Benidorm (including rainfall and temperature averages)
A tiny village until the advent of package holidays in the 1960s, Benidorm is thought
by its detractors to be a victim of its own success. Forty years ago, a travel writer
described it as “crowded very beautifully round its domed and tiled church on a
rocky peninsula”; these days the old village is almost hidden by concrete and the
two hundred pubs and discos that are scattered through the city. The population
goes from 65,000 permanent inhabitants to nearly 500,000 at the height of summer
and there are so many Flemish shops that the city is known to some as “Belgium’s
eleventh province”. It is unsurprising, therefore, that in some areas Spanish is
hardly spoken at all.
Benidorm is by no means the only seaside town that has exploded into a huge holiday
resort. However, several key aspects make it stand out. The numerous tall hotels,
including the Gran Hotel Bali, which stands at 126 m and was the highest building
in Spain until eclipsed by the CBTA towers in Madrid in 2008, form a towering skyline
that draws comparisons with Manhattan. Despite this, the city is not at all cramped:
a 1954 law forced constructors to leave an area of “leisure land” around each building,
and the views from the Sierra Helada are stunningly green. The surrounding mountains
create an ideal microclimate: around 3,400 hours of sunshine a year, with an average
annual temperature of 18º.
Sun, sea and sand: the beaches are the major attraction here. The highlight is beautiful
Llevante, which stretches for two kilometres, but some visitors prefer Playa del
Poniente, a little further from the centre with a relaxed, more Spanish flavour.
Just offshore, Benidorm Island is home to large numbers of peacocks – the best way
to get there is by sub-aquatic catamaran, with an underwater deck for viewing sealife.
Families head for the theme parks. Terra Mitica is divided into five areas: Egypt,
Greece, Rome, Iberia and the Islands; Aqualandia is a waterpark; and Mundomar is
a marine animal park, home to dolphins, penguins, sea lions and many more.
In the evenings, there are free cabaret shows all over the city; the most famous
is at Benidorm Palace, where showgirls from all over the world kick their legs in
dazzling feather costumes. Every summer, the Benidorm International Song Festival
takes over; Julio Iglesias, Raphael and the Dúo Dinámico all became famous here.
Further out, Guadalest, twenty kilometres west of the city, is a sixteenth-century
Moorish castle town built into a mountain.
Given the vast numbers of foreign visitors, it’s hardly surprising that you can
eat almost any kind of food in Benidorm. The downside is that the local cuisine
has almost been forgotten. Before bacon and eggs, there were paella and montaditos,
which are tiny sandwiches made with tomato bread, as well as plentiful seafood.
The specialities are black rice with squid, stuffed peppers and giraboix, a stew
made of cod, green beans and potatoes. The best place to eat is Tapas Alley, which
is ideal for a tapas crawl!
Monthly temperature and rainfall averages for Benidorm
Average minimum temperature
Average maximum temperature
Absolute minimum temperature
Absolute maximum temperature
Average daily rain
Avg monthly rain
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