Hola! Welcome to Peniscola, a beautiful Spanish white town. It boasts a typical Mediterranean vibe with a charming old town full of white houses with blue ornaments and narrow cobblestone streets generously decorated with flowers. No wonder that in 2013 Association of Los Pueblos más Bonitos de España named it one of the most beautiful villages in Spain! We won’t lie – this village stole our hearts in a blink of an eye. So, read on, discover all the best things to do in Peniscola in one day, and find out if it’ll win your heart too!
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Peniscola, Spain FAQ
Of course! Without a doubt, Peniscola is one of the most beautiful spots in the area. Whether you are into history, relaxing on the beach, good food or just wandering among charming streets – you’ll find the perfect “thing” for yourself in Peniscola.
Peniscola is best known for its charming old town quarter, unique house fully covered in shells, a medieval castle perched atop a small hill on Mediterranean shores, and beautiful beaches perfect for sunbathing lovers.
Best things to do in Peniscola, Spain in one day
Peniscola’s old town streets
One of the best things to do in Peniscola is to stroll among 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 and take a closer look at them.
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 and seeing it is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Peniscola. It’s really unique and beautiful, isn’t it?
El Bufador is one of the most interesting places in Peniscola. It’s 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!
Another great thing to do in Peniscola is to visit Peniscola Castle (es. Castillo de Peñíscola), also called the Castle of Papa Luna. It’s an early 14th-century majestic castle built by the Knights Templar on the remains of an Arab fortress. Later it was converted into a papal palace and was home to Pope Benedict XIII (or rather antipope, also known as Papa Luna).
The castle stands on an impressive rock that rises 64m above the sea, in the heart of the Peniscola Old Town. Be sure to 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, you’ll find a life-size statue of Papa Luna.
Entrance to Papa Luna Castle costs €5 for a normal ticket and €3.5 for a reduced one (August 2023). To check current prices and opening hours visit castillodepeniscola.dipcas.es 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 its surroundings. Peniscola Lighthouse is located right next to the castle.
Gardens of the Peniscola Castle
Gardens of the Peniscola 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.
Hitting one of the lovely town beaches is another great thing to do in Peniscola. The town is well-known for its sandy beaches which offer spectacular views over the surroundings. The two most popular are Peniscola South Beach (es. Playa Sur) and North Beach (es. Playa Norte).
North Beach is a 5km long sandy beach that offers amazing views over the hill where the castle and town center stand. South Beach is much smaller, located closer to the town center, and offers a more chilled-out setting.
Other things to do in Peniscola, Spain
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, 60km from Benicassim and 130km from Tarragona. The most convenient way to get to Peniscola is by car or by bus.
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 10-minute walk from the castle. We paid 3.5€ for 3 hours (September 2021)
Airports near Peniscola
The closest airports to Peniscola are in Valencia (160km away) and Barcelona (215km away). From both airports, you can catch a train to Benicarlo, and then take a short ride by bus or taxi to Peniscola. You can check the connections you are interested in on rome2rio.com website.
To Peniscola by bus
Without many problems, you can also get to Peniscola from many places by bus. For example, a trip from Castellón de la Plana will take 40min (€7-11), 2h from Valencia and 2h45min from Tarragona. 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. You can check out a map of available train connections on acprail.com website.
Camping in Peniscola
If you’re traveling by camper you’ll be glad to know that there are a few camping sites near Peniscola. Places like Camping La Volta, Camping Edén, Camping Ferrer or Camping Los Pinos might interest you.
Things to do in Peniscola in one day – Summing up
Peniscola is a really beautiful Spanish white town, isn’t it? The charming old town, sandy beaches, unique buildings, castle, green areas… There are many great things to do in Peniscola, for all kinds of travelers. We hope that you’ll have an amazing time in this lovely town and you’ll love it as much as we did.
Our opinion about Peniscola
Peniscola was the first Spanish white town we visited and we fell in love with it in a blink of an eye. Maybe that’s the reason why it impressed us that much but until this day, after seeing dozens of other spots, it still ranks very high in our personal ranking of the best towns in Spain. Wandering among its streets was a true delight.
For us, a visit to Peniscola was a one-day trip from Benicassim (combined with Morella and Ares del Maestrat), where we were living for a few weeks. We visited the town in September and during that time there were still many tourists, but mostly relaxing on the beaches. Old town streets were fairly quiet. In about 4h we managed to visit all the places we had on our list.
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.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com