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15 Best Things to Do in Benidorm

15 Best Things to Do in Benidorm

As the calm azure-hued waters lap the glistening sands of Playa Levante at sunrise, you know another memorable day is in store here in Benidorm. The mesmeric seaside town has become the jewel in the crown of Costa Blanca.

Benidorm has risen out of its historic beginnings to feature a vibrant mix of modern skyscrapers that tower over the charming cobbled streets of the city’s Old Town. Among the sense of lavish tourism, lies alleys awash with the smells of tapas, bubbling spritz and orange-soaked sangrias.

Wandering on two feet leads to untold surprises and gorgeous views. But this article and the noise around town will guide you on your way to multiple thrilling, memorable adventures. Laze on the beach if you wish. But there will always be more to discover.

How to Get to Benidorm

Benidorm has developed into a preeminent destination along the Spanish Mediterranean. It’s quite well connected to the rest of the country, either by major motorways, Spanish trains, or airports.

The closest major airport is Alicante International. This is 35 minutes by car. A taxi will cost between €60 and €70. Buses depart from the airport and take around an hour to reach your destination.

In addition, Alicante has a high-speed train station, AVE. This is a great choice for those traveling domestically. From Madrid, the train takes just over two hours. A separate train or tram can then take you onwards to Benidorm (1.5 hours).

If you plan to land at Alicante Airport, you can explore the fun things to do in Alicante for a few days before hopping on the tram and spending the rest of your trip on the beaches of Benidorm.

sun setting over the coastline with the beach on the left and tons of tall hotels behind it and the Mediterranean Sea on the right calm and dark.

The beaches in Benidorm are long and stunning, especially at sunset.

Getting Around Benidorm

Benidorm itself is easy to explore on foot. In fact, it’s the best way to immerse yourself in the atmosphere and culture. Each alley promises a new experience and can lead to some incredible local cuisine.

Taxis are readily available around town. For reference, a trip of 3 miles (5km) will cost around €8.

Public transport here is efficient and cost-effective. If you plan on making the most of this, either purchase a TarjetaBus card or a 24-hour or 72-hour unlimited tourist card. Bus line 16 takes guests to Algar Waterfall and 16 takes you to Guadalest.

While car hire in Spain isn’t necessary for those staying in downtown Benidorm. It can be cost-effective if you’re traveling from the airport and want to explore more of Costa Blanca.

The Best Things to Do in Benidorm

Now that the logistics are out of the way, let’s explore the top Benidorm activities for your trip to Spain’s Costa Blanca.

1. Explore Benidorm’s Old Town

Benidorm in the 21st century may have skyscrapers and the fixings of modern life. But let’s be honest dear readers, nothing tops the beauty and charm of a traditional Old Town. That holds true here in the Alicante region.

Benidorm, once a small fishing village, grew throughout the Middle Ages. Upon the construction of Punta Canfali Castle in the 1300s, the life of the city changed. As it expanded, the castle continued to be the central focus, with all the narrow, cobbled streets streaming out like confetti.

These streets are littered with wrought-iron balconies draped in colorful flowers. Stone arches greet you and monuments bob up alongside happening plazas. These include Santa Ana and San Jaime churches along with the iconic Balcon del Mediterraneo.

white washed buildings along the side of a hill.

The houses in Benidorm on the edges of town are some of my favorite places to stay, quiet and relaxing.

2. Take in the Views at Balcon del Mediterraneo

The whitewashed Mediterranean Balcony, enveloped by the emerald-blue seas, is a scene straight from your Spanish bucket list. The steps, warmed by the sun, guide you between the ivory balustrades towards the sparkling chessboard tiles.

From there, it’s easy to feel like a master of the universe, gazing out to the horizon, basking in the postcard-worthy vista.

On either side, the coast curves, showcasing a mix of monuments, skyscrapers, and the tempting sands of Playa de Levante and Poniente Beach. As it looks out to the eastern horizon, we suggest setting that alarm clock for an early wake-up. Sunrise here is the perfect start to the day.

Once you’ve maxed out your photo album, head along the vibrant Plaça del Castell. Grab your morning coffee, or if it’s a little later, settle in for some refreshing sangria and watch the world go by.

3. Eat Your Way Along Tapas Alley

Speaking of happening streets and lanes, when it comes to eating here in Benidorm, there is one place that stands out. In the heart of the Old Town, Calle de Santo Domingo winds its way through town. The covered streets, complete with the sightly architecture we know and love, is fixed with seemingly endless tapas bars.

