Why is Benidorm such a popular winter holiday escape?

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Guest Writer
Benidorm coastline

Benidorm’s popularity is legendary. Staysure customers recently voted Benidorm as their number one Spanish beach resort  and over 5 million tourists descend on the resort town every year.

When the chills of winter roll around, most people know a friend or neighbour who’s escaped to Benidorm. It’s usually a friend who comes back with an enviable tan and look of contentment.

Staysure takes a look at the perennial popularity of Benidorm holidays and why it makes such a great winter escape for the over 50s.

Benidorm at a glance

Benidorm fulfils all the requirements of a winter escape. It’s full of seaside charm and still retains a sprinkling of picturesque history. Four miles of golden sand beaches curve beneath the skyscrapers of Benidorm, Europe’s highest hotels contrasting its endearingly natural setting. The broad tree-lined promenades are alive with the wanderings of bronzed bodies, some of them heading to evenings of cabaret and others exploring local seafood restaurants. Many people love it here, not least for the great value Benidorm package holidays. Yet an equally vociferous crowd love to hate it, coming up with all manner of complaints based on one glance at the iconic Benidorm cityscape. Why?

The ease of Benidorm

Benidorm is easy. It’s less than an hour from Alicante Airport, has a large British expat community, and has more Red Lion pubs than most English towns. Even some of the taxi drivers come with a broad Yorkshire accent. So there’s no language barrier or cultural challenge, and nothing especially new to get used to. That might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s difficult to think of a greater transformation than leaving the cold and wandering on yellow sand less than three hours later. And that’s the indelible beauty of a Benidorm package holidays. Benidorm’s critics have often complained that the resort town is far more English than it is Spanish. Which might be true. But nobody cares too much about such arguments when they’ve got a drink in hand and a sun umbrella above their head.

A view of villas, apartments overlooking the Beach and sea at Benidorm, Spain

Nobody can complain about Benidorm’s weather

Grumbles about the weather seem to dominate the UK during the winter. It’s sometimes difficult to walk down a high street without overhearing a complaint or watching an umbrella snag in the wind. But even the pickiest of people can’t complain about Benidorm’s arid Mediterranean climate. Winter temperatures peak in the late teens and there’s rarely more than the odd day of grey skies. While it’s not always full sunbathing weather, strolling the promenade in a t-shirt is far more enjoyable than rummaging through the drawers for woolly gloves. Year round, Benidorm has over 3,000 hours of sunshine. That’s more than double the UK average. This might explain the radiant glow on the faces of those returning home after a two week Benidorm package holiday.

Three Blue Flag beaches to choose from

Curving around a quiet expanse of sea blue, Benidorm’s three beaches have always been the destination’s drawcard. The EU ranks the quality of beaches on a flag system, with a blue flag being the highest quality standard. All of Benidorm’s have had a blue flag since 1987 and they always emerge from the busy summer season as pristine as they started. When winter comes around the sun loungers are widely spaced, especially as you move away from the sand beneath the restaurants. The town grew upwards rather than outwards, which means you’re always within beach walking distance on a Benidorm package holiday.

Levante Beach is best for early risers, wallowing in the morning sun and back to some great café breakfast deals. Poniente Beach is a little livelier, its sublime sunset views chaperoning in evenings of free cabaret along the strip. Both beaches offer choice. Stick close to the congregation of bars and the atmosphere is one of gentle fun and water sports. Wander to the beaches’ outskirts and there’s hardly a passing footstep as you slumber beneath the sun on a Benidorm holiday. Nestled between the two, sheltered Mal Pas Beach is overlooked by the white domes of the old church and is a great place for photos.

A huge choice of great value Benidorm package holidays

Hurtle back to the 60s and Benidorm was a quaint little fishing village, much like most of Alicante. But since the holiday boom of the 70s, Benidorm has consistently offered some of the best value package holidays in Europe. While the sky-reaching apartments aren’t to everyone’s taste, the surplus of apartments and hotel rooms has always kept the prices low. And that’s been the secret to Benidorm’s success. As UK holiday tastes have broadened, many Southern European destinations have become ignored and deserted. Not Benidorm. Four decades after its arrival on the holiday scene, Benidorm package holidays continue to be more affordable than almost anywhere else on the continent. And this is in spite of the highbrow British media ridiculing and chastising Benidorm as a destination.

A beautiful setting of Balcon de Mediterraneo, Benidorm, Spain

Benidorm beneath the skyscrapers

There’s no denying the brashness of Benidorm’s exterior, its conglomeration of skyscrapers sometimes looking more like Vegas than seaside Spain. One glance at the cityscape has many critics blurting out grievances. But those prepared to explore find that a Benidorm holiday can still evoke intriguing impressions of Spain. Head to Balcon del Mediterraneo, a charming square lined with cafés and dominated by the blue tiles of St Jaime Church. Get lost behind the square and Benidorm’s cobbled Old Town shares the allure of Spain. Eat your way through Tapas Alley, quaffing down plates of jamón and Manchego cheese as the wine glasses pile up on the table. Explore the rows of shops and dip inside an indoor market of fresh fish, ideal for the barbecue. And if all that sounds too hectic, take the Benidorm tourist bus to the Sierra Helada Mountain.

Why Benidorm, why not another Spanish seaside resort?

Benidorm certainly isn’t alone in offering a Spanish winter escape with great beaches and good value package holidays. So why does Benidorm consistently come out as the most popular? The answer perhaps lies in the statistics. Benidorm isn’t a place that people visit once. It’s a destination that has people returning year after year, winter after winter. And returning visitors is the most poignant marker of a destination’s appeal.