30 Things to Do on Your Day Off in Benidorm

Things to do on your day off in Benidorm, with Digital Nomads in Mind.

Hey digital nomads! So, you’ve decided to make Benidorm your work from home location, too? Or maybe you’re still thinking about it, well, as somebody who already lives and works in Benidorm, I thought this post would share some of the amazing things you can do on your day off or when you finish work in Benidorm.

Benidorm is reintroducing itself as somewhere where you can work from home in a beautiful environment with plenty of activities to keep you entertained, too. After all, if we’re working from home, why not work from home here?

If you are thinking about becoming a digital nomad in Benidorm and moving to working from home here, then I recommend you to join this Facebook group to keep in contact with other digital nomads here and find out information about the digital nomad in Benidorm lifestyle!

In Benidorm, we have an amazing work and play balance. With over 300 days of sun, blue skies are pretty much guaranteed and agreeable weather all year thanks to our microclimate, it’s the sort of place where you can finish work at 6pm and still sit out for a drink with friends well into the evening. Weekends are usually filled with getting out into nature and taking walks, having picnics or going out for meals.

So many of us have shifted to working from home since the pandemic so it’s definitely worth looking at situating yourself in Benidorm and working from home here. There’s plenty of apartments that have sea views and we’re blessed to be a city so well connected. You can walk from one side of the city to another in around an hour, or take the public transport which is 1,50€ throughout the whole city. We also have a great adaptability with bike paths meaning getting around is super easy here.

It’s definitely not all work and no play in Benidorm, so here’s 30 ideas of what to do on your day off if you live in Benidorm!

1. Take a dip with the dolphins at Mundomar

At Mundomar, you can get up close and personal with plenty of marine animals, that includes dolphins and penguins! You can find out more about Mundomar by reading my Keeper for a Day experience or visiting their official website: https://www.mundomar.es

2. Experience Terra Natura

terra natura benidorm girl looking at elephant wearing white jumper from bershka

Terra Nature, the ‘immersion’ zoo. Get friendly with a llama or feed the elephants. Time your visit right and you could be joining in with the Holi Festival! Find out more about Terra Natura by visiting my blog post: Welcome to the Jungle… or heading over to their official website here: http://benidorm.terranatura.com/en

3. Be a thrill seeker at Terra Mitica

If you’re a thrill seeker and love the adrenaline rush then Terra Mitica is perfect for you. They have a whole host of different rides and attractions. You can also head to Iberia Park – but the attractions aren’t included in your entrance price there. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to do the two parks!

4. Benidorm Palace

Get dressed up to the nines and have a fancy gala dinner all whilst enjoying an unforgettable flamenco show at Benidorm Palace. You’ll have a nice three course meal whilst enjoying plenty of different acts, including flamenco shows and magic tricks.

5. Go Diving

With diving stones, you can go diving or snorkelling and explore some of the marine life that flourishes in a whole new world under the sea. We’re blessed with some of the most concentrated marine life along the coast, so it’s definitely worth exploring what there is to find.

6. Jet Ski

Jet skiing in Benidorm digital nomad

Zoom along the sea and see Benidorm from a whole new perspective by hiring a jet ski with Carlos Water Sports Benidorm. At the old town part, there’s plenty of water sports to get the thrill seekers excited.

7. Awake the senses at Algar Falls

waterfall at algar falls benidorm

Take a dip in the freezing cold waters at Algar Falls and really chill out the summer! It’s also beautiful to visit in autumn and early spring, though definitely not for swimming! You can get there by Llorente Bus, car or on a guided trip.

8. Pitch and Putt at Sierra Cortina

With a technical difficulty of 1, it’s a super fun course for beginners and the seasoned player. Sierra Cortina’s 28 hole Pitch & Putt has a variety of options, with shortest fairway being 55 metres in length and the longest being 100 metres, they aren’t massively difficult. But, if you’re experienced, try out some of the hazards, like the artificial lakes! The shorter distance course can be tackled in less than two hours.

9. Make a splash at Aqua Natura

girl bathing at aqua natura benidorm bikini

You could always combine your ticket and nip in between Terra Natura and Aqua Natura. Or, spend your whole day there. There is usually music playing in the summer to get the party started and plenty of refreshments to keep you going. To kickstart the adrenaline, take a ride on the water slides!

10. Be spoilt for choice at one of the many beaches

Mal Pas? Levante? Poniente? La Cala? There are so many to choose from in such a small radius. For a change of scenery, you can also head to Villajoyosa beach, Albir and Altea beach.

11. Discover new heights at Guadalest

beautiful photo of the mountains and blue water at guadalest village near benidorm

A beautiful church, old Spanish winding cobbled streets and crystal blue waters. Guadalest is an unforgettable experience. You can reach it by local bus, car or by booking yourself on to a guided visit.

12. Take an Electric Bike Ride

You can make use of the many bike paths around Benidorm and get around from one side of the city to the other quickly and easily by electric bike. Head to TAO Bike to rent a bike and explore the city and beyond.

13. Explore the Natural Park

The Sierra Helada is a beautiful and relaxing place to pass some time. Get hold of an electric bike and cruise around the mountains and you’ll be rewarded with some outstanding views of Benidorm and the Mediterranean.

14. Make the journey to the Cross

It’s a climb. But, the views worth it. There aren’t any bars on the way, so make sure you wear appropriate clothing and take plenty of water and snacks! To make the journey quicker, you can go by electric bikes with Tao Bike!

15. Climb the Tossal

At the end of Poniente, near the Hotel Bali sits the wonderful Tossal. Climbing it will give you spectacular views over Benidorm.

beautiful pink sky from the tossal at benidorm at sunset

16. Eat your way through Tapas Alley

Along Tapas Alley in the Old Town, there are plenty of tapas bars to munch your way through. The tradition is to hop between them all. Tapas Alley is a bustling and vibrant spot, usually packed with Spanish. There are so many bars to choose from. Calle Santo Domingo is a good place to begin and La Taperia comes highly recommended. Tapas bars are perfect for trying out foods that you wouldn’t want to order as a main dish and perfect for sharing and nibbling on whilst enjoying a ‘caña’ or a glass of ‘vino’.

17. Light a candle at the church

In the church of San Jaime, at the top of the Old Town, you can add a small bit of change to light up an electronic candle. It is a lovely tradition and also helps to fund the church.

18. Zoom around Karting Benidorm

Karting Benidorm is located in Levante end, near to the Rio Park hotel, or Karting Finestrat is located nearer to Poniente in Finestrat. Both offer karting at a very reasonable price.

19. Browse the local produce at the market

Wandering through a market can be a fantastic way to take a dip into the Spanish culture. There are stalls for toys, bags, electronics and fruit and veg. Plus, you’re helping to cut down on wasted plastic too!

20. Ride a horse

Every day there is a one hour trek through the Spanish countryside.

21. Get closer to the sea at the Mirador

At the Old Town, you can look left and see Levante or look right and see Poniente. Which one is your favourite? With panoramic views and even the opportunity to head down the steps and get closer to the sea, it’s a wonderful experience.

22. Stand on the top of Europes’ Tallest Hotel

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 19.01.25

Benidorm boasts that it is home to the tallest hotel in Europe. It is none other than the Hotel Bali. For €6, you can stand on the platform at the top and marvel at the incredible views of Benidorm, Puig Campana, Altea and beyond!

23. Strike out at the bowling

There are a few Bowling alleys dotted around Benidorm.

24. Watch a film at the cinema

There are plenty of cinemas dotted around. In Villajoyosa, there is one located near to the Tram Stop, Creueta. Or, you can watch one in Benidorm centre or at C.C La Marina. For a real immersion in the culture, try and watch one in Spanish. The cinema that shows films in English nearby is Cines Colci in Rincon, or if you want a superb cinema experience. V.O.S means it is in English.

25. Get a hole in one at Mini Golf

If you’ve got patience and can deal with taunting obstacles then give mini-golf a go. There are a few courses scattered around the Benidorm area.

26. Go Shopping

Shopping is all the rehab you need? Fancy a shop until you drop? You’ll find all the best shops, such as Zara, Pull & Bear, Zara Home, Bershka, Stradivarius, Calzedonia and more in Benidorm. In the old town, there’s plenty of boutique and high street shops, or head to the shopping centre in Finestrat which is only a short tram or bus ride away.

27. Walk the dogs at Benidorm Dog Homing

There are a few dog charities around Benidorm and they’re always keen for volunteer dog walkers. It can be a great way to meet new people and make a difference. They really do appreciate the support, and there are some beautiful walks you can do with a dog.

28. Join a nautical club

If you’re into water sports, it’s definitely worth joining a nautical club to make new friends and regularly partake in water sports on the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea.

29. Nightlife

Benidorm has wonderful nightlife, like tribute acts and live entertainment. There’s plenty of bars and hotels that offer live music to enjoy with a tipple.

30. Join a Spanish Club

There are a few places where you can learn Spanish to brush up on your language skills. There are various academies that offer Spanish lessons at different levels, but it’s worth signing up to the town hall Spanish classes.

Life is for living, live it to the max in Benidorm! #DigitalNomadsBenidorm

Villajoyosa Travel Guide

Villajoyosa, or La Vila or La Vila Joiosa, is known for its chocolate and its coloured houses that stretch along the beachfront.

villajoyosa travel guide

Villajoyosa, or La Vila or La Vila Joiosa, is known for its chocolate and its coloured houses that stretch along the beachfront. Situated on the Costa Blanca, a short tram ride from Benidorm, it’s a complete contrast and a relaxed way of life. You’ll find tapas bars, chic restaurants, chocolate factories, shops, and very little nightlife. Unless you count for people joining together over a caña or children playing in the park until late.

The beauty of La Vila is that it’s a beautiful seaside town, yet it hasn’t been a victim of over-tourism. It hasn’t lost its Spanish roots and neither has it turned into a tourist trap. Instead, it’s a proper working town which is lovely to spend a day wandering around.

Separated from Benidorm on the other side of La Cala de Finestrat, Villajoyosa is a laid-back, relaxed Spanish seaside town filled with history and culture. The way of life is, on the whole, much slower than other European countries. You’ll still find that shops and some restaurants still close for a siesta mid-afternoon.

Quick Guide:

Time Zone: GMT + 1

Plug Socket: European

Currency: Euro

Language: Spanish and Valencian. English is widely spoken and is growing.

Climate: A comfortable and welcoming year-round temperature. Very hot in July, August, and September. Low rainfall. February is the wettest month.

How long a stay: If you’re planning to head on holiday to Benidorm or Alicante, it’s very easy to see Villajoyosa in a half-day or full-day trip, depending on what you want to do there. If you’re wanting to go on holiday to Villajoyosa, 5-7 nights allows you to see different places in the area as well as relax at the beach and the pool.

What to pack: With a pleasing climate all year round, it’s easy to pack lightly for Villajoyosa, if you aren’t climatised! Don’t be surprised to see locals wearing jumpers and scarves in 20 degrees temperatures. In the summer, you’ll want to pack light clothing, shorts, t-shirts, and swimwear. It is completely ok to wear crop tops, have your shoulders showing or your knees. You will see lots of other people wearing the same. In winter, it’s a good idea to be a little more reserved. Locals will be wearing jumpers, jeans, and coats along with scarves and all the works. It’s a good idea, as to not stand out, to wear jeans and a t-shirt, with a cardigan or sweatshirt for when the temperature drops around 16:00.

Getting to Villajoyosa

playa el torres villajoyosa

Many people head to Villajoyosa for a holiday in its own right, without ever stepping foot into Benidorm or its neighbouring towns. Others opt for a getaway to Benidorm and spend a couple of hours or a day in Villajoyosa. After all, it’s only a 15-minute tram ride away! I would recommend only heading to Villajoyosa for a half-day trip.

Thursday is a good day to head to La Vila as it’s the day of their market. Next to the Creueta tram stop, you’ll find the huge market sprawled out. You’ll find lots of local produce ranging from meats and fish to fruits and vegetables, plus lots of clothes, bags and other bits and pieces. There are also food vans set up.

To get to Villajoyosa, your best bet is flying into Alicante Airport, or Valencia Airport if you don’t mind travelling further!

You can then take a local bus into Villajoyosa from the airport or use one of the transfer services. If you’re staying in Benidorm, there is a lovely walk you can do across the mountain and into La Vila via La Cala de Finestrat. It’s about a 2-hour walk but it’s fabulous to do in Spring or Autumn! The picture above is taken on El Torres beach that you will walk across before getting to La Vila. There is a great campsite there which has a bar!

If you are staying on the Costa Blanca, Villajoyosa has good ALSA and Llorente bus connections and 2 tram stations, Creueta and La Vila, which are conveniently placed both ends of the town.

I would recommend getting off at Creueta which is near to the Valor Chocolate Factory and the Market. A short walk down towards the sea brings you to the centre of the beach. You’ll then have the option to turn left for the port and the fishing area, or turn right to head into the old town and explore the coloured houses. Getting off at La Vila will bring you to the coloured houses and there is a gorgeous walk through the park and over the bridge.

The Villajoyosa Tram is on L1 which you take towards LUCEROS. Alternatively, if you’re driving, it’s a mere 10-15 minutes away on the motorway.

Where to stay in Villajoyosa

instagrammable locations in benidorm villajoyosa

As it’s not boomed with tourism, this means staying in Villajoyosa can pose a problem. There are hotels and apartments, but not many to choose from. You are able to book through booking websites to find apartments for short-term rent, or you can opt for one of the hotels.

There are hotels a little further out near to Paradis, but I wouldn’t recommend heading that far out as you will have to take a tram into La Vila each day anyway!

The two hotels in a good location are the following:

Hotel Censal: Hotel Censal is a three-star hotel situated one street back from the beach. It’s near to the petrol station and Burger King. There are also various bars and restaurants scattered nearby as well as a Mercadona supermarket just a short 5 minutes walk away. It’s a relaxed hotel which offers sea views and a rooftop terrace. Average cost: 70€ per night

Hotel Allon Mediterrania: I would say this is the best choice of hotels in La Vila. Located on the first line of the beach, there is nothing obstructing your view in the morning. You’ll wake up to fishing boats out on the shore and, if you’re lucky, you might even see a dolphin. It’s a modern four-star hotel with upmarket suites. There is also an outdoor pool and dining. The nightclub in Vila is open on Saturdays which is directly next door to the hotel, so bear in mind that if you are planning a quiet weekend away, this might not be the best place! Average cost: 90€ per night. 

The History of Villajoyosa

Back in the 16th century, the population of Villajoyosa was around 800 inhabitants. Just like other towns across the Costa Blanca coastline, it suffered from various attacks by pirates that came from Algeria. After many ruthless attacks, a defensive network was constructed along the coast to fend off attacks. Now, you’ll see the Tower Aguiló and Tower Xarco which still stand today.

This also ties in with the historical festival of Moors and Christians, which commemorates the confrontation between the Moorish and Christian soldiers over the rule of Spain. The event is held in honour of the city’s patron saint who played a role in the battle. The victory was for the Christians even though they were outnumbered by the Moors.

This festival is across many parts of Spain, but it is most popular in Valencia and Alicante region. The festivals of Villajoyosa and Alcoy are recognised as being of International Touristic Interest and the best in Spain. The festival is well-worth watching. With plenty of music, processions and decored streets, there are thousands who travel to be a part of the festivities. There is also a final battle that marks the end of the three-day festival.

What to do and see in Villajoyosa

Girl smiling photoshoot in Villajoyosa Spain

The Coloured Houses

The most photographed location in Villajoyosa is the coloured houses. Perched at the end of the beach. The beautiful colours are said to remind the fishermen of home when they were out at sea. Legend has it, that their boat was the same colour as their home and when they were out to sea for days on end they could look in the distance and distinguish their home from other fishermen homes.

The beautiful thing about La Vila is that there is such a contrast of colour that it makes for wonderful photos. Whether it’s fountains, the sea, the mountains, the coloured houses or the typical Spanish streets, you’ve got lots of options.

The Old Town

villajoyosa old town tram station la vila

The old town of Villajoyosa is located where the coloured houses are, so it’s easy to find it! In that area, you’ll also find the beautiful church and quaint shops. It won’t be unusual to walk around the old town and see that people have their doors wide open and a plastic chair perched at the door as they’re sitting out and chatting with neighbours.

Possibly the most famous thing about La Vila is its distribution of chocolate. Don’t be surprised if you step off the tram and get a whiff of melted chocolate circling the air. I’ve noticed, that I smell it stronger when it’s going to rain!

The Valor Chocolate Factory Tour

valor chocolate museum tour in english

Well worth doing is heading to the Valor Chocolate Factory museum which is totally free! The tour is limited to 50 people so you have to get there early and get your free ticket. The visit is 45 minutes long. There isn’t any parking at the museum, but there’s a pay to park car park around 10 minutes away and plenty of street parking.

