Okay, we’re not entirely oblivious of the things people say behind Benidorm’s back. Even Wikipedia points out that it used to be a place for summer binge drinking, and it’s been the source of many jokes about stag parties and bad cabaret. According to recent reports, however, all of that is a thing of the past.
Benidorm is well known for its vertical stacks of high rises, but detractors tend to gloss over its charming cobbled streets in Benidorm Old Town (El Castell), places like the Church of San Jaime, which was built in 1740, and Benidorm Castle which is thought to date from the 14th century.
Benidorm’s popularity is owed in part to its long stretches of white sand and excellent climate (300 days of sunshine every year!), which complement the new five-star lodges, boutique hotels and swanky restaurants that have cropped up recently.
Jason Webster from The Guardian wrote an interesting piece last year about how Benidorm is changing, saying that the motivation was coming from within the town. “While the resort still caters principally for families and the elderly, the new administration is keen to attract sophisticated and independent travellers.”
What he means by that is students, gay travellers and adventure and sport seekers (particularly scuba divers), as well as families and pensioners are increasingly being provided for in Benidorm.
Diana Edelman from I Travels Round writes that Benidorm is about as non-Spanish as travellers can get without actually leaving the country, and yet: “While it isn’t like the Larnaca hot spots, it has its own character and beauty”, especially at night.
Late-night diners and enclaves lit with fairy lights are just some of the things she likes about Benidorm; others have said that it’s a place to have fun and let your hair down, but it’s also great for children. So we’ve put up a little poll to see how you feel about the Manhattan of Spain: is it hot, or is it not? Have your say!