There is more to Benidorm than beaches. Well, most beach resorts would and probably do claim something like that. Benidorm does indeed feature two fantastic beaches, and it is undoubtedly true that most holidaymakers in the area are there for that reason, but it is also true that there is more to Benidorm than that. No matter which month of the year one may choose to visit, there are festivals that you can join in and take part. Situated on the east coast of Spain, not far from the island of Ibiza, Benidorm is built around a bay with a long, wide beach. It is so big that even when there are dozens of big parasols providing shade for dozens of deck chairs, there is still plenty of space on the beach available for any sort of beach games that you could imagine.
Best of both worlds
Just over the headland at the western end of the beach is another, equally magnificent and even longer beach. This one is more than two kilometers long. The difference is that the top of this beach is not built up with lots of hotels, so there are fewer people on it. This means that Benidorm hotel guests have the best of both worlds. More than that, it is virtually surrounded by hills, and those hills include the mountain Puig Campana, whose summit reaches 1,410 m above the nearby sea level. If you fancy a bit of adventure, as well as fun and relaxation, look no further!
Every Month Is Party Month
Benidorm is a veritable hive of activity all year round. Obviously, the year begins as in every other town, with New Year celebrations including fireworks. But that is where the similarity ends. For Epiphany, the Three Kings arrive on horseback, to the children’s delight. The slightly more esoteric festivals begin on the 17th of January with what they call Ermita de Sanz to celebrate San Anton, which consists of a splendid parade followed by the blessing of the animals. On the third of February, the San Blas is celebrated, and that is followed by daily carnivals from Friday to Tuesday and the “burying of the sardine” on the Wednesday.
From the 15th to the 19th of March, the town is engulfed in their St. Joseph festivities, what they call the Fallas de San José, featuring parades, more fireworks, and the “crème” of the satirical effigies. On the 16th, there is a great celebration recalling the moment of the finding of the Patron Saint. In April, there are Holy Week processions and passion plays.
There really is no such thing as a quiet month in Benidorm, unless you consciously avoid the festivities. Moving on to May, anybody in town on the first day of the month is likely to witness the Festa de la Creu, and if they hang around until the 15th, they can also enjoy the San Isidro Labrador festivities, which go on until the 18th. June is another good time to be in Benidorm. If you go to the Andalucia Centre you can enjoy the Romeria del Corpus which features processions of horses with people in fancy dresses and ruffles, as well as various farm workers participating.
July is a busy month. On the 7th there are “chupinazo” dances, not easily described, and special foods as part of the celebration of San Fermin. On the 16th, the Virgen del Carmen and her seafaring procession make their way through a picturesque village that looks out over the sea. On the 25th, there is another procession, followed by mass, evening festivities and fireworks, to honour the Patron Saint San Jaime. In August, amazingly enough, there are actually no official or religious festivities, but rest assured that if you happen to be there in that month, there will be plenty of parties.
Benidorm Town Council arranges many activities and concerts, especially at L’Aigüera Park. Quite apart from local celebrations, Benidorm has hosted lots of international events, including the following:
- The Davis Cup
- The Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup
- The Beach Football World Championship
- Benidorm Salsa Festival
- Magic Fitness Convention
- The Villa de Benidorm Open Chess International
- Costa Blanca Cup (International Base Football Tournament)
Back to the Festivals
La Santina festival runs from the 4th to the 8th of September. It attracts people from all over the principality of Asturias to the above mentioned Aigüera Park. There are bagpipes, traditional foods and drinks such as sidriña, fabes and bollos preñaos, plus traditionally dressed pipers. Needless to say, there is also lots of dancing.
Following La Santina, the grape harvest is celebrated among the Cueva people with their local Casa de Castilla, local cheese and local folk dancing. The first weekend of October is marked by festive commemorations of the battles between the Moors and the Christians. On the 7th is the Roser festival at the Ermita de Sanz, and that is followed two days later by the San Dionis, which is Valencia’s equivalent of Valentine’s Day. The best part of this festival is the “Mocadorà” marzipan fruits. The “Fiestas Mayores Patronales” or Patron Saint Festivals are the most important festivities in November, celebrated on the second weekend of the month. That is followed by the “Festa de la Carxofa” remembering the agrarian history of the original village. Apart from Constitution Day, the only festivity in December is Christmas, just a minor celebration of an obscure anniversary.
So you see, Benidorm is festival-rich! If you seek the religious rituals and the colorful pageantry of parades and paying homage to a cultural Christian past, Benidorm has it all!