Like any real summer holiday paradise, Benidorm not only boasts wonderful beaches and a benevolent climate, but also plenty of things to see and do. The offer of activities is huge; here are some suggestions for the best activities and places to visit in the area. Book your holiday apartment in Benidorm and get ready for an unforgettable stay.
Visit The City Centre
Not so long ago, Benidorm was just a small fishing village; the historical centre that can be visited today is quite small compared to the dimensions of the areas built in more recent years. The main monuments and points of interest are enclosed by a few streets in the most elevated part of the town. They sit on a cliff that separates Playa the Levante and Playa de Poniente.
This is the most panoramic spot in the town centre; around Plaza Santa Ana, (the main square in the casco antiguo) there are several viewpoints from where you can take the perfect picture of the coast. The most spectacular are the Mirador del Castillo and the Balcón del Mediterraneo located right on the cliff’s edge, just a few steps south of Plaza Santa Ana.
Plaza Santa Ana itself is worth a visit. Here there is a small craft market, street artists performing at almost every hour of the day and several bars with terraces, where you can enjoy a cocktail while watching the world pass by. On the right side of the square, there is the Iglesia de San Jaime y Santa Ana, the main church of the city centre, built in the 18th century.
Walking down the narrow streets behind Plaza Santa Ana, you will find yourself in the heart of the city centre. You will be overwhelmed by the number of shops, malls, bars and restaurants (often hosted in former fisherman’s houses) available in such a small area. If you want to do some shopping or taste the local gastronomy, you’ll easily find the right place here.
Take A Trip To Benidorm Island
Located less than a couple of miles offshore, Benidorm Island is a fascinating destination for a day trip. This rocky islet, emerging abruptly from the bottom of the sea and just 400 metres long, is actually part of the Sierra Helada mountain range that runs along Benidorm’s eastern coastline.
The island is uninhabited today, but until the 18th century, it was home to a small community of fishermen wanting to escape threats existing on the mainland and exploit the rich fish population of its shores. The rocky and shallow seabed that surrounds the island is in fact home to many marine species (octopus, barracuda, dentex, amberjack, moray ell, among others), that make this protected marine area a real paradise for passionate divers.
Families with kids and nature lovers will also enjoy a trip to the island, thanks to the easily navigable paths across the island. Throughout your walk, you’ll be able to spot many bird species, that have chosen to nest here due to the almost complete absence of predators. Keep in mind that although the island is covered with vegetation, it is almost exclusively made up of shrubs and bushes, so shade is scarce. If you visit with your children, it is a good idea to avoid the central hours of the day in the peak of the summer.
A return trip to the island costs 15€ per person (12€ for kids) and includes a short cruise on a glass bottom boat along the island’s shores. During the high season, there is a ferry every hour, starting from 10:00 am and departing from the marina where you will also find a centre to book diving excursions.
Benidorm offers plenty of opportunities to have fun on, under and around the water. The beaches in the resort and its marina have many nautical centres offering all kind of equipment available for sports lovers: sailing and motorboats, kayaks, canoes, SUP, surf and fishing or diving gear.
If you prefer more leisure-oriented activities, you can rent a boat or a jet ski, as well as book a fun ride on a banana boat, fly fish or water ski. If you feel more adventurous, you should try paragliding (70€ for a 15 minutes flight) or cable skiing (21€ for one hour). If you’re travelling with friends, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a boat party (prices start from around 65€ per person with an open bar and party on a catamaran).
Amusement & Water Parks
Travelling with kids can sometimes be stressful for parents with the pressure to find activities that capture the attention of their small ones and allows them to burn off some steam. The Costa Blanca as a whole is full of amusement and water parks, and Benidorm is no different. The city and its surroundings host some of the biggest and most popular water parks of the Costa Blanca (and of entire Spain), and most of them appeal to both children and adults.
Mundomar is an animal park close to the Sierra Helada Natural Park and just a few minutes from the city centre. Here you can see many animals (dolphins, sea lions, lemurs, parrots, flamingos, otters, monkeys, toucans, swans), assist in shows, take pictures with the animals and swim with sea lions.
Terra Natura is also dedicated to animals: 320.000 m2 of immersive experience, divided into four main spaces, dedicated to different areas of the world. The park is located just a few kilometres from the city centre and also has a water park – Aquanatura, with many attractions; pools, restaurants and marine animals shows. Prices range from 25€ for kids and 31€ for adults for the whole day. With the addition of 13.50€, you can have access to both areas, animal and water park.