To access the tour, you must get a ticket in the automatic dispenser at the entrance of the factory. This is to ensure that the 50 person limit is not exceeded. There is an accessible route for people with reduced mobility. Please be aware that in summer, the waiting time for a time slot can be up to an hour, so make sure you get there well ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

The tour times are as follows, but please be aware that the factory may change these at any time so it’s important to check on their site before making the journey.

Monday to Friday: 

Spanish: 11:00, 12:00.  13:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00

English 10:00am and 16:00

Saturdays:

Spanish 11:00, 12:00 and 13:00

English 10:00

Closed on Sundays and festivals.

La Barbera Park

 

Another great place to visit in Villajoyosa is the Barbera park. It’s the first park in Spain to have a bench that has free WiFi powered by solar energy. Other than that, there is a mini stadium inside where live bands tend to play at weekends and a café on site. You’ll find lots of children running around over the faux-grass hills and playing on the equipment.

Head into a bar or restaurant

el jardin de laura villajoyosa

Plenty of bars and restaurants are scattered around La Vila. My favourite ones are located on Calle Colón. One which is well worth a visit is El Jardín de Laura. It has a beautiful outdoor terrace around the back which is lit up by candles and fairy lights. A great tapas bar near to Calle Colon is El Barrio.

Watch the world go by in a café

nomad factory review the bullet journal cake granier stamps pizza

One of my favourite things to do in La Vila is sit in a café, listen to the locals chatting and people watch. I could do it for hours. There are many lovely cafés in La Vila, but I think the best are Valor, Granier and Fer Café.

If you liked this post then perhaps you’d be interested in one of these other travel guides about the Alicante region:

 

If you love the idea of a typical Spanish seaside town, then Villajoyosa is for you!

Hasta luego,

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Things to do in Benidorm for Solo Travellers

Stretches of white sand and the sound of the sea crashing against the shoreline can be all you need sometimes to switch off and enjoy some peace and quiet.

beautiful pink sky from the tossal at benidorm at sunset

The first place I travelled to alone was in fact the “crazy city” of Benidorm. The beach resort best known in the darkest light of boozy brits and manic nightlife has a completely different style of holiday and spending a holiday alone which doesn’t have to be one to be worried about.

If you’re travelling to Benidorm alone, it’s a good idea to follow typical safety trips for travelling alone. Here are some general safety trips for travelling alone:

  • Trust your gut feeling. If it doesn’t feel right or you feel insecure, there’s a reason. Get the bus, or a registered taxi and head away from the situation.
  • Know the con games of where you’re going, for Benidorm, this will be the pea game. Find out more about them by clicking here.
  • Get to know a bit of the local lingo. You can access my free Learn Spanish guide by clicking here.
  • Find out about the local healthcare system and where you might need to go if you need emergency treatment. Find out about the Benidorm emergency healthcare by clicking here.
  • Stay in public. The heavily populated areas by the two beaches and 2-3 streets back are where you ought to stay. Avoid the yellow brick road and around Calle Gerona at night alone.
  • Keep where you’re staying as personal information. If you’re wearing an all-inclusive band make sure it’s kept out of wandering eyes view.
  • Stay alert and sharp. Try not to be complacent and walk looking down at your phone.
  • Sleep well.
  • Walk with confidence, if you’re not sure where you’re going – fake it!
  • Stay sober. It’s a good idea not to be seen looking vulnerable.

Now, let’s go on to the fun part. Lots of people travel to Benidorm each year, whether that’s families, couples or solo travellers and few come across problems. On the whole, Benidorm is an accepting city with plenty of tourists, expats and locals who will look out for one another.

Whenever I travelled to Benidorm, I would always choose Poniente. The much quieter side of Benidorm, it’s a lot quieter atmosphere and more of a getaway than a party spot.

Balcon del Mediterraneo in Benidorm Old Town

instagrammable locations in benidorm old town

One of the most photographed locations in Benidorm and a bustling atmosphere, the beautiful balcon, which is currently under construction [july 2019], is a great location for a hot dog or an ice cream overlooking the two bays. You’ll find stalls at night selling handmade jewellery, knick-knacks and hand drawn caricature artwork. It’s a lovely spot for spending a couple of hours.

Have tapas on Tapas Alley

Locally known as Tapas Alley, Calle Santa Domingo near the Queens Hotel is a locals favourite for eating your way along the street. Bustling around 18:00 most days, you’ll find locals starting at one bar with a caña (small beer) and tapa before heading along to the next one. You’ll have a blast heading between the bars trying all of the little delicacies.

Visit Benidorm Island

girl laying on sun bed at the island of benidorm relaxing in the mediterranean sea

A visible island from all of Benidorm is the Benidorm Island. Although there isn’t much to do on the island itself, it’s great fun to take the boat across with the glass bottom and see Benidorm from the island itself. You’ll also have a fabulous time relaxing in the shallow waters surrounded by fish, and dolphins if you’re very lucky. There is a small restaurant on site, though we’ve always found taking a picnic is the best plan!

Chill out in a bar

You’ll probably find that heading to a bar, you won’t be on your own for very long. People are generally quite open whilst they’re here and will strike up a conversation if they have seen you around. You’ll find that heading into bars regularly the bar owners will strike up conversation and other holiday makers will be keen to have a chat. If you’re looking for company whilst you’re away, a bar is one of the best places to be!

Relax on the beaches

spending time on the beach alone

Avoiding the awful drinks that are for sale by the illegal venders, the beaches of Benidorm are clean, welcoming and well-maintained. Stretches of white sand and the sound of the sea crashing against the shoreline can be all you need sometimes to switch off and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Head on a shopping spree

If you’re feeling comfortable, or you’ve been coming to Benidorm for a while, you could head up to C.C La Marina by taking the bus to Carrefour. You’ll have access to plenty of shops, restaurants, a cinema and bowling. If you don’t fancy venturing out, you can always head into the old town and browse the selection of shops there.

Benidorm Flea Market – El Cisne Rastro

The Benidorm Market is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays with the number 10 bus stopping just outside. There will be plenty of bargains, a couple of bars and usually free entertainment on Sundays. The market opens at 7:30.

Vsiit Benidorm Palace

For something a little more extravagant, a night at the cabaret can be a fantastic place to get dressed up, have a fine dinner and watch the entertainment unfold. Filled with entertaining acts, typical flamenco and ballet dances, it’s a great place for something different whilst you’re here.

Take the Tourist Train

Although more of a hindrance to the locals, the Benidorm Train can be a great way to see the city without having to venture out of your seat. Running every day, the train starts its route early in the morning and continues until late at night, every 45 minutes. There are two different routes, the Levante Route and the Poniente Route, both costing 5,50€ or 4€ for seniors in the winter.* Correct at time of publication. Each route lasts around an hour and you’ll find the stops scattered across the site, with the first stop at Ave Mediterraneo.

Take a Day Trip

guadalest mountain and lake beautiful location near to benidorm mountains and lakes

If you’re feeling comfortable, why not take one of the day trips to one of the surrounding villages or cities? Offering a completely different landscape and the impression of being a million miles away, Guadalest, Altea, Villajoyosa and Alicante are all beautiful places to visit whilst you’re in the area. Guadalest can be reached by car or by heading on one of the organised tours that you’ll see advertised either in your hotel or walking along the main strip. Altea, Villajoyosa and Alicante can all be accessed by local bus, tram or car.
There is plenty to do in the beautiful resort of Benidorm, you won’t be bored, that’s for sure!
Hasta luego,
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Visiting the Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante

Towering over the city centre, you can’t miss the impressive castle perched on the top of Mount Benacantil.

Towering over the city centre, you can’t miss the impressive castle perched on the top of Mount Benacantil. The golden fortress situated an impressive 166 metres above sea level is one of the main attractions in Alicante city centre. Even better still, it’s a very budget friendly day out.

Laying out near Alicante castle fashion model blogger

Practical Information:

Location: Santa Barbara Castle, 03002 Alicante. To travel by tram you take the L1 to Castillo. By car, it’s a 30 minute drive from Benidorm.

Price: If you’re taking the elevator, it’s 2,70€ each to go up or free for children in pushchairs. If you’re driving or going by foot, access is completely free.

