Benidorm is located about 45 km northeast of Alicante, just south of Altea, being one of the main attractions of the Costa Blanca. Despite its skyscraper skyline, it is synonymous with the beach and plenty of nightlife.
Surrounded by mountains up to 1,558 m high, Benidorm is perfectly protected against the sometimes cold winds from the north. Therefore, the climate in Benidorm remains very mild even during winter.
In summer Benidorm is a great party. With more than 1000 restaurants and more than 30 clubs, Benidorm offers almost everything you need for a "busy" nightlife.
Benidorm is located in the Mediterranean subtropical climate zone with indistinct variations in seasonal temperatures, mild winters and moderately hot summers. A mountain range that rises above the city and the coast reliably covers the region with cold air flows from the north, creating a unique microclimate.
Winter in Benidorm is a great opportunity to travel around the city and its surroundings, to know everything for which there was no time in summer, to sunbathe and splash around in the elegant swimming pools, shop in the area's shopping malls and to buy thoroughly in the sales. During the low season, some hotels and entertainment facilities are closed, but the main areas of accommodation, recreation and shops are still open. There is a significant influx of tourists and a corresponding increase in prices from December to mid-January, during the Christmas fairs and the preparations for the New Year, but then everything returns to normal.
Benidorm enjoys a sunny and warm climate in winter. There are few people swimming, but you can sunbathe and play sports on the beach. Sometimes it is cloudy and windy, but rains are scarce. Mountains and parks retain their lush emerald cover, thanks to endemic species of evergreen plants. The most unpleasant month in terms of climate is February.
The first settlements in the area are in Montbenidorm, a hill in Cala Finestrat that can be seen at the end of Poniente beach. Here there are burials and remains of an Iberian settlement dating back to the 1st century B.C. Archaeologists discovered here the remains of fishing nets that firmly linked Benidorm to the sea back then. A figure of Tanit, a Phoenician goddess of fertility and heaven, was also unearthed here, as well as remains of nearby Roman settlements.
Benidorm has been around since 1325 when it obtained its city card from Admiral Bernat De Serria at Polop Castle which was then part of the kingdom of Valencia. The granting of the city's statutes was carried out until the 17th century as a way to remove Muslims and allow Christians to inhabit the area.
It is the long history of fishing that created the myth that Benidorm was a charming little fishing village when in fact it never was. The fishermen in Benidorm were actually deep-sea fishermen who spent many months in the Atlantic, South America, and northern Spain. They were famous throughout Spain for their trapnet skills and were highly sought after in the 18th century.
For many years they had used the almadraba net, an ancient Arab tradition, to catch tunas by placing a maze of deep-sea nets in smaller and smaller coastal pools. A tradition that continued until the 1950s in the Rincón de Loix to catch tuna while migrating through the Mediterranean.
Benidorm grew up around the rocky outcrop now known as El Castillo (in the old town) but its beginnings were hampered by pirate raids during the 15th century and the city was nearly destroyed when the inhabitants fled. In the 16th and 17th centuries the city was reinforced with the reconstruction and expansion of the castle (it is sad but today there is nothing left of the castle). In 1665 is when the real growth of the city began, since the inland water was bought from the city through channels. This was the major cause of the increase in population at this time.
With the water came agriculture and olive groves emerged throughout Benidorm, and every meter of land left over was used to cultivate this valuable product, as well as the fields of oranges and lemons. It was the sea and agriculture that would maintain the city until the 19th century, when the road to Alicante was built.
Once road access from Alicante was opened and the national railway linked Benidorm with Alicante and other parts of Spain in 1914, the first tourists began arriving in Benidorm from Alcoi and Madrid. It was also around this time that Spain lost many of the colonies in South America, so the much-needed income from deep-sea fishing began to decline. The first tourist hostels were built in Levante in 1925, which marked the beginning of the city's tourist industry. The Hotel Bilbaíno was created by Pedro Cortes Barceló and was the first hotel to open in Benidorm. It opened its doors in 1926 and since then it has been in continuous operation on the seafront of this famous beach on the Levante coast.
However, it was not until another 30 years that the foreign invasion began slowly in the form of vacation packages to the Costa Blanca. In 1952 the Almadraba network, which had given income to many local families, was closed in the Rincón de Loix, now known as the Rincón, in the center of the tourist area of Playa de Levante in Benidorm. This meant a loss of income and the need for a plan to regenerate the town, since from that moment its resident population was decreasing.
Alicante airport did not open until April 1967. Once opened, this was the biggest factor contributing to Benidorm's success as a resort, along with the introduction of modern jet aircraft. These made flying more profitable. This was the beginning of the end for many coastal destinations in Britain, such as the Channel Islands, where the number of tourists declined rapidly as tourists made their way to Benidorm's beaches. The number of passengers reached 8.9 million in 2005.
Benidorm was the model on which all the first tourist centers were based. The success culminated in 1977 when Benidorm received 12 million visitors, a figure that has never been exceeded. Under the new development plan, wide streets were built, repeating the curve of the coast. The population was growing rapidly, the tourist infrastructure was developing. Currently, there are about 80,000 permanent residents in Benidorm.
A visit to Benidorm does not have to lack contact with the authentic Spanish culture. The old town in particular is an evocative maze of cobbled streets and various eating and shopping establishments. With its blue-domed church and white houses, visit the tapas alley to enjoy the authentic Spanish food and atmosphere. Benidorm manages to maintain its character among the forest of towers to the east and west.