Benidorm is usually thought of as being a haven for young men on stag dos, excited women on hen weekends and people looking for a good time in the sun. With this reputation, it’s a wonder that many families visit Benidorm. But in reality, it might be a little bit tacky, but it’s an excellent base for exploring one of Spain’s sunniest and most beautiful coast lines, the Costa Blanca.
Benidorm is the typical holiday destination for sun, sea and sand. It has gorgeous sandy beaches which are perfect for the kids because of the blue flag rating, meaning that they have clean safe sands and waters. The sweeping sands of Levante and Poniente, the two most popular beaches of Benidorm, are separated by Benidorm’s old town and the harbour. These are the two most family friendly beaches, which plenty of nearby amenities such as shops and cafes, as well as a wide range of activities everyday such as floating play parks in the water and jet skiing.
If you want to get the kids to run off some energy, Benidorm is home to a number of theme parks. Take them to Terra Mitica for the typical adrenaline ride experience, or head to Aqualandia to cool down on the water slides. Terra Natura is ideal for younger kids and for adults who want to join in with the fun a little. It is wildlife park that is home to more than 1500 animals of 200 different species. There are shows all day long to keep everyone entertained and information boards situated all round the park.
You might want to educate your children a little in the culture of traditional Spain while you’re visiting Benidorm, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so. If you are based in a central hotel, such as the Marconi Hotel, you should find it easy to make your way around the old town of Benidorm. This area still holds true to its Spanish roots, with tiny winding streets around white washed houses, and even has a blue domed church. It’s the best place to town to pick up some authentic dishes such as paella or tapas.
If you feel like Benidorm is a little too crowded for you, it’s very easy to break away from all that to see even more of the authentic regions of Spain. The mountains that loom over Benidorm are home to tiny mountain villages made up of white washed buildings that perch on rocky ledges. One of the best to visit is Guadalest. Hire a car and make your own way there to spend as much time as you like. Explore the hidden tunnel beneath the rock face and marvel at the picture perfect bell tower that sits precariously on a rocky outcrop.
One favourite activity of many families in Benidorm is a trip out to sea. Boats depart several times a day from Benidorm, taking trips down the coast. One of the best and most popular is the glass bottomed boat that takes you out to Benidorm Island, or, as it is colloquially known, Peacock Island, for its natural population of peacocks. Kids will love watching the marine life on the trip over, and there are a number of trails to explore on the island which is a nature reserve. Make sure to take a look at the spectacular view back over Benidorm’s busy skyline and pick up some souvenirs in the gift shop before you leave.
Photo: Ryan Opaz