A "real" Spanish seaside town in this area, which has a different feel if you compare it to Vinaros further north. Although there is a small beach in the centre of the town, the main focus of the seaside is the harbour. The area around it has been developed and you have a nice marina with bars and restaurants.
Just a few steps (literally) to the north you can find a long stretch of pebbly beach where hardly any development has taken place yet, and there is a lovely beach bar and a restaurant. A bit further north of the centre of Benicarlo are a few urbanisations, i.e. Surrach and Mar Chica.
Going to the south you soon get to the long sandy beach which carries on all the way to Peniscola. Benicarlo offers all the necessary amenities like shops and supermarkets, bars, daily market with fish, meat, vegetables. There are a number of excellent restaurants in Benicarlo, many with changing tasting menus.
Benicarlo is very proud of its Benicarlo artichoke" -which really is very tasty- and once a year they hold an artichoke festival. The local restaurants then serve menus with dishes that all include artichokes, including desert. Another popular festival in Benicarlo is the Fallas, where large sculptures out of papier mache are being displayed in the main squares. They are then burnt on the night of the 19th of March.
Benicarlo dates back to the 6th century BC, with old settlements on two neighbouring hills of El Puig and La Tossa. El Puig is an arquiological site. Both and La Tossa and El Puig can be visited by guided tour. Benicarlo of today has long outgrown its old city walls, yet the old town holds many historical buildings dating back to differen periods. The church of Batholomnew with its monumental baroque facade has to be mentioned. Benicarlo has of course been influenced by the time of Moorish rule and was ruled by the Knights Templar for around 35 years in the 13th to 14th century.
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