When most people think of Benidorm, they envision stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and high-rise hotels lining the coastline. However, Benidorm has much more to offer than just its beautiful sandy shores and bustling cityscape. Just a stone’s throw away from the glitzy tourist hub, there’s a world of natural beauty waiting to be explored. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the hidden treasures that lie beyond the beach, from serene hiking trails to breathtaking nature spots.
The Unexpected Natural Side of Benidorm
Benidorm, located on Spain’s eastern coast in the region of Valencia, is well-known for its Mediterranean climate, which makes it an ideal destination for beach lovers. However, what many people don’t realize is that Benidorm also boasts an array of natural wonders and hiking trails that cater to outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Sierra Helada Natural Park 🏞️
One of the standout natural attractions near Benidorm is the Sierra Helada Natural Park. This park offers a stark contrast to the bustling urban scene of the city. Covering an area of over 5,500 acres, Sierra Helada is home to diverse flora and fauna, including unique bird species, wildflowers, and aromatic herbs.
🌿 Flora and Fauna: Sierra Helada is home to several rare and endangered plant species. The park is also a sanctuary for a wide variety of bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Keep your binoculars handy and spot the Eleonora’s Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle, and the elusive Iberian Wall Lizard.
🥾 Hiking Trails: There are well-marked hiking trails within the park, catering to hikers of all skill levels. The Punta de Cavall trail offers breathtaking coastal views, while the Sierra Helada summit trail challenges seasoned hikers with its rugged terrain.
Serra Gelada Cross 🏞️
One of the most iconic landmarks in Benidorm is the Serra Gelada Cross, perched on the cliffs of the Serra Gelada Natural Park. This 10-meter tall cross stands as a symbol of faith and offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, Benidorm, and the surrounding areas. To reach the cross, follow a 5-kilometer trail that winds through the natural park’s striking scenery.
🌄 Sunrise Magic: For a truly enchanting experience, plan an early morning hike to the Serra Gelada Cross. As the sun rises over the Mediterranean, it casts a golden glow upon the landscape, creating a captivating vista that’s sure to leave you in awe.
Puig Campana 🌄
For those seeking a more challenging hiking experience, Puig Campana is an excellent choice. This rugged mountain, located just a short drive from Benidorm, is a favorite among local and international hikers.
🧗 Rock Climbing Paradise: With its dramatic limestone cliffs and rugged terrain, Puig Campana is a rock climbing mecca. Experienced climbers flock to this mountain to conquer its vertical faces and limestone crags.
🏞️ Natural Beauty: Even if you’re not a rock climber, the Puig Campana area is worth exploring for its stunning natural beauty. The mountain’s unique shape and the surrounding landscape make it a great spot for photography and simply enjoying the great outdoors.
Serra Gelada Night Hike 🌠
For a truly unique experience, consider embarking on a night hike in the Serra Gelada Natural Park. The park offers organized nocturnal excursions, allowing you to explore the park under the starlit sky. It’s a fantastic opportunity to witness the park’s nocturnal wildlife, including owls, bats, and other creatures that come to life after dark.
🌌 Starry Spectacle: Away from the city lights, the night sky in Serra Gelada is a canvas of stars. On clear nights, you’ll be treated to a mesmerizing celestial show that’s both humbling and awe-inspiring.
Practical Tips for Exploring Nature Near Benidorm 🌍
Before you set off on your nature adventures near Benidorm, here are some practical tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:
1. Be Prepared 🎒
Pack appropriately for your chosen activity. Hiking boots, sunscreen, water, and a trail map are essential. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
2. Respect Nature 🌿
Stay on marked trails to protect the fragile ecosystems. Leave no trace, and avoid disturbing wildlife. Remember, you’re a guest in their home.
3. Safety First 🚑
Inform someone of your plans and expected return time, especially if you’re hiking alone. Cell phone coverage can be spotty in some remote areas.
4. Guided Tours 🗺️
Consider joining a guided nature tour. Local experts can enhance your experience with their knowledge of the area’s flora, fauna, and history.
5. Enjoy and Share 📸
Take the time to relish the beauty of these natural wonders. Capture the moments with photographs, but remember to be in the moment as well. Share your experiences with others to inspire their own journeys.
So, if you’re planning a visit to Benidorm, don’t just limit yourself to the beach and bustling city life. Venture out and explore the hidden gems of nature, the hiking trails, and the breathtaking landscapes that surround this vibrant Mediterranean town. Benidorm has much more to offer than meets the eye, and these natural wonders are waiting to be discovered by those willing to step off the beaten path. 🌿🥾🌄🏞️🌠