Information & Facts
Benidorm's major holiday attractions are its spectacular
beaches. The two huge sweeping crescents stretch for over three
miles (5km) and are known as Levante and Poniente - Spanish for
sunrise and sunset. They are kept meticulously clean and are
consistently voted among the cleanest and most popular beaches in
Europe. All sorts of watersports can be organised from the beaches
from swimming and diving off the man-made rafts to jet skiing,
banana boat rides, parasailing and scuba diving. On the outskirts
of town tourists can visit the water parks or Terra Mitica, Spain's
largest theme park with a terrifying roller coaster. There are also
loads of options for those wishing to escape Benidorm for a day;
beautiful mountainous countryside surrounds the holiday resort and
jeep safaris and cycle trips around this rugged interior are
becoming increasingly popular. Alicante, 25 miles (40km) south of
Benidorm, is the Costa Blanca's main city and has a number of
interesting sights. Other good days out include a coach trip to the
ancient mountain fortress at Guadalest, built by the Moors in 715,
and the town of Altea with its delightful medieval cobbled streets
and beautiful Mediterranean views, eight miles (13km) north of
Spanish is the official language, but English is widely
understood in areas frequented by tourists. Catalan, Galician and
Basque are spoken in the relevant areas.
Spain's official currency is the Euro (EUR). One Euro is divided
into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at bureaux de change and
major hotels, but banks give the best rates. All major credit cards
and travellers cheques are widely accepted at most hotels,
restaurants, and shops. ATMs are widespread and are generally the
cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining money.
Benidorm is not a good choice for those wanting an authentic
Spanish holiday; it's a bit like Blackpool in the sun, but for
those looking for entertainment and nightlife it can't be beaten.
The resort abounds with hundreds of persistent touts trying to sell
tourists everything from trinkets to timeshare apartments. There
are also insistent promotions staff outside the bars and
restaurants, but can be worth chatting up as they sometimes offer
free drinks. However, as with any party destination there have been
reports of drinks being spiked, visitors out on the town should be
wary of leaving their drinks unattended or accepting drinks from
strangers. Benidorm caters for all ages; older visitors may think
there are too many youngsters while others think there are too many
Benidorm is one of the biggest nightspots on the Med with
something to suit all preferences. There are loads of bars hosting
live shows, quizzes, bingo, karaoke and drag shows& and lots of
live bands playing everything from Abba to ZZ Top. Those looking
for a party in Benidorm should go to Wheeltappers, Sinatras, the
Palladium or the Stardust Benidorm.
Top-rated restaurants in Benidorm include Paneil's, China
Garden, India Gate, Mme Butterfly, The Vagabond and Witches Bistro.
All the major fast food restaurants are also available and the old
harbour is the best place to try out the local cuisine.
The streets of Benidorm are lined with gift shops catering for
people on holiday and the supermarkets are fully stocked with
well-known brands. Prices in the holiday resort are cheap,
particularly alcohol and cigarettes. There is an open-air market
every Wednesday and a
rastro(car boot sale) every Sunday next to the railway
station. The town of Altea is worth a visit on Tuesdays for its
outdoor market or simply for a leisurely stroll along the
promenade, while Alicante is a good destination for shoppers in
search of some more sophisticated shops.
Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March
and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October). The Canary
Islands: GMT (GMT +1 in summer).