Day 3. From Alicante to Benidorm by tram

After enjoying a relaxing breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant we wandered along to the Mercado tram/train station where we used a machine to buy two Zone 3 return tickets to Benidorm at €6.40 (£5.30) each. The Alicante to Benidorm tram route is on Red Line One, with services every 30 minutes.

The Mercado tram/train station, Alicante
The Mercado tram/train station, Alicante

We took the 10.10 a.m. tram and enjoyed scenic coastal views as the majority of the journey is along the coast. If possible, try and sit on the right hand side of the tram for the best sea views. Our service wasn’t very busy and we had a comfortable journey along to Benidorm taking 70 minutes. Line One terminates in Benidorm and passengers just need to scan their tickets at the barriers to exit the station.

Along the promenade, Benidorm
Along the promenade, Benidorm

I’d never visited Benidorm before and to be honest probably wouldn’t have gone this time if it hadn’t been so easy to reach from Alicante but in the interests of blog research I had an open mind on what to expect. Almost everyone on our flight was heading to Benidorm as it’s been a top destination for British tourists for many years.

Playa de Levante, Benidorm
Playa de Levante, Benidorm

Interestingly, the Costa Blanca is noted for being the most famous 20km stretch of coastline in Spain and when we first saw the huge number of hotels surrounding its bay, it was hard to believe that Benidorm was once a sleepy fishing village. Since the onset of cheap package holidays in the 1960’s the former village has transformed into an area of high rise hotels and holiday apartments arranged along the vast, white, sandy beaches. Britons who used to spend their holidays in English seaside resorts such as Margate, Blackpool or Brighton soon discovered they could take a cheap overseas package holiday with year round sun, sea and cheap alcohol.

Plenty of available sunbeds in winter on the beaches of Benidorm
Plenty of available sunbeds in winter on the beaches of Benidorm

Strolling along the seafront overlooking the Playa de Levante beach, which is surrounded by the town’s iconic skyscraper hotels and apartments we felt the resort lacked the sophisticated feel of neighbouring Alicante but it was a likeable place and we enjoyed our walk. We were there in winter but it felt more like June with the sun beating down and temperatures in the low to mid 20’s. Most of the tourists appeared to be retirees escaping the cold, damp northern European weather and who could blame them. I could definitely see the attraction of swapping a couple of weeks huddled in front of the fire at home for a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.

Tapas Bars in Benidorm old town
Tapas Bars in Benidorm old town

Over the years Benidorm has had a reputation for raucous behaviour and although the seafront still caters mainly for those seeking a ‘home from home’ holiday with dozens of English themed pubs and cafes selling beer by the pint, traditional fried English breakfasts and fish and chips, much seems to have been done to gentrify the resort. We noticed several of the now dated budget accommodation blocks had been demolished to be replaced by modern, luxury hotels.

Approaching the headland between Benidorm's two main beaches
Approaching the headland between Benidorm’s two main beaches

Our walk continued into the old town where we wandered along its narrow cobbled streets lined with shops and cafes. Most of the shops seemed to be selling low priced clothing, shoes and the usual touristy gifts found in most seaside resorts. Further along one of these alleyways, an entire street had been given over to tapas bars which seemed to be proving popular with lunchtime diners.

The four cannons at Plaza de Santa Ana, Benidorm
The four cannons at Plaza de Santa Ana, Benidorm

Returning to the seafront, located up some steps just beyond the Levante beach we came to Plaza de Santa Ana. The centrepiece of this square are four cannons each pointing to a cardinal point. These guns belonged to the old castle that was located at the top of the old town and are all that remains of the original fort nowadays.

Plaza del Castillo, Benidorm
Plaza del Castillo, Benidorm

Climbing up some more steps, we arrived at a gorgeous blue tiled plaza called the Plaza del Castillo from where we had some stunning views of Benidorm’s beaches. This raised balcony is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque viewpoints along the Costa Blanca with its delightful wooden pergola bedecked with flowers and benches from where visitors are able to sit and relax whilst taking in the breathtaking views.

Mirador del Castillo lookout point, Benidorm
Mirador del Castillo lookout point, Benidorm

Continuing our coastal walk, we admired the church of San Jaime and Santa Ana which is the oldest in Benidorm having been built between 1740-1780. The church has a beautiful blue tiled domed roof which has recently been renovated restoring it to its former glory.

The church of San Jaime and Santa Ana, Benidorm
The church of San Jaime and Santa Ana, Benidorm

Our stroll continued along the promenade overlooking the Poniente beach which has a more relaxed feel and is less touristy than its Levante neighbour to the east of the town centre. This wide sweep of golden sand was less crowded and it was good to see that its bars and cafes were more authentically Spanish than on the main beach.

The promenade along the Poniente beach, Benidorm
The promenade along the Poniente beach, Benidorm

It was then time to return to the station for our tram back to Alicante. It was nice to rest our legs for an hour as we had walked quite a distance exploring Benidorm. Our seats on the left hand side of the tram afforded us with some good coastal views and being wintertime, the tram wasn’t crowded. Would I return to Benidorm? Surprisingly, I think the answer might be yes, perhaps not to actually stay there but to visit for a day sometime, let’s see!