Getting there: The elevator access is located near the port, if you follow the signs you’ll have no problems. You can also access Santa Barbara castle on foot, or by car which are both free access. If you’re walking it’s better to head from the side of the Castillo tram stop.

Opening hours: The castle is open from 10:00-22:00 everyday.

A Day Out in Alicante

We visited the castle a few years ago, back on a blustery December morning, though by the time the sun rose, we were sitting in t-shirts sheltered away from the wind in the café on site. I remember all too well wearing Uggs, thermals and a beige dress with tights and regretting the decision completely as we were sitting basking in the sun. But, we had used the castle as a stop off. We were meeting some friends and didn’t want to venture too far away from our meeting point at the port.

It wasn’t until I was scrolling on Instagram last week that I realised we had seemingly missed all the best spots of the castle altogether. Well, unless we exempt the fact we were at the café because the views there truly were impressive. But, in terms of real history and not just a good cup of cappuccino which are both rather good pulling points for me. I had noticed that there was a fortress jutting out of the castle that looked almost like a tower you see in princess castles in story books you read when you were young. If there’s anything remotely Disney like, I’m there.

It also meant that we could make a small detour and head to Starbucks, which although I love Spanish coffee, there’s something about Starbucks that is just so comforting. Maybe it’s the mass over inflation, maybe it’s the touch of home or maybe it’s the cream that the Spanish just can’t get right. Either way, if there’s a Starbucks, I’m there. I can have independent Spanish coffee shop coffee everyday. No shame in admitting that I do. A 3€ for a cappuccino and a tostada con tomate I’m fuelled for the day for less than a Costa that I used to grab at work everyday. Win.

Rio sat this one out, as a 9th century Muslim castle with a pit stop at Starbucks isn’t really his thing. Or more accurately, the 9th century Muslim castles aren’t really about dogs. Even Spain where dogs are accepted, I can’t see them being too keen on my little big perro running around. Looking back, Rio loved Monument park at Park Guell, so maybe castles and architecture are his thing. [edit: after googling, dogs are not allowed at Santa Barbara Castle. Good job we didn’t take him!]

The route from Benidorm is around 25 minutes, traffic depending, and it’s so easy to find the castle. In fact, once you reach Alicante, it’s unmissable. Perched over the port and towering over the city below, you can’t help but look up and admire it. You imagine that this is how artists must have felt when they wrote songs about castles perched upon hills.

Every time we visit Alicante, we park in the same car park, near to El Corte Inglés. It’s good access to the shops and city centre, with it being only a few minutes walk into the action, it’s ideal.

Down rolls the window and Alex’s head is leaning out of it as we pull into the car park. “What’s up?” I ask. My face clearly looking puzzled and probably sounding more stern than I intend to be. “The tyres flat”. Driving around in hot temperatures, flat tyres and tyre burn outs are not uncommon. But, the only thing I was thinking was, do we even have a spare tyre and how exactly are we going to change it? I don’t give Alex enough credit when it comes to general maintenance things, I’m never actually sure if he can do them. He usually can.

There we are in the middle of a city centre car park. Alex jumping on a crow bar of some sort to smash the plastic off and to be able to undo the nuts or bolts or whatever they are. Then there’s me, standing awkwardly, providing nothing much more than taking photos and reporting to everyone we know that Alex is lying on the floor in his fairly new Levi’s jeans changing a tyre.

Starbucks Alicante guide travel blogger

Nevertheless, he got it changed. Knees covered in oil, we headed off to Starbucks. I opted for my usual café mocha and Alex had his signature cool lime refresher with a croissant with ham and cheese to share. They still had a few Christmas ornaments left over, in March?! which I was pleased about. We picked up a “You are Here” Starbucks cup with a Spain design on it to hang on the Christmas tree. That’s when I started looking at Disney Starbucks Christmas ornaments. It’s going to be dangerous in Disney.

Spain Starbucks you are here mug Alicante

We walked quite briskly to the elevator from Starbucks so it took us about 10 minutes. Once you enter the tunnel, you reach the ticket dispenser. It’s a touch screen machine which swaps between lots of languages, English and Spanish being the first two options. A ticket costs 2,70€ per person.

Couple at Alicante castle

You follow the tunnel along where you reach the elevator and the person who is manning the elevator checks your admission. There’s no view from the elevator, it’s just a seemingly slow moving vessel where there is a rather awkward silence as you’re ascending. But, once it opens, you’re there. You’re at the castle.

At the fortress of Alicante castle blogger

We took a walk around but I was most interested in finding our way to the fortress. There are two and we discovered that the one at the bottom has the best views.

With the port to your left and the rest of the castle to your right with the minuscule veins of the Alicante streets below it’s an impressive 360 view. The city looks like it could be a car play mat from up here. You feel like you’re in the clouds.

Walking Santa Barbara castle Alicante blogger

Making use of the fact I had a bag to carry, I stuffed it full with crisps and sweets. We sat on a bench overlooking the castle munching on salt and vinegar chipsticks with the seagulls flying over head and in the weirdest way it felt like we were eating fish and chips on a beach front of Skegness or something, perhaps it was the murmur of English voices in the background and the English crisps designed to taste like chips. A strange correlation.

Before heading back, we took a stroll around the rest of the castle. At the top, they have the Spanish flag waving proudly yet gently in the March breeze. The breeze was soft yet all so chilling. In a few weeks, this breeze will feel like a hot fan blowing on us, wouldn’t it be nice if it was in reverse? Cool, gentle wind in the summer and a warm breeze in spring? I suppose we can’t have it all.

Playa del torres Villajoyosa Benidorm camping

On the way back, we stopped off at Playa del Torres, which is a small cove situated between La Cala and Villajoyosa. The shimmering Mediterranean had almost never been so turquoise as how it is here. The waves soft and small, it’s a isolated cove with a happening campsite on site. With static cabins on site, they look beautiful for a night’s stay surrounded by the woods and the quiet beach.

We make plans to head back tomorrow, by walking from Benidorm to Villajoyosa. All in all, it was a lovely day and a different pace and scenery. It’s always great to be able to head to different places and revisit places now we have a car, making it much easier and less of a drag relying on public transport.

Every weekend is a mini holiday.

Hasta luego,

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Benidorm TV Series Location Tour

Step on set of the Benidorm TV Series.

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There’s no denying that some people come to Benidorm to follow in the footsteps of those before them. Maybe it’s to follow Wayne Rooney, Joan Collins and Iker Casillas to Thai Asia Gardens in Finestrat, maybe it’s to follow Penelope Cruz to Altea, maybe it’s to track down Ricky Tomlinson, remember the guy from The Royle Family?  But, most commonly, it’s to see the sights of the Benidorm TV Series and seek out Mateo, Madge and the rest of the Garvey family.

If there’s one question I get asked a million times by strangers in the street and online it’s “Where is the Hotel Solana?”. Closely followed by “Where is Neptunes?”. So, I thought today would be a perfect time to share the different locations featured and where the series of Benidorm is set so you can track down and follow the footsteps of those before you!

Sol Pelicanos

girl outside pool bar of sol pelicanos benidorm melia

The Sol Pelicanos is the hotel dubbed as The Solana in the Benidorm TV series. But, don’t be fooled, the Sol Pelicanos location was only the outside and the pool area. The reception that you see on TV is not that of the Sol Pelicanos.

You won’t find the blow and go set in Benidorm as these were filmed at a studio outside of Benidorm. You can, however, visit the pool bar made famous by Mateo and see the pool areas that are far more bustling than you see on TV. The grounds and the pool area of the Sol Pelicanos has lush greenery and inviting waters, made better that you can sit in the water sipping a cocktail or beer!

Acuarium II Apartments

The lesser known set of Benidorm, which took me some tracking down, is the bedrooms of the Benidorm TV Series. I must admit, this one took some fairly intense detective work. But, anyway, here it is!

The Acuarium II Apartments are next door to the Sol Pelicanos and they are the rooms that were used to film Benidorm. They are not the rooms that the cast stayed in whilst they were filming!

The Pink House

That iconic reception with the stairs leading upwards? Well, that’s shot in The Pink House located near The Benidorm Palace, next to Iceland. You can’t get in, but you might be able to sneak a look inside through a window, if you’re lucky.

In the very first series, you might remember that the reception was fairly different. This is because originally they filmed in the Ocas part of the Hotel Sol Pelicanos, however, it was interrupting guest experience and making the stay disruptive plus, it was difficult for film crew, so they moved to the Pink House to film reception scenes.

Morgan’s Tavern

girl outside morgans tavern benidorm

If you want to sit in the nightclub that the Benidorm cast sat and watched all their shows and where a lot of the drama happened late at night, then you’ll need to head to Morgan’s Tavern, which was named Neptunes on the show. You won’t catch Asa belting out a tune, but you will come across a lot of other great acts!

Hotel Don Pancho

march 2018 1se reflection post hotel don pancho benidorm

The Hotel Don Pancho was featured on one of the most recent episodes as a hotel to pick up less upper class clientele. However, in reality, the Hotel Don Pancho is a gorgeous hotel anchored in the centre of Benidorm providing an oasis escape from the craziness of the bustling centre. It’s surrounded by exotic plants and a relaxing atmosphere. It’s an adults only hotel. They also offer an afternoon tea which is pleasant and something different to do.

Algar Falls

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You might remember a day trip on Benidorm, which according to Google was Series 3, episode 2. It’s the one where Mick and Janice have an argument and Brandy plays a prank on Martin so he ends up in the waterfalls without any clothes on. Well, the trip was to Algar Falls in Callosa which is a beautiful place to spend a day. You can take dogs off season and it’s a lovely place to take a picnic. The waters are bitterly cold but definitely welcomed in the summer heat.

The Benidorm Island

The Island was used as the setting for the wedding of Joyce and Monty. It’s the small island just before the horizon in the Mediterranean Sea. There are boat trips that will take you to the island departing everyday from Benidorm Old Town and Rincon de Loix. There are fabulous views from the top of the island back towards Benidorm and a small bar/restaurant onsite.

Other notable locations:

Other locations that were filmed for the Benidorm TV series include Aqualandia, Benidorm Palace, Levante Beach, Hotel Madeira Centro and Altea to name a few.

Hasta luego,

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Thank you to Gohar for the photo of me in the Sol Pelicanos and outside Morgan’s.

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benidorm tv locations

Dog-Friendly​ Beaches on the Costa Blanca

The dog-friendly beaches on the Costa Blanca are specialised beaches, they usually have good local facilities and the area themselves are such beautiful untouched coastal spots. 

Before we had a car, taking Rio, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, for a day out on the beach was a near enough impossible mission. If you’ve found this page hoping to find out that Spain, the dog-friendly country, allows dogs on to all of its beaches, then you’ll be disappointed.

The good news though is that the dog-friendly beaches on the Costa Blanca are specialised beaches, they usually have good local facilities and the area themselves are such beautiful untouched coastal spots.

We had high hopes that Rio would love splashing around in the waves on a scorching hot summer’s day and that he would welcome being able to be outside with us shaded from the heat, playing with dogs and getting his paws wet as opposed to being cooped up inside away from the midday sun. How wrong we were.

Rio spent the entire time laying next to us or sitting on my knee, avoiding the sea at all costs. If we got into the sea, he’d stand at the shore barking, if we put him in the water, he’d swim as fast as he could back to the shore, out of the water. He didn’t even care that other dogs were running in and out of the water fetching their toys and sniffing each other. He’s clearly not a beach boy.

Now that the weather is starting to heat up again in preparation for summer and more and more people are arriving in Benidorm again, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the beaches we have been to with our dog and a few others that we know of. After all, summer is made for the beach.

However, if your four-legged friend is into the beach, these are some of the best beaches along the Costa Blanca where you can take your pooch and catch some rays:

Playa El Xarco

cavalier king charles on el xarco dog friendly beach costa blanca

El Xarco is a beautiful cove in Villajoyosa and is one of the few beaches in the Alicante region where dogs are allowed to go. Playa El Xarco is perfect if you like stretches of blue, ideal for snorkelling and picturesque sunsets. Playa El Xarco is a stone beach. It is a very quiet beach and relatively open, so it can be battered by the elements and can get very breezy. The beach is accessible by car by Venta El Xarco on the Villajoyosa main road.

Playa Mar y Montaña 

dog laughing in the water of dog beach cavalier king charles

Playa Mar y Montaña is located in Altea and is one of the best dog beaches in the Alicante region. Separated into two locations, dog beach and non-dog beach, the dog beach has coverings of wood chippings or dried seaweed – I’m not really sure which! All I know is that you’ll need some shoes to wear and a deck chair or two! Playa Mar y Montaña also has a beautiful beach bar which welcomes dogs.

Playa El Pinet

Playa El Pinet is located in Elche, however, please be cautious as this is a beach that has a lot of pine trees. Pine trees are the homes to the pine caterpillars that arrive once a year, so if it is caterpillar season, be sure to stay away as these are deadly to dogs! The beach is a sandy beach.

Playa Can

Located in Gandia, the dog-friendly area is a sandy beach and located at the end.

Calas del Cuartel 

Located by the Santa Pola lighthouse, the dog beach is a small sandy beach with a scattering of pebbles.

Playa de la Escollera Norte

Another one we haven’t visited, but this is the dog-friendly beach in Denia.

Regulations and Guidelines

At the dog beaches, there are certain guidelines and regulations that must be followed to ensure the safety of your own dog, other dogs and visitors to the beaches.

If your dog is categorised as a dangerous dog in Spain, it must wear a muzzle. Dogs must be on leads on the beach with the exception of being in clear, open water. All droppings must be picked up and disposed of. Furthermore, you must remember to carry the pet passport and ID card with you. Police do monitor the beaches and have been known to ask pet owners to present these documents. You may be asked to leave, cautioned and fined if you are found to not have the relevant documentation and up-to-date vaccinations.

What to take to the Dog-Friendly Beaches

Before you even think about taking your pooch to the beach, make sure you have the following:

  • European passport filled with a completed schedule of vaccination certificate, the vaccination against rabies and possibly the health declaration.
  • Bowls
  • Clean, fresh water
  • Doggy bags.
  • Photo of your pet, in case he gets lost
  • Toys
  • Dog towel

Hasta luego,

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The Top 10 Marina Ports on the Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca has some of the most idyllic coastlines, spectacular scenery and pretty impressive ports.

 Descubrir los puertos en Costa Blanca

top 10 ports on the costa blanca at santa pola luxury travel

The Costa Blanca has some of the most idyllic coastlines, spectacular scenery and some pretty impressive ports.

Much more than just the home to some jaw-dropping boats and ships, a trip to the port is unmissable.

As you know, Alex and I have been driving up and down the Costa Blanca coastline for quite a while now, traipsing through coves, ports and villages to find the best that this beautiful region has to offer. Every turn is something different, each place bringing something unique, wonderful and rich in cultural history.

We have come across so many stunning ports and I just love sitting by the port with a glass of wine or a cocktail overlooking the boats.

So, these are our Top 10 Ports, that we came across, on the Costa Blanca:

10.

Javea Port

javea xabia port fisherman costa blanca

Javea port is essential to visit if you’re heading to Xabia or Denia. Being just a short drive it’s a great trip out. It has many shops, restaurants, bars and La Grava beach is just a short walk away. It’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere and well worth a visit when the Farmer’s market is on!

We love sitting in The Beach House in Javea overlooking the bay with a drink, if you’re lucky you can spot Ibiza and dolphins. (though not necessarily at the same time!)

9.

Calpe

Calpe is a wonderfully relaxing place to spend some time and the Calpe rock, Pennon de Ifach, is one that is iconic to the Costa Blanca. Calpe boasts a first-class marina which sits at the foot of the rock. It’s a hub for activities and sports. The sailing club and nautical club is very active in the high season and a flock of charter cruises are regularly in and out.

Calpe has plenty to do from water sports, like surfing on the blue flag beaches or hiking up the Pennon de Ifach which has spectacular views of the countryside and the Mediterranean Sea.

dancing on spanish steps calpe

We have loved heading to Calpe recently. It has this captivating charm and whilst you’re there, you for sure need to head to the spanish steps that the town hall implemented to make the town more instagrammable.

8.

Denia

denia port costa blanca

The spectacular marina of Denia is a recreational and tourist marina located in Denia. It offers a wide range of opportunities for tourists and visitors. The main link between the Spanish penisular and the Balearic Islands, being just 60NM from Ibiza, it’s a busy and active port.

The port offers shops and bars that line the street behind the marina and you’re sure to see a huge boat worth marvelling at whilst you’re there! Denia also hosts the Denia Boat Show, a show that features exhibitors from leading boat companies around the world.

