In the sixties, Benidorm has grown from a simple fishing village into one of the main seaside resorts of Europe. The development of tourism has resulted into a morbid growth of high-rise hotels and apartment buildings. Benidorm has the largest number of high-rise buildings per inhabitant in the world: for every 180 inhabitants there's a building of 35 meters or higher.
Over 70,000 people live in the city, but that number is outstripped by the large number of 'temporary' inhabitants, the tourists. At the peak of the summer season about half a million people live in Benidorm.
Benidorm is located in the east of Spain, on the Costa Brava. Alicante is situated over 40 kilometers southwest of the city. The hinterland consists of mountain ridges, dominated by the 1,406 meters high Puig Campana.
Benidorm's economy is solely based on tourism. Not only the summer tourists ensure a considerable flow of income. Winterers, mainly retirees from Northern European countries, who spend the winter months in Benidorm, are at least as important.
Alicante Airport is the gateway to the Costa Blanca. The airport is also called El Altet (the former name) and is situated about 50 kilometers southwest of Benidorm. It's easily reachable by rental car. From Benidorm you take the highway (Autopista) A-7. The exit to the airport is clearly signposted.
Benidorm has a good public bus system with several stops within the city and connections to surrounding cities like Altea, Alicante and Calpe. West of the city center lies the bus station for long-distance buses to other European countries.
In summer months it's extremely busy in Benidorm and difficult to find a parking place in the street. Only when you arrive early you may be able to find a place in the side streets of the promenade. There are also some parking garages, both underground and aboveground. Some garages are reserved for hotel guests though. There's a new parking garage near the old city, but again: the later during the day you arrive, the more difficult it'll be to find a free place.
Being one of the largest seaside resorts in Europe, there's no shortage of hotels, holiday resorts and apartments in Benidorm. Besides, compared to the rest of Spain, prices are low. This is because of the enormous competition. The hotels near the Levante Beach are most popular, followed by the accommodations on the Poniente Beach. If you want to stay further away from the nightlife, it's better to choose a hotel in the suburb La Cala Finestrat.
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