Go out to the beach and look back to see the whole compound on the hill. I guess you'd get an even better view from the sea but I didn't (I was there only for an afternoon's trip).
If you have more time you can spend some time on the beach swimming below the castle.
Oh, by the way, this is the beach that El Cid (starred by Charlton Heston) died on in the movie.
From the castle you get stunning views of the town, its red roofs, boat harbour, and beaches as well as the remote surroundings of Peñiscola.
When you're at the top deck hold on tight: you may get a vertigo!
Oh, and it can be rather chilly and windy up there!
My friend in the picture was convincing me that we should check out more castles in Poland. I guess she was right!
I like visiting places that reveal their magnificence gradually.
Peñiscola is a good example because you get to see more and more as you approach the castle entrance. This builds some sort of suspence and anticipation of even greater structures as you go up the hill... Fortified walls can be seen well below the castle!
Fondest memory: The grandeur of the castle and the beauty of the little streets.
Peníscola is best known as the seat of the black pope Papa Luna. During the western schism Benedict XIII, known as Papa Luna, escaped from Avignon and set up court at Peníscola from 1411 to 1423. His successor Clemente resided in Peníscola until his abdication in 1429. During the reign of Philip II, the walls were again strengthened and adopted to use artillery, which was
Walk along the ramparts
important in facing the threat of Barbary pirates who pillaged the coastal towns. In the War of Spanish Succession, the town sided with Philip V, and withstood an assault by British troops.
The imposing fortified walls are perfectly preserved and provide the best example of military architecture in Valencia. The setting on a promontory in the Mediterranean makes these almost impregnable walls one of the most spectacular fortresses in Spain. The ramparts incorporate towers, arms and gunpowder rooms and represent the cumulative work of centuries. Three gates grant access into the old quarter Fosch, Les Escaseres and Sant Pere.
The cobbled streets of the old quarter
Within the walls is the old town, a glorious mix of medieval and Moorish architecture, is the castle built by the Knights Templar from the twelfth to the fifteen century. The castle and ramparts were used in the making of the Hollywood epic El Cid starring Charlton Heston. To the north of the castle is the beach area, popular with tourists. To the south can be found the tower of Badum, originally a Moorish construction, which once functioned as a look out tower.
But Peñiscola has a long history:
Founded as a Phoenician colony, it is said to have been the home of the great Carthaginian general Hannibal. Peniscola derives from its name from the Romans, and translated from the Latin means almost an island, referring to the headland that juts out into the sea. During the Moorish domination the port was fortified, but fell to the Christian advance in 1233 when it was incorporated into the kingdom of Aragon.
At the end of the thirteenth century the town was given over to the Knights Templar, a religious military order who built the castle and extended the fortified walls.
Favorite thing: The rock where Peniscola stands has been populated for thousands of years by many different cultures, from indigenous to Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs or Chirsitians. The reasons are its strategic location, its inexpugnability and the fact that several sweet water sources within the rock could maintain the population in case of siege.
If the vies of the town from the beach is awesome, the beach seen from the fortress is simply breathtaking. Not in vain, Peniscola is the capital of the Costa del Azahar (Orange blossom)
Fondest memory: If the coast is totally lined with appartment buildings and hotels until Vinaros, Southwards, you can explore the Natural Park Serra d'Irta, with lovely small beaches and a lot of hiking opportunities in the last virgin stretch of the Valencian coast.
Favorite thing: Few places in europe can offer the possibility of relaxing on a wonderful beach on the Mediterranean while contemplating at the unmistakable profile of an ancient town, crowned by the fortress of the Benedict XIII, the Pope Luna.
Favorite thing: As you can see, Peñíscola was built in a rocky promontory on the coast of the Valencian Kingdom. The fact that the old city remains almost the same make of it a very picturesque spot, in spite of the overbuilding that has occured in the sandy beaches that surround it.
Favorite thing: Staying in Vinaroz we´ve gone sometimes to Peñiscola to visit the castle, have a coffee or look for some souvenirs. Peñiscola is a little village with ~5000 inhabitants where generally only beach life happens.
The beach is a beauty. The is a little bay where you are allowed to have a boat and go waterskiing. We used the canoes aswell. There is a little tourist carnaval on the beach where you can have a lot of fun.
Fondest memory: I walked with my brother over the carnavalground and that is still a great memory cause he is 13 years older then me!!!
This church is located just outside the castle walls. I took by chance almost the same photo once by day and later by night.
The buildings in this castle are really beautiful, impressing.
Favorite thing: On this map you can see the spot where you can find this little village. Its in the lovely surroundings of mountains and the sea.
This piramide is not in Egypt its just in Spain. Crossing the border you can find this beauty.
Fondest memory: The lovely people and the nice weather!