Peñíscola is a popular tourist destination on the eastern coastline of Spain. This picturesque town lies on the Costa del Azahar coast in the Province of Castellon. Known as “City in the Sea” and in some places the “Gibraltar of Valencia”. A narrow strip of land connects this town to the mainland.
This fascinating 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 one of the most beautiful towns in Spain. The town Morella lies 80 km inland to the west. Morella is also part of the Province of Castellon.
Peñíscola Castle, Province of Castellon
One of the most striking attractions is Peñiscola Castle that rises above the Sea and town below. Built by the Knights Templar between 1294 – 1307 along with the medieval walls. These walls were to help to fortify the town. It’s 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. This was before the filming of El Cid, one of the many famous motion picture here.
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. Spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and local towns below. Visitors can roam the exterior of the castle for free. Ticket prices to enter the castle are 5 Euros at time of writing. The are some discounts for Pensioners and Children.
Peñiscola on the Silver Screen
Peñiscola was the location used for the epic movie “El Cid” way back in 1961. El Cid starred the well known actors Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. The movie about a 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. They came here to shoot episodes for series 6 in which the town plays the role of Meereen. The very first episode shows Tyrion and Varys walking through the streets of Meereen. Other scenes include various battles and 300 extras for episode 4. The extras walk through the streets of Meereen in this scene.
Beaches and Attractions
The castle and town are by far the most popular things to experience here. There are also some fantastic beaches and other attractions. The coastline of Peniscola contains 5 km’s of sandy beaches to enjoy. The most popular of the beaches being the north beach. The north beach often receives the Blue Flag for cleanliness and safety. Running alongside this beach is the beautiful palm tree lined promenade.
Other notable things to experience are the windy streets. These streets is where many of the shops and restaurants are. The Sea Museum here depicts the Sea-Faring history of this popular town.