Benidorm has everything you would want from a holiday destination – miles of golden sandy beaches, hundreds of bars and diverse entertainment. But if you fancy escaping the bustle of this vibrant resort for a day, there are plenty of places you could try – many of which are accessible by public transport.
To one side of Benidorm is the picturesque town of Villa Joyosa, where you will find the much photographed multi-coloured houses – resembling a Dulux colour chart. It is also home to the Valor chocolate factory – Spain’s oldest and best selling chocolate brand, where you can go on a free tour of the museum and factory. English speaking tours take place at 11am and 4pm on weekdays and 11am on Saturday. If you are taking the tram to Villa Joyosa get off at “Creueta”.
Head in the opposite direction from Benidorm and you arrive in Albir – a very cosmopolitan town. There are numerous street cafes and restaurants here and close by in Alfaz del Pi is the Mendoza Wine Bodega – where you can book a tour and tasting session. Take a stroll along the Albir promenade and you will end up in Altea – the jewel of the Costa Blanca. The Old Town is like stepping back in time, with cobbled streets and whitewashed houses and has a real Bohemian feel to it. At the top of the Old Town is the distinctive blue domed church, probably the most photographed in the whole of Spain and around it are an array of fantastic restaurants.
If you are in Benidorm during the hot months then take a daytrip to the Algar waterfalls, a great place to cool down and aprox 15km from the resort – the number 18 bus has a daily service. Pack a towel, some lunch and drinks – although there is a restaurant within the park and swimwear. It is totally un-commercialized and you will be jumping into the ice cold water off a piece of shuttering ply! If you are brave head upstream and dive into the waterfalls themselves – but be warned, the water is so cold it will literally take your breath away.
The mountain village of Guadalest, located 600 metres above sea level is some 50km inland and one of the most visited villages in the whole of Spain. There are 4 museum’s to see in addition to plenty of gift shops and at the very top you get a breathtaking view looking down at the turquoise reservoir – which supplies drinking water to Benidorm. Between April and September you can hop on the solar powered boat that will take you around the lake.
If you want to walk off those calories after consuming a few too many then make your way to Finestrat, behind Benidorm and head to the Fonts Moli. There are a number of sign posted walk routes taking you up and around the spectacular Puig Campana – the mountain that you can see from Benidorm with the big chunk missing. If walking is not your thing there are also organized downhill bike rides you can book.
Just over an hours train ride either side of Benidorm are Alicante and Denia – both worth taking a day out for and only costing just over £5 return. From Denia you can hop on the ferry and go to Ibiza – they operate a “clubbing service” which takes you out in the evening and back in the morning for something a little bit different!
By Irena Bodnarec exclusively for Infinity Weekends