When I was getting ready for the trip to Benidorm, I didn't really know much about the area and honestly, I would not be able to locate this city on the map. When I posted on my stories that I am going to Benidorm I received a storm of weird comments: "What are you even going to do there?", "I cannot believe you are going there", "Why Benidorm"... I was confused, what is wrong with Benidorm? After my research, it appeared that this city has a long-standing reputation as a popular British tourist destination, where people get all-inclusive hotels, spend hours at the beach doing nothing, go absolutely crazy on parties at night and all of that in the loop until it is time to go home. And then I understood that it is not Benidorm who has a bad reputation, it is the people who have no idea how to spend their holiday in an interesting way. I was on a mission to see a different side of Benidorm and to show it to people.
What to do in Benidorm differently?
visit sierra gelada national park
I was amazed even when I saw pictures of this places online, so no surprise I was in love when I saw Sierra Gelada National Park with my own eyes. The whole area is just stunning, hidden caves, pools, deep blue waters, secluded beaches, rock formations, and cliffs. Best thing? It is all just 20 min away from the busy center of Benidorm. Just hop on Tao Bikes- electro bikes, that are absolutely fun to ride and you are in for an adventure. it was my first time riding an electro bike and I loved it, it would be my favorite way of exploring the city now. The owner of the shop is also a fantastic person a true world traveler who cares about nature, the future of the city and showing visitors the best of Benidorm. He is extremely nice and helpful and will share the most interesting routes according to your interest.
get in the water
Here I tried jet ski for the first time ever, but the variety of water sports are endless: kayaking, diving, parasailing, banana boat, fly fish, windsurfing, snorkeling. We also did a sunset kayak around the coastline and went diving and snorkeling next to the island. Activities in the water are fun for the whole family and let you experience the destination in a new way.
Before coming to Benidorm I had absolutely no idea that I would be swimming in wild waterfalls and this was my favorite surprise! When we were coming to see it, I could hear its power but I didn't even imagine it would be so big and beautiful. We spend a few hours swimming around in cold water, taking gorgeous pictures and enjoying the day. When I posted pictures online even Spanish people were asking me for a location as they had no idea about the existence of this place. I was so happy to make more people aware of this beautiful spot.
dive into delicious tapas and more
It is a huge myth that Benidorm offers mainly British pub and fast food! Yes, there are a lot of medium quality restaurants next to the beach that serve snacks and fast food to tourists, but if you are really looking for a great authentic place- there are plenty of them. In the heart of the old town, there are tons of little tapas place that serve amazing, delicious and cheap tapas. It is very popular to go from one place to another instead of just sitting down in one place. Few things that surprised me:
Locals don't really drink Sangria, I used to believe that this is a true specialty, but in reality, Spanish people prefer other drinks to Sangria as it is usually made with cheap wine.
You have to throw your napkins on the floor if you enjoyed your food, ambiance, and experience in the place. It was shocking to me, as I really don't like to litter and I could make myself to do at first. When looking for a place where to eat tapas, look for a dirty floor, if it has a lot of tissues it means people love, weird but true.
It was so extremely cheap, I was crawling out out the bar full of food and drinks and we only spent over 50 eur for 8 people! Can I stay here forever?
Places that I recommend:
Son De Mar
For drinks with the view go to the top of Madeira Centro.
Wine Tasting. Every region in Spain has delicious and unique wine and Benidorm is not an exception. During the tour you can see how wine is made, stored and of course serve (my fav part). I am not an expert, so I have to be honest I enjoy any excuse for day drinking. Bodegas a Mendoza is a stunning place to visit itself but accompanied by several glasses of wine everything becomes even better and more beautiful. I absolutely loved the visit and I think wine from a local winery makes a great souvenir to friends and family...or even myself. I couldn't resist and bought a few bottles!
Amusement Park. I am a huge fan of amusement parks, believe it or not, a few years ago during my vacation in Spain I dedicated 3 days of my holiday to live in an amusement park hotel and spent at least 10 hours a day riding roller coasters. I would never do something like that again, but whenever I hear about the amusement park in close proximity I have to be there. Terra Mitica is a great place for a family and if you are looking for some adrenaline rush. I have ridden so many roller coasters that it doesn't even make me nervous anymore, but there few rides in the park that made my heart skip a beat.
Cooking Class. Apart from being an adventurous spirit, I actually enjoy spending time at home and cooking, so whenever I am away I also try to learn about different local dishes, buy spices, ingredients and try preparing that at home. So cooking class is just a great way to spend a. fun evening, eat and learn something new. If you have no cooking experience and are worried that it might be too hard for you, don't worry, there is nothing easier to make than tapas.
Visit Mountains. If you enjoy camping, hiking, and mountains this is where you need to go! We hopped on a jeep with Marco Polo Adventure and went exploring highest peaks fo Benidorm- Puig Campana.