It's hard to believe that Benidorm was a little fishing village half a century ago. Today it is one of the biggest tourist centres on the Costa Blanca, home to hundreds of hotels and nightclubs, and plenty of English pubs! With spectacular beaches and a mild climate, it's easy to see why Benidorm draws thousands of sunseekers every year. There's more to the resort than sunbathing, though, with scuba diving, water ski-ing, windsurfing and sailing on offer. You will also find golf courses and theme parks to entertain children and adults alike. After dark, Benidorm's clubland comes alive with all-night parties and dance festivals galore. A little further up the coast, beyond the skyscrapers, lies the pretty town of Calpe and the dramatic viewpoint of the Peñon de Ifach. Inland, a ruggedly beautiful landscape of limestone crags provides fresh, herb-scented air and superb views. With all this only two hours flying time from London, Benidorm is a hard proposition to turn down, especially in midwinter!


Benidorm's two main beaches, Levante and Poniente, are the reason for Benidorm's success. Levante has been ranked among the top ten beaches in the world, with acres of golden sand lapped by blue Mediterranean waters. Poniente beach is a little quieter but still offers great facilities and a range of watersports. The Balcón del Mediterráneo separates the two, and offers fabulous panoramic views. Several companies in Benidorm offer watersports, while Villajoyosa (8km down the coast) has a PADI dive centre where you can learn to scuba dive. If it's too hot on the beach, head out to sea on a boat excursion. You can visit the Illa de Benidorm, a tiny offshore island and a protected area where sea birds nest in abundance – be sure to bring your binoculars.

Away from the beach, explore the theme parks of Terra Mítica, Mundomar and Aqualandia. These are fantastic places to take your little ones, and many hotels offer all-day packages which include transfers and entrance fee. For a full day of fun for a family of four expect to fork out around €100.

To catch a glimpse of how Benidorm looked before the days of mass tourism, head for the historic quarter and the harbour. Marvel at the tightly-packed houses and slog up the alleyways and staircases that lead steeply up from Mal Pas Cove. Right at the top, you'll find the Church of San Jaime, which dates to the 18th century and has a beautiful blue-tiled dome.

30 minutes' drive north of Benidorm lies the Peñon de Ifach Nature Reserve and the nearby town of Calpe. Away from the crowds, you can enjoy an alfresco meal on the waterfront and admire the gorgeous sailing yachts moored in the harbour. For the more energetic, the limestone outcrop that lends its name to the reserve can be climbed in about an hour. It's the largest free standing rock in the Med, and breathtakingly sheer cliffs drop 332m on the seaward side


Benidorm's town centre is packed with shops, selling everything from high street fashion to local cheese. A small plaza hidden away down Passeig de la Carreterra sells all manner of leather goods – head here for handbags and shoes. For local colour and bargains, visit the Sunday Market. Fresh produce is abundant - piles of cherries, pomegranates, dates and melons.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Benidorm is one big party. With more than a thousand restaurants, thirty clubs and masses of bars, it's got everything you need for fun in the sun. Benidorm's restaurants specialise in fish and seafood, freshly caught in the Med. Prawns, lobster, squid and red mullet are regularly on the menus, and of course this is the home of Paella. For dessert, the region offers the world-famous turrones, sweet nougat that contrasts deliciously with strong, black coffee.

With major DJs headlining at the clubs, Benidorm has grown up since the 1980s, and now bills itself as one of the biggest nightlife capitals in the Med. Head for the Hippodrome or the Bahamas down in the Square, and for serious clubbing try Pacha, Ku, Space, Penelope or KM Disco. Here you'll find proof that the Balearic party islands don't have a monopoly on the hedonism!

Tourist Information

Oficina Municipal de TurismoAv. Martínez Alejos, 1603500 BenidormTel. +34 96 680 59 14email:


The nearest airport to Benidorm is El Altlet Airport, Alicante. Throughout the year, flights from here connect most major European cities to the Costa Blanca. From the UK over a dozen budget airlines operate services to Alicante, many from regional airports, while charter flights also provide a cheap way to reach Benidorm.

The airport is situated 10km from the city of Alicante, and around 60km from Benidorm. There are direct buses from the airport to Benidorm, with four departures a day and a ticket price of €7.

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