The first time we went to Denia, we didn’t like it at all. The tram journey is treacherous, followed by a bus from calpe which seems to take forever and the weather was atrocious. Recently, we headed back in the nicer weather and it’s a lovely place to spend some time. I haven’t yet found a bar that has enamoured me there yet though!

7.

Altea

The small but welcoming port of Altea attracts visitors from Spain and further afield due to its attractive location and calm atmosphere. In the shelter of the north breakwater of port, there are excellent installations of equipment funded by the Valenciana government. This fairly new port has nearly 500 ports and welcomes sporting activities in the high season.

6.

Mar y Montaña

mar y montaña dog beach and port on costa blanca spain

People and dogs alike will love this beach. Split into two sections, you head left for the human beach and right for the dog beach. This quiet, secluded spot is a great place to go for a dip with your pooch. With wood chippings on the dog beach and a rocky beach for the people, it’s essential to take your own chairs, towels and swim shoes are recommended.

Probably my favourite part about Mar y Montaña is the gorgeous, Greek style bar that hangs over the port. We headed back in off season whilst the bar was closed and the security kindly opened it so we could take some photos inside. It’s a beautiful bar with lots of white and blue theme and a gorgeous view. It also has a fantastic alcove that looks absolutely beautiful. The drinks are reasonably priced there too!

5.

Villajoyosa

No matter which water sports you’re into, Villajoyosa is sure to offer it at the Nautical Club. Just a short bus ride or tram journey will bring you to the quiet and welcoming town of Villajoyosa. Villajoyosa old town is the historic capital of La Marina Baixa.

The Villajoyosa port allows you to enjoy seafood caught on the seas by the working fisherman, or a relaxing walk along Doctor Esquerdo.

4.

Santa Pola

santa pola sailing club port beach costa blanca ports spain

If quiet, typically Spanish, relaxing ports are what you like then Santa Pola is a fantastic choice. The port of Santa Pola is very much still a working port. Head there early in the morning and the fisherman will be heading out or arriving back from their catch. You can head to Tabarca Island from Santa Pola, an island that was once inhabited by pirates!

Santa Pola, a former fishing village, is known as being a popular tourist beach resort on southern Costa Blanca. It’s very close to Alicante Airport and boasts golden sandy beaches.

3.

Benidorm

The Benidorm marina is a small but relaxing marina located in the Old Town of Benidorm. Overlooked by the blue dome church and what feels like endless steps to the mirador above, it’s a great place to pass some time.

There are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops that line the marina. If you fancy it, take a trip to the Island from the marina or head further afield on one of the trips they offer!

2.

Alicante

The seaport of Alicante is used for both commercial and tourist purposes.  Offering much more than just the airport, Alicante is a great place to visit for the day. Accessible via bus, car or the direct tram at less than 6€ return, it’s a fabulous place to see the big city.

Visitors will marvel at the funky flooring and the huge pirate ship docked at the port. Today, over 80,000 visitors disembark to Alicante from cruise ships, ferries and boats each year. The area surrounding the port is bustling and active with bars, shops and restaurants. There are plenty of day trips from Alicante port, such as an hour ferry to Tabarca Island, or a day on the catamaran exploring the Costa Blanca coastline.

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Campomanes

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I truly have saved the best until last. The port that inspired the blog post. I don’t believe I’ve ever come across a port as clean and inviting as this one. This contemporary port contrasts strong character, dynamism and pure class.

Located on the meridian 000º 00 ’00’, the only port in the world to be situated on the Marina Greenwich, it really is something not to be missed.

Surrounded by magnificent coves, soft mountain views and plenty of bars and restaurants overlooking the harbour, this really is the place to relax with a wine and soak up the sun.

Which is your favourite?

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Shopping on the Costa Blanca

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Some people absolutely love shopping on their holidays and a nice bit of retail therapy. Others can’t think of anything worse. You might not think of the Costa Blanca as being the absolute shopping dream and you wouldn’t be far off, I tend to head back to the UK to do my shopping, favouring the shops there. Though, there are some good shops and malls scattered along the Costa Blanca which are worth checking out.

Setting aside a shopping day is something a lot of people like to schedule into their trips, I mean, some people specifically book a holiday to go shopping. Did anybody else automatically think of New York?

So, if you are somebody who loves to splash the cash at the shops rather than splash around the pool, here’s where you should head to go shopping on the Costa Blanca:

Zenia Boulevard

Zenia boulevard torrevieja Orihuela coast girl spanish blogger

Winning by an absolute mile, Zenia Boulevard is for sure the best shopping mall on the Costa Blanca. Everything you can get at other shopping centres and more can be found here. It’s the shopping haven on the white coast.

Zenia Boulevard is filled with 150 shops, including Primark, and more than 90 species of plants and trees. It’s like a tropical paradise. Think swanky American malls and that’s the inspiration for Zenia Boulevard. There is also an exercise park, rest zones, restaurants and large screens displaying events, tourist information and advertisements. They also have live shows and concerts every week.

 

foto: zenia boulevard

 

They are located in Zenia in Orihuela Coast. From the main plaza of the shopping centre, you can catch glimpses of the Meditteranean Sea so it’s a perfect place to have a wine at night on the terrace after some serious shopping.

Zenia Boulevard is located 10 minutes drive from Torrevieja, 30 minutes from Cartagena, 40 minutes from Elche and 50 minutes from Alicante.

La Marina, Finestrat

CC LA MARINA Shopping at Benidorm DIARY OF A SPANGLISH GIRL COPYRIGHT

The most local shopping centre to Benidorm is that of La Marina in Finestrat. Filled with enough shops to keep you occupied for a couple of hours with easy accessibility from Benidorm and plenty of café’s and restaurants, it’s well worth taking a trip if you like shopping.

Accessible by Tram, Line 1 heading to Alicante and the Llorente Bus, La Marina is easy to get to. You can also walk it in 20 minutes if you’re staying in La Cala de Finestrat.

La Marina first opened back in September 2000 and is spread across four floors, the underground floor being dedicated to free parking. There is also a cinema, a bowling alley on the top floor and a 4000m2 children’s attraction park which includes bouncy castles, mini golf and go-karts.

Centro Comercial Plaza Mar 2

One of the newer shopping centres along the Costa Blanca, the Plaza Mar shopping centre is located in Alicante. You can find a multitude of shops and opportunities all under one roof. Also located in Plaza Mar 2 is the fantastic Kinepolis cinema which has 16 movie rooms with comfortable seats and all the newest releases in both Spanish and English.

Accessible via tram line 1 to Alicante or 30 minutes by car from Benidorm.

Centro Comercial Gran Via

Another Alicante based shopping centre, the Gran Via has more than 100 shops and is ideally located in the centre of Alicante. There are numerous shops and plenty of bars and cafés.

Accessible by Tram L1 to Alicante, bus and car.

El Corte Inglés

shopping at el corte ingles alicante

There a few El Corte Inglés scattered across the Costa Blanca including Murcia, Alicante and Cartagena. El Corte Inglés is the number one department store in Spain. In Alicante, there are a few El Corte Inglés all located within a short walk of one another, one focuses on clothing and fashion accessories, whilst the other is household appliances, electricals and food.

Hasta luego,

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Altea Travel Guide

Altea, lying on the Costa Blanca, is one of those places that if you haven’t visited yet on your travels to the Costa Blanca, you really ought to.

altea travel guide spain

Altea, lying on the Costa Blanca, is one of those places that if you haven’t visited yet on your travels to the Costa Blanca, you really ought to. I know some people might say it’s a stereotype to say that meandering around the town of Altea will appease your senses with the sounds of guitars strumming and tapas cooking on an open fire, but, it’s the truth. Altea is a stereotype and we love it for it.

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girl sitting on steps in altea with tommy hilfiger trainers

Picturesque white adorned with blooming flowers, it’s no surprise that it’s renowned as one of the most charming towns on the coastline. Separated by the old and the new town, there are different things to see and views to admire from both parts.

sitting next to plants in altea spain

Separated from Benidorm only by the rock of the Sierra Helada, Altea is a laid back and relaxed town filled with Spanish history. The way of life is generally much slower than most European countries, but the wonderful thing about Altea is that it’s even more relaxed and laid back, within a relaxed country. But, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s empty and quiet. The road into Altea is one of the busiest in the area and queuing in traffic is almost guaranteed.

Quick Guide:

Time Zone: GMT + 1

Plug Socket: European

Currency: Euro

Language: Spanish and Valencian. English very widely spoken.

Climate: A comfortable and welcoming year round temperature. Very hot in July, August and September. Low rainfall. October is the wettest month.

