We have spent many days in Peniscola seeing the sights and relaxing on the beach. Also known as ‘The City in the sea’, It is a beautiful coastal town in eastern Spain that has lots to offer.
It is an hour and a half drive by car from Salou, well worth it if only for a day by the sea. There are two main beaches here called Prebet and Norte over looked by a 13th century castle. There are lots of shops and restaurants selling traditional souvenirs like starfish and shells. Some local people collect the starfish along the coast when they wash up in the tides after a storm. It is surrounded by beautiful narrow streets on the way up to the castle selling their goods. A lot of restaurants offer selections of sea food. There is also Italian restaurants facing the sea with outdoor seating. Overall there is a great variety for everyone.
Peniscola Castle /Castillo de Peniscola
Peniscola castle was built in the 13th century. Surrounded by medieval walls and over looking the mediterranean sea it is a must see if you visit Peniscola! The town was declared to be a historical conservation area in 1972. Peniscola castle was a location used for filming Game of Thrones.
Currently the castle is that developed by the knights templar who planned to build a kingdom in Peniscola. The castle came under attack several times during military conflicts through the years.
This can be seen in one room when taking the tour inside the walls. Every room has an information plaque inside the door written in spanish and english. It gives you the history of each area and what each room was used for.
Parroquia Santa Maria Church
Before you arrive to the ticket office there is a beautiful church called Parroquia Santa Maria. It is beautifully constructed and well preserved. Inside there is a small shop selling little souvieners from the church. All situated on a hill it is advisable have comfortable footwear. Another reason for comfortable footwear is the steps along the way are quiet slippery on the edges. Bearing in mind it was a very hot day and they were dry. After purchasing your tickets you are free to tour inside the castle walls. The ticket office is on the right just before you enter. Keep your tickets safe as you will need them later if you decide to walk through the gardens.
Peniscola Castle Gardens Bird Sanctuary
The gardens are located at the start of the steep climb up towards the castle. We did not notice the gardens till we had left the castle, so we did not have an entry fee as we had purchased our tickets at the castle gate. There is a booth on entry to the park where you will be asked for your tickets. It is a short walk around the garden surrounded by palm trees, all over looking the mediterranean sea. Here they keep beautiful birds in the shade from the sun that they have rescued. When they are well enough they state on an information sign inside the park that they set them free again.
Tickets To Enter The Castle
General Ticket ( Entry to the caste and gardens ) – €5
Reduced Ticket ( Entry to the caste and gardens ) – €3.50
Children under 9 yrs old – Free
Summer Opening Hours:
From Palm Sunday to October 15th
Castle: 9.30am to 9.30pm
Gardens: 10am to 1.30pm and 5pm to 9.30pm
Winter Opening Hours:
From October 16th to Palm Sunday
Castle: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Please note the Castle will be closed on the following days:
January 1st , January 6th, September 7th & 8th ( until 3.30pm ), September 9th, October 9th and Christmas Day.
Getting To Peniscola
Travelling By car
Peniscola is just off of the AP-7 motorway which runs between Barcelona and Valencia.
Estimated Travel Times and Toll Costs From:
Barcelona – 2hrs 35m / €26 each way
Salou – 1hr 30m / €12 each way
Valencia – 1hr 45m / €14 each way
Travelling By Bus
There are daily bus services running to Pensacola.
Estimated Travel Times and Transport Costs From:
Salou – 2hr 10m / €11.50 each way.
For all other areas check out the bus schedules here.
Travelling By Train
Peniscola train station is actually 10km away in Benicarlo. There are buses running to Peniscola in the summer.
Travelling to Peniscola Summary
Travelling by bus is the most direct public transport option, I have linked the bus schedule above so you can check out specific times.
We normally travel down from Salou by car, with a motorway for 95% of the journey its quiet easy to navigate. Compare the best car hire deals here.
I hope this post was both enjoyable and informative – If you have any questions or comments please contact me below.
Thanks For Reading – Salou Travel Blog