Terra Mitica is an amusement park that offers many exciting attractions for all ages, from kids to adults, and shows inspired by ancient History. Prices range from 28€ for kids to 39€ for adults, but there are discounts available when you book online.
Aqualandia is one of the most popular water parks in the area. It’s located right in Benidorm’s centre, just a few hundred metres from Playa de Levante and next to Mundomar. It offers 15 attractions (slides, jacuzzis, waterfalls, wave pools), with options for all ages. The park proudly hosts the tallest slide in Europe; with the starting point located on a platform 33m high, the ride reaches 100km/h in speed on the descent.
Discover The Sierra Helada Natural Park
If you love nature, you should not miss a walk through the Sierra Helada Natural Park. Located just north of Playa de Levante, it includes both a marine and a mountain protected area.
The park covers a spectacular coastal mountain range, made of rocky cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean. It’s the perfect place for hiking lovers; the park offers several paths, from the “Blue Route”(the easiest, also open to bikes and wheelchairs), to the Yellow Route, the most demanding.
Along the walk, you’ll find several viewpoints (like Punta del Cavall or the Albir lighthouse) and come across the remains of the numerous watchtowers used over the centuries to protect the city from pirate invasions.
A Day Trip To Guadalest, Villajoyosa or Algar Waterfalls
If you want to leave the beaches for a day, and explore Benidorm surroundings, there are several hidden gems to be discovered.
Guadalest is a picturesque village located just 20km from Benidorm. It is famous for its incredible castle, perched on a cliff overlooking a flourishing valley of pine and almond trees and a fascinating reservoir. The fortress was built during the Moorish period and developed under the Catholic domain, starting from the middle of the 13th century.
Over the years, earthquakes and battles have left the castle in ruins, but you can still visit the walls, towers and some parts of the main buildings, that offer fantastic views of the mountains and the valley below. The village itself is also worth a visit, with shops full of craft and local products, and restaurants where you can sample the local gastronomy.
The Algar waterfalls are a natural wonder located less than 20km from Benidorm centre, just outside Callosa d’En Sarrià – a lovely medieval village of Moorish origins. The numerous springs in the area create a fantastic landscape, made of natural pools surrounded by forests, small waterfalls and streams, which are perfect for a refreshing dip followed by a relaxing picnic.
Villajoyosa is a small fishing village located 10 km south of Benidorm. This lovely and luminous town is famous for its typical Mediterranean atmosphere, that you can breath walking down its narrow streets, flanked by coloured houses. It’s the perfect place to discover the “real feel” of a Mediterranean coastal town, relax on its wonderful beach (called Playa Paraiso) and taste the local cuisine.
Tourist Train & Buses
Benidorm can also be explored by tourist trains and buses. You can hop on a Trainvision road train (5€ for an hour ride), or on a double-decker tourist bus (6€) and be given a guided tour around the beaches and the city’s main attractions, with the information provided in five languages.
Another great option is a trip aboard the Trenet de la Marina, a tram that connects Alicante to Benidorm running along the coast. The journey lasts about one hour and offers some great views (especially between Altea and Denia) and the opportunity to stop along the way to visit some small coastal towns, like Villajoyosa. There is a train leaving every hour; check the timetable visiting the official webpage.
Biking & Horse Riding Excursions
The Costa Blanca, in general, is a paradise for bike lovers. It offers a varied landscape and fantastic weather conditions all year long; no surprise that many professionals (both mountain and road cycling) regularly visit the area for their winter training.
Benidorm can be a great base for your cycling holiday. From here, you can explore the Sierra Helada and Montgó Natural Park, take advantage of the many road cycling routes available just outside the centre or just take a stroll along the Paseo Maritimo to enjoy the views and catch the sunset. In the city, there are several bike rentals, and local cycling associations organise events, tours and races all year long.
If you are looking for a unique experience, try the Downhill Bike Ride, a tour that lets you enjoy some fantastic views of the mountains and the coast of Benidorm while flying downhill on a bike for 30km! The experience is available for riders of all levels (including children).
Benidorm also offers opportunities for those who love horse riding. If you want to explore the natural surroundings, or just go for a couple of hours ride, head to Centro Hipico Sierra Helada – a horse riding centre located just a few minutes north of the city centre. The company organises guided tours along the coast and in the Sierra Helada Natural Park. They also offer courses and lessons for all levels. Contact them for a quote and enjoy the ride!