Benidorm attracts a broad spectrum of visitors from many different countries, and the city boasts attractions to suit all tastes and age groups. Its splendid weather and endless days of sunshine are a draw to the elderly looking to soothe tired muscles and aching joints, and indeed, Benidorm is home to many retirees from all over Europe and Britain who make the most of the warmth and favourable cost of living.
The city's beaches, fabulous choice of restaurants, and attractions such as water, theme and animal parks provide excellent fun for families, and the huge amount of thrilling activities, diverse coastline and mountainous interior is a pleasure playground for adventure seekers. Younger visitors flock to the city each summer for days of fun in the sun, legendary nightlife, booze cruises, and of course the inventive activities organised by stag & hen party reps.
Benidorm's two main beaches offer fine golden sands that stretch for miles, forming two bays that meet at the headland of the Old Town. The most popular, due to its city centre location is Levante Beach that is backed by a lively promenade lined with cafes, ice cream parlours, bars and restaurants. Visitors are well catered for with an excellent range of services including close to 5,000 sun loungers, parasols, beach sports, fitness equipment, lifeguards and ablutions. The sand slopes gently into the sea making it safe for younger children and there are soft play floating platforms boasting slides, diving boards, bridges, rafts and bouncy castles.
Poniente Beach is the longer of the two and is also backed by a promenade, although not as lively and with a lot less bars and restaurants due to it being mainly in a residential area. The most popular part of Poniente is where it meets the marina and Old Town, backed by the pretty Park d'Elx and its hundreds of resident white pigeons. Here visitors can book a superb choice of water sports and activities in the marina area or enjoy exploring the charming Old Town.
One of the city's most popular attractions is its Old Town, a labyrinth of small streets and pedestrian walkways with little lanes branching off in all directions. Here visitors can sample some of the best Spanish cuisine in the famous ‘Tapas Alley' that is packed with a delightful assortment of tapas bars and restaurants offering hundreds of different dishes. The majority of Benidorm's surprisingly few museums are located in the Old Town including Casa Museo de Benidorm, a contemporary art gallery that is free to visit, and the Museo de Cera, a smaller version of London's famous Madame Tussauds that also houses the Museum of Erotic Art.
The highest point of the Old Town, offering lovely panoramic views is known as the Balcón del Mediterráneo where visitors can relax in the Plaza Santa Ana and Plaza Castelar. Here you will also find the pretty Church of San Jaime y Santa Ana with its blue tile domed roof. Below the Balcón del Mediterráneo is a further small beach which is a pleasant alternative to the hustle and bustle of the two main beaches.
Parks & Theme Parks
A favourite attraction with the young ones are theme parks, and Benidorm certainly doesn't disappoint. The most popular of all is the thrilling Terra Mitica, set in a large area of landscaped parkland, boasting three themed areas with rides and spectacular shows depicting ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, all surrounded by pools, rivers and lakes. The attractions of Aqualandia Water Park include a whole host of rides and slides for all age groups, rivers, lakes, waterfalls and even an exciting wave beach, a firm family favourite.
Next to Aqualandia, Mundomar Animal Park is home to a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world where visitors can enjoy fun shows involving the animals and their handlers, as well as once in a lifetime animal experiences such as swimming with dolphins and sea lions, trainer for the day, carer for the day and a whole range of photo opportunities. Near Terra Mitica are a further two attractions, Aqua Natura Water Park and Magic Natura Animal Park, providing all sorts of family fun.
Parque Natural de Serra Gelada is a large expanse of natural parkland on the edge of the city, with numerous hiking trails among its interesting flora & fauna and excellent snorkelling opportunities along its craggy cliffs and coastline. Taking up a sizeable portion of the city is L'Aiguera Park that houses Benidorm's bull ring and an impressive outdoor auditorium where free live music performances can be enjoyed during the summer months. Park d'Elx forms part of Poniente Beach Promenade, and its shady trees and seating areas are perfect for a picnic.