Peñíscola stole our hearts in a blink of an eye. This little town, with about 8000 habitants, is located on the Costa del Azahar in the province of Castellon in Spain. It has a typical Mediterranean vibe and without a doubt is one of the most beautiful, breathtaking towns in the whole of Spain. While visiting Peniscola you can’t miss its famous old town where you’ll find typical white houses with blue ornaments, cobblestone streets, terraces, and of course the castle. In 2013, Peniscola was named one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.
So you have one day in Peñíscola, Spain. What to see, what to do? Read on and you’ll discover all the best things to do in this lovely Spanish white town.
- Best things to do in Peñíscola, Spain in one day
- How to get to Peniscola, Spain?
- One Day In Peníscola, Spain – Summary
- Restaurants, accommodations, and map
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Best things to do in Peñíscola, Spain in one day
Peniscola old town streets
One of the best things to do in Peniscola is to stroll through its beautiful old town streets, situated on a 64m high rock. Snow-white houses, cobblestone streets, countless colorful flowers, and beautiful facades – all of this can be found there. Just take your time, slowly discover the area, and don’t forget to take a peek at the side streets which can hide many secrets.
In Peniscola Old Town you’ll find places like Peniscola castle and its gardens, House of Shells, El Bufador, Church of the Virgin Ermitana, or the Lighthouse. Let’s go, we’ll get to know them a little bit better.
House of Shells
House of Shells (es. Casa de las Conchas) is one of the most popular places in town. It’s a little, adorable house fully covered in shells, featuring beautiful Arabic-style windows. It was built in the 60s by a family that for years worked as tourist guides. They collected a large number of shells, which they used to cover the facade of their house. The House of Shells just can’t go unnoticed. It’s really unique and beautiful, isn’t it?
One of the most interesting places in Peñíscola. El Bufador is a natural tunnel formed by waves that connect the city with the sea. It’s a dramatic sight when the sea is rough and the waves are big – the water floods into the cavity before whooshing out with great noise and force. When we were there it was very calm, but just look at this video – that’s rough!
Peniscola Castle (es. Castillo de Peñíscola), or the Castle of Papa Luna, is an early 14th-century majestic castle built by the Knights Templar. It was built on the remains of an Arab fortress and later converted into a papal palace. It stands on an impressive rock that rises 64m above the sea, in the heart of the Peniscola Old Town.
Once it was the home of Pope Benedict XIII (or rather antipope, also known as Papa Luna), and today it’s one of the most iconic places to visit in Peniscola. Climb to the highest point and enjoy spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the town center. Also, in front of the castle, the life-size statue of Papa Luna can be found.
Entry to Papa Luna Castle is paid. Normal price: €5; reduced price: €3.5 (November 2022). To check current prices and opening hours visit castillodepeniscola.dipcas.es official website.
Church of the Virgin Ermitana
Church of the Virgin Ermitana (es. Iglesia de la Ermitana) is one of the most beautiful churches in the Peniscola and is attached to the walls of the castle. It was built in 1717 and inside you can find the Virgin of Ermitana, the patron of the city.
Small lighthouse, about 11 meters high, dating from 1892. The lighthouse signal reaches 56 kilometers and helps local sailors navigate the rocky coast. You can climb up for a great view of the castle and the sea. You can climb it up for a great view of the sea and the Peniscola castle. Peñíscola Lighthouse is located right next to the castle.
Gardens of the Peniscola Castle
Gardens of the Peníscola Castle, also known as Artillery Park, is a small beautiful garden located right next to the castle. It offers stunning views over the coast and the town.
Fun fact: Artillery Park served as a filming location for Meereen in the famous Game Of Thrones tv show.
Walls and gates
In the 16th century, walls were built in the old city to protect it from attacks by land. Three entrance doors were created in the walls, still preserved until today: the Fosc Portal, the Portal of San Pedro, and the Puerta de Santa María.
Peñíscola is known for its beautiful sandy beaches which offer spectacular views over the town. The two most popular are Peñíscola South Beach and North Beach. 5km long and sandy North Beach (es. Playa Norte) is the most popular beach, mainly thanks to great views from the distance over the hill where the castle and town center stand. South Beach (es. Playa Sur) is much smaller, located closer to the town center, and offers a more chilled-out setting.
Natural Park of Sierra de Irta
Park is located to the north of the Valencian Community, really close to Peñíscola. Sierra de Irta is one of the last remaining, still unspoiled mountainscapes on the Valencian coastline. On 16 July 2002, it was declared a Natural Park and Marine Reserve. Choose one of the hiking trails and immerse yourself in breathtaking nature. Serra de Irta also offers a rich historical heritage, there you can find for example Arab constructions like the castles of Xivert and Polpis, and the watchtowers of Badum and Ebrí. Other important constructions are the hermitages of Sant Antoni, Santa Llúcia and Sant Benet.
How to get to Peniscola, Spain?
Peniscola is located about 70km from Castellon de la Plana, 150km from Valencia, and 60km from Benicassim. The most convenient way to get to Peniscola is by car.
Where to park in Peniscola?
There are a few parking lots available in Peniscola, mostly paid ones. We left our car in this parking lot, only a 10min walk from the castle. We paid 3.5€ for 3 hours (September 2021)
Airports near Peniscola
The closest airports to Peniscola are in Valencia and Barcelona. From both airports, you can catch trains to Benicarlo, and then take a short ride by bus or taxi to Peniscola. You can check the connections you are interested in on the rome2rio.com website.
To Peniscola by bus
Without many problems, you can also get to Peniscola from many places by bus. Check the connections you are interested in on the rome2rio.com website.
To Peniscola by train
There is no train station in Peniscola. But from many places in southeast Spain you can arrive by train to the neighboring town of Benicarlo, which is only 7km away, and from it take a bus or taxi to Peniscola.
Camping in Peniscola, Spain
If you’re traveling by camper you’ll be glad to know that there are a few camping sites near Peniscola. Here are some of them:
One Day In Peníscola, Spain – Summary
Now you know what are the best things to do in Peñiscola during one day stay. We’re 100% that you’ll have an amazing time in this little, charming Spanish town. 🙂
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Peñíscola?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Peñíscola:
Where to sleep in Peñíscola?
RH Don Carlos & Spa
RH Don Carlos & Spa is a luxurious hotel located in the coastal town of Peniscola. It offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and stunning sea views, as well as a range of leisure facilities including a spa, fitness center, and outdoor pool. The hotel's restaurant serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine and guests can enjoy cocktails and snacks at the bar.
Duna Hotel Boutique
Duna Hotel Boutique is a modern beachfront hotel located in the heart of Peñíscola. It features elegantly designed rooms with balconies or terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and sun loungers, a spa center, and a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine.
Knysna Boutique Rooms
Knysna Boutique Rooms is a charming B&B offering beautiful sea views, comfortable and stylish rooms, and a relaxing atmosphere. Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast, relax in the outdoor pool, or explore the beautiful surrounding area.
Gran Hotel Peniscola
Gran Hotel Peniscola is a luxury beachfront hotel in the charming town of Peniscola, Spain. Its spacious rooms and suites offer beautiful sea views and modern amenities. The hotel features a large outdoor swimming pool, a spa, a fitness center, and multiple dining options, making it an ideal choice for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation.