PEÑISCOLA, Costa Del Azahar
Peñiscola might be a small town, but it sure has a long story to tell. It's located on the "Costa del Azahar" (Orange Blossom Coast), the mediterranean sea. Or more precisely, 220km south from Barcelona, and 130km north from Valencia, in the province of Castellón.
A long time ago, Peñiscola was nothing but a small fishermen town. Its precious castle, which is still nicely conserved until today, was only connected to the peninsula with a small sandy road. On stormy days, said road tended to disappear as the water level raised, and thus, converting the castle into an island, and leaving its inhabitants without communication to the others.
Obviously, nowadays we don't have to be afraid of this happening anymore. We have bigger and asphalted roads now, and it's certainly impossible to get traped in the castle because of high water.
In the picture below, you can see how the castle looks now. Most people that walk through the castle for the first time feel like they're in a labyrinth, as most streets in there look a like. Even though they're all very unique and beautiful on a second glance. Between these streets you'll find a lot of surprises and a lot of different little shops, bars, luxury restaurants, discotheques/clubs, etc... You can also get yourself access to the historic church, and the giant garden of the legendary "Papa Luna" where they keep different kinds of hawks.
To get a clearer idea on how old the castle actually is, it was built between 1294 and 1307. Because of the nice climate of the area, a lot of our Mediterranean neighbors, such as the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs, came to live here.
In 1922, Peñiscola was given the honor of being added to the national list of artistic monuments.
Our stunning beaches have a "Blue flag", which is a symbol of quality. Peñiscola's town hall makes sure to keep them clean on a regular basis.
Peñiscola has two beaches, the North and South beach. The North beach is about 7km long, and has a width of 44 meters at some parts. It's difficult to get tired of walking through it and seeing the endless amount of shops, restaurants, ice cream parlors, bars, hotels, ...
Photo: Part of the promenade which unites Peñiscola and Benicarló.
Every summer they offer a free aerobic program at the beach, and everyone is invited to participate. If you'd rather lay down and bask in the sun, you'll be able to find a free space on 7km of sandy beaches.
Remember that you can also rent Jet Skis, or ride "the banana".
At night, part of the promenade turns into a little type of market, where groups of artists such as painters, "Henna" tattooists, and clowns, dedicate their time to selling hand-made products, or entertaining the audience. There's something for everybody, from young to old.
A must see event is the fish auction! At 4pm, all fishers come back to the port (which is located near the South beach), and start auctioning their fresh fish.
If you want some privacy and a place to relax, we suggest you the "Calas de la Costa Sur" (Coves from the South coast), which is a bit more South, in the "Sierra de Irta". There, as the name says, you'll find a lot of small, yet romantic coves, where you can enjoy the nature to its fullest!
Peñiscola has actually about 5.500 inhabitants. The recent increment of the area was clearly noticeable, since we have a big mall with a movie theater, bowling alley, themed restaurants, and a whole lot of shops now.
- A lot of super markets
- Market (Monday mornings)
- Bakeries and butchers
- Pharmacies, doctors and veterinarians
- Lawyers and notaries
- Banks and post offices
- Gas station
- Schools and nurseries
- All kind of shops
- Driving schools
Another thing worth seeing is the new local town hall, where a lot of events are being held, such as expositions, orchestras, theaters, etc... More info here: www.palaudecongressos.com.
If you'd like to do some sports, you can take your bike (or rent one), and drive from Peñiscola to Benicarlo over the "Carretera vieja" (Peñiscola's "Old street"), which has been amplified recently, and a bicycle lane has been added for more security and comfort.
How to get here
You can use a bus.
You can get here by car, using the motorway A-7, and the exit number 43 (Peñiscola / Benicarlo), or else the "Carretera Nacional" N-340.
There are airports in:
- Barcelona (220km from Peñiscola)
- Valencia (140km from Peñiscola)
- Reus-Tarragona (120km from Peñiscola)
- Castellón (40km from Peñiscola - IN CONSTRUCTION!)
More information about all airports here: www.aena.es
If you're arriving in train, the nearest station is in Benicarló, the town right next to Peñiscola. More information here: www.renfe.es
You can use the following numbers to call a taxi:
- (0034) 964 460 506
- (0034) 619 038 260
- (0034) 650 896 125
If you'd like to come with your own boat, there are two ports near Peñiscola, in Benicarlo and Vinaroz: