BENIDORM: 12+1 Alternative Plans for Nature, Culture and History

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Benidorm, what to see and do

Benidorm arouses passions. Loved by some, hated by others, there is no doubt that this former fishing village is today one of the main tourist destinations not only on the Costa Blanca but throughout the national territory and even beyond…

In this article I show you that Benidorm, the city of skyscrapers, has a lot to offer beyond the typical party plans, beach, discos and drinking.

Stay until the end and you will discover plans in Benidorm that you probably didn’t know and that -I hope- will surprise you. Let’s start!

Alternative Plans in Benidorm

CHARMING PLACES IN BENIDORM

In addition to the classic Mirador del Castillo, known as the “Balcony of the Mediterranean”, there are many charming places in Benidorm that are not so popular and that nevertheless I recommend you to know. They are as follows:

1. The site and viewpoint of Tossal de la Cala

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Poniente Beach and Benidorm Skyline from the Tossal de la Cala

The Tossal de la Cala is a small mountainous elevation of one hundred meters high that separates the Poniente Beach of Benidorm from the neighboring Cala de Finestrat.

At the top of this hill with exceptional views of the Mediterranean we find the Ermita de la Virgen del Mar, as well as an archaeological site from Roman times that has been “musealized” and is well worth visiting.

Another highly recommended plan to complete the visit to Tossal de la Cala is to take a free-tour to learn about the history and curiosities of Benidorm .

2. The Cross of Benidorm, history and views

Viewpoint of the Cross of Benidorm

At the opposite end of the bay, on the Levante Beach and the Rincón de Loix, we find one of the most spectacular viewpoints from which to look out over the city of skyscrapers: La Cruz de Benidorm.

A symbol of this ancient fishing village that hides a history even more surprising than its location: it was placed here by the Catholic Church in 1961, in a desperate attempt to redeem the city of its sins and debauchery, with the bikini as the ultimate exponent of its lust.

Beyond this curious story, walking up to the Benidorm Cross is an experience that you have to “suffer” – because of the steep slope – at least once in your life. If you are an experienced hiker and in very good physical shape from here you can undertake the Travesía de la Serra Gelada, a demanding route only available to a few.

3. Ti Ximo and La Almadrava, Benidorm's Coves

Tio Ximo Cove, Benidorm

In addition to its famous sandy beaches, Benidorm also has coves… And what coves! Located on the border of the Serra Gelada Natural Park and hidden among the cliffs, these small jewels of turquoise waters and seabed with oceanic posidonia tell us about the seafaring past of the population: a almadraba -almadrava in Valencian- was a fishing gear that was formerly used in this cove to catch tuna. As for the toponym Ti Ximo It comes from one of the last owners of this land, who built here the terraces where he planted carob trees, vines and a fig tree, as explained in this article from the Benidorm History Blog.

The coves of Benidorm are among the most beautiful coves of the Costa Blanca and are one of the best places in the province for snorkeling. In summer you will find them with many people, especially young people, but out of season you can enjoy them almost in solitude.

ACTIVE TOURISM IN BENIDORM

4. Kayak Tour in Benidorm

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Believe it or not, the waters of Benidorm Bay are part of the Serra Gelada Natural Park, a coastal mountain range that stretches between Benidorm itself and the neighboring Alfàs del Pi (El Albir).

That is why enjoying water activities in Benidorm is a great plan. In particular, we recommend activities such as kayak tours or paddle surfing, as these non-motorized boats are environmentally friendly.

Although you can go out on your own, the ideal is to book a tour with an instructor , which in addition to being a safer activity will allow you to discover the secrets that these waters hide.

5. Electric bicycle ride through the Serra Gelada Natural Park.

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This electric bike route will take you to discover a natural area of great beauty and environmental relevance that, believe it or not, is very close to the bustling Levante Beach in Benidorm.

This is the route that leads to the Torre de les Caletes, built in the sixteenth century as a defense against attacks by Barbary pirates.

You can also do this route on your own, walking, although due to the characteristics of the route (asphalt, little slope), doing it on an electric bicycle and with the help of a local guide, will allow you to discover all its secrets in a pleasant and fun way. .

