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Alicante and Benidorm holidays

Your passport to sun, sea and sand

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Think you know the Costa Blanca? Think again

In the 1960s, Benidorm led Spain’s emergence as a tourism superpower, soon becoming its biggest, brashest resort. Today it’s a city of two tales. It’s still a bargain hotspot for party lovers, but did you know it also has a gentler, more ‘grown-up’ side? One with fine dining, beachside yoga, sunrise hikes and sunset bike tours? Explore the rest of Alicante province to find medieval history and cultural events, all wrapped up in year-round sunshine.

Benidorm has been a favourite for those looking for cheap holiday or party packages thanks to its clubs, pubs and year-round sunshine. Head to pristine Levante Beach for fun and frolics or discover its quieter side around Playa de Poniente where the vibe is more wine tasting than beer drinking. For authentic Spain, explore the wider area for coastal tram rides through reclusive villages to dining in Alicante’s historic El Barrio among cobbled streets and old apartments dripping with flowers.

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Carefully selected Alicante and Benidorm hotels

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Best hotels in Benidorm and Alicante for all types of traveller

There’s no shortage of good hotels in Benidorm. For five-star luxury, the Sandos Monaco Beach Hotel & Spa is close to the beach and takes in views of the Mediterranean Sea. For something more affordable, there’s a bevy of top hotels in Benidorm. Four-star beauties include the adult-centred Flamingo Beach Resort in the quieter reaches of the city, just one mile from Benidorm’s centre and half a mile from Levante Beach. Sandos Benidorm Suites puts you close to lively Levante and is beautifully offset by pools, terraces and gardens and suitable for families. The trendy and modern Flash Hotel offers a laid-back vibe by keeping hen and stag dos at bay.

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Alicante and Benidorm holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Alicante and Benidorm holiday

Hit Benidorm’s clubs and pubs or take in the fine wines and chic restaurants on offer. Cool down by heading to Alicante’s theme and waterparks or tucking into a traditional arroz a banda – you’ll find something to whet your appetite in Benidorm and Alicante.

What are the best things to do in Alicante and Benidorm?

  1. Terra Mitica is one of Spain’s biggest and wildest theme parks, packing in plenty of high-octane thrills. Adrenaline lovers should head for the 62mph ‘inverted roller coaster’ Titanide. Benidorm’s two waterparks, Aqualandia and Aqua Natura, also pack a punch. Aqualandia has 15 water rides and one of Europe’s highest water slides. Both offer plenty of slides and pools.
  2. High above the city, stretched across the mountains, cliffs and coves of Benidorm you’ll find the Sierra Helada Natural Park. Don’t be put off if you’re more of a cautious walker than an intrepid explorer. There’s plenty of easy trails for the less adventurous while still being rewarded with wonderful views (without the effort).
  3. A 15-minute taxi ride from Benidorm’s city centre and you can be sipping your way round the magic of Bodegas Mendoza Winery. Take an impressive tour of the vineyard, try wine pairing, and see its underground cellar before enjoying cold tapas in the winery’s relaxed garden.
  4. Fancy mastering the art of a stellar paella? Work with a local chef and pick local ingredients to create your masterpiece. Go a step further and combine a bite with a bike. Take a cycling tour of Alicante city’s Gothic church and Castle of Santa Barbara while making stops for local tapas and wine en route.
  5. Held in June, the Fogueres de Sant Joan Festival is one of the most important fiestas here, marking the summer solstice with bonfires and fireworks. If you’re here at the end of July, then don’t miss the Low Festival – the Costa Blanca’s answer to Glastonbury without the heavy price tag. It opens with a party on Levante Beach.
  6. If you want something completely different, then why not check out one of Benidorm’s newer activities, zip lining? At Forestal Park La Nucia you can discover the forest up close thanks to more than 1,500 metres of zip lines and suspension bridges.

Where are the best places to visit in Alicante and Benidorm?

Benidorm has masses to do, and it stretches way beyond its amazing sun, sea, and sangria. Take a trip down La Cava Aragonesa – nicknamed Tapas Alley – and graze on tapas and pintxos. It’s also a nice place to hang out with bronzed locals. If you’re after something a little more upmarket, stroll to the southern end of Playa de Poniente and dine at Tossal de la Cala. You’ll need to clamber uphill to get there but will be rewarded with a bird’s eye view of Benidorm. Catch it at sunset for an Insta-perfect moment.

If you fancy exploring a little further, head to the limestone hills of the Sierra Aitana where you’ll find the highest peaks around. Explore this protected area by joining one of the guided downhill biking excursions through villages such as Penguila, Alcoleja and Sella. If you prefer the idea of cooling down instead, then head to the waterfalls of Algar, a popular spot for a refreshing wild swim.

The Alicante area has hundreds of castles, many of them well preserved. Follow the 46-mile Route of the Castles of Vinalopo to discover some of the most important ones – many were established by the region’s Muslim rulers in the Middle Ages. These incredible edifices have remained steady, watching over the Vinalopo valley in the province’s interior mountains, and the route takes in nine different municipalities.

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Spanish Square (Plaza de Espana) in Sevilla at sunset, Andalusia, Spain.
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The country’s a joy to explore, so hop in a car and discover it for yourself

Eloise Barker,  for British Airways Holidays