Benidorm - Manhattan in miniature
Despised by someone, loved by others. Only New York has more skyscrapers per square meter. Benidorm was the first holiday paradise in Spain. This was where Franco wanted to build the tourism industry. When you see the beaches, it's easy to understand.
Benidorm has two long, wide beaches: Poniente at 3 km and Levante at 2 km. Between them is a cliff with the old town, the church and the main shopping street.
Spaniards prefer the poniente part, while foreigners gladly go to levante where the hotels and houses are newer. Along both beaches you will find numerous hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
In the 1950s Benidorm was a small fishing village with about 3000 inhabitants. Tourism was hardly a term. Today, the city receives 5 million visitors each year.
Many travel to Benidorm to party and relax in the sun. But there is also much else to experience.
If you want to experience the city undisturbed, you should choose the early morning hours. Then it's cool and comfortable, and few people in the streets.
If you like to go hiking, the beach is a good option. If you want to go from one extreme point to another, you will need more than an hour.
Do you prefer shadow, stick to the paseo. If you want sun, you can move down to the sand on the beach.
Benidorm has over 300 buildings with more than 15 floors. New skyscrapers are still being built. The construction of the iconic millennium building El InTempo was started in 2007 and was due to be completed in 2010, but the contractor went bankrupt and the construction had to stop.
El InTempo has 47 floors and is 192 meters tall and is the tallest residential building in Spain. After SVP Globally bought out the largest creditor at the end of 2017, there is a new hope that the building could be completed.
According to surveys, tourists are satisfied. 94 percent of those who have stayed in Benidorm say they will return. It's the beaches and the climate that matter most. The largest group is British, the second largest is Spaniards.
There are many retirees and disabled from England and Scandinavia among the residents, but short-term tourists are multicultural and of all ages. Even though it is still a busy nightlife, Benidorm is no longer the place for those who want outing. They are now traveling to other places.
More excursions: www.turideer.com
Excursion of the week: Benidorm.
Suitable for: Everybody.
Get there: Follow N-332 or Ap-7 north from Alicanta. You can not miss it - there is only one city with skyscrapers in this part of Spain, and the buildings are clearly visible from the road. It takes just over half an hour from Alicante to Benidorm. Follow the signs to the center and choose a parking garage as you approach the beach.
Challenge: Can you locate these canons?