Benidorm used to have a bad reputation as a town/city attracting drunken yobs. Either you love it or hate it. There is plenty to see and do during a fortnight’s holiday. It has two long beaches, The Playa Levante (wake up beach?) and the Playa Poniente (sunset beach?) often claiming the prestigious Blue Flag for cleanliness. Tractors clean the beach every evening and the promenades are washed down. Cars can still drive in certain areas along the promenade next to the beach.
Just behind Benidorm lies Finestrat, a mountain village close to a shopping mall and Carrefour hypermarket. Many new 5 star hotels are springing up in Finestrat which is a short distance from the theme park called Terra Mitica. Terra Mitica grows each year with new rides and attractions. The entrance is impressive starting with the Egyptian area where there are shops selling Egyptian souvenirs revolving around ancient Egyptians and there is an Egyptian restaurant. From this area, you can take a ship to the next area. Once inside you’ll see that this Spanish version of Disneyland has been given a Mediterranean theme with each sector of the park dedicated to a different civilization including the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and Iberians.
A fairly recent addition is Terra Natura (a wildlife park where wild animals roam). There is also a Water Park with a wave pool, beach, islands, spa, restaurants and generally, lots to do in the sun.
Also on the outskirts of Benidorm is Mundomar where you can swim with dolphins or sealions. They also have parrot shows and offer the chance to be a park keeper for the day.
Aqualandia is another water park where you can try the Big Bang, Vertigo, Kamikaze water rides or if that is too much, then you could always laze around under a cool manmade waterfall. The food on offer is anything from paella, burgers, to a barbeque. There is the ubiquitous souvenir shop.
The lovely old village of Finestrat, 40 km. north of Alicante, and a short drive from Benidorm, is a little unusual because it is an inland mountain village with its own touristy beach called Cala Finestrat. The picturesque village, which hugs the mountain side of Puig Campana, has beautiful views from the mountains down to the sea; the architecture has a distinct Moorish influence and many of the houses are colourfully painted.
A little further south of Benidorm lies Villajoyosa (meaning joyful town), a typical Spanish village, with a sandy beach and fishing port. Villajoyosa celebrates the “Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos” from the 24th to the 31st of July every year and the central act is orientated around the Moros unship.
It is sheltered by the Sierra Aitana mountain meaning it has relatively mild winters. There is a daily fish market, a street market on Thursdays, as well as a Sunday flea market. The houses are painted in bright colours.