Benidorm on the Costa Blanca is known for being a popular tourist destination for British holidaymakers, full of Irish pubs and karaoke bars. But, there’s more to Benidorm than drunk tourists and bad singing!
From beautiful sandy beaches to a historic old town, Benidorm is a vibrant city with plenty of things to do for visitors of all ages. If you’re looking for fun activities in Benidorm you’ll have plenty to choose from.
Where is Benidorm?
Benidorm is located on Spain’s Costa Blanca within the province of Alicante in the Valencian Community. The city is situated on the coast, about 45km northeast of Alicante and 140km south of Valencia.
Is there an airport near Benidorm?
The nearest airport for Benidorm is Alicante Airport, which is approximately 60km away. The best way to get from Alicante Airport to Benidorm is the Alsa bus which runs from 06:00 to 23:00 and takes approximately 50 minutes. A taxi from Alicante to Benidorm takes around 40 mins and costs from €110.
You can also hire a car for Benidorm at Alicante Airport.
Is Benidorm worth visiting?
If you enjoy seaside destinations with a bit of life, then Benidorm is worth a visit! You can’t get bored with so many tourist attractions in Benidorm as there is so much to do, day or night. There’s lots of affordable accommodation in Benidorm, and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. It’s also the perfect location to visit nearby theme parks, waterparks, zoos, and other local cities and towns in the Alicante province.
The history of Benidorm
Benidorm has a rich and interesting history that you might not be aware of. There’s evidence of small settlements in Benidorm dating back to around 3000 BC, however it wasn’t until the Moors arrived that the population grew in the area. A war between the Moors and Christians resulted in the Christians reconquering the Valencian region, eventually seeing Benidorm officially recognised in 1325. Over the next few hundred years Benidorm was under constant attack from the Ottoman Empire who constantly attacked the coastal towns in the area looting and enslaving the local population as they went. As the very profitable and famous fishing industry in the area declined, Benidorm turned to the tourism and the Benidorm package holiday is now responsible for a large portion of Spain’s tourist trade income.
So now you know a bit more about the history of Benidorm, take a look at our list of things to do in and around Benidorm to make the most our of your stay. We’ll also include some great things to do near Bendidorm for those who want to explore a bit further afield…
Visit La Cruz de Benidorm (Benidorm Cross)
Let’s start with one of the best free things to do in Benidorm. La Cruz de Benidorm is a huge cross on the Sierra Helada hilltop, accessible by hiking or driving. The cross was erected during the 1950s by local residents to bring luck and protection to the town. From the top you have amazing panoramic views of the city and surrounding areas, including the mountains and the sea. This should definitely be top of your list of things to see in Benidorm.
For the super fit looking for some extra fun there’s an annual 10k race to the top called the ‘La Subida a la Cruz’ but beware, it’s typically held in August when temperatures in Benidorm can reach 40 degrees!
Sunbathe on Playa de Levante
The best place to go in Benidorm is naturally one of the amazing beaches! If you’re looking for a clean, family friendly beach you really don’t have to go far from the centre of Benidorm. Playa del Levante beach does get very busy in summer months so if you’re looking for a little more breathing space you may want to consider West Beach, or a little further, Platja de La Cala de Finestrat. Playa de Levante sees thousands of tourists every year however, it’s always maintained to a remarkably high standard with plenty of things to do for all the family, including lots of restaurants and bars nearby.
Admire the view from the Balcon del Mediterraneo
The most visited viewpoint in Benidorm, and one of the most famous viewpoints on the Costa Blanca, is the Balcon del Mediterraneo and it’s not hard to see why! From this viewpoint you can enjoy panoramic view of the beaches of Levante and Poniente and the nearby coast. One of the most popular places to visit in Benidorm for tourists.
Water fun at Aqualandia
Popular Benidorm activities include the many theme parks in the area. If you have kids then you’ll know that you can’t go on a summer holiday without a visit to the nearest waterpark – especially when one of the world’s best is on your doorstep. Aqualandia Benidorm has plenty of rides for all ages, including those looking for an adrenaline kick! Aqualandia has the highest capsule slide in the world at 33 metres high called Verti-Go. Entry prices are €39 per adult and €29 for children for a day pass. You can also get reduced prices from local hotels, agents, and leaflets handed out at the airports and shopping malls.
See the animals at Mundomar
Right next door to Aqualandia is the Mundomar Animal Park home to many animals such as exotic birds, aquatic mammals, and monkeys, as well as shows to take in that should keep you and your family entertained for a day. We visited last summer and highly recommend checking out the dolphin show which will be the highlight of your day. If you buy tickets for both Mundomar and Aqualandia at the same time you can get a discount.
Get adventurous with watersports
If you’re looking for some adventurous activities in Benidorm, it would be rude not to explore the rich coastal waters that this area has to offer. There are so many little secret coves, beaches, caves, nooks, and crannies to explore it would take you weeks to do it all. There are plenty of places to hire a kayak and go off on your own, or you can book onto a kayaking tour. If you do go kayaking along the Benidorm coastline don’t forget to take some snorkelling gear with you, you won’t be disappointed.
Zip line through the forest
For a some fun things to do in Benidorm with kids, TirolinasGo Alicante Forestal Park is a must visit. One of the newest and most popular theme parks in La Nucia-Benidorm, this unique park features fun treetop adventures. A visit takes 2 – 3 hours and you’ll get to experience a variety of zip lines and a Tarzan swing, cross a Tibetan bridge, climb walls and try out many other exciting activities. An ideal day out for everyone, including children from 6 years old and 1.10 meters or above in height.
