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Coordinates: 38°32′03″N 0°07′53″W / 38.53417°N 0.13139°W / 38.53417; -0.13139
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From left to right, top to bottom: View of the city from the east, Levante and Poniente beaches, Gran Hotel Bali, Intempo, and Neguri Gane buildings.
Flag of Benidorm
Coat of arms of Benidorm
"Beni", Manhattan del Mediterráneo (Mediterranean Manhattan)
Location of Benidorm
Benidorm is located in Valencian Community
Benidorm is located in Spain
Coordinates: 38°32′03″N 0°07′53″W / 38.53417°N 0.13139°W / 38.53417; -0.13139
Autonomous communityValencian Community
ComarcaMarina Baixa
Judicial districtBenidorm
 • MayorAntonio Pérez Pérez[1] (PP)
 • Total38.51 km2 (14.87 sq mi)
15 m (49 ft)
 • Total70,450
 • Density1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
Demonym(s)benidormense (es)
benidormer, -ra (va)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Official language(s)Spanish, Valencian

Benidorm (English: /ˈbɛnɪdɔːrm/ BEN-id-orm, Valencian: [beniˈðɔɾm], Spanish: [beniˈðoɾ]) is a municipality in the province of Alicante, Valencian Community, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.

Benidorm has been a tourist destination within Spain since 1925, when its port was extended and the first hotels were built, though it would not be until the 1950s that it became renowned as a summer destination for people coming from inland Spain, especially Madrid. Today it is known for its hotel industry, beaches, and skyscrapers and receives as many tourists from abroad as from Spain. According to the 2020 census, Benidorm has a permanent population of 70,450 inhabitants, making it the fifth-most populous town in the Alicante province and the ninth in Valencian Community.[3]


It is thought there were settlements in the Benidorm area possibly as far back as 3000 BC, including evidence of Roman and Punic remains. However, settlements in the area were small and it was not until the arrival of the Arabs that the local population began to grow during the era of the Umayyad dynasty. The Christian King James I of Aragon conquered the region in 1245 and Benidorm first officially became known in 1325, when Admiral Bernat de Sarrià of Polop awarded it a town charter as a way of removing the Moors and allowing Christians to inhabit the area. Strategically, the town was also used by Bernat de Sarrià to stop the rising power of Admiral Roger of Lauria, lord of Altea, in the south of the Kingdom of Valencia.[4]

Benidorm's history for the next few centuries was plagued by attacks from the sea by Ottoman and Barbary pirates. The 17th century saw conditions improve for Benidorm and its people, most notably with the construction of an advanced irrigation system in 1666 to channel water to the region. By the 18th century Benidorm fishermen had become famous and sought after all over Spain and beyond. Tuna was their main catch and they perfected the ancient almadraba technique dating from Islamic times. The success of the fishing industry, together with improved local agriculture, helped to fuel a strong local economy. Coastal traffic increased too, bringing more wealth to the region with the town becoming a base for sea captains and the building of their vessels.

In 1952 Benidorm's fishing industry went into decline; this was a factor in encouraging the town council to approve many new development plans aimed at the tourist market.[citation needed]

Local politics[edit]

After giving the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party majorities or pluralities in elections from the restoration of democracy in 1977, Benidorm has favoured the right wing People's Party (PP) since the general elections of 1993.[5] The PP gained control of the local council at the 1995 local elections and won 14 of the 25 council seats in the 1999 and 2003 elections. The 2007 election gave them a one-seat majority over the PSOE,[6] but disagreements in the PP group led to a motion of censure being passed against the PP mayor in September 2009. He was replaced by the socialist Agustín Navarro.[7] In 2019, PP won the local elections, obtaining an absolute majority.

As of the 2019 local elections, the political composition on the local council was the following:[8]

Party[8] Seats
PP 13
Cs 2

In the 2023 election held on 28 May the results were:[9]

Party[8] Seats
PP 16
Vox 1


Aerial view of Benidorm and Benidorm Island looking eastward (May 2018).
View of the city at night (from the east)

The town is divided into five parts: Poniente (Ponent or 'sun setting') and Levante (Llevant or 'sun rising'), each fronted by a beach of the same name; the old town (also called El Castell); La Cala situated to the west side of Poniente; and El Rincón de Loix (or El Racó de l'Oix) situated to the east side of Levante. Between the two beaches lies a rocky promontory and the port.

The old city occupies the promontory and the area immediately inland, while most of the hotels occupy the more recently developed sections inland from the two beaches. A few miles from shore is an uninhabited island known as Benidorm Island or Peacock Island (due to previously having a peacock enclosure) which provides a dramatic centrepiece to the seascape.

In 1954 Pedro Zaragoza Orts, the then young Mayor of Benidorm, created the Plan General de Ordenación (city building plan) that ensured, via a complex construction formula, every building would have an area of leisure land, guaranteeing a future free of the excesses of cramped construction seen in other areas of Spain. It is the only city in Spain that still adheres to this rigid rule. Most of the streets in the city are named after places such as Avenida de Uruguay, Avenida del Mediterráneo, Calle Pekín, etc. Avenida del Mediterráneo is a wide avenue that crosses Levante and links the old town with Rincón. Avenida Europa crosses Levante at right angles linking the western city limits with the Levante beach.

Benidorm is connected to the FGV railway line between Alicante (Alacant) and Dénia. The section to Alicante is now converted to tram operation and trams run at least every half an hour between Benidorm and Alicante (see Alicante Tram). Trains run hourly from Benidorm to Dénia (via towns of Altea and Calp), connecting with the trams at Benidorm station.


Benidorm has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh) with mild winters and hot sultry summers.[10] The city receives slightly more than 300 mm in precipitation per year and the wettest season is the mid-late autumn. It enjoys more than 2,800 hours of sunshine per year and the average annual temperature is around 18.5 °C (65.3 °F). The typical maximum temperatures during winter average around 17 °C (63 °F), while the typical lows average around 8 °C (46 °F).[11] The temperature oscillation is small, being even smaller during summers, during the summer the maximum temperatures normally range from 28 to 32 °C while the lows range from 20 to 24 °C. In almost all of the summer months the average city minimum temperatures at night remain above 20 °C (68 °F), a phenomenon referred to as tropical night.[12] It is also common during the summer for humidity levels to be high, increasing the feeling of stuffy and sticky weather, which consequently increases the heat index.[13]

Climate data for Benidorm
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 14.4
Mean daily daylight hours 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 15.0 14.0 12.0 11.0 10.0 10.0 12.3
Average Ultraviolet index 2 3 5 6 8 9 10 9 7 4 3 2 5.6
Source: Weather Atlas[14]
Climate data for Benidorm
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 16.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 12.4
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 8.1
Average precipitation mm (inches) 29.9
Source: World Meteorological Organization (WMO)[15]


Benidorm skyline
Poniente Beach in Benidorm
Balcón del Mediterráneo

Benidorm is popular with tourists from the UK, Ireland, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands. Benidorm's initial growth in popularity can be attributed to the package holiday explosion, and continues year round, due to the night-life based around the central concentration of bars and clubs. The large number of free cabaret acts that start around 21:00 and continue into the early hours sets Benidorm apart from other similar cities.

The author and Guardian journalist Giles Tremlett identified the city as the birthplace of package tourism in the book Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country's Hidden Past and remarked that culturally the city contradicted conservative notions of National Catholicism that General Franco had espoused.[16] The accessibility of Benidorm to a wider social strata made the town into an ever so easy target for highbrow sarcasm, as by Jani Allan in the Sunday Times in 1990: "These days you just have to look at the numbers of wide-bodied jets bearing wide-bodied holidaymakers to Benidorm to realise that package holidays and airborne cattle trucks make fun in the sun accessible to everyone."[17]

In the 1980s Benidorm developed a reputation for British drunken lager louts and violent binge drinking. This did not happen all year round but mainly in the summer months of July and August.[18]

The town is now very popular with families. Also, many elderly people from northern Europe pass the winter there. This made 'Benidorm' into something of a synonym for elderly people in those countries, as can be seen in the Flemish candid camera programme Benidorm Bastards.[19]

Benidorm has three major beaches: Playa de Levante (Valencian: Platja de Llevant), Playa de Poniente (Valencian: Platja de Ponent) and Playa de Mal Pas (Valencian: Platja del Mal Pas); all of them have had a blue flag since 1987, the maximum quality standard recognised by the European Union. The Gran Hotel Bali, a four-star hotel located in this city since 2002, is a 186-metre-tall building which stood as the tallest skyscraper in Spain for five years, until it was surpassed by the CTBA towers in Madrid and Intempo building, also in Benidorm. Intempo building is currently the fifth tallest of Spain and the tallest building in the Valencian Community.

Events and attractions[edit]

Each summer, since 1959 to 2000, the city celebrated the Benidorm International Song Festival, a song contest where international or Spanish celebrities such as Julio Iglesias, Raphael or the Dúo Dinámico became famous. Loosely based on the song festival, RTVE signed, in 2021, a four-year contract with the city of Benidorm to hold the preselection to determine the Spanish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, naming the event Benidorm Fest.[20]

Since 2010, in July, Benidorm celebrates an indie music festival, with national and international music groups, called "Benidorm Low Festival". In 2019, a counterpart of Primavera Sound, Primavera Weekender, premiered at Magic Robin Hood Camp.[21]

In 2011, Benidorm hosted the start of the Vuelta a España, one of cycling's three grand tours.

