Our private Guided Tour Peniscola and Templar Mysteries is a full day excursion to the one of the most spectacular and mysterious towns on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast. Peniscola is located on the so-called Costa del Azahar, 2 hours’ drive from the city of Valencia and 1 hour and a half from Castellon.
Peniscola was founded probably by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC. over a rocky crag that juts into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a natural fortress, subsequently improved in its military defensive part over the centuries by several civilizations: the Phoenicians, the Iberians, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Arabs and finally the Christians who reconquered Peniscola in the century XIII.
Once arrived to Peniscola we will begin our guided tour with the small fishing port where you can still see the artisan work of the fishermen, their small fishing boats, the nets drying under Mediterranean sun and you can smell the fresh fish just taken from the sea.
Next, we will begin our ascent to the Old quarter of Peniscola, crossing the defensive walls designed in the 16th century by the Italian architect Giovanni Battista Antonelli for the King Philip II of Spain. Let stop to hear the grunts of the Bufador, which is a gap between the rocks that emits a hiss due to the action of the waves of the sea. We will enjoy the small and winding streets of the medieval quarter and the spectacular views that are offered over the Mediterranean Sea from the different traces of the defensive wall that is still perfectly preserved. The curiously decorated facade of the Shell’s House it is a mandatory stop. We recommend to visit small but interesting Museum of the Sea.
On the highest part of the rocky crag is located the most historical and mysterious monument of Peniscola – the Templar Castle, also known as the Papa Luna’s Castle or the Antipope’s Castle. We will visit the Castle inside, entering its rooms and enjoying spectacular views over Mediterranean coast. Let talk about the history of the Great Schism of the Catholic Church and vicissitudes of the Pope Benedict XIII’s life and we will explain why he is known as Antipope. We will enter the Gothic Hall, the Conclave Hall, the Stables, the Bedroom and the Pope’s Library, we will walk through the Parade Ground, we will go down to the prisoner’s cell and we will go up to the upper terraces to enjoy spectacular views over the coast. Finally we are going to visit the Artillery Park, an open and landscaped space which is located few hundred meters from the Castle.
When walking through the old town of Peniscola we will have the opportunity to buy souvenirs in an infinity of small artisanal shops. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste local craft beers, we particularly recommend trying the artichoke one.
Peniscola was the site of several cinema and television shootings. Among others: two films by Spanish director Luis Garcia Berlanga, El Cid by Anthony Mann starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. But of course, the most famous was the filming of several scenes from the Game of Thrones series. We will walk through these locations and we will have the opportunity to feel like their protagonists.
We recommend to complete our Guided Tour Peniscola and Templar Mysteries with the lunch in one of the local restaurants famous for its fresh fish and seafood, as well as rice dishes with the seafood. Optionally we organize for you tasting of local products: craft beers, liquors and spirits, wine, etc.