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Some fifty years ago saw the start of tourist development along the Costa Blanca. Benidorm, is Spain’s largest resort. From a distance, its high-rise skyline shimmers like a mirage, announcing an oasis where everything is geared to entertainment.
Some 4 million visitors each year are testament to the resorts amazing organization and facilities here. With more restaurants, clubs, shops, pubs and bars than you could fit in a lifetime. Benidorm really offers something for everyone.
This thriving resort would never have developed the way it did if it wasn't for it's beautiful setting, with two wonderful sandy bays separated by a rocky promontory that offers great views in each direction to Poniente and Levante beaches.
Old Benidorm meanwhile lives on in the narrow streets near the castle, where English-owned pubs and bars have long been part of the scenery. But for a taste of Benidorm at its best head for the nightclubs, discos, pubs and cafes spreading out to the east or the Levante beach.
Once in Benidorm, you should visit the mysterious rock looming offshore, popularly known as Peacock Island because of the birds there. The 10-minute boat ride from the port gives you splendid views of Benidorm’s skyline. The waters around the island are a marine reserve, and you can journey beneath the waves in the Aquascope for a mesmerizing look at the schools of fish and colourful underwater life. Afterwards, visit the bar or the peacock aviary or hike the island trails. Boats return to Benidorm roughly every hour.
For the best views of the coastline, in the summer months you can take a boat ride from Benidorm to Calpe.
Benidorm is the right place if you enjoy water sports. During high season there is a Cable Ski operating at the Rincón de Loix. And there are many opportunities to hire boats, jet-ski's, or have a diving course. Benidorm offers plenty of choice for mini golf fans as well. The Old Lead Soldiers Museum – complete with 2,000 figures - is also worth a look.
Benidorm offers two main choices of beaches. The easterly Playa de Levante (Sunrise Beach) which can get very crowded in high season and is backed by a broad promenade, bars, cafes and other eateries, and the longer Playa de Poniente (Sunset Beach). The latter is a little quieter, has no rocks and has the added bonus of great sunsets. There is also Mal Pas, a smaller beach beneath the port and the castle cliffs.
Another quiet sandy beach is La Cala.
If you like plenty of live entertainment, make for the Levante side of the resort. Here countless disco pubs and cabaret bars are clustered.
The Square, behind hotel Marina, is where you’ll find buzzing disco pubs aimed at a younger, more international jet set. To see Benidorm at its biggest and brashest, head for Benidorm Palace where a glittering 3 hour, Las Vegas-style show awaits you. Spanish dancers and flamenco, jugglers and magicians are just some of what’s in store, along with a live dance band/orchestra to fill in the gaps between acts. Show admission includes the first drink and you may also have dinner there if you wish.
The Costa Blanca Casino is one of the largest casinos in Spain, and you’ll find it along the road between Benidorm and Villajoyosa. There’s also a restaurant and bar. Dress is smart casual. There’s an admission charge, and you’ll need your passport. Open 8pm-3am.
The Medieval Tournament on the outskirts of Benidorm offers feasting and merrymaking medieval-style for all ages. Armoured knights on horseback joust and duel before the king and queen. Sing along with court jesters, or descend into the Pit of Terror. There’s a disco following the entertainment.