Join a cycling tour
It’s fair to say the Spanish are very into their cycling! It’s no surprise then that there are many bike excursions around Benidorm and the surrounding areas for all abilities and ages. Both the mountain and coastal cycle routes will treat you to some stunning views that you won’t see from the city centre. Most good cycle tours will typically take up most of the day so eat a hearty breakfast, pack some lunch and plenty of water, and don’t forget the sunscreen.
Enjoy a show at the Benidorm Palace
If you like live entertainment one of the most fun things to do in Benidorm is to go see a show at the world-famous Benidorm Palace. A great choice for things to do in Benidorm at night, events include everything from Michael Jackson and ABBA tributes, to live orchestras, Vegas style shows, and discos there’s always something going on.
Visit Parque Natural de la Serra Gelada
Parque Natural de la Serra Gelada is home to almost 14,000 acres, and you can be fooled into thinking you’re in the middle of nowhere even though the skyscrapers of Benidorm are only a few kilometres away. The park is packed full of walks for all abilities including cliff top walks which are extremely popular during the spring and summer months. Make sure you take plenty of water and sunscreen with you as certain areas can be real suntraps. If you’re not a fan of walking, you can try some of the many kayaking excursions instead.
Explore Benidorm’s Old Town
So many people just stick to the centre of Benidorm, but if you don’t venture into Benidorm Old Town you’ll miss a lovely part of the city. The old town is made up of winding, narrow streets with small shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and is a much quieter and more relaxing place than the city centre. There are also some fantastic views over the beaches. For us this is one of the best places to visit in Benidorm.
Eat tapas in Calle Santo Domingo
You can’t visit Spain without sampling the local dishes, and there are plenty of fantastic tapas bars in Benidorm if you venture away from the centre of town. If you’re staying in the city, take a stroll down Calle Santo Domingo, also known as ‘Tapas Ally’. There’s loads of little tapas bars to choose from, one of our favourites is La Cava Aragonesa which is very well known for their delicious selection of pinchos and tapas. After filling yourself with tapas you can work it off with a walk up to Plaza Santa Ana!
Hopefully the above list has given you lots of inspiration for what to do in Benidorm on your visit. There are also some excellent excursions within a short drive, train or bus journey from Benidorm…
Take a trip to Altea
Just beyond the Serra Gelada, 10km kilometres up the coast from Benidorm, is the coastal town of Altea – one of our personal favourites on the Costa Blanca. Altea is well-known for its narrow-whitewashed streets and the sparkling blue doomed roof of the Parròquia de Nostra Senyora del Consol Catholic church at the top of the hill in the old town.
There are lots of fantastic little boutique shops in the old town, as well as more well-known brands all over Altea for those looking for some retail therapy. When it comes to lunchtime you’ll be spoilt for choice with many mouth-watering restaurants, tapas bars, ice-cream parlours, and artisan food shops. If you have a car Altea is less than 20 minutes from Benidorm, or you can take the tram which will also give you great views of the coast along the way.
See the colourful houses of Villajoyosa
Another of our favourite Costa Blanca locations and just a short hop from Benidorm, is the colourful town of Villjoyosa, also known as La Vila Joiosa. Well known for its multi-coloured painted houses (casas pintadas) and narrow streets, Villajoyosa is a great place to have a wander, and grab a drink and a bite to eat. The beaches here are covered in pristine sand with clear turquoise waters, and are much quieter than the busy beaches of Benidorm in the summer months. You can even book yourself on a tour from Benidorm to Villajoyosa with a trip to the Valor chocolate factory included.
An excursion to Guadalest
One of the best excursions in the area is to the extremely pretty Spanish village of Guadalest. It’s approximately 20 minutes outside of Benidorm and easily accessible either by car or by joining a tour, either way you get to enjoy the amazing mountain views on the way.
Guadalest dates back to medieval times, with the castle being built in the 11th century, and you can find out more in the museum in the middle of the village. From the top of the village you have the most fantastic views over the bright blue resevoir, the mountain range, and out towards the sea. As with all tourist towns, Guadalest does get very busy in the summer months but there’s ample parking and plenty of great places to eat and drink when you need to rest.
A swim in the Fuentes Del Algar
Last but by no means least on our list of things to do near Benidorm is the Algar waterfalls, the location of the famous Timotei advert. It’s important to point out that this isn’t a water park but an area of natural beauty, where you can swim and paddle in the waterfalls and pools. Even though steps have been taken to try and make the area more accessible you still need to be quite active and it probably wouldn’t suit anyone less mobile or families with pushchairs. The most important item of clothing to take with you, even more so than your bathing suit, are water shoes which can be found on sale for much cheaper in many of the beach shops in Benidorm than in the shops just outside the waterfalls. You cannot picnic next to the waterfalls but there is a picnic area and playpark a short walk behind, or plenty of restaurants outside the gates.
Where to stay in Benidorm
Looking for somewhere to stay on your Benidorm family holiday? For the latest deals on accommodation in Benidorm check out this list. You’ll find all types of accomodation from 5 star hotels in Benidorm to family hotels and adults only hotels.Booking.com
We hope that this list has given you plenty of ideas of things to do in and around Benidorm, whether you’re visiting on holiday or living nearby.
For more ideas and to book tickets, tours and experiences, visit Get Your Guide:
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