a “delicious” evening of flamenco at the Benidorm Concert Hall;
- Fill up with adrenaline at Aqualandia water park;
- Visit a paradise in the park Algar Waterfalls;
- Taste the best paella in town at Marisqueria Cordoba.
What to eat and where to eat it
Photo: Favorite food seafood
Benidorm is very cosmopolitan, which manifests itself in the food – Mediterranean, European, modern, Chinese, Indian and other cuisines are represented.
Casa Toni restaurant is the best place for seafood lovers with an excellent wine list. Also here they prepare the tastiest desserts and coffee. Tourists like the fact that the guests are met by the owner of the restaurant himself – Toni.
We advise to visit the Amigos Bistro by Nas & Dino restaurant on the waterfront with amazing food and service. Visitors especially praise the steak and chicken fillet with cheese sauce, as well as the potatoes and sauces. Among the waiters is the owner of the institution himself.
The restaurant Vagabond is a cozy facility with predominantly French cuisine. The guests are welcomed by hospitable host, the prices are rather democratic, and the chef’s specialty is original sauces.
Marisqueria Cordoba – is a restaurant with an unassuming interior but excellent Spanish cuisine. Here they cook the best paella in town, and you can also order mussels, oysters, shrimps, etc.
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