Benicarló is a quaint old town and fishing port in Costa del Azahar. It has a series of spectacular beaches and is historically rich with remarkable examples of grand architecture. Benicarló's origins go back to the Middle Ages when it was a little Arab town. In 1246 it was granted the status of town by King Jaime I under the influence of Zaragoza. Initially, it was named as Benicastlo. Benicarlo has its own marina with a typical Spanish harbor consisting of fishing boats and private boats. The entrance to the town is not that attractive; as it is a normal working seaside town nevertheless it is an interesting place to visit with historical significance and architectural beauty. It is well known for its oranges and artichokes.
Why should people stay in Benicarló during the winter?
Benicarlo is a small town with splendid beaches and vert nice weather conditions during winters. Another reason to visit this small town is its festivities which are anything but small. The town lights up and celebrates its different festivals with great zeal. Winters leading to the spring season are dominated by several important events like Christmas, New Year, Festival of Artichokes (3rd week of January) and the Las Fallas which takes place in spring. Expect a lot of fireworks, rockets, dinners in the street and huge crowds where everyone is welcome to celebrate.
Benicarló has a typical Mediterranean climate with long summers and mild winters which enable visitors to enjoy many outdoor activities. The night can be a little bit cooler so make sure that you have some heating in your house or apartment. The average temperature of this region in the winter is 18°C (64°F).
For more climate information visit Meteoblue
Things to see in Benicarló
Following is a list of the places which are a must-visit when in Benicarlo:
- Playa del Morrongo is a beautiful beach located next to the Fishing and seaport.
- San Pedro Church is also known as Chapel of Cristo del Mar. Cristo del Mar was traditionally an object of profound worship in Benicarló.
- Casa del Marqués de Benicarló – House of the Marquis is a notable house built in the late 18th century. The house is organized around a large hall and is decorated with unique tiles from the factory of the Count of Aranda.
- Convento de San Francisco (Convent of St. Francis) was a convent of the Barefoot Franciscan monks and is now home to the town's museum. It has been declared a site of cultural interest.
- Hermitage of St. Gregory was built in 1677 to thank St. Gregory for finishing a plague of worms. It is 2 km (1.2 Miles) from the town and has the sculpture of Saint Gregory inside made of polychrome wood.
Jardin Del Papagyo is a famous theme park also known as Parrot Garden. It is a must-visit for bird lovers especially parrots.
Things to see not far from Benicarló
There are a lot of things you can do from Benicarlo. Here are some ideas:
- Poblado Ibérico del Puig de la Nau (Iberian Settlement of Puig de la Nau) has been declared a site of cultural interest because of the archaeological discoveries there, such as pieces of handmade pottery. It's located around 5 km (3 Miles) from the town.
- Peñiscola is a coastal town known for beaches like Pebret and Norte. The historic 13th-century Peñíscola Castle has panoramic views of the coast. A bus leaves from Benicarló to Peñíscola every 30 minutes and the journey takes 17 to 18 minutes.
- Vinaro is a popular seaside destination and the distance from Benicarlo is 7 km (4 Miles). It has a beautiful promenade, a working port, an old town with amazing architecture and plenty of ongoing activities and festivals during winters.
Activities in Benicarló in the winter
Visitors have plenty to do during their stay in Benicarlo. Some of them include
- Nautical activities like sailing, a boat trip, or recreational fishing on the sea.
- Cycling through the town and surrounding areas to enjoy nature. There are numerous routes for a healthy and refreshing experience.
- Walking is also a healthy option for visitors to enjoy the landscape.
- Golf retreat at the Panoramic Golf & Country Club golf course designed by Bernhard Langer is an 18-hole course that offers a tranquil setting for a game of golf and excellent weather for a well-deserved break.
- Yoga retreats are a refreshing and healthy way to enjoy and connect to nature.
Shopping + Restaurants. Are they open in the winter?
As there are a lot of permanent residents in Benicarló a lot of shops and restaurants in the center will be open. Tourist shops and restaurants targeting beach tourists will mostly be closed. The central market is quite busy with many different types of stalls for a variety of shopping experiences. There is also an indoor food market where different varieties of fish, meats, cheeses, and olives are sold.
There is a good supply of restaurants to enjoy seafood and other Spanish cuisines. Some of them include
- Restaurante Raul Resino
- Pau Restaurant
- Restaurante Neptuno benicarlo
- Benicarló is served by Castellon Airport, 38 km (24 Miles) away, and Valencia Airport, that is 128 km (80 Miles) away.
- Benicarló – Peñiscola train station (12580, Castellón) is a small station located in Benicarlo. For more information about routes and timetables visit www.trainline.com
- If you visit Benicarlo by car it can be accessed easily by the motorway A7.
- Without a car, you can use local busses when you are in Benicarlo. You can visit many locations both within the town and further away. Visit www.checkmybus.com to find the ideal bus route to and from the town.
- Taxis are also a convenient but a bit costly means of transport.
Benicarlo is a small town but you can still find some doctors and dentists that speak English, German and other languages here. Benicarlo Centro de Salud is a medical center where visitors can go in case of emergency and it is open 24 hours.
There are no big hospitals in Benicarlo but visitors can go to Hospital Universitario General de Castellón in Castellon de la Plana which is around 50 minutes away by car.
Benicarlo has an ok selection of apartments and rentals for longer periods. You can expect prices for apartments from €400 (approx. $473, £365, $624 CAD, $649 AUD) per month for a small apartment whereas chalets and whole houses start from around €800 (approx. $946, £730, $1248 CAD, $1299 AUD). For more information visit www.rentalia.com/holiday-rentals-benicarlo/.
Benicarlo does not have a large selection of campsites because of its small size. A few of the sites which offer camping services are
- Camping Alegria del Mar. The beach is just 50 meter (164 feet) away with direct access. The town Benicarlo is in walking distance, 1.5 km (0.9 Miles). WiFi available throughout the area of the camping and British satellite t.v connections on all pitches. From €18 (approx. $21, £16, $28 CAD, $29 AUD) per night. www.campingalegria.com/
- Camping Papa del Mar, close to the beach, www.campingpapadelmar.com/
- Camping Vinaroswww.campingvinaros.com/
If you have a Camper or Motorhome you can find several locations near the town like
- Camping La Volta is located 800 meter (2625 feet) from the beach in Peñiscola surrounded by nature. For more information visit www.campinglavolta.com/
- Camping Vinaros www.campingvinaros.com