How long a stay: If you’re planning to head on holiday to Benidorm or Alicante, it’s very easy to see Altea in a half day or full day trip, depending on what you want to do there. If you’re wanting to go on holiday to Altea, 7 nights allows you to see different places in the area as well as relax at the beach and the pool.

American Tourister luggage

What to pack: With a pleasing climate all year round, it’s easy to pack lightly for Altea. I managed to pack everything from my Spring LookBook into my American Tourister Spinner luggage. If you’re travelling in the summer months, you’ll definitely need a stock up of swimwear, shorts and light clothing. If you’re heading out in the winter months, be sure to pack a few jumpers and have a jacket, just in case. In the sun, you can bask in 20 degree temperatures during the winter months, but once the sun drops and the temperature dips you can feel lows of 5 at night.

I’d recommend getting your hands on the American Tourister Spinner, it’s the perfect sized luggage for a recommended two day trip – although I managed to fit two weeks worth into my cabin luggage! (And a pair of car front view mirrors!). The luggage simply glides across the floor and feels weightless. One thing is for sure, it certainly lives up to its name, Spinner. It can be pushed, pulled in any direction and it will spin along with you. Effortless airport gliding. It’s lightweight, meaning you can pack more, and fits perfectly into the Ryanair sizer, although I checked mine in so I could take full sized liquids. The elastic cross ribbons kept everything in place and secure. It also comes fully equipped with a padlock fitted into the case, which is ideal for both convenience and peace of mind whilst travelling.

Getting to Altea

view of the houses and sea in altea

Many people head to Altea for a holiday in its own right, without ever stepping foot into Benidorm or its neighbouring towns. Others opt for a getaway to Benidorm and spend a day in Altea. Personally, I prefer Altea as a day trip, somewhere for a change of pace and scenery.

To get to Altea, your best bet is flying into Alicante Airport. You can then take a local bus into Altea from the airport or use one of the transfer services. If you are staying on the Costa Blanca, Altea has good ALSA and Llorente bus connections and its own tram station which is conveniently placed in the centre of the town, a short 5 minute walk from the tram station will bring you to the seafront. The Altea Tram is on L9 which you take towards Denia. Alternatively, if you’re driving, it’s a mere 15-20 minutes away.

Where to stay in Altea

view of white in altea

Altea is blessed to have so many beautiful hotels and you’re not short of 5 star hotels to choose from. Driving past Altea many a times has definitely left me wanting to visit one or two of them, they look like the perfect escape. With a 20 minute drive away, it feels like you’re somewhere completely different, even though ultimately, it’s the same view as what I get at home. It’s nice for a change though, right?

SH VILLA GADEA HOTEL POOL ALTEA LUXURY TRAVEL GUIDESH VILLA GADEA ALTEA TRAVEL GUIDE LUXURY HOTEL

SH Villa Gadea: This upscale Mediterranean-style 5 star hotel offers multiple restaurants, a luxe spa, outdoor pools, one which is heated in spring and autumn, and a swim-up bar. It’s just a three minute walk from the beach. The staff are lovely and it has a stunning bar area with a chilled out atmosphere. The bar comes equipped with a gin bar and a whole range of cocktails and wines, not accounting the piano bar upstairs. The SH Villa Gadea is such a stunning hotel, both to look at and its practicality. A definite top recommendation for AlteaAverage cost: 100€ per night.

La Serena Altea: A warming boutique hotel located just three minutes walk from the sea front offers spacious rooms, homemade breakfasts, onsite restaurant, terrace and pool. It’s definitely the kind of place you book if you want to live out the Mediterranean living making you feel at home. The luxe lifestyle for one night would do me nicely! Average cost: 120€ per night. 

Hotel Tossal d’Altea: Nestled in a 300 year old olive oil mill, this relaxed hotel is a flashback into history and a taste of traditional Spanish living. Adorned with wood-beamed ceilings, this rustic-chic hotel is a 5 minute drive from the centre of Altea. Average cost: 85€ per night. 

What to do and see in Altea

The most photographed location in Altea is the church, Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, which is recognisable by its iconic blue roof. Perched at the top of the hill, it is visible from almost everywhere in Altea.

Altea brings out the photographer in all of us. The inspiring thing about Altea is it really does awaken your creativity. There’s no place for writer’s block or lack of inspiration to paint or sing or just be. If you’re looking for a place to bring the spark back into your creativity and inspiration. Altea is that place.

altea travel guide spain

Blue domed church in Altea, Spain

The old town of Altea is located on the hillside where the streets are adorned with boutique shops, quaint cafés and white buildings. The narrow streets are filled with fruit trees and bursting with flowers. It’s not uncommon to pass traditional craft-men’s studios like potters, painters and designers. Usually, their door will be open whilst they’re working and you can take a peak inside as you’re walking past. You’ll find plenty of interesting plants, beautiful archways and undoubtably pretty photo spots as you’re heading up. Be sure to look all around.

next to turquoise window

instagrammable street spain altea

artist working in altea

The rise to the top of the hill, to reach the church and the café’s in the square can be fairly difficult. But, they say all that do what is difficult are later rewarded and rewarded you are. The almost endless cobbled streets wind and cross between one another to open up into the bustling church square. Altea comes alive.

altea church spain

Just past the square, you have a spectacular viewpoint where you’ll find clusters of people standing or sitting in awe of the view, just like you will be. The shimmering Mediterranean Sea waves from below as the glimpse of Benidorm feels like a far off memory standing here. The once towering buildings look almost like lego pieces below. I lose count the amount of times I feel on top of the world in Spain, both literally and figuratively.

sitting on viewpoint mirador altea spain benidorm

Not to forget about the other side of Altea, down by the seafront you have more action in the town of Altea. Lined with bars, café’s and restaurants, there are plenty of gorgeous bars to soak up the Spanish sun whilst observing the calming Mediterranean Sea. There is a bar to suit everyone, with vintage bars, rustic bars, English bars, tapas bars and boho style bars. I usually find myself in the same boho bars with the comfy sofas and swinging chairs! They always have live music on too which creates such a welcoming and happening atmosphere.

Campomanes, Altea

standing in campomanes diary of a spanglish girl

One of my favourite places in Altea is the port of Greenwich Marina. If you have access to a car whilst you’re around, it’s definitely worth a visit. The port of Greenwich Marina, also known as Campomanes, is a beautiful port with plenty of bars with views of the yachts and sea. If you’re looking for a luxe area with yachts, fancy cars and high class bars then this is the place to go. In the summer, they have plenty of water sports happening on the port and a popup beach bar.

Orthodox Russian Church – San Miguel Arcangel, Altea

The Orthodox Russian church situated in Altea is an absolute marvel to look at and respectfully visit. Inside the luxury development of Altea Hills, you’ll find the first Russian Orthodox church in Spain. The San Miguel Arcangel, or Saint Michael the Archangel in English, opened its doors back in 2007.

saint michael russian church altea

The church itself was made thanks to a Russian entrepreneur whom had business interests in Altea, and was constructed alongside the local Roman Catholic clergy. The Orthodox church is a replica of a 17th century temple back in Russia and materials were flown in to build it.

saint michael russian orthodox church altea

The church adorned with gold is marvellous to view. It really is impressive. The surroundings of the church just add to the entire luxurious aspect of it. It really is stunning.

The church is open from 10am to 2pm Mondays to Fridays, 10am to 8pm on Saturdays and 8am to 6pm on Sundays.

If you love the idea of a typical Spanish town, then Altea is a must visit.

Hasta luego,

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28 Things to Do in Benidorm

If you’re looking for a shorter list, why not try out my tried and tested 28 Things to Do in Benidorm: 

things to do in benidorm blog couple holding hands up at algar

“Cada día tenemos una oportunidad
para probar algo nuevo”

Looking for things to do in Benidorm? Well, there are plenty of things to see and do in Benidorm, but I thought I’d compile a shorter list of my favourite tried and tested 28 Things to Do in Benidorm.

If you’re looking for a more extensive list then you can also check out the Benidorm Bucket List and see how many you’ve ticked off.

Benidorm, with its nearest airport being Alicante, is filled with sunshine, long stretches of beaches and hours of sunlight to satisfy any sun worshipper.

Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or autumn – you’ll be welcomed with plenty of things to see and do – most likely in the sunshine! Win! 

