Peñíscola, Province of Castellon
Peñíscola is a popular tourist destination located on the south eastern Mediterranean coastline of Spain. This picturesque town can be found on the Costa del Azahar coast in the Province of Castellon. Peñíscola is known locally as “City in the Sea” and in some places the “Gibraltar of Valencia” which is joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. This fascinating small Spanish town is a fortified Sea Port with a Lighthouse on a rocky headland. The local population is around 8500 inhabitants with a land mass of 79 km or 31 square miles. Peñiscola is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful towns in Spain along with Morella, located 80 km inland to the west, Morella is also part of the Province of Castellon.
One of the most striking attractions on offer is Peñiscola Castle that rises majestically above the Sea and town below. The castle was built by the Knights Templar between 1294 – 1307 along with the medieval walls that help to fortify the town. It is believed that the Templars built the castle on top of the ruins from an old Moors fortress. The Castle has seen plenty of restoration work completed, especially in 1960 when new walls were added and improved (Prior to the filming of El Cid). Peñiscola Castle looks spectacular whether viewed from up close or at a distance, especially at night time when the castle and town is illuminated. Climbing to the top of the castle will reward you with stunning 360 degree panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and local towns below. Although visitors are free to roam the exterior of the castle for free, ticket prices to enter the castle are priced at 5 Euros at time of writing with discounts for Pensioners and Children.
Peñiscola on the Silver Screen
Peñiscola was the location used for the epic movie “El Cid” which was released way back in 1961. El Cid starred the well known actors Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. The movie was based on fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz, defender of Christian Spain against the Moors.
The filming crew and actors of Game of Thrones were in Peñiscola in October 2015 shooting episodes for series 6 in which the town plays the role of Meereen. Series 6 is currently being aired on TV, the very first episode shows Tyrion and Varys walking through the streets of Meereen. Other scenes include various battles and 300 extras were used for episode 4 when they can be seen walking through the streets of Meereen.
Beaches and Attractions
The castle and town are by far the most popular things to experience here but there are also some fantastic beaches and other attractions. The coastline of Peniscola contains 5 km’s of sandy beaches to enjoy with the most popular being the north beach. The north beach is regularly awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness and safety, running adjacent to this beach is the beautiful palm tree lined promenade. Other notable things to experience are the windy streets where many of the shops and restaurants are located and the Sea Museum that depicts the Sea-Faring history of this popular town.