Benidorm Tourist Attractions
Once a small fishing village, Benidorm has now become an internationally known resort, one of the most popular holiday centers on the Costa Blanca ("White Coast").
The long beaches of fine sand and the warm climate (345 days with sunshine in the average year) attract three million visitors annually to Benidorm. In recent decades the town, which now has 250,000 beds for visitors, has completely changed its aspect. The seafront promenade is lined with hotels and high-rise apartment blocks, and entertainments of all kinds are available by day and by night. A rocky promontory crowned by a castle divides the beach into an eastern (Playa de Levante) and a western part (Playa de Poniente).On the promontory is the old fishing village, with picturesque narrow streets. From a terrace in the Parque Castillo, in the grounds of the castle, there are fine views of the bay. North of the town is Aqualand, one of the largest water parks in Europe, with facilities for all kinds of water sports.
Into the Sierra de Aitana
C 3318 runs north through an agricultural region in which citrus fruits and medlars are grown. At Callosa de Ensarría C 3313 goes off on the left and traverses the Sierra de Aitana to Alcoy.On this road, 18km/11mi from Benidorm, is the fascinating little village of Guadalest, built into the rock and accessible only through a tunnel driven through the hill. In 1609 this was the last refuge of the Muslim Moriscos before their final expulsion from Spain. An earthquake in 1744 almost completely destroyed the old Moorish castle, but the extraordinary situation and the views from the top make it well worth while to climb the crag on which it stood.
Along the Coast to the North
The road continues from Altea above the coastal cliffs, with magnificent views of the Peñón de Ifach and the sea; then through two tunnels and into a side road on the right to reach the little fishing town of Calpe (alt. 20m/65ft), on a site which was already occupied in Phoenician times. The town has old walls and a little church in Mudéjar style. Salt is still won from the sea in salt-pans.
Along the Coast to the South
The coast road, running at some distance from the sea, comes in 10km/ 6mi to Villajoyosa, a little port town beautifully situated above the sea. The old fishing quarter, with its brightly painted houses, has been preserved intact. Of the old fortifications there survive imposing remains of walls and towers and the fortress-like Gothic church, with a Renaissance doorway, which was incorporated in the town walls. From here the coast road continues to Alicante.