28 Things to See and Do in Benidorm



1. Take a dip with the dolphins at Mundomar

At Mundomar, you can get up close and personal with plenty of marine animals, that includes dolphins and penguins! You can find out more about Mundomar by reading my Keeper for a Day experience or visiting their official website: https://www.mundomar.es

2. Experience Terra Natura

terra natura benidorm girl looking at elephant wearing white jumper from bershka

Terra Nature, the ‘immersion’ zoo. Get friendly with a llama or feed the elephants. Time your visit right and you could be joining in with the Holi Festival! Find out more about Terra Natura by visiting my blog post: Welcome to the Jungle… or heading over to their official website here: http://benidorm.terranatura.com/en

3. Be a thrill seeker at Terra Mitica

If you’re a thrill seeker and love the adrenaline rush then Terra Mitica is perfect for you. They have a whole host of different rides and attractions. You can also head to Iberia Park – but the attractions aren’t included in your entrance price there. Keep that in mind if you’re planning to do the two parks!

4. Benidorm Palace

Get dressed up to the nines and have a fancy gala dinner all whilst enjoying an unforgettable flamenco show at Benidorm Palace. You’ll have a nice three course meal whilst enjoying plenty of different acts, including flamenco shows and magic tricks.

5. Awake the senses at Algar Falls

waterfall at algar falls benidorm

Take a dip in the freezing cold waters at Algar Falls and really chill out the summer! It’s also beautiful to visit in autumn and early spring, though definitely not for swimming! You can get there by Llorente Bus, car or on a guided trip.

6. Pitch and Putt at Sierra Cortina

With a technical difficulty of 1, it’s a super fun course for beginners and the seasoned player. Sierra Cortina’s 28 hole Pitch & Putt has a variety of options, with shortest fairway being 55 metres in length and the longest being 100 metres, they aren’t massively difficult. But, if you’re experienced, try out some of the hazards, like the artificial lakes! The shorter distance course can be tackled in less than two hours.

7. Make a splash at Aqua Natura

girl bathing at aqua natura benidorm bikini

You could always combine your ticket and nip in between Terra Natura and Aqua Natura. Or, spend your whole day there. There is usually music playing in the summer to get the party started and plenty of refreshments to keep you going. To kickstart the adrenaline, take a ride on the water slides!

8. Chill out at the Villa del Mar, Spa

This is one thing near the very top of my ‘to-do’ list. With massages starting at just €26 it sounds just what I need! There are also stunning views over the Mediterranean Sea. I just need to find a spa day partner now… Mum?

9. Slip n Slide at Aqualandia

On the Levante side of Benidorm, you will find Aqualandia. The highly recommended water park of Benidorm. This is another activity that sits near the top of my Benidorm ‘to do’ list.

10. Be spoilt for choice at one of the many beaches

Mal Pas? Levante? Poniente? La Cala? There are so many to choose from in such a small radius. For a big change of scenery, you can also head to Villajoyosa beach, Albir and Altea beach, the only beaches to have stones instead of sand on the Costa Blanca or Paradise beach.

11. Discover new heights at Guadalest

beautiful photo of the mountains and blue water at guadalest village near benidorm

A beautiful church, old Spanish winding cobbled streets and crystal blue waters. Guadalest is an unforgettable experience. You can reach it by local bus, car or by booking yourself on to a guided visit.

12. Make the journey to the Cross

It’s a climb. But, the views worth it. There aren’t any bars on the way, so make sure you wear appropriate clothing and take plenty of water and snacks! To make the journey quicker, we rented bikes from Tao Bike!

13. Climb the Tossal

At the end of Poniente, near the Hotel Bali sits the wonderful Tossal. Climbing it will give you spectacular views over Benidorm.

beautiful pink sky from the tossal at benidorm at sunset

14. Eat your way through Tapas Alley

Along Tapas Alley in the Old Town, there are plenty of tapas bars to munch your way through. The tradition is to hop between them all. Tapas Alley is a bustling and vibrant spot, usually packed with Spanish. There are so many bars to choose from. Calle Santo Domingo is a good place to begin and La Taperia comes highly recommended. Tapas bars are perfect for trying out foods that you wouldn’t want to order as a main dish and perfect for sharing and nibbling on whilst enjoying a ‘caña’ or a glass of ‘vino’.

15. Light a candle at the church

In the church of San Jaime, at the top of the Old Town, you can add a small bit of change to light up an electronic candle. It is a lovely tradition and also helps to fund the church.

16. Be spoilt for choice for bars

You’ll never be wandering too far to get to the next bar. With Spanish bars, German bars, British bars and more all on the same street, cultures really do come together in Benidorm. My favourites are Seven Stars, Portus Massai, Showboat, La Falua and Fuxion GastroBar.

17. Zoom around Karting Benidorm

Karting Benidorm is located in Levante end, near to the Rio Park hotel, or Karting Finestrat is located nearer to Poniente in Finestrat. Both offer karting at a very reasonable price.

18. Browse the local produce at the market

Wandering through a market can be a fantastic way to take a dip into the Spanish culture. There are stalls for toys, bags, electronics and fruit and veg. Plus, you’re helping to cut down on wasted plastic too! All the produce is locally grown and doesn’t come with the silly amount of packaging. To find out more ways to cut down on plastic use check out my blog post here: 15 Things you can do to Save the Earth

19. Seek adventure over at the island

The island is home to thousands of marine animals. Every hour a boat departs from Rincon de Loix and Benidorm old town. Whilst you’re on board, take a trip to the glass bottom and see all the fish and marine life swimming around you. You can also cool off in the bar-restaurant after observing the spectacular views from the top. Take a dip in the sea and lounge on the inflatables that are provided.

girl laying on sun bed at the island of benidorm relaxing in the mediterranean sea

20. Ride a horse

Round Town Travel are offering a horse riding experience which includes transport for €30. This is definitely something I am looking into trying! Every day there is a one hour trek through the Spanish countryside. Horses and horseriding is a big element in the Spanish culture and it’s definitely something I’ll look into doing. You can find more information on their website.

21. Get closer to the sea at the Mirador

At the Old Town, you can look left and see Levante or look right and see Poniente. Which one is your favourite? With panoramic views and even the opportunity to head down the steps and get closer to the sea, it’s a wonderful experience.

22. Stand on the top of Europes’ Tallest Hotel

Benidorm boasts that it is home to the tallest hotel in Europe. It is none other than the Hotel Bali. For €6, you can stand on the platform at the top and marvel at the incredible views of Benidorm, Puig Campana, Altea and beyond!

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23. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea at Don Pancho

Fancy a nibble to keep you going? The Don Pancho hotel offers an afternoon tea which you can read about on my blog here: Afternoon Tea at Don Pancho: The Perfect Treat. Relax and enjoy the pool views whilst nibbling on a fresh sandwich and sipping tea. To step it up a notch, you can order an extra glass of cava, too! Afternoon tea costs €8 per person and there is no need to book (unless you’re a large group!).

24. Marvel at the skyline from Hotel Madeira

The Hotel Madeira is located in the centre of the Old Town, near to Taco Bell. It can be distinguished by its striking blue colour and the words ‘planta 20’ across the side. Heading into the hotel, take a ride up the lifts, either outdoor or indoor, and head up to floor 20 where you can experience the magnificent views of Benidorm and chill out on their terrace with a glass of wine, a cocktail or a beer.

25. Strike out at the bowling

On the top of C.C La Marina, there is a Bowling Paradise Alley. There are amazing deals on like two games and a drink for €5 per person, plus there is a fairly well-stocked arcade located there too.

26. Watch a film in Spanish at the cinema

There are plenty of cinemas dotted around. In Villajoyosa, there is one located near to the Tram Stop, Creueta. Or, you can watch one in Benidorm centre or at C.C La Marina. For a real immersion in the culture, try and watch one in Spanish. The cinema that shows films in English nearby is Cines Colci in Rincon. V.O.S means it is in English.

27. Get a hole in one at Mini Golf

If you’ve got patience and can deal with taunting obstacles then give mini-golf a go. There are a few courses scattered around the Benidorm area. My favourite one (depends on what mood I’m in!) is the one at C.C La Marina. The course is well maintained and themed around famous landmarks across the world mixed with Mario Bros characters. The 18 hole mini-golf course is €4 per person.

28. Splash the cash at Centro

Shopping is all the rehab you need? Fancy a shop until you drop? You’ll find all the best shops, such as Zara, Pull & Bear, Zara Home, Bershka, Stradivarius, Calzedonia and more all at C.C La Marina.

Hasta luego,

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