|Places of interest|
True capital of the Costa Blanca, Benidorm is one of the symbols of the Spanish tourist growth, the small village of fishermen and farmers, which had 2.000 inhabitants at the beginning of the century, has grown into one of the most important tourist complexes of the world, capable of lodging 5.000.000 visitors a year. Theme parks, tennis, squash, golf, athletics, go-karts, paragliding, swimming, sailing, motor boats, rowing, fishing and deep sea diving are just some of the activities that Benidorm and its surroundings offer you as well as offering you a rich cuisine with a wide choice of rice and fish. The secret of Benidorm´s attraction as a tourist destination is in its beaches and the variety of leisure activities on offer. Benidorm has a busy calendar of "Fiestas" (Spanish holidays), a wide range of excursions to offer the visitor, a magical nightlife, a rich and varied gastronomy and endless possibilities of entertainment. For all these reasons and many more Benidorm is the ideal destination for all, don´t think about it any more and come and see for yourself.
Landscape and nature : Benidorm is situated in a beautiful bay, divided into two sections by the rock of the old castle and facing south, while the remaining cardinal points are protected by mountainous chains from the strong Levante winds and the cold northern winds. Benidorm island emerges from the south 2 miles from the castle. Just off the island, a few metres under the sea one can find the "Llosa", a true diver´s paradise. Apart from the beaches with 5 kms of fine golden sand, one can enjoy the small "calas" (small inlets situated on the coast which finish in the small beaches situated in the Rincon de Loix), the impressive cliffs of more than 400 metres high or hill walking in Sierra Helada. A whole world of nature and true mediteranean landscape.
Society : Benidorm is a town for everybody, its special qualities and its experience in receiving a multiple and diverse tourism throughout a century has made it into a meeting place for people of all nationalities, types, ages and cultures who have not only adopted Spain´s traditions but in doing so have crossed frontiers by giving them recognition.
Culture : Benidorm offers you apart from its varied calendar of "Fiestas" numerous cultural activities from popular festival to street concerts, theatre groups, choirs, exhibitions, conferences and seminars of every type. In particular one could mention the prestigous "Foro de Turismo" and the internationally known song festival to name but two.
History : The first settlement of Benidorm´s population was probably originated in the "Tossal de la Cala" an archaelogical settlement of international importance, from which the famous "Venus Baquica" also known under the name of Tanit originates, which is conserved in the provincial archaeological museum of Alicante. Benidorm is thus born on the 8th May 1325 , when Bernat de Sarria, Lord of the Baronia de Polop, confers it the "carta de Poblamiento". In the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries the importance of Benidorm diminishes greatlyl with the pirate raids and lack of water. In the 18th century two significant religous happenings occur, the beginning of the works of the parish of St James and the discovery of the Virgen of Sufragio in 1740, Patron Saint of Benidorm. It is in this century when the fishermen acquire international prestige by being entrusted with the instalation of nearly all the "almadrabas" of the Mediteranean (a difficult art of Tuna fishing involving a complicated system of nets). During the war of independence Benidorm is occupied by Napoleonic troups and then in the first half of the 19th century a new commercial activity is started, coastal traffic, changing the direction of the population towards more dependence on the civil navy. In the second half of the last century tourism begins to move towards Benidorm. There is much publicity around this time in various national newspapers of the "establishment of Spas from the Ronda sea" situated on the Levante beach. Due to this and the post war confidence of the 50’s Benidorm takes off touristically with the arrival of large groups of travellers through tour operators and travel agencies due to the general introduction in the west of package holidays. At present near to 5.000.000 visitors a year turn Benidorm into the leading tourist destination of the Mediteranean
Economy : Traditionally having always made a living from the sea the growth of tourism has now determined the economy of Benidorm. Benidorm is a modern town with more than 35.000 beds in hotel establishments and innumerable possibilities of accommodation in apartments , hostals and campsites, making it possible for the tourist trade to be active all year round. A great variety of shops souvenirs, expensive boutiques, jewellry shops, leather goods or bizarres not to mention the popular typical and picturesque local markets) and a rich and varied gastronomy as much local as foreign adds to the attractiveness of leisuretime, the sun and the beaches. These are the bases which make Benidorm a privileged destination.
Festive calendar : In Benidorm you may enjoy "Fallas", carnavals, Easter celebrations, the bonfires of San Juan and the Moors and Christian festivities to name but a few of the numerous "fiestas" that make it the busiest calendar in all the province of Alicante. The fiestas of the Patron Saint are celebrated in November in honor of St James and the Virgen del Sufragio, whose miraculous discovery is dramatized in the month of March. The "Fiestas de la carxofa" are celebrated in the old part of the town the 3rd week in November and are the oldest fiestas in Benidorm. A town with a permanent succesion of fiestas whose nights are illuminated with the spectacular firework displays.
When night falls, there is a vast array of entertainment possibilities including cafe terraces, disco pubs, live entertainment spots, discotheques, night clubs ,eating places and not forgetting a relaxing stroll along the new Levante Beach promenada.
Surrounding Benidorm there are some beautiful places nearby:
POLOP DE LA MARINA: Approximately 12 kilometers from Beniorm, is a picturesque village which seems to tumble down the hillside. Its original castle was replaced by a church then a cemetery. Its prominent position offers panoramic views to the sea and surrounding fruit orchards. A walk in the narrow streets, which are full of examples of local architecture, can feel like a walk back in time. Also worth a visit is the Fountain of the Streams, with its 221 spouts for a cool, refreshing drink.
CALLOSA D'EN SARRIA: Only 15 kilometers from Benidorm situated in the evergreen valleys of the Algar and Guadalest rivers is famous for its fruit orchards, especially the 'Nispero'. One of its main attractions is the Fuentes del Algar (Algar Waterfalls) where the falls and still pools create a beautiful setting for swimming and walking. There is also a small nature reserve dedicated to the conservation of the flora.
GUADALEST: a further 4 kilometers from Callosa is an ancient fortress set high on the crags of the valley with exceptional panoramic views of orchards and pine forests stretching down to the sea. The towns narrow streets are full of little shops selling typical handicrafts and products, which lead to the terrace on which the castle, nowadays a cemetery, used to stand.
ALTEA: Just 10 kilometers from Benidorm, sits on a small hill. The old town is all steep narrow streets that lead up to the main square which opens out in front of the parish church. The narrow streets are full of bars, eating places and small craft shops where local artists sell their wares. Altea is also a coastal town with its own port and shipyard therefore offering its visitors a full range of water-sport activities. The Promenade, which runs the full length of the beach, is well worth a relaxing stroll, especially at night. There is also a nine-hole golf course at Altea La Vella.
L' ALFAS DEL PI: Approximately six kilometers from Benidorm and to the left of the main road 332 to Valencia is the village of L' Alfas del Pi ( the name is an Arabic derivative meaning " sown field"). Being so close to Benidorm , it has experienced a lot of tourist development resulting mainly in the growth of urbanizations within the municipal area. Inspite of this surge in tourism over the past few decades, it has not lost it's rural and agricultural character with fields full of almond, orange and lemon trees.
Albir where L' Alfas meets the Mediterranean with it's pebble beach and little bars and cafes, offers a nice relaxing atmosphere to forget the outside world with it's madding crowd.
La Cala Finestrat is a small, pleasent, clean bay immediately south of Benidorm. It has a beutiful sandy beach which is excellent for swimming. There are many small bars and resturants which specialize in all types of cuisine and sea food in particular. 10 minutes bus ride to the center of Benidorm. Five minute drive to an excellent shopping center " La Morina",a Hyper market " Carrefour" and the new theme park "Terra Mitica".
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