When you hear the word ‘Benidorm’, you probably think of three things – the TV show, clubbing/nightlife, and lying on the beach. Of course, all of those three things are synonymous with this destination, and they should all be enjoyed during your time there, or in the case of the TV show, at any time :-), but there is much more to this Costa Blanca destination than you might realise.
Yes, the cheap beer, the home away from home vibe, and the endless sunshine are a major pull, but Benidorm and the surrounding area are full of interesting, beautiful, and natural landmarks to enjoy, many of which showing traditional Spanish life, which you might not see too much of in the resort itself.
Benidorm is home to over 1000 places to eat and drink, countless hotels and apartments, and plentiful fun to be had, and this rather compact destination is easy to get around, thanks to simple and plentiful public transport. The pretty tree-lined avenues give a cosmopolitan feel to the resort, and with over 4km of sandy beach to enjoy, you can imagine that most of the resort’s daily life goes on close to the water’s edge. If you’re bored of sunbathing however, it’s time to look a little outside the Benidorm bubble.
Those travelling with children are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities to entertain them. Aqualandia is a must visit for a splashing day out, ideal for cooling down in the summer heat. On top of this, Mundomar, an animal and sealife centre, is a great day out, as well as Terra Natura, and Terra Mitica. The latter is a huge theme park which is organised into cultural lands, with rides and fun to be had. It’s a good idea to try and book your tickets ahead of your arrival if possible, to save time on the gate, and to take advantage of pre-booking discounts.
If nature is what you’re after then it’s time to hop on the local bus service and head out into the nearby villages, for a taste of truly authentic Spanish life. Altea is just 12km away from the resort, and has a beautiful old town to explore, as well as a weekly market where you can grab some bargains to take back home with you, including homemade crafts. Guadalest is also within easy reach, and this village is home to houses which date back over 400 years, as well as some stunning mountain views to take in. The Algar Waterfalls are also a popular spot to head during the heat of the summer, with shaded areas to chill out, and a beautiful, calm feel to the whole area.
Of course, if you want to enjoy a more watery side to the area, then jump on a boat trip to the Isla de Benidorm Wildlife Sanctuary, or visit the small inhabited island of Tabarca.
Back in the resort itself, and you can’t visit Benidorm and not enjoy a night at the Benidorm Palace. Whilst we’re trying to show you a different side to the destination, this is an iconic place to head, with Vegas style cabaret entertainment and dinner shows to enjoy – this is a must do!
For a spot of history however, head to Castle Viewpoint, aka Balcon del Mediterraneo. This is a 14th century fortress which is relatively well preserved, and offers amazing views out to sea. The fortress was originally built to warn of possible pirate attacks back in the day, and is close to the Church of Saint James, another landmark to visit. Built in beautiful neoclassical architectural style, this has a standout blue domed roof, and plentiful history to explore inside.
This is just a snapshot of Benidorm’s ‘other side’.
Image: Unsplash CC0