High-rise Benidorm is one of the most important holiday resorts in Spain. Each year up to five million tourists – from the UK and Europe – seek flights to Benidorm. In the 1950s it pioneered mass tourism, deciding to build up into the blue sky and leave lots of space for parks and pools and outdoor spaces rather than sprawling outwards. This way, visitors have short strolls to the beach and beautiful sea views.
It’s a very popular mix of Spain and England with a hot sun beating down, two wonderful beaches, “W” in shape, and sparkling waters. The Old Town sits on the promontory between the sweeping beaches.
There is an abundance of pubs and clubs and restaurants serving anything from tapas to all-day breakfasts.
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The high season runs from May to October, and Benidorm is most crowded and at its hottest in July and August. Visitors throng the area, overcrowding the town, and making accommodations hard to find.
National Day is October 12 when the Spanish are also on holiday.
Winter is also a popular time to visit with tourists coming from all over Europe, even Russia.
Even though winter is a popular time, prices are lower than in summer and it is easier to find a rental for an extended period of time. However, many of the bars, restaurants and attractions are closed over this period.
- If you’re visiting Benidorm at the height of the tourist season and want to spend the day at one of the town’s two beaches, arrive early to grab a spot on the sand.
- You can pick up souvenirs just about anywhere you choose: from the many gift shops, from the touts wandering the beach, from the hotel lobbies… One of the more enjoyable places to visit though is the outdoor market. Held every Wednesday and Sunday in the market square in the new town, it’s the place to buy clothes, leather, art or sunglasses. Further out of town, but also worth a visit is the Flea Market, El Cisne. It’s held at the weekends only and you can get there either by taxi or on the number 10 bus to Altea.
- If you don’t decide to stop off at the flea market but keep going to Altea itself you’ll br pleasantly surprised. A much more “real” town than its neighbour Benidorm, Altea has great beaches and some beautiful old buildings – though the town is now undergoing a similar kind of construction that started in Benidorm in the 1960s and led to the huge array of skyscrapers.
- Sample some churros – a Spanish speciality similar to a straight doughnut. It’s a deep-fried pastry which is popular in Spain and particularly the Valencia region.
- One of Benidorm’s top tourist attractions is Terra Mitica, a theme park with Europe’s longest wooden rollercoaster. Another is Terra Natura, a new-generation wildlife park on 320,000 square metres with four themed areas: Pangea, America, Asia and Europe.