6. Adventure in Parque Forestal (La Nucia)

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Whether you travel as a couple, with friends or with the little ones of the house, the Forest Park of La Nucia -a beautiful town a stone’s throw from Benidorm- will allow you to live an exciting adventure where you can test your skills: strength, balance, coordination… Do you accept the challenge?

VISIT BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES

Very close to Benidorm we can visit several charming villages, both on the coast and towards the mountainous interior of Alicante. Here are the most interesting ones:

7. Polop de la Marina

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A very short distance from Benidorm we find this beautiful village whose old town is perched on the hill of its castle. Linked unfailingly to the memory of the writer Gabriel Miró, Polop de la Marina is one of those essential visits if you come to spend a few days in this part of the Costa Blanca. Discover here the best plans in Polop de la Marina.

8. El Castell de Guadalest

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Alicante is a province of contrasts, and this means that very close to the coast, in just 25 minutes, you can find beautiful villages surrounded by mountains, as is the case of El Castell de Guadalest , one of the best-known inland destinations in the region. White shore.

In this case, if you want to get away from the clichés again, we recommend you to hire a free-tour -guided tour in which you decide how much you want to pay – that will allow you to get to know the history and curiosities of this picturesque town that gives its name to the valley in which it is located, surrounded by the most emblematic mountains of Alicante: La Vall de Guadalest.

9. Altea, La Vila Joiosa, Xàbia and more...

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Do you want to know more beautiful towns near Benidorm? There are many! For example:

➡️ Altea, “the dome of the Mediterranean”

➡️ Jávea / Xàbia, the city that Sorolla fell in love with

➡️ Finestrat, at the foot of Puig Campana

➡️ Polop de la Marina, the memory of Gabriel Miró

➡️ Villajoyosa / La Vila Joiosa , with its charming colorful fishermen’s houses

BEST HIKING TRAILS NEAR BENIDORM

It may surprise you, but yes, Benidorm is also an exceptional destination to enjoy spectacular hiking trails and, in some cases, of high difficulty. These are some of the best, but there are many more:

10. Caletes Tower Route

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Sunrise overlooking the Serra Gelada cliffs

Starting from the surroundings of the Rincón de Loix and the aforementioned coves of Benidorm, this simple route allows us to enter the Serra Gelada Natural Park, a coastal mountain range declared a natural park by the Generalitat Valenciana due to its exceptional environmental, cultural and scenic values.

The simple route along an asphalt road (closed to traffic) allows us to see the Torre de les Caletes or Punta del Cavall, a 16th century watchtower built as a defense against the corsair attacks of the time. From the tower we can contemplate a spectacular panoramic view of the cliffs of the Serra Gelada, whose climbing fossil dunes are among the highest in Europe. This tour is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

11. L'Albir Lighthouse Route

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Route Faro de l'Albir

Very close to Benidorm and again in the Serra Gelada Natural Parkwe found this hiking route suitable for all audiences that allows us to enjoy magnificent views towards the Bay of Altea, the Serra de Bèrnia and the most emblematic mountains of the area, such as the Puig Bell or Mount Ponotx.

12. Summit of Puig Campana

High Difficulty Route

Benidorm Island from Puig Campana
Benidorm from the summit of Puig Campana

From practically anywhere in Benidorm it is possible to contemplate the majestic silhouette of Puig Campana , a 1,408-meter-high rock colossus whose summit can be reached via a high-difficulty hiking trail that begins in the town of Finestrat .

It is not an excursion suitable for everyone: it requires good physical condition and mountain equipment (boots, backpack, etc.). Also, in summer it is too hot to enjoy this tour. Spring, autumn and even winter are the most propitious times of the year to embark on this adventure.

THEME PARKS

Not all theme parks in Benidorm are amusement parks: some will also allow you to learn about fauna and flora and are a very interesting visit to do with children (and adults). Remember to buy your tickets in advance to avoid surprises:

12+1. Learning and having fun at Terra Natura, Aqua Natura and Mundomar

Do not miss...

Good practices
Respect other people and private property.
Respect flora, fauna and environment. Enjoy in Silence.
Always follow the trails. Tackling damages the environment.
Respect the Cultural Heritage (ruins, stone margins, etc).
Do not leave a trace of your passage, nor organic remains.
Find out, Plan and Equip yourself well to enjoy to the fullest.
Thanks!

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