Up until the 1960s, Benidorm was just a small fishing village, today it is known for its beaches, hotels, skyscrapers and entertainment with around 74,000 permanent residents, according to the 2013 census, which makes Benidorm the 5th most populated town in the Alicante province. However, this figure swells to around 300,000 during the summer months.
Benidorm is essentially divided into 5 parts :
The Levante(or sun rise) beach is the most popular with over 5,000 sunbeds for hire and is backed by a large promenade housing bars, hotels, cafes and restaurants. In addition there are many water sport facilities here such as water skiing, jet skiing, paragliding and scuba diving plus diving boards, rafts, slides etc. The beach also has ramps and provisions for people with disabilities. The fine clean sand which slopes gently towards the Mediterranean is pristine due to a thorough daily mechanical clean up by Benidorm Council. There are also plenty of incredible sand sculptures to be seen on the Levante Beach whilst walking along the promenade.
The Poniente(or sun set) beach is fronted by golden sands and blue flag waters, whilst Poniente beach is less crowded than Levante there are still plenty of facilities such as sunbeds etc but is more relaxed atmosphere than Levante. In addition the cafes and bars provide a more authentic Spanish feel as it backs out onto the start of the old town.
Just a short walk (but a world away from the hustle and bustle of the new Benidorm is Benidorms charming Old Town. A charming maze of cobbled streets and appealing tapas bars, restaurants, shops and cafes and with the blue domed church of San Jaime and white houses, the Old Town retains an authentic Spanish feel. The white stone balcony at the Mirador in the historical centre of Benidorm affords panoramic views across the beaches and the town. One of the best places to sample authentic Spanish tapas is in the Plaza de la Constitutio, and along Santo Domingo (or Tapas Alley as it is affectionately known) where small plates of meat, seafood and vegetables can be enjoyed at very affordable prices. The nightlife in the Old Town is also exceptional.
Towards the west side of Poniente, La Cala also offers beautiful beaches and safe bathing and again is away from the bustling main area of the Levante, but still within easy reach of all the amenities.
Benidorm El Rincon de Loix is situated to the east side of Levante and is the most modern part of Benidorm and is also home to the famous cable water ski as well as scuba diving. Away from the beach, El Rincon de Loix has an abundance of souvenir shops and small boutiques as well as an indoor market.
Benidorm is also home to the famous Terramitica Theme Park, Mundomar Marine Animal Park, Terra Natura Zoo and Aqua Park and Aqualandia Water Park. If you are not hiring a car whilst visiting Gran Alacant, then Davids Coach Trips run regular, and inexpensive trips to Benidorm and the Theme parks with pick up points in Gran Alacant.