The Three Main Districts Of Benidorm
Many people have a preconceived idea of what Benidorm is like, usually from the media and most visitors are surprised by just how diverse this city by the sea is.
To best describe it, this map shows the three main districts/areas;
Levante beach ( Playa de Levante) and ‘New Town’ (Which includes the English Square etc), The Old Town, and Poniente beach (Playa de Poniente)
The Levante Beach & New Town
Levante beach, meaning rise and where you can watch the sunrise, is the most popular beach with British visitors. Stretching from the beginning of the Old Town to the Rincon de Loix, it has fine golden sand, sunbeds and sunshades to rent, lifeguards are in attendance and the beach is backed by cafes, bars and restaurants. Some of these are quite loud and partying people spill on to the promenade. Some bars offer live entertainment. At the Rincon de Loix end there is a permanent water ski course and you can also participate in watersports like parasail, jetski and banana boats from here. In the summer months the boat to the island stops here to pick up passengers.
A couple of streets back from the beach is the entertainment area where most of the popular hotels are situated. This area is known as the ‘new’ town as it has only grown since the 1960’s. Before that there were a few villas and orange groves. It now caters mainly for British visitors and there are scores of nightclubs and bars with cabaret acts performing until the early hours.
The Old Town
Long before the tourists arrived, the old town and harbour was all that there was in Benidorm. The houses are clustered together around the church of St James that stands on the peninsular that separates the beaches of Levante and Poniente. This peninsular provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the views of both beaches. There was an old castle sited here and is currently an archeological dig. The old town comprises buildings that are close together to keep out the heat of the summer sun. This part of town has a lot of character and is where the gay community meet in clubs. It also is the home of Tapas alley, where the popular snack can be enjoyed. Tapa means cover and originated as a piece of bread to cover drinks against flies. Now tapas are amazingly diverse and delicious and worth discovering. The main shopping streets are found in the Old Town and nowadays include many famous brand names.
The harbour is picturesque and lies at the bottom of the peninsular. There is a yacht club with a nice terrace and boats leave the harbour for trips to Benidorm island, to Calpe and to Tabarca island. You can also do watersports like jetski and parasail from here. Fresh fish restaurants can be found in this area too.
Stretching from the harbour to La Cala and the Hotel Bali, this beach is favoured by Spaniards and families. The name Poniente means west and it is from this beach that the spectacular sunsets can be seen. There are some hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants bordering the road behind the beach, but most of the buildings are self catering privately owned apartments. It is noticeably quieter and there is no live entertainment. Sunbeds and sunshades can be hired and lifeguards are in attendance all year round. The promenade is designed to represent waves and makes a wonderful walk from end to end.