If you can only fit in one day trip, this is our top recommendation. This unique medieval town sits atop limestone cliffs and is full of Moorish history, with its incredible castle of San Jose only accessible via a tunnel dug through the rock. Once you climb to the top of the castle walls you’ll discover views of the local landscape that are nothing short of breathtaking.
Serious hikers will jump at the chance to climb one of the region’s highest peaks. Make your way through the lunar landscape, starting from the village of Finesrat, where you can find all the maps and details you need at the tourist office. You’ll arrive at one of the twin peaks, from where you can see the skyscrapers of Benidorm reduced to tiny specks in the distance.
If the urban landscape of Benidorm gets too much, head for this large exanse of natural park on its doorstep. Covering a large area of coastline, the rugged, pine-forest covered area offers plenty of scenic, shaded hiking routes with various levels of difficulty, including many suitable for beginners, and one route in the north that leads up the winding path to the Albir Lighthouse.
A short drive up the scenic coast (taking the smaller non-toll road) and you’ll come to pretty Altea, the next resort town. It’s strikingly different to Benidorm, with its cobbled Old Town sitting on a hill filled with whitewashed houses, topped by the blue domes of its church. It also has long stretches of beach which are comparably quiet.
If you’re looking for a day out filled with family-friendly attractions, Benidorm has several right next door. Terra Mitica is one of Spain’s biggest theme parks, with three themed areas based on the ancient civilisations of Rome, Egypt and Greece. All but the very youngest visitors can enjoy the rides, including a wooden rollercoaster, and a variety of shows and street performances.
Another fun family day out can be had at this famous waterpark, just a short drive from Benidorm. Cool off in the pools or enjoy the huge slides, rides and other attractions, which change slightly every season. There’s even an enormous wave pool big enough for thousands of swimmers.
Most visitors to Benidorm head straight from Alicante airport to the resort, but there’s a lot to enjoy in Alicante itself. It’s full of history, from the medieval castle to the winding streets of the old town where you can see traditional houses, squares filled with pavement cafes, churches and a small but excellent modern art museum. You can even reach Alicante on tram L1 from Benidorm.