A holiday town with a surprise up its sleeve
Benidorm didn’t get to be one of Spain’s holiday behemoths for nothing. This town likes to flaunt its best assets – sandy beaches and fun-packed nights – but there’s another side to it, too. Benidorm actually goes all the way back to 1325, so the winding, cobbled old town and Baroque domed church are as authentic as they come.
A Blue Flag trio
Benidorm’s 3 beaches are the biggest draw of all. Levante is a very lively number in the centre of town, with a busy promenade and jet-skis lined up for business on the sand. Poniente, to the west, is a bit more relaxed. And Malpas, a petite strip of sand screened from the street by rocks, is the hideaway sunbathing spot.
Tapas and tribute bands
After dark, Benidorm comes into its own. In the old town, tapas places fill the air with the scent of sizzling chorizo, while the Levante area plays host to comedians, tribute bands and the occasional drag queen. And throughout the resort the late-night bars take their themes from sport, country & western and karaoke.
Close to Alicante
A 40-minute drive through the mountains takes you to classy Alicante. The itinerary here includes a chic marina, museums and a Medieval castle – and even the town hall is worth a look for its Dalí sculpture of St John the Baptist. Meanwhile, the side streets join up sun-soaked plazas with little cafés and upmarket shops.