One of the best view points of the resort is from The Cross, on top of the Sierra Helada mountain overlooking the Levante side of Benidorm, a must on the bucket list of things to do and see here. The story of its origin goes back many decades, specifically 1952 which was the turning point, turning Benidorm from a sleepy fishing village with a population of just under 3,000 into the popular tourist destination that it now is.
The then mayor Pedro Zaragoza jumped on his Vespa and rode all the way to Madrid to ask General Franco permission to allow tourists to wear bikini’s on the beach! Back in the 50’s under the Catholic church this was tantamount to adultery and the Bishop deemed Benidorm a sinful place – seems ludicrous looking at it now!
But to appease the church, the local priest here arranged for a giant wooden cross to be made and erected at the highest point so everyone entering the resort would see it.
This took place in 1961 and at some point was replaced with the current sturdier version which many come and leave messages, padlocks and mementos on, especially to loved ones that have passed away.
It is an iconic landmark and many make the trek up daily – for some visitors it’s a must do when here.
A few cheat and get a taxi up, although the last bit to the top has to be done on foot, up very uneven and rather steep stone steps. It is ap 1.8km each way – just over a mile, but the inclines are pretty steep on route. Ideally you should wear trainers or at the least sensible walking shoes and take a bottle of water as there are no facilities what so ever up at the top.
From the cable ski end of Levante promenade follow the road up and bear left, following the direction for Tio Ximo and then picking up the sings for ‘La Cruz’. You will pass Merita’s Bar on a sharp bend which is your last opportunity for a pitstop. You will pass plenty of people so have a fairly good idea you are heading in the right direction.
The views on the way up are spectacular but nothing compared to the one you get from the very top and certainly worth the effort. Just think of it as working off all those beers and full English you’d consumed over the previous few days of your holiday!