Once a tiny fishing village that made a living fishing for tuna, Benidorm took off as a holiday destination in the 1960s when Spain looked to cash in on the arrival of package holidaymakers from northern Europe. Overnight high-rise hotels started to spring up along the beach and turn what was once a quiet village into a city with 69,000 residents.
When you look at Benidorm from the surrounding mountains it’s easy to see why Benidorm has become such a popular holiday destination as not only is it in a magnificent setting the horseshoe shaped bay has miles of white sandy beaches.
For tourists travelling to Benidorm for the first time knowing which beach to stay on can be a hard decision so we will do our best to explain the pluses of staying on either Poniente or Levante.
Playa Levante is considered to be the beach that the tourists like best and is the place where you will find a bustling promenade with numerous restaurants, cafés and the best-known nightlife area.
Playa Poniente is considered as being the Spanish side of Benidorm with fewer hotels and would suit people who like the beach, but don’t want to be immersed in the tourist side of things.
Set on a hill between the two beaches is Benidorm’s old town, a maze of narrow winding cobbled streets where you will find an array of traditional tapas bars and restaurants catering to all tastes. Here you can get a feeling for what Benidorm must have been like before mass tourism.
Visit the Mirador de Benidorm for the best views of the city and take a selfie for your Instagram page.
The larger of Benidorm’s two main beaches, Playa Poniente offers 3,000 metres of fine white sand and is generally less crowded the Playa Levante.
As we already mentioned this is the beach where Spaniards like to holiday and where you will find every amenity required for the beach to retain its “Blue Flag” status.
Playa Poniente is also home to Benidorm’s marina and the place to go for boat trips and diving.
Regarded as being one of the best beaches on the Costa Blanca, Playa Levante offers a 2,000 metre long, wide sandy beach that has a gentle slope into the sea that is perfect for families with young children.
Cala Mal Pas
Located below Benidorm’s old town is Cala Mal Pas a 120-metre long quieter stretch of sand that still has all the amenities you would expect to find on a top-rated Spanish beach. Also being sheltered by giant rocks on both sides, it is protected from waves, making it an ideal place to go snorkelling.
Every year Benidorm attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists who come not only for the beaches and nightlife, but for the theme parks and attractions as well.
If you are on holiday with children, you must spend a day at a water park. Covering 150,000 square metres of lush landscaped gardens Aqulandia has something for the entire family from supervised children’s pools to adrenaline pumping slides that teenagers will love.
Address: Parque Natural Sierra Helada, 03503 – Benidorm, Alicante (Spain)
Phone: +34 965 860 100
Terra Mitica theme park transports its visitors back in time to ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome with a variety of shows and attractions that include a wide range of rides and roller coasters. For people not seeking an adrenaline rush, Terra Mitica has gentle boat rides and areas exclusively for small children.
Address: Partida del Moralet, s/n, 03502 Benidorm, Alicante
Phone: +34 902 02 02 20
If you have ever been to Orlando you will know all about SeaWorld, but probably didn’t know that Benidorm has its own marine park where you can see shows performed by dolphins and sea lions. Very modern and with large enclosures, Mundomar’s staff have a unique rapport with the dolphins that kids will just love.
Address: C/ Sierra Helada, s/n, 03503 Benidorm, Alicante
Phone: 965 86 91 01
La Marina Shopping Centre
Located between Benidorm and Villajoyosa, La Marina Shopping Centre in Finestrat, just off the N-332 is a multi-floor shopping mall with free parking. The mall has two floors dedicated to clothing, accessories, electronics and sports and one floor with eateries, a bowling alley and multiplex cinema. There is also an area for children that includes, mini golf, a bouncy castle and other attractions to keep the kids busy while you shop. The La Marina Shopping Centre is open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 10pm.
Address: Avda. del País Valenciá, 2 03509 Finestrat.
Phone: 966 80 07 06
Avenida Martinez Alejos
Located in Benidorm’s old town the pedestrianized Avenida Martinez Alejos is home to shops selling every conceivable item you could think of. For more upscale shopping and designer good visit the Levante and Rincon de Loix districts behind Playa Levante.
*Tip: If you need to buy swimwear or things for the beach such as sunscreen, towels and hats visit one of the many Chinese bazaars.
If you are looking for a unique souvenir or just enjoy wandering around flea markets on a Sunday the outdoor flea market at El Cisne has hundreds of vendors selling everything including the kitchen sink.
El Cisne Rastro is located 15 minutes outside Benidorm on the N-332 near to the towns of Albir and Alfaz del Pi.