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Famous for its towering hotels, apartment blocks, tree-lined avenues and lively nightlife, it is no surprise that the seaside resort town of Benidorm is a popular tourist destination. Its two Blue Flag beaches, theme parks, fantastic shopping and endless supply of restaurants combined with its fantastic location makes it the perfect place to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea and explore the rest of the Costa Blanca coastline and Spain’s Alicante province. Those wanting to take a break from the beach can take a hire car into the interior of the province to explore its towns and villages, while visitors wishing to see the historical sites can drive southwest along the coast to the city of Alicante or northwest to Valencia.
Who to Book
With Recognised car rental companies Budget, Avis and Europcar, as well as local agents Centauro and Goldcar, have offices in Benidorm, found right in the downtown area. Booking a vehicle online well in advance will ensure availability and allow you better deals.
Best time to go
Benidorm is a year-round destination and has an average annual temperature of 18°C. Summers are the busiest, drawing in local visitors as well as other Europeans, while winters attract Europeans from colder countries like the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your vehicle, the following documents are needed:
- Both parts of your UK driving license
- A passport or some other form of identification
- The credit card that was used in making the reservation
- Verification of booking, preferably printed
A car is not necessary in Benidorm itself as it is easy to get around on foot. Parking is hard to find, especially close to the beaches, although some hotels do have their own car parks. Blue zones are pay and display areas with a maximum stay of two hours, but these spots are very hard to come by. This should not discourage visitors from hiring a car, however, as most find it is needed to explore outside of the town.
You can walk from one end of Benidorm to the other in just over an hour, while local buses do this route much faster and stop at all major attractions along the way. Taxis are readily available to take travellers to any spot in or around the city, while a narrow-gauge railway connects the town with its neighbours. Boats leave the marina for other destinations along the coast, including Benidorm Island.
Benidorm is linked to Alicante to the southwest and Denia to the northeast by a narrow-gauge railway that runs trains every hour. Benidorm VIA train station, around 0.62 miles north of the town centre, is also where the Tram Metropolitano de Alicante runs from, with Lines 1 and 9 making stops here. Line 1 links Benidorm to the Mercado station in Alicante, 1.25 miles from the main RENFE railway station, which has connections to the rest of the country.
Taxis in Benidorm are painted white with blue stripes and are easy to flag down throughout the town. There are also ranks all over the place, with taxi provided by plenty of reliable companies such as Radio Taxi and Eurotaxi. They run on meters in the town and on fixed rates to locations outside of Benidorm.
Local Llorente buses run throughout Benidorm and are a cheap way to get around, with single fares costing €1.45 and tourist cards charged at €10.70 for 24-hours and €19.40 for 72 hours. Bus services to other towns and cities are provided by ALSA, which links Benidorm to a number of destinations throughout Spain.
Alicante and the entire Costa Blanca region is a major tourist destination, and Benidorm is well connected to all areas of the region by road. The capital city of Alicante is just a 35-minute drive south along the coast, while the ancient town of Denia is the same distance along the coast to the north. Drive into the interior and you will be surrounded by picturesque mountain towns and beautiful historical sites. Alternately, you can explore the numerous beaches along the coastline.
Montgó Natural Park - Less than one hour away from Benidorm, Montgó Natural Park is home to to the Montgó massif, which stands at 735m high. A nature reserve surrounds the mountain and features prehistoric cave paintings and numerous ecosystems. It is also home to a number of beautiful trees, plants and flowers, as well as birds of prey and lizards.
Palmeral of Elche - An orchard in Elchi, and home to more than 200,000 palm trees and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. It is one of the world’s largest palm groves, certainly the largest in Europe, and is believed to have been planted in the 5th century BC. There are other things to see in the city, including the 15th century Altamira Castle and the lovely Basilica of Santa Maria.
The Castle of Santa Barbara - Found at the top of Mount Benacantil, and dates back to the 9th century. Spain’s largest medieval fortress, it sits on the east side of the city of Alicante, less than 40 minutes from Benidorm. The castle is open year-round and boasts stunning views of the city below.