Set mid-way between Valencia and Barcelona, Peñíscola besides having an unfortunate name is a gem of a place to visit with some great beaches, fortified town centre and a national park coastline. It is also now the location of one of my favourite tv shows, Game of Thrones. I have had the pleasure of spending a long weekend here flying in to Valencia and then driving up the coast to the town. It is about to become even easier as they are just about to open a new local airport at Castellon.
Filming has just wrapped here on Game of Thrones, with several key scenes from series 6 being filmed here. Although it is not yet clear what part it will play, Game of Thrones tourism is now big business with Ireland and Croatia benefiting from fans on the trail. It should be interesting to see what Game of Thrones does to tourism in the area, maybe get in here quick before it booms.
The old town is likely to be the focus. It is a typical Spanish fortified city with narrow cobbled streets with small cafes and restaurants lining either side. Plaza de Santa Maria and Plaza de Armas are both expected to feature in filming.
Plaza de Santa Maria
Plaza de Armas
However Game of Thrones isn’t the towns only film pedigree. El Cid the 1950’s epic staring Charlton Heston and Sophie Loren was also filmed here, mainly along the beach as it played the part of Valencia in the film. You can see from the photo the scale of the town has been massively increased by the filming, with several fake walls built just for the film.
Peñíscola beach & Spectacular night photo of the town
Away from the Town
Although the town is the main sight in the area the coastline is equally spectacular. As you drive south away from the town you rise up along the rocky coastline through the natural park of Parc Natural de la Serra d’Irta. This stretch of coastline is interspersed with hidden beaches and can be cycled with a good mountain bike. A round trip from Alcossebre to Peñíscola is about 40km.
Other Places from Game of Thrones
Along with the beautiful coastline and old fortified town you are equal distances from Valencia and Barcelona. Both of which can be the start or end points for your travels. The mountains and small towns around Peñíscola provide places to drive around and enjoy the more rural setting.
If a Game of Thrones fan then why not continue up the coast starting in Valencia and travelling through Peñíscola and up to Girona north of Barcelona, Castell de Santa Florentina which is on route has just been part of the filming also.
Castell de Santa Florentina
When we travelled to Peñíscola we flew to Valencia from Luton and then hired a car, driving up the coast. It took about 1hr 30 and is a easy drive along the motorway. You can get there also from Barcelona and when the new airport opens nearby then it will be a short 30 minute drive to some spectacular scenery.