Morning, afternoon, or night, the alley has you covered. Merely walking along is a delight for the senses. The colors of the restaurants, the smells of the jamón and the sounds of locals are still boisterous after years of enjoying Calle Santo Domingo.

There are dozens of spots, so where do we recommend? La Cava Aragonesa has over 100 unique tapas and pintxos (similar to those you might find in Bilbao).

4. Sunbathe at Levante Beach

There is a great balance between the past and present here in Benidorm. Forts and the haunting presence of old castles mingle with the rising buildings on the water’s edge. With all that still, it’s likely the golden sands of Benidorm that first inspired your trip.

Levante Beach is famed for its arch of golden sand, lapped by the seas as blue as the shady parasols. On either end are surging headlands, one tamed by modern construction, the other a cliff of rugged sandstone rock.

As you lay down your beach towel, the cool wind of the Med passes your ear. It mingles with the heat of the midday sun, providing that invigorating balance. Read a book under your umbrella, cool off with a swim, or head to any of the restaurants or bars that form Levante’s backdrop.

long beach here is one of the best things to do in Benidorm at Levante beach with mountains in the distance and plenty of sand to lay down on.

Benidorm’s Playa Levante is one of the region’s most beautiful beaches, it’s no wonder this is a popular destination for travelers to Spain looking for sun and sand.

5. Have a Day at Terra Mítica

Sometimes in life, you just want to have a little fun. You know, the kind of fun usually reserved for the kids. Terra Mítica is a theme park with a difference. It taps into the history of Benidorm, the ancient presence of the Romans, and the historic civilizations of Egypt and Greece.

But this isn’t a history lesson. As one of Spain’s largest theme parks, it celebrates and romanticizes the past with an abundance of thrilling rides and experiences added in.

As you wander through each ancient society, there’s no telling what you’ll find. See a reenactment of Spartacus’ rebellion or the “Dream of Egypt”. It feels like a living, breathing world.

But again, it’s all about the fun, with the highlight being the Magnus Colossus roller coaster which is over a kilometer long. Grab your tickets here.

6. Check Out Algar Waterfall

Just half an hour north of town, Algar Waterfall is one of the most breathtaking sights in the region. The resplendent jewel is enveloped in nature and rising walls of sandstone, limestone, and quartz. Each full to the brim with crystal clear water.

Algar Waterfall is, in fact, a collection of several waterfalls forming a delightful staircase into the hills. The falling streams have carved cobalt-blue lagoons where you can swim, float and explore. With a mix of shade and streaming alpine water, it’s slightly chilly but ultimately refreshing.

If you have hired a car, you can easily get here by driving. However, if you wish to add some adventure, check out this ATV tour. Head off along the Algar riverbed to arrive at the falls in a memorable way.

rows of blue chairs an blue umbrellas on the sand with a hotel in the background.

Levante Beach is full of chairs and umbrellas, which you can usually rent for a few hours or for the entire day.

7. Enjoy a Downhill Bike Ride

Who here loves to bike ride? Better yet, who here loves to bike ride without having to pedal uphill? Whoever has joined me with the second question, will love this two-wheel experience.

It all starts by heading up to Mount Aitana. AT a height of over 5,100 ft (1558m), you’ll be above it all along Costa Blanca. But that’s just the beginning.

Your 18-mile (30km) bike ride kicks off from the top, winding its way back down to the valley. Peddle if you want, or simply let gravity do what it does best.

Along the way, you’ll make several stops, including a visit to the alpine village of Penagula and Alcoleja with lunch at Safari Aitana Park.

8. Take a Boat to Benidorm Island

From most viewpoints looking out to the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll be able to spot one large floating isle of rock. This is, in fact, Benidorm Island.

Whether you believe this is merely a spectacular sea stack or a rock thrown into the Mediterranean by a giant, it makes for a great day trip.

The island is a nature reserve, keeping it in pristine, unspoiled condition. With a little gondola boat ride (you’ll even find a submarine option!) you can step onto the island and begin your exploration.

There is a small cafe on the island, but we recommend packing a nice picnic basket and enjoying the views back to Benidorm.

9. Visit Guadalest

In the mountain region of Marine Baixa, Guadalest is a beautiful alpine village. One of Valencia’s most popular destinations, it’s a mere 30 minutes from your base in Benidorm.

You could easily spend a day exploring the ancient city. It was first developed by the Moors, with its oldest sites only accessible on foot. A stroll through a historic gateway, immersed in forest and rock, leads you to castle ruins and a Church belfry that hangs onto the edge of a mountain.

This castle was once the hub of Guadalest in the 11th century. But as the town grew, it wrapped around the hill leading to the fabulous cobbled streets you can explore today.

