Castellon information

Introduction to the Province of Castellon
The province of Castellon, the northernmost province of the community of Valencia has a 120km long coastline along the Mediterranean Costa Azahar, the Orange Blossom Coast, in the east of Spain. There are superb beaches, a mountainous interior, eight natural parks and an agreeable climate, so Castellon is a perfect destination for a relaxing break.

Castellon de la Plana
The provincial capital is the mediaeval city of Castellon de la Plana, which is a surprisingly cheap place to base yourself if you want to explore Castellon and the coastline. It’s a small city, with its streets pleasantly lined with and perfumed by orange trees and is easily explored on foot.

The city was officially founded in the 13th Century. The Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Asuncion has been rebuilt more than once since that time and is still unfinished! Near the Cathedral, don’t miss out the 15th Century, 58m high bell tower of El Fadri, the city’s most emblematic monument. The Basilica de Santa Maria de Llado in its lovely landscaped gardens, the 18th Century Convent of Las Capuchinas and the almost Italian-style Ajuntament (Town Hall) are other buildings of note to visit.

The Museum de Bellas Artes will not disappoint art lovers with its huge collections of paintings, ceramics and sculptures. For something a bit out of this world for the family, Castellon has a newly inaugurated Planetarium.

Take your time to stroll around the old quarter of Castellon: the Plaza de Santa Clara, the Plaza de la Pescaderia and the Plaza Mayor. Excellent tapas bars are to be found in Plaza de Santa Clara so be sure to sample some of the typical food of Castellon. See below for more on the gastronomy of Castellon.

The Fiesta de la Magdalena held on the 3rd Sunday of Lent is marked in Castellon de la Plana with processions and pilgrimages.

Around Castellon de la Plana and Beyond
The province of Castellon has some fantastic beaches, the best of them being those at heavily developed and touristy Benicassim, the promontory sited Peniscola, the fishing and shipbuilding town of Benicarlo and the town of Vinaroz which holds a fish auction every evening in the dockside market.

Benicassim plays host every year to the world-famous International Festival of Benicassim, a four-day pop and indie music extravaganza held in July that never fails to pack the town out. Be advised that tickets sell out very quickly for this event.

Inland from Benicassim is the idyllically situated 17th Century Carmelite monastery of Desierto de las Palmas, located in the Natural Park of the same name. The monastery still maintains a working community of Carmelite nuns today who offer teachings and courses. A very serious forest fire in 1992 caused much damage to this Natural Park and it is still recovering today.

60km inland lies the walled, mediaeval town of Morella, arguably the most attractive town in Castellon. The rocky hill on which Morella is built rises from the flat land surrounding it, the whole being impressively dominated by the castle of Morella. Also worth seeing is the church of Santa Maria la Mayor, which dates from the 14th Century with its beautiful spiral staircase, made of marble. Morella hosts a classical music festival every August.

Another attractive mediaeval hill town worth a visit is Villafames, 24km inland from Castellon and which has a fine Museum of Contemporary Art.

As well as the Natural park of Desierto de las Palmas there are the Natural Parks of Sierra de Irta and Sierra Calderona which, with their diverse ecosystems offer the nature-lover plenty of opportunities for observing Castellon’s flora and fauna in stunning, unspoilt surroundings and the more energetic the opportunity for great hiking and cycling.

The Gastronomy of Castellon
The cuisine of Castellon embraces the flavours of the sea and the land. It has Catalunyan as well as Valencian influences. There is much use of rice, mushrooms, milk and oranges in Castellon’s dishes. Paella is widely offered in the whole of the Valencian region but other typically Castellan rice dishes include Arroz Negro (made with squid ink) and Arroz con Espardeñas, a rice dish rich with varied fish and seafood. Hearty stews are very typical of the area, one such example being Olla Segorbins, a stew of pork and white beans. Coca amb Sal is a kind of flat bread with a salty glaze. A typical dessert of Castellon is Pa-Noli, which is a pumpkin filled sweet pastry delicacy.

A traditional cheese from Castellon is Tronchon, a matured sheep’s milk cheese.

Castellon has a long history of wine making, which is undergoing something of a revival and those from Vega Palancia should most definitely be tasted.


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