Backed by the Puig Campana Mountain and with a skyline dominated by skyscrapers, the legendary city of Benidorm takes pride of place in northern Costa Blanca. From the sleepy shores of of a small fishing village in the late 1950's Benidorm has grown remarkably to the extent that it is now recognised as having the most high rise buildings per capita in the world. Love it or hate it, this city is going places and is famed throughout Europe for its fantastic nightlife and bargain bucket package holidays.
Beaches & Beer
Viewed at night from the north, the city's two main beaches look like a huge number 3 with their curving bays joined in the middle by the jutting point of the Cerro Canfali Rock and the lovely viewing platform of the Balcón del Mediterráneo. To the north is Levante Beach backed by a sweeping promenade and the city centre, and to the south is Poniente Beach backed by the shady gardens of L'Elx Park. Both beaches are long and wide with golden sands, excellent facilities and numerous bars and restaurants lining the promenades.
The popularity of Benidorm is reflected in the ridiculously cheap food and drink where a euro will buy you a pint of beer and an extra 50 cents will get you a prawn tapas on the side. When walking the popular streets such as Av. del Mediterráneo that runs parallel to Levante Beach you will witness just how fierce the competition between bars and restaurants is, with touts and PR staff furiously vying for your attention with the offer of free shooters and buy one get one free deals on beers and cocktails.
This fierce competition has also led to some very inventive ways to get holidaymakers to part with their cash. One such clever idea is the Benidorm Beer Bikes that are great fun and are literally bars on wheels. Taking up to 12 passengers that sit on bar stools around a U shaped bar counter with pedals below each stool, all passengers help pedal the bike with a ‘sober' company representative doing the steering. The tour along the promenades include a few pints of beer on the bike and a stop in one of the popular beachfront bars.
Attractions & Activities
With hoards of happy holidaymakers flocking to Benidorm each year looking for fun in the sun, the city certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to attractions and activities. There are superb theme parks, water parks and animal parks, nature reserves, adventure playgrounds, downhill and riverbed bike rides, paintball, laser wars, go-karting and quad biking. The marina that lies in the centre of the two main beaches offers water sports galore, boat trips and a variety of adventure excursions by boat, kayak and jet ski.
The city is home to some lovely green areas to escape the midday heat, hiking trails through the Serra Gelada Natural Park, lively plazas, museums and art galleries. Exploring further afield has never been easier with a number of hire companies offering all sorts of transport options including bicycles, electric bikes, power boards, electric buggies, scooters and cars.
One of the city's most well known attractions is the famous Benidorm Palace that is a local institute and through the years has seen some of the world's most popular bands, solo artists, cabaret acts and performing arts grace its stage, and since its grand opening night on the 12th July 1977 is famed for never having switched its lights off since.
Occupying a huge 16,000 square metre plot, Discoteca Penelope is probably Benidorm's most legendary nightclub. Likened to the megaclubs of Ibiza, not only does Penelope have two main dance halls featuring different styles of music, VIP rooms, boutique shops, top class DJ's and no less than 10 bars, it also boasts a fantastic huge chill out terrace complete with swimming pool, seating areas, 500 cover a la carte restaurant and a further 7 bars.
Another local institute in the heart of the city is English Square. Situated close to Levante Beach the square is lined with vibrant bars, restaurants and clubs, most featuring British fare such as pints of popular ale and full English breakfasts. Lively both day and night, the square boasts some of the busiest bars in Benidorm such as Beachcomber, Chaplin's Disco, Sinatra's and Sticky Vicky, named after the famous lady of the same name who performs some lewd and downright hilarious live acts.