There is much more to see and do in Spain than drinking sangria, eating tortilla española, and running with the bulls in Pamplona. Castellón, situated in the east of Spain and north of the Valencian Community, is famous for its stylish beach resorts. One of the most celebrated ones, Benicássim, is also noted for its music festival. The internationally acclaimed FIB is an event headlined by the likes of Beck, LCD Soundsystem, and The Killers. In addition, Benicàssim is home to active tourism specialists, Itinerantur. Chema Rabasa is Itinerantur’s Interpretative Hiking Director.
Chema’s Castellón and the one beloved of the UK’s bucket and spade brigade are not mutually exclusive. They are one and the same. The delightfully named Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast) is one of Spain’s most unspoilt shorelines. It’s a world away from the Costa del Sol despite being a distance of a mere 800km.
More Than the Coast
Yet Castellón is considerably more than the sum of its beaches. There are beautiful cork forests to trek through on gloriously serene trails. Olde world hamlets transport you to North Africa or Andalucia. The Moors made their mark here, as you can tell from the Arabic place names, ornate architecture, and the proliferation of almond trees. With Itinerantur as guides, you can hike and/or bike this spectacular terrain, safe in the knowledge that you’re being steered in the right direction.
Castellón is so photogenic, it’s even made its way onto film and television screens. Most recently, you got an extreme close-up of Peñiscola in Game of Thrones. This fortified coastal town doubled as Meereen, that illustrious city-state Daario Naharias extolled the virtues of by declaring: “Meereen is ancient and glorious. Try not to ruin her.” The Castell de Papa Luna owes its origin to the Knights Templar who constructed it as the 13th century became the 14th. Yet its name comes from the fact it was a papal seat to the Avignon pope Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna) from 1415 to 1423.
Embrace History in Castellón
Spain is a perennial favorite with US visitors. While there will be the inevitable rush to return to Barcelona and Madrid, you can avoid the hordes. Castellón offers a chance to step back in time. Soak up tradition by feasting on Valencia’s legendary cuisine and imbibing its vintage wines. The hospitable Chema Rabasa and company can’t wait to greet you.