Benidorm has been attracting British holidaymakers to the southeast coast of Spain for decades. The Alicante-based resort town has a mild climate all year round, golden stretches of sand and takes just 2.5 - 3 hours flight time to get there. Add to that a rich variety of exciting things to do and a range of affordable hotels, and it’s no wonder that this sunny strip of Spain is the go-to holiday destination for hundreds of thousands of Brits.
Besides the gorgeous stretches of beach (more on that below), Benidorm is also a great destination for adventure sports. Whether you’re a hobby hiker or a seasoned golfer, there’s no shortage of ways to keep you active. And those with a higher threshold for adrenaline will be thrilled to discover six water, animal and theme parks, including Terra Mítica, which is one of Spain’s biggest.
Beaches and coves
Located on the Costa Blanca, Benidorm is blessed with over 5000 metres of sandy coastline for you to dig your toes into. It’s particularly well suited to families with a wide age range: youngsters can splash in the sea safely while the lifeguards keep watch, and nanna can join in on the fun with all the accessible facilities available at Levante and Poniente beaches.
And for those who fancy the challenge of finding Benidorm’s local hidden gems, there are several secluded coves just waiting to be discovered. The most famous are Ximo and La Almadrava, both of which are great spots for scuba diving and snorkelling.
Fancy a spot of culture on the side of your beach break? Well if you’re headed to this vibrant seaside town, you’re in luck! There’s Benidorm Island, a nature reserve with a local legend involving a mythical giant and his lost love; the old town of Casco Antiguo, which reveals the the city’s previous life as a whitewashed fishing village; and then there’s the Tossal de la Cala, which has an archaeological site deemed to be one of the earliest traces of human habitation in the area.
Those who want to discover what lies beyond the city will be amply rewarded with quaint Spanish villages and dramatic landscapes. A half hour drive north of Benidorm will take you to the Callosa d’En Sarrià, an old Muslim farmstead that’s known for the impressive Algar waterfalls. Another day trip that’s just 25 minutes away by car is Sella, a tiny mountaintop village (it has just five restaurants!) with hundreds of climbing routes dotted along its crags.
And finally, there’s El Castell de Guadalest which is home to an 11th Century castle and a fascinating history. And while we’re not sure how much competition there was for the accolade, the town is also where you’ll find Europe’s only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, boasting an impressive collection of over 20,000 shakers.
Food and drink
Benidorm’s cuisine draws from a rich history that blends Arabic influences with locally caught seafood. Those with a taste for the sea will love the town’s signature dishes: red mullet with pumpkin rice, traditional fish casserole, and rice with anchovies and spinach. Don’t forget to grab a few Torta de San Blas for dessert - a lemon-flavoured cake made out of almonds and corn flour.
No self-respecting food and drink guide to Benidorm would be without Tapas Alley. Located on the Calle Santo Domingo, this one-kilometre stretch is lined with restaurants serving, as you’d expect, all things tapas - and pinchos, which are essentially open-faced baguette sandwiches. This is a place to drink, eat and repeat the whole night long.