A Brief History of Benidorm, Spain

The first mention of Benidorm can be traced back to 8 May 1325 when the town of Polop obtained a town charter from Admiral Bernat De Serria at the Polop castle, which was part of the kingdom of Valencia. The town charter was granted to ban the Moors from the region and allow Christians to live in peace. Today, Benidorm is known as a popular tourist destination in Spain.


Benidorm’s charter

There are many reasons to charter a yacht or a boat in Benidorm. The town is a popular tourist destination, with over two million visitors a year, but the area has also seen its fair share of trouble. Piracy has left the town with a reputation for overcrowding and a grim history, but recent efforts to curb the excesses are gaining momentum. Cultural events, such as the Russian choir, have added to the town’s gentrification.

Benidorm is a seaside resort located on the eastern coast of Spain. It was once a sleepy fishing town, but a booming tourism industry has pushed it to the forefront of Spanish travel. With skyscrapers and upscale shops, the resort has become a popular spot for tourists and residents alike. Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, you’re sure to enjoy the nightlife, shopping, and dining options in Benidorm.

Early settlements

The Spanish town of Benidorm dates back to ancient times. There are remains of Roman and Punic settlements in the area which can be explored on one of the many local tours. The early settlements were small, but grew in size as the Moors moved in. The Moors ruled this area until 1245 when it was reclaimed by the Christian King James I of Aragon. In 1325, the town was granted a town charter by Admiral Bernat de Sarria of Polop.

Pirates plagued Benidorm for centuries, but the town grew significantly in the 17th century, when the Spanish government built an ambitious irrigation network, which brought fresh water to the town. This paved the way for development in the area. Benidorm’s fishermen soon became world-famous, relying on ancient Arabic fishing techniques handed down by the Moors. Their catch was mainly Tuna and salmon.

Old Benidorm

Bikini Ban

In the late 1960s, a Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco, ruled that women were not allowed to wear bikinis in public areas. This action reopened the Spanish tourist industry, allowing more tourists to wear bikinis and tell their friends about the town’s beaches. However, the bikini ban was met with opposition by religious leaders. The Archbishop of Valencia began an excommunication process against the town, but the mayor stood firm and overcame the crisis.

Zaragoza’s Legacy

The legacy of Zaragoza in Benidorm is undeniable. Zaragoza was a friend of the Franco family and Carmen Polo and foresaw the opening up of Spanish tourism. During his lifetime, Zaragoza gave away wine bottles with sun labels to hundreds of celebrities. In the years that followed, he became president of his province and even a member of Parliament. Zaragoza’s vision was that Spain would finally accept bikinis, but only after decades of protests from the local population.

In 1959, Pedro Zaragoza (The man credited for building Benidorm) signed an order authorising bikinis on public beaches. This act sparked a major change in Spanish tourism. Zaragoza argued that people should wear what they wanted, and that it helped them enjoy the resort and tell their friends about it. The church, however, disagreed. It began an excommunication process against Zaragoza, who subsequently returned to Benidorm to promote the town.

Once the bikini ban was overturned, the resort soon became a major holiday destination for tourists. Its long beaches, vibrant (the Benidorm nightlife is world renowned) nightlife, the stunning Benidorm weather, and a wide range of accommodations made Benidorm (known as the Manhattan of the Costa Blanca) one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.

If you fancy visiting Benidorm, check out our cheap flights to Benidorm and see what affordable offers are available and check out our Benidorm holiday guide.


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Hi, I'm Pablo, an internet marketer who enjoys working and travelling around the Costa Blanca, Spain. I have been fortunate enough to have met some amazing people on my travels and was lucky enough to be able to make Spain my second home in 2018.

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