Come May, many souls from Madrid make a beeline to Benidorm, and for a good reason. This bustling coastal village in the Mediterranean coast of Spain offers plenty of activities and attractions for the summer tourist. If idling in the sun-soaked sandy beaches by the day and living up the fun-packed nights are not enough, the town actually has a rich history that dates back to 1325, with the Baroque domed church set amidst the winding, cobbled streets showcasing the rich historical and cultural legacy the town offers.
The following is a run-down of the major activities to do in Benidorm, for the sumemr tourist.
Most tourists make a beeline to Benidorm to visit its fabled set of three beaches. Of the three, Levante, in the center of the town, is the liveliest, with a fleet of jet-skis lined up on the sand waiting to offer you an adrenaline-filled ride. Poniente, to the west of the town, offers a more relaxed atmosphere. Malpas, tucked away amidst the rocks, is a hidden gem, best suited for sunbathing.
There is an added reason to touch Levante in May. The musical of Les Miserables, the epic romantic historic drama, is slated here between 10 May and 7 June. It would not be an exaggeration to call it the greatest show on earth.
Casco Antigo, the Old Town
In Casco Antigo, the old town, the day actually starts when the sun sets. Tapas places fill the air with the scent of sizzling chorizo, and comedians, drag queens, and tribute bands take over the Levante area. The innumerable resorts that dot the coast have their late-night bars, in varying themes, ranging from sport to country, and from western to karaoke.
However, if you are not a night own, you can still enjoy the old town by the day, with its bustling restaurants and bars offering any imaginable cuisine under the sun, and cloth shops offering plenty to do.
If you are in Benidorm in May, you are doubly lucky. This is the season of the “Cruces de Mayo, a major local festival. Duriong this time, the place abounds with decorated holy crosses, beautiful flowers, Holy processions, street parties, music, dancing, and revelries.
Alicante, a 40-minute drive through the mountains offers plenty of museums, a medieval town hall, a Medieval castle, and a chic Marina to boot. Walking through the sun-soaked plazas with its little cafés and upmarket shops is a wonderful experience by itself.
Parks in Benidorm
There are no dearth of theme parks in Benidorm. The Terra Mitica roller coaster theme park offers an interesting diversion from the sun, sand, and night-life. This park, off the A7 highway, is split into five theme areas with over three hundred rides. Aqualandia, a large water park in Benidorm offers another viable alternative. The sprawling Terra Natura complex offers five sections, each showcasing rare and exotic flora and fauna from around the world. Each section runs shows throughout the day.
The best way to visit all these spread-out places, and soak in the experience, is to hire a car. Car hire in Benidorm is easy and hassle-free.