Piazza, Alicante, Spain
The palm tree lined square where we ate dinner

Back in our hotel we enjoyed a reviving cup of tea and a couple of biscuits, later venturing out again for an evening stroll and to find somewhere to eat. We settled on an attractive floodlit square just behind the city hall where we dined outdoors, keeping warm with the aid of patio heaters and rugs. So far on this trip we hadn’t sampled any local paella so we ordered seafood and chicken options from the menu. Sadly, these didn’t live up to our expectations, especially the seafood paella which had very little seafood and was mostly just rice. Our meal was quite disappointing as the restaurant appeared attractive and the waiter friendly. We didn’t linger for coffee and instead found a cosy bar on the seafront to end our third day on the Costa Blanca.

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Seville and the Semana Santa Festival

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40 thoughts on “Day 3. From Alicante to Benidorm by tram

  1. Pingback: Day 3.  A visit to Portimao, The Algarve – Love Travelling Blog

  2. jasonlikestotravel

    I could certainly see the appeal to living / retiring to somewhere like Benidorm. I can’t say it has had a huge appeal to me as a destination but perhaps I’ll have to see for myself at some point. I’m sure it’s a nice place to take a daytrip, I expect it has a very different feel to it after dark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think I would want to spend a week there but it’s very pleasant for a day trip or perhaps a short break. Can’t imagine what it might be like at night though! Hope your return to work went well, at least it was only two days. It was gorgeous here yesterday but has been bitterly cold today.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jasonlikestotravel

        Yeah I’m sure a weekend would suffice. Thank you, work went alright. The weather was nice most of the weekend but not so much today. I find the more gloomy days quieter when going for a walk though.

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        1. That’s true, as we live in quite a popular beauty spot and I think a lot of people have been flouting stay at home rules as on Friday and yesterday when it was quite hot there were a lot of cars parked by the river and if they were local,people like us they could have just walked.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Day 4. Riding the vintage train to Soller, Mallorca – Love Travelling Blog

  4. Actually looks really nice Marion. Great photos. Nothing like the British show I think called Benidorm (mmmm). Hope you are well and have lots of things to do whilst at home. Lovely weather here today so just back from lovely walk with the dogs. Thank goodness we can exercise outdoors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your welcome thoughts Sue. I’m so grateful to also live somewhere with beautiful walks on my doorstep. It’s a little overcast this morning but I’m still planning on a brisk walk later with younger son when he takes his lunch break. I’m keeping busy doing all those little and often big jobs I’ve put off attempting in the past such as turning out cupboards and drawers and decluttering, not my favourite job by any means. The downside of living in a big old house for the last 26 years is that there are just too many places to store stuff. In the last few weeks I’ve completed the ground floor but there’s much more to be done upstairs. You won’t believe how many old floppy discs, CD games, consoles and joysticks I’ve unearthed that no-one wants any more. I’ve also accumulated a tub full of leads and cables that no-one has a clue to what they once connected. My new mantra is ‘if in doubt, throw it out’ or if useful to anyone else put it in the garage to go to charity shops when they re-open. How I wish we could all revert to our former lives, as you can imagine I’d rather be out exploring with my camera than stuck in the house wearing my apron! I’m sure we’ll be free to set off again soon so let’s hope it’s not too long until it happens and I’ll look forward to meeting.up with you in December! Marion

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      1. Hi Marion. You are definitely the decluttering lady at the moment. Well done. Yes I am so hoping I can travel in December. I haven’t sent you my plans yet as am going to wait until I hear it’s ok to travel then I will book accom/trains etc. at this stage just my flights are booked. Sending you my best wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Your post proves that one should try to ignore stereotypes about certain places and always aim to keep an open mind! Benidorm has never been on my list of places to visit but perhaps it might be somewhere to look at but in the winter!! At the moment, I can’t quite imagine how travel will look in the near future, can you?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments on my visit to Benidorm. It’s good to read that you agree that we should keep an.open mind about visiting places and we all like something different. Hopefully tourism and travel will bounce back in the coming months – I think everyone will want to get away be it near or far. Take care, Marion

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Benidorm has such a bad reputation doesn’t it but we found it quite nice. As long as you avoid certain areas, like any town or resort, it’s really nice. Very Spanish and full of interesting places to explore.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your welcome thoughts Jonno. Benidorm was much nicer than I thought it would be and I’m glad we made an effort to visit. I do suggest a few days in Alicante sometime though as it’s gorgeous! Enjoy this lovely sunshine whilst it lasts.

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    1. I’m sure that most of Europe is now deserted and looks very different now. Let’s hope it all bounces back to life soon. Benidorm was much more interesting than I had expected and I’m glad that we decided to go there. Thank you for commenting Ian, it’s much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Benidorm also leaves me with mixed feelings, I spent a night there by pure chance without knowing what to expect. It was autumn and the young holidaymakers had returned to classes. There were only pensioners left, who had come from all over Europe. I had the impression to be in a visionary movie where the whole population would have aged without new births.

    Liked by 2 people

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