Spain - A Day Guide to Peñiscola, the Game of Thrones Site
A Day in Peñíscola, Spain
A Day Guide to Peñiscola, Spain
Peñíscola is a magical little town on the eastern side of Spain, in the Province of Castellón. It sits on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 90 miles (145km) north of Valencia. It’s a popular tourist destination due in part to its elevated castle, which dates back to the 13th century. Many movies and television shows have been filmed there, due to the authentic medieval style of the castle, including HBO’s Game of Thrones! Here is a day-guide to Peñiscola on why you should include it in your travel itinerary for Spain.
Peñíscola may be small, with a population of about 7,500 people, but it sits in a gem of a location. Hills surround the coastal town, semblative of places like Monaco, Sorrento, and Santorini. It is also right next to Parc Natural de la Serra d’Irta, a national park with 10 miles of coastal hiking and driving paths. The ocean is mixed colors of blue and green stretching out to the horizon, and at nighttime, the houses on the surrounding hills light up like stars in the sky. It is a truly beautiful sight to behold. Also, Peñíscola becomes quite the hot spot in the summer, with thousands of people flocking to spend their days on the beach.
The Castillo de Peñíscola is what most tourists come to see, sitting atop a hill crowded with white buildings, in the Old Town, mostly accessible by foot or motorbike. The structure of the buildings, the adorable alleyways, and the style of the ancient castle remind me of Mont-Saint Michel. There are plenty of restaurants which offer tapas, paella, croquetas, sangria, horchata, and many other Spanish culinary delights. There are also a lot of shopping stores, selling everything from postcards to hand-made vases to amber jewelry to 5 Ib chocolate bars. The locals are kind and friendly, which shines through the language barrier.
Sights of the Old Town
The Casa de las Conchas is a photoresque spot to capture your memory of Peñíscola. It is a building made entirely of seashells. You can see the coastline continuing in both directions, the nearby beaches, and the Serrade Montsià in the distance. Touring the Castillo is a must, and also visiting the Parc d’Artilleria, which sits right below. This garden offers incredible views and lots of palm trees to pair with the medieval castle in the background. I recommend visiting the Parc Natural de la Serra d’Irta for the morning and afternoon, and then spending three hours or so in the Old Town, getting an early dinner, and sticking around to see the stunning sunset.
Why You Should Go!
Honestly, there are probably plenty of places that offer the same views and experience as does Peñíscola. It is another beautiful, historic European town that is guaranteed to take your breath away. As a Game of Thrones fan, I was very excited to recognize some of the filming locations (specifically the marketplace in the City of Mereen)! However, Peñíscola has a vibe that really sets it apart. It is peaceful. Time takes on a new pace there. You enjoy yourself more, breathe in the fresh air, and find meaning in each and every one of the town’s characteristics. I recommend this place because of its serenity and history. You really need to check it out yourself!
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