Benidorm The Old Town
Benidorm is a city of two parts, the New Town area which is where most of the entertainment takes place and incorporates Levante Beach, but there is another very Spanish side to Benidorm the Old Town area.
In the Old Town of Benidorm you will find traditional white-washed houses, wonderful churches and the famous El Mirador de la Punta del Canfali, (The castle look out point), beaches Mal Pas and Poniente and of course Benidorm Port, lovely parks (Parque de Elche and Parque de L´Aiguera) and a maze of cobbled streets with some fantastic shops, boutiques, dozens of quaint restaurants and 100´s of bars all bursting with character and of course for traditional Tapas a visit to Tapas Alley is a must. The Old Town is a complete contrast to the New Town.
THE WALKING STREET is Passeig de la Carretera this is the pedestrian street that runs through the old town more or less parallel to the sea. Here is the main shopping area, with loads of bars and restaurants from the streets that run off here.
To get there walk down Av. Mediterraneo to the very end. Go down the road between Bankinter and El Italiano restaurant. Walk underneath the bridge. Turn left at Hotel Bristol Park. Keep going straight and you will come to a pedestrian street. This is 'walking street'.
Another way is, at the end of Av. Mediterraneo take the street to the left of Bankinter. You will see Specsavers optician on your left. Turn right just passed Specsavers then left at Ale Hop. This is 'walking street'.
If you continue along 'walking street' you will come to Dove Park. You cannot miss it.
At one point you will come to a fork in the road by Pinocchio. The right fork is 'walking street’ but if you take the left fork and keep walking straight ahead and up the hill you will come to the blue domed church of San Jaime y Santa Ana and the famous Balcon del Mediterraneo (the mirador)
The city of Benidorm has been gay-friendly since late 19th century and is amongst the oldest gay-friendly towns in Spain. With a friendly gay scene, Nightlife is also famous among the gay visitors. Read more HERE
The Old Town area is also where nearly all the Fiesta Parades take place.
Benidorm the Old Town - NIGHTLIFE
The Old Town's evening and late night entertainment can only be described as diversified. There's karaoke, cabaret and even transvestite bars, all of which guarantee a night of top class entertainment.
Cala Mal Pas
This is the name given to the small cove that separates the two main beaches in Benidorm it is situated between Punta Canfali and the port, and at only 120 metres long with fine golden sand offers a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere. More information HERE
At more than 3km long Poniente Beach is the longest beach in Benidorm, making it an ideal place to stroll along during the day or evening, it is usually much quieter and features a new modern promenade designed by the architect Carlos Ferrater, there are a wide selection of restaurants, bars and clubs. More information HERE
SAN JAIME CHURCH (St James)
The church of “Saint James is dedicated to the patron saint of the town, is set at the very top of the Old Town on Canfali hill. It is a Neoclassical building, built in the 18th Century with the typical blue Mediterranean tiled dome.
Inside you´ll find a statue of the Virgen del Sufragio, the well-loved patron saint of Benidorm. The Virgin has her own small chapel containing the little wood sculpture which, as the story goes, was found on a boat adrift on the high seas.
The legend of the Virgin says that in 1740 the residents of Benidorm were surprised by the arrival of a ship who had sailed there without crew. It was thought that perhaps the cause of the disappearance of the crew was the plague and this instilled dread in the local villagers. The authorities decided to burn the boat to keep people safe. It was burned without removing anything. When the flames were extinguished, the children searched amongst the remains and found “intact and shining” an image of the Virgin with the Child Jesus in her arms. The Fiesta day of the Virgen del Sufragio is always held on the second Sunday of November.
The church is open for Mass at 10am until 13.00 and then is closed until the evening Mass is at 7pm then one at 8pm, On Sunday various Masses are celebrated throughout the day and the church is open until after the last Mass. Beautiful music is piped during the day throughout the building and it really is a stunning church well worth seeing whilst in Benidorm
THE BENIDORM VIEW POINT, EL MIRADOR de la Punta del Canfali
The castle/fortress was situated on the big rock that divides the two beaches (Levante and Poniente) and its main purpose was to guard against invasions of the Berber pirates. The castle was thought to have stood here around 1325, this is the highest point in Benidorm, with its characteristic white balustrade it is one of the symbols of the city. The viewpoint has two parts, a top with benches and rest areas, and another viewing point down quite a few quite steep steps which offers views closer to the sea.