Combine your trip to Algar Falls with a visit to Guadalest on this open-top Jeep tour.

aerial view of the balcony of the mediterranean in Benidorm which is one of the best things to do in benidorm.

The Balcony of the Mediterranean offers one of the best views of Benidorm and the stunning Costa Blanca.

10. See The Roman Castellum

It took over 2,000 years for the remains of Benidorm’s Roman Castellum to come to the surface. The fortified tower on the site of El Tossal de la Cala was revealed in 2013.

First, it was thought to be an ancient Iberian settlement. Further investigation and painstaking excavation proved otherwise. Unique to Spain’s eastern Costa Blanca, the Roman Castellum is home to a half dozen rooms, and a graded path to the tower’s entrance that has stood firm across the centuries.

The “castellum” or fort is thought to have been developed in the 1st century BC. Ordered by General Sertorio, it would form a part of a chain of defense along the coast of Alicante. You can explore the fort, discover ancient artifacts, and enjoy a guided tour.

11. Sunset Cruise in Altea

Just around the cape from Benidorm lies the seaside town of Altea. Head there in the afternoon to explore the whitewashed Old Town, set in an elevated position above the Mediterranean Sea. As you explore the old streets, you’ll see the sparkling blue domes of the Nuestra Señora del Consuelo church.

Such is the town’s position along the coast, it’s a great spot to head onto a catamaran and enjoy a spectacular sunset. This cruise departs from Altea Port. With the sails up, let the wind guide you as you bask in the scenery of the Med, the spellbinding coast, and the gorgeous Altea.

It all comes to a head around sunset. Enjoy a complimentary glass of cava as the sun does its dance, filling the sky with candy blues and purples mixed in with warm reds, oranges, and yellows.

12. Be a Kid at Aqualandia

You could spend your days scuba diving, swimming, and floating in the Med. But if you want to add a bit more spice to your days in the water, trade the beach for Aqualandia.

It’s a thrilling water paradise, just without the golden sand. This theme park, complete with all the water slides and rides that you can handle, is the perfect place to indulge your inner child.

The entire family can race from attraction to attraction. Although the thrill-seeker in your crew will want to keep coming back to Vertigo. This is a slide where you can reach over 60mph (100kmph) before flying into a splash pool. Book your entry tickets here.

person in a parasail gliding in the sky.

Parasailing is one of the most popular things to do in Benidorm when you get tired of sitting in the sun and swimming in the sea.

13. Try All the Water Sports

Were Benidorm’s theme parks more of an appetizer rather than the main meal? Don’t worry, beyond the ATVs and open-top Jeeps, there’s a lot more fun and adventure to be had here.

With the helping hand of your hotel concierge, or any of the outfitters in town, there is an abundance of water sports to try.

The consistent calm seas of the Mediterranean Sea make it a great place to get on a jet ski and ride up and down Costa Blanca. If you prefer to have a view from above then book a trip to go parasailing to enjoy the sights off the coast as well.

Beginners and experts alike can also enjoy the treasures below the surface on a scuba diving adventure. You’ll also spot a few places where you can rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks to take out along the coastline. 

14. Hike Around Sierra Helada Natural Park

If you’ve arrived outside of peak summer, strap on your hiking boots and make a beeline for Sierra Helada Natural Park. Laden with epic cliffs, craggy mountains, and stunning views, the park is the spot to break a sweat and be among nature.

With your pack full of trail mix, pick between several trails that range from family-friendly to heart-pumping difficult. The cliffs of Sierra Helada are worth enduring the suck for.

With sunblock applied and plenty of water, the coastal trail takes you up the sky-scraping cliffs as you trek between Aleppo pines. Your views show the jaw-dropping beauty of Costa Blanca hundreds of feet above the contrasting turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

two people sitting on the beach under a pink umbrella with the sea in front of them and a boat and paddle boarding in the water.

There are an abundance of water sports to explore while you’re in Benidorm.

15. Day Trip to Villajoyosa

Known as La Villa among locals, Villajoyosa is home to three of my favorite things: colorful architecture, gorgeous beaches, and chocolate. No, you haven’t landed in a mix of Switzerland and a beach paradise. You’re just a short drive from downtown Benidorm.

Other coastal towns near your hub are, yes, full of color. But none come as close as the prismatic Villajoyosa. Think whitewashed homes switched for all colors of the rainbow.

Beyond these homes is a historic Old Town where the ruins of defensive walls, old-time fountains, and a captivating church lie. When the day gets warm, Villajoyosa’s beaches call your name. From Playa la Villajoyosa to Playa del Varadero, you have a handful of great spots to choose from.