Benidorm is home to annual open water swimming competition of Oceanman series.[22]

Benidorm boasts three family-oriented theme parks: Terra Mítica is inland from the city, at the foot of the mountain, and Aqualandia and Mundomar are located on the outskirts of the city on the Levante side. Benidorm offers activities for all ages. With all the family attractions available, Benidorm has been described as one of the most family-oriented holiday destinations in Spain and Europe. In addition to large shopping and commercial areas. An episode of the hit British sitcom Only Fools and Horses was set in Benidorm. The episode was called "It Never Rains...".

A TV series called Benidorm has aired on ITV (with replays on ITV2) in the UK. Actors include Jake Canuso, Steve Pemberton, Sheila Reid and comedian Johnny Vegas. Airing of the tenth series began in February 2018. In 2020 a Spanish comedy series of the same name starring Antonio Pagudo and María Almudéver premiered on Atresplayer Premium.[23]



Benidorm is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe with a high immigrant population. The population in 2010 was 71,198. These figures are for those registered as formal residents and not long-term visitors.[24]

Citizenship makeup top 10
Country Spain UK Romania Ecuador Argentina Colombia Morocco Bulgaria Mainland China Pakistan
Population 46,346 5,235 2,828 1,367 1,316 1,178 1,136 1,066 820 779
Percentage 65.2% 7.4% 4.0% 1.9% 1.9% 1.7% 1.6% 1.5% 1.2% 1.1%

Population growth[edit]

Historical population of Benidorm
Sunset in Benidorm


The École française Pablo Picasso, an annex of the Lycée Français d'Alicante, a French international school, is located in Benidorm.[25]


Benidorm hosted 1992 UCI Road cycling World Championships.

The town hosted the 2008 Beach Soccer World Cup European qualification stages and the 2008 FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup Final

The local football team was for 47 years Benidorm CF who played at the Guillermo Amor Municipal Stadium, until they folded in June 2011. Currently only amateur club Atlético Benidorm exists.

BM Benidorm is a professional handball club and play in the premier division.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ (in Spanish)Toni Pérez devuelve al PP la alcaldía de Benidorm, aunque en minoría, El Mundo, 13 June 2015
  2. ^ Municipal Register of Spain 2018. National Statistics Institute.
  3. ^ Burdett, Ricky & Sudjic, Deyan. The Endless City. Phaidon Press Ltd. 1 March 2008.
  4. ^ Carta de Poblament de Benidorm (Benidorm Population Letter). R. Alemany, A. Couto, J. Hinojosa and M. Cabanes. 1987. Benidorm City Council
  5. ^ election results in Benidorm
  6. ^ 2007 local election[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Las Provincias 22 September 2009
  8. ^ a b c "Resultados Electorales en Benidorm: Elecciones Municipales 2015".
  9. ^ "PP expands its absolute majority and reaches its historical maximum: 16 councilors". benidorm.org. Benidorm Council. 28 May 2023.
  10. ^ "Evolucion de los climas de Koppen en España: 1951-2020" (PDF). Agencia Estatal de Meteorologia. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  11. ^ "Valores climatológicos normales - Agencia Estatal de Meteorología - AEMET. Gobierno de España" (in Spanish). AEMET. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Qué es una noche tropical". 2 August 2016. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  13. ^ Marzal, M. (19 August 2023). "La humedad es la culpable del 'bochornoso' verano que vive la Comunitat Valenciana". Levante-EMV (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 January 2024.
  14. ^ "Benidorm, Spain – Climate data". Weather Atlas. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  15. ^ "World Weather Information Service. Benidorm". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
  16. ^ Tremlett, Giles (2006). Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country's Hidden Past. Faber and Faber.
  17. ^ Allan, Jani. British determination to acquire a suntan; Is this the end of burning ambition? Sunday Times, 6 May 1990
  18. ^ Clerks Travels 3rd ed 2007
  19. ^ De Standaard Online – De Zweedse 'sexy bitch' en andere Benidorm Bastards (in Dutch)
  20. ^ "Spain: Benidorm Fest signed for four years, it may not include a voting sequence". wiwibloggs. 5 November 2021. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  21. ^ Rockandrollarmy, Redacción (9 November 2021). "Primavera Weekender 2021 hace balance". www.rockandrollarmy.com/magazine (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  22. ^ "Open water races and challenges in Spain".
  23. ^ "¿De qué va 'Benidorm'? Descubre la trama de la nueva comedia de Antonio Pagudo y María Almudéver". Atresplayer Premium (in Spanish). 11 June 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  24. ^ Instituto Nacional de Estadística Archived 12 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine,
  25. ^ "Les données de la zone Europe Ibérique Archived 2015-09-25 at the Wayback Machine." AEFE. Retrieved 7 May 2015.

External links[edit]