Sadly the castle sustained significant damage during the peninsular war and was then abandoned and most of it disappeared in 1812. Today only a few remains of the walls and one arch are still visible, which you can see on the lookout rocks (Mirador), this area is also known as "Balcony of the Mediterranean." and one of Benidorm Old Towns most visited tourist spots with panoramic 360º views.
You will see in the sea a Geiser, this was in working order up to a few years ago but.It was detected that the water was eroding the structures in the area, such as the balustrade, the buildings and the rocks that make up Punta Canfali and sadly is no longer functional.
To get to the Plaza del Castell, there are many streets that converge to it, all of them with their own special charm. A nice hike is for example Alameda Street. When you get to the beginning of Calle Mayor, turn left, it is a street that leads directly to the sea and takes the first right, to climb the area of Callejón, you will see many old buildings, cobbled and narrow streets and stone arches. A small slice of what was, within what is now a modern city.
Enjoy a wander round the port, watching the boats come and go to the Benidorm Island, Tabarca and Calpe.
Maritime Cultural Centre
Situated opposite the port on Paseo de Colon, is the Maritime Museum, where you will find a permanent display of various model ships. The centre was established as a permanent reminder of the achievements of local seamen. Entrance is free of charge.
PARQUE de ELCHE
The famous Elche park is home to hundreds of beautiful white doves and know to many as Dove Park, it is also known for its spectacular palm trees.
It is located just in front of Poniente Beach,and is close to Benidorm Harbour. This is a lovely shady park and a great place to sit and people watch..
TAPAS ALLEY - Officially runs from Pl. de la Constitutio, and along Santo Domingo
Head into the little cobbled streets in the historic old town you can enjoy mouth-watering morsels of Spain from the tapas bars.
It’s known locally as Tapas Alley because it is filled with bars serving these tasty treats.
The small dishes of tapas are perfect for sharing and for trying food that you may not feel comfortable ordering as a main course in case you don’t like it.
Ordering tapas is also perfect for getting a taste of some of the more expensive dishes, such as Denia red prawns or the more expensive Spanish ham, without running up a massive bill. Find out more here.
Benidorm The Old Town Municipal Market
Glorious groceries. This indoor market is where locals stock up on fresh foodstuffs. The fruit and veg stalls dazzle in greens and reds, and the delicatessens entice passers-by with the scent of ham. Pick up some Spanish classics like “jamón ibérico” (cured ham), “churros” (fried dough sticks) and some of the region’s famous oranges.
Benidorm Old Town Market day is Wednesday.
PLAZA MAYOR SQUARE
For a main square, Benidorm’s Plaza Mayor is quite small but still worth a visit. Despite its relatively small size for a main square, the Plaza Mayor is still a fairly iconic part of Benidorm. Sip sangria inside in one of the quaint bars and restaurants as the sun sets behind the rooftops. Just outside are a series of shops too if you fancy a few impulse buys on the way home too!
THE PARQUE DE L’AIGUERA – KNOWN AS THE GREAT CENTRE OF BENIDORM
This is a long, extensive public park in the neoclassical style, designed by architect Ricardo Bofill. It´s a truely beautiful park and well worth a visit. The park separates the old city from the modern buildings and it has two amphitheatres used for cultural events in the summer months. The Benidorm song festival takes place in the Julio Iglesias auditorium in the park for two days in the month of June, and various other music festivals are held during the year. The park ends at the Bullring and an enclosure which is used for fairs during fiestas.
BENIDORM BULLRING (Plaza de Toros)
Several bullfights with top named matadors are held every year. If you’ve ever doubted the popularity of the sport, wait ’til you see how packed it gets. The bullring is also used during fiesta times for The running with the bulls and amateur bullfights.
The bullring in Benidorm was opened in 1962. Capacity of 9,971 people.
HOTELS AND APARTMENTS IN BENIDORM OLD TOWN
Hotels in the centre of Benidorm are ideal for those wanting to take advantage of the beach and also for those who are perhaps looking for something a little different from their holiday in Benidorm! Most are situated on the charming cobbled streets. All have a very good reputation and most important of